Key West Vacation

Key West Vacation

May 5th through 8th, 2024

We've been together for years, now, but this was our first vacation. It sounds strange until you realize our lives are basically a constant vacation. We travel full-time in our motor home and we're always somewhere new, it seems. But this time, we left our home and drove to Key West to stay at a resort.

Of course, our home was in Key Largo, and it was already like being on vacation. We packed up the dog, some clothes, and jumped in the car to drive the hundred miles from Key Largo at one end of the Keys to the other end at Key West. The drive is epic, and it was so pretty we were smiling the entire two hours. We didn't do any side trips, because we couldn't wait to get to our hotel.

We stayed at the Ocean's Edge Resort, and we really enjoyed it. It was on Stock Island, which is the area just outside of Key West. That meant we had some elbow room, lovely views of the resort's marina, and it wasn't as crazy as it would have been if we were in the town of Key West. The resort had a shuttle to take us downtown, too, and lots of room to walk Lacey. We were on the second floor with a private balcony, and it was beautiful every day.

We got lucky and our trip overlapped with Doug's, a friend of Margot's from her working days. He was buying a sailing catamaran, and we were able to get a tour of it. It was such a lovely boat, and perfect for some long-distance sailing. Our love of catamarans began here, fine-tuning our love of boats you could live on. We had a great dinner together and talked about the old days and days to come.

We were also in love with the "hop on hop off" concept, and we would be doing our third one in Key West. They are double-decker busses or motorized trolleys that do a set route through a city or town, and you can get off at any of the stops. Then you can get back on a different bus at that same stop or even walk to a different stop. It's a great way to see a location. We took the resort's shuttle downtown and hopped on the HOHO. We saw lots of chickens, and some would just lay down in the middle of everywhere.

Our first touring stop was at the Truman Little White House. We like visiting presidential museums, and this was Florida's only one. It was a pretty house with lots of military history, and Truman would stay here often. It was also a great way to get out of the oppressive heat and humidity we found in Key West.

We rode around on the HOHO for a while and then got off before the "hotel loop" started. The trolley goes through the downtown attractions, and then it goes farther out to circle by the hotels and other places. Instead of doing that loop, we decided to walk a few blocks to make it possible to do just the short loop.

We stopped at the Hemingway Home and Museum mostly because so many people said it was a "must see" place in Key West. We walked a few blocks in the sun, and by the time we got there we were feeling pretty overwhelmed with it. We paid to get in and then only wandered around the home for a brief time. Yes, there were cats. It wasn't the most interesting stop, but now we can say we've been there.

This trip also gave us the chance to celebrate Monica's birthday in style. Our first stop was a sailing trip aboard the Schooner America 2.0, a beautiful boat. It motored out of the marina and soon we were out in the ocean. The crew put the sails up, and that was so cool to watch. As soon as they were up, they caught the wind and turned off the motors. It was quiet, peaceful, and also exhilarating as we quickly cruised out to sea.

This sailing trip was easily one of the best things we'd done in a while. It leaned to the side as we went at times, but it felt comfortable and safe. We took a million pictures and we grinned at each other the whole time. Margot got to take her turn at the wheel, too.

On the way, we saw a cruise ship leave the area. The crew told us they were there by special permission, and they weren't allowed to stay long or overnight. In most cases, Key West doesn't have a port big enough to handle cruise ships.

We went back to the resort on their shuttle, and then turned around to go to Monica's birthday dinner. Margot planned the whole thing, and Monica had no idea what was in store. We drove to a restaurant's parking lot, Salute! On the Beach, and Margot ran in ahead while Monica waited. When she came in, the manager took us to a table outside and on the beach, and there was a bottle of wine on the table -- Monica's favorite wine from New Mexico (the 631 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon from Lescombes)! Margot had it shipped and then brought it to the restaurant the day before. The whole thing was planned perfectly. So sweet!

Not only that, but we were also next to a sand volleyball court where we watched people play for most of our dinner as the sun set. The ocean looked beautiful, the food was amazing, and Monica had the best birthday ever.

It was a quick trip to Key West, and we packed a lot of activities into it. We tried to get to Dry Tortugas National Park but couldn't get a seat on the ferry or find a seaplane. It's the only place that proved to be impossible for us. We even tried to visit the mainland visitor center in Key West, but it has been closed since the pandemic (even though the website says it's open). We really liked the area and the town, and we dreamily made plans to visit it again someday in a boat of our own. We still want to go to the Dry Tortugas!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed all your pictures and your story. What a lovely trip. The schooner looked amazing and fun. The beautiful flowers and palm trees brought back memories of my past and the beautiful flowers. I have always loved the island palm trees. Thanks for sharing these great pictures.
    Lots of love, Mom

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