Key West – Tourist Day 2

Hank – Riding a bike is the best way to get around Key West. But we had a sunset dinner cruise with an open bar at the end of the day and didn’t want to get busted for drunk riding so we took a taxi.

First we checked out the Key West lighthouse. It’s just over 70 feet tall and you can easily miss it because the trees along the street block your view. We climbed to the top and got a good view of the island. It was a very windy day and there were two hats in the trees below.

We walked to the Truman White House. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures inside. The guided tour was nice. I think I caught Kathy sneaking a photo or two. Renegade!

We also went to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. That was much better than the Shipwreck Museum. Mel Fisher located the Atocha, a Spanish ship loaded with treasure that was destroyed by a hurricane in 1622. Artifacts from that ship, a slave ship, and others are on display along with the story of how they recovered them. Last of all is a display of boats, tools, flotation devices, etc., used by Cubans escaping to the U.S. over the years. The museum is a nonprofit research and education center and is a worthwhile visit.

We walked around the historic district a little more before getting on our sunset dinner cruise. Took, who hails from Grenada, provided the entertainment. Anders at the bar made sure our drinks stayed fresh. Dinner consisted of pulled pork, jerk chicken, mashed potatoes, rice, black beans, and more. We listened to music and danced topside. Oh, and we saw the sunset.

After that we walked to the hostel where Richard and Will were staying. Will had his guitar and I’d been lugging my ukulele around all day just for this. We sang songs and swapped stories for a couple of hours and had a lot of fun. Will went to the University of North Carolina where he had a cover band. Hootie and the Blowfish, before they hit it big, opened for his band at a fraternity party there. Wow! Will and I have similar music interests so we knew a lot of the same songs. I hope some day I can play guitar as good as he does. You’d never imagine he took only six guitar lessons as a child.

We took a taxi back to camp and called it a night. Tomorrow morning we parasail and then hang out in town until we catch the ferry to Fort Myers.

Kathy – No riding for us today. It was all walking (or taxi) and exploring Key West. What a beautiful city this is! I could easily stay here another few weeks. It is so relaxing and the temps are perfect in the mid 70’s with a sunny breeze.

We stopped by Hemingway’s home but chose not to go in since two cruise ships had arrived and it was a long line of people waiting. We also like to do our own tours and read information, rather than the ones you have to listen to a ton of information from a guide like here.

So, we moved on to the Lighthouse. This was a nice Lighthouse but a little on the small side (only 88 steps to climb) from the many ones we have climbed as we traveled down the east coast. But, it was nice and had an interesting museum to go along with it. We had a delicious lunch after the Lighthouse at an outside cafe that was super yummy and very relaxing.

Our next destination was the Little White House where Harry Truman and many presidents to followed stayed for rest and relaxation. Clinton was the last president to vacation in this home. You were not allowed to take pictures in the house, which really bugs me…why not? If you are not using flash photography you are not going to cause any harm with the pictures or home furnishings. I think it is just a money making opportunity so you will buy the pictures in the gift shop that you must exit through. So…I took a few pics when our guide was not looking. 😁 Who cares?/Whatcha gonna do arrest me!

Anyway, the Little White House was a pretty cool place. It had a ton of history that we found very interesting. I like how President Truman played poker every evening with some of his staff on the card table out on the back closed-in patio area. When his wife Bess came down with him they had a cover that fit over the poker table to hide it. It looked like a normal table in the corner of the room with flowers sitting on it in the day time. Pretty funny how this husband and wife were just like most other couples. Colin Powell held some peace talks in the Little White House during his time in office that were held at this exact table (covered) so no one knew it was actually a poker table underneath. Because of all the history, I snuck a picture of this table. 😉

Next we went to the Maritime Museum. This was another pretty interesting place. We learned a lot about recovery efforts as they gathered artifacts from old ship wreckage. I especially liked the section of the museum that was dedicated to the many Cuban people trying to make the 90-mile journey to the U.S. by sea. The rule is if you are picked up out at sea, you must return to Cuba. However, if you make it to land then you are granted asylum and can stay in the U.S. It is so interesting to learn about these people that are so desperate to come to the U.S. that they are willing to risk it all. They often make boats with small engines hoping that the seawater doesn’t kill the engine before they make it. As Americans, we are so lucky to live here. So many people want to come here for a better life for themselves and their families and it is truly fascinating how much they are will to sacrifice in order to make it happen.

We then headed out on the sunset dinner cruise. This was so much fun! The food was ok, the drinks a bit watered down, but the atmosphere was phenomenal! The ships open deck area allowed us to see the beautiful sunset. We also had a great DJ/music to dance to…pretty darn sweet! We really enjoyed our evening.

Our last journey of the day was to NYAH (Not Your Average Hostel). I was surprised to see this nice place in the middle of the city with two pools and a hot tub listing for only $70/night. We talked, laughed, and sang often as Hank and Will played a variety of songs. It was good to visit with Richard and Will before we head out tomorrow.

It was a jam-packed day of fun. Not ready to leave but we must press on tomorrow. For now enjoying the warmth, friendships and the wonderful spirit of Key West. We are pretty lucky to be here. 🍀☀️🌴

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