Key West Redux

This photo was taken on our first day in Key West, before the rains hit. Simply spectacular, if you ask me.

Ordinarily, today I would post the next installment of The Road Taken series.  But, after my Rick saga, I’ve decided to take a break as I’m not quite sure where my story should go next. Blame it on a brain freeze, or on one too many rum punches imbibed while on vacation. Either way, I’ve hit a wall. If you have any suggestions on how to get past it, I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, since you have been so encouraging about my photos from Key West, I thought I’d share a few more today. After all, the ones I’ve already posted, in Key West, Rain & All, largely focused on the lousy weather we had while there.  It’s only right that I also show you some photos that capture Key West at its best.

If you ask me, Key West is an idyllic locale, and the perfect place for anyone who enjoys a good walk. I didn’t let the rain stop me from clocking in a lot of steps on my pedometer as I wandered around, taking in the lush beauty and flavor of Florida’s magnificent coastal community. As a writer, I found Key West to be very inspiring. I can’t think of a more fitting place in which to lose yourself, if only for a short time.

So, please indulge me as I reflect on my favorite moments visiting the southernmost point of the continental U.S.   I’m hoping, that those of you who commented last week and said you’d never been there, will be motivated to start planning your own trip to the Keys.

Let me know what you think!

I put together this collage as a reminder of all that Key West has to offer. Balmy days, and some good, old-fashioned R&R.

This alley looked like a prime spot for basking in the atmosphere.

What's the story behind this structure, located at the southernmost point? Wish I knew.

One of the many spots where you can stock up on cigars.

I love signage. For some reason, this one reminded me of one of my favorite films.

No doubt, this is the Number One photo-op spot in Key West, a mere 90 miles from Cuba, after all.

Anyone watching the new "Pan Am" series, might be interested in reading this sign. (This photo was taken by my sister.)

Intriguing front yard, don't you think? I wonder what they do inside, when not "Closed," that is.

I'm a sucker for statues.

This dog, on Duval Street, is waiting for his pirate booty.

Chickens and roosters roam freely in this laid-back town.

When I came across this whimsical yard, I felt a yearning to sit down and have a tall glass of refreshing lemonade. Or should I, more appropriately, Key Lime-ade?

This house, with its purple bicycle, green foliage and blue shutters, spoke to me. I wouldn't mind spending half the year here, writing away, and getting around town on my bike, as most of the locals do.

The Banana Cafe is a little French restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. The Key Lime Crepes are mouth-watering divine!

This may look like a dive, but it happens to be Virgilio's, one of the hottest places on Duval Street, for live music and dancing. We had a blast here. It's beautiful inside and an enormous tree growing in the middle of the roofless bar adds to its charm.

I love taking snapshots of flowers. This photo was taken while standing on a small bridge over a pond on the Hemingway house property, looking directly down at a lily pad.

Papa's Hideaway is a bed & breakfast, just a few blocks from Hemingway's house. Maybe next time, I'll stay here.

Hemingway must have spent a lot of time in the bathroom because his bathrooms were absolutely stunning! I love the tile on this bathroom floor. So art deco!

Check out the vanity in this bathroom. Look closely and you'll see my reflection.

Key West, Rain & All

The view from our hotel, Casa Marina Resort.

Last week, I headed to Florida, for what promised to be my niece’s very romantic, sun-kissed wedding by the ocean, on the beach, on the white, glistening sands of Key West, proudly known as the southernmost point of the continental U.S. I assumed we’d have warm, sultry days and plenty of time to bask in the sun.

Having made my travel arrangements months in advance, I started counting the days to this much-needed vacation and destination wedding, sometime last spring.  I couldn’t wait to be with family and friends for this joyous occasion. In fact, to make the most of the trip, I had decided to extend my stay by taking a few extra days off–before and after the wedding. I was eagerly looking forward to it all, including the chance to explore Key West’s famous haunts.

Well, the sunny portion of the vacation lasted for a total of 24 hours. After that, we had rain, rain, and more rain, often mixed with gusty, tropical storm-like winds. In other words, after one gorgeous day, the weather went south. Luckily, though, the good times stayed put.

There were 70 of us in all, many of whom hadn’t seen each other in years. A family reunion, a fabulous wedding, and buckets of rainfall. Flooding, too. What more could we want? So maybe, the ceremony didn’t take place on the beach as planned, but it was a magical wedding all the same.

Key West proved to be a most magical setting for a decidedly romantic wedding, rain and all.

Kudos to the mother of the bride and to Wedding Specialist, Erica Fuhrman of Simply You, for planning a superb, unforgettable wedding, right down to the scrumptious, elegant cake draped in orchids, and the fun photo booth, replete with costumes for the guests. And don’t even get me started on the exquisite decor and gorgeous flowers!

Herewith, are just a few of the more than 600 photos I snapped during my stay. Rain or no rain, I can’t wait to go back!

I loved this sign, especially the quote from Tennessee Williams. With a little pluck, I can see myself enjoying a writer's life year-round in Key West.

Out for a stroll, before the rains, I came across this shop, which reminded me of my blogger pal, Bella (One Sister's Rant)

The rain was sporadic while visiting the Ernest Hemingway House. There's really so much to do--and see--in Key West!

Hemingway loved cats and there are currently 44 cats living in and around his home. They're special cats, too, with extra digits on their paws. These cats are commonly known as Hemingway's cats, or, by their scientific name, Polydactyl Cats.

On the wedding day, the rain arrived full throttle and stayed for the next three days. Yikes!

Even these terns didn't have much to do except stare at the gloomy weather.

On Mallory Square, stormy clouds hid what may have been a beautiful sunset.

Rain? What rain? On this day we had one hour free of rain.

Would you believe it's early afternoon in this photo? And to think, the locals kept telling us it never gets this bad.