This post was supposed to detail my amazing watersports adventures in Key West. I had bought a waterproof camera and was all set to take amazing underwater pics of coral reefs while snorkeling and shots of the ocean from 100 feet in the air during a parasailing trip.
And then it rained eight inches in two days, and everything was canceled. The morning of my parasailing appointment, it hadn’t actually started raining yet, but it was windy, so the boats were grounded due to the threatening skies. Lame!
With nothing else to do, it was time to wander around the small town and check out the rest of the sights. And there was plenty to see. First up was the Southernmost Point, the city’s most famous tourist attraction. At this early hour, only a handful of people were crowded around it, so I got my pictures in less than five minutes and was out of there.
Key West is an extremely laid-back town. It reminds me of a cross between New Orleans and Santa Monica. You have your completely non-self-conscious people riding granny bikes, even in the pouring rain, and you have your surfers and hippies who just chill and hang out all day.
And you have your wild chickens, who wander around town like they own the place.
We found a coconut lying around – they’re everywhere – and proceeded to spend the next half hour painstakingly ripping it open as we walked. It was a nice snack but took way too much work. I also found an avocado on the sidewalk that had fallen from a nearby tree. It’s pretty cool that you can just walk down the street and find fresh produce!
Next, we walked past the Ernest Hemingway Home, the 1930s residence of the legendary author. With an admission price of $12.50, Hemingway’s house seemed like a tourist trap, so we did not go inside. But I got a shot of the outside of the home. Note the cat in the lower right. Forty cats live on the premises, and the guides claim that many are direct descendants of Hemingway’s own cats. That’s cool, I guess?
Lots of people get around Key West by renting bikes or motorized scooters. Others use the shuttles and trolley buses that are everywhere. Double-check the price before getting on, though – some cost as much as $18!
Cinema Tropic reels in passers-by with its Marilyn Monroe tribute. I won’t show you the close-up, because they didn’t do a good job on her face.
Then it was through the ritzy part of town, passing impressive houses as I headed in the direction of Zachary Taylor State Park.
Any time you get to see “Mile 0” of a major highway, that’s a cool sight.
Then, it was off to a local bakery, because you can’t visit Key West without eating Key Lime Pie. This establishment offered several different types. We tried the traditional variety, which was slightly too tangy but tolerable, and the pineapple flavor, which was too overpowering and completely drowned out the lime. I like limes, but I won’t be racing to eat Key Lime Pie again anytime soon.
Key West has plenty of bars and nightlife, and even at this early hour, a few revelers had begun hitting up places like Sloppy Joe’s.
What started off as an extremely disappointing morning turned into a memorable few hours getting to know the city of Key West.