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Key West, FL - 11/23/2011

Published at 8:27 PM in , , ,

Today was our day to explore Key West.  What a beautiful island - with a colorful history!

Jim on the Conch Tour Train

We started our day with the classic Conch Tour Train. This is one of the more well known tours in Key West.  It takes you throughout the island, and you hit all of the tourist highlights, as well as learning the history of the island and some its interesting features and architecture.  Several spots included Ernest Hemingway's home, the southernmost point in the continental United States, and all the pretty beaches on the island.

Where U.S. Hwy 1 begins and ends

We had a couple of different opportunities to get off the train, do things, and catch another train later.  We did this at one point and went to the southernmost point and southernmost home to take a look and take pictures.  When we returned to the pick-up point, we were hot and decided to cool off with some ice cream.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  It was a good idea.  The bad idea was getting cones instead of cups.  As soon as we stepped out the door and got back on the train, the ice cream started to melt.  Melt really isn't the right word...more like run away.  It just started dripping like crazy.  I was managing mine okay, but Chrissy needed some help.  I tried to get hers under control, but she just couldn't eat it as fast as it was melting.  Michael couldn't either.  He wound up giving his to Jim, who couldn't work with it. Jim wound up just dropping it in the street from the train.  Meanwhile, Chrissy is covered with ice cream, and about that time, she also managed to get her hair in it.  Rachael wasn't having much trouble, although she had her share of the mess.  By the time we got to the next stop where we could get off, we all had more ice cream on us than we had eaten.  To make matters worse, we couldn't find a restroom to so that we could clean up.  Thankfully, one of the employees had paper towels and knew where the garden hose was.  He felt sorry for us and let us get cleaned up there.  It was a very amusing site, I'm sure.

Pre-ice cream mess

Post mess clean up with Kevin


Once we got that cleaned up, we went into Flagler Station and Over-Sea Railway Historeum.  It portrayed the history of the building of the railroad to connect Miami to Key West.  Henry Flagler, founder of the Florida East Coast Railway, was determined to connect the two cities, investing $50 million of his own money to complete the task.  The project survived labor disputes, mosquitoes, and a hurricane and was completed in 1912.

When the next tour train pulled in, we once again thanked our clean-up helper and finished the last leg of our tour.  We arrived at Mallory Square, a focal point in Key West.  We did a little bit of shopping at the market shops, and headed back to the RV.  After taking a break and taking care of Sam, we headed back into town.

The Christmas tree at the harbor walk
Christmas lights were scheduled to go up along the historic harbor walk, on both the businesses that line it, as well as the boats in the harbor.  We love Christmas lights, so we were looking forward to it.  We found the lights, which started off with a huge tree and the harbor entrance.  We walked the four blocks of lights, and headed to Duval Street - which is where the night life is in Key West.  Bars, shops, and restaurants line the street for several blocks.  We planned on eating dinner at Sloppy Joe's, which was Ernest Hemingway's hangout. When we got there, a band was playing and it was really, really loud.  So we instead opted for Angelina's Pizza across the street.  Of course the kids were happy, so we were happy.  While we were there, Santa Claus and his wife came in for some pizza.  He was gracious enough to take a picture with the kids.  Chrissy and I decided he must be on his last vacation before his busy season begins.

Jim and his pie on a stick

Before we left the downtown area, we had to stop for some ice cream and Key Lime Pie.  I think Key Lime Pie is Jim's favorite kind of pie.  This shop, Key West Key Lime Pie Co., is the only Key Lime Pie shop in Key West that still makes their pies in the shop.  Everyone else has theirs brought in.  It makes no sense.  Anyway, this pie is award winning, so I think Jim made a good choice in where to get his pie.  The had several varieties of Key Lime Pie, but Jim chose the chocolate-covered pie on a stick.  He said he wasn't sure how he would like it with the chocolate, but he said it was probably the best he's ever had.  The kids loved their ice cream - which didn't melt everywhere - so it was a successful stop.

The Best Pie in Key West


It was a great day in Key West!  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we are looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner on base.

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1 Response to Key West, FL - 11/23/2011

November 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Please tell me you honored my teachings with some Jimmy Buffett while you were in Key West?! Driving home you must venture to drive on my favorite hwy A1A! Tell Jim Robbie loves some key like pie too. Glad y'all had some sunshine. :)

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