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Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Lansing, MI
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Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Hello All,

Key West was great. Only had 1 rainy day that kept us from hangin' at the pool. Stayed at the Truman Annex (just off Thomas St) in a condo called Coconut Villa, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, balcony view above pool. 10 days @ $170/night.

Flew into Key West International on a twin prop puddle jumper (from Fort Myers) that had 10 seats. Got the apporoach and landing on video. Nice.

Called Enterprise and they drove us to get the car. We lucked out with a 2007 Grand Prix. People say you don't need a car but we sure liked having it. We brought along our Garmin Streetpilot c320 gps and enjoyed knowing the street names ahead of time. Home was 1,598 miles away.

Didn't have many parking issues but went through a bunch of quarters. We did witness the parking police giving out tickets. Made the mistake of parking at the Westin Garage across from the Fisher museum once. ONCE. $4/hr. Dumb. Running around and the trip to Marathon racked up 162 miles.

Tried to make the roll call at Captain Tony's on Sunday, 11/25 for happy hour. We didn't get there until 6ish due to the scuba excursion. Looked all around the bar but didn't see Mojitoland's Rex Sox attire. I wore my Detroit Tigers hat all week in hopes of our paths crossing.

In short: 3 scuba trips with Captain's Corner aboard the Sea Eagle, ate at 16 restaurants, went to 18 bars, trolley tour, Pirates in Paradise Celebration and the Pirate Pub & Tavern, National Walk the Plank Championships, witnessed the burning of the hurricane flags, battles at sea re-enactments, Mel Fisher's treasures, wrecker's Shipwreck Historeum, Tennessee Williams' room at the La Concha, Ernest Hemingway's home, Harry Truman's little white house, Captain Tony, Smather's beach, beach at Fort Zachary Taylor, sunset celebrations, street performers, Southernmost Point landmark, turtle races and turtle museum, Sarah Lee Guthrie (Arlo's daughter) and Johnny Irion singing at the "Save the Union" benefit, Elvis, Mozart, LOTS of musicians, and Christmas parade down Duval street. The parade was fantastic.

Watched sunset at Mallory Square and Sunset Pier (5 times), at the USCG Mohawk, and from the top of La Concha motel (2).


Two Friends - Surf and Turf (lobster and filet)

Pepe's - Market Fresh Omelette

Blue Heaven - Lobster Benedict

Old Town Mexican Cafe - Steak Fajitas

Alonzo's Oyster Bar - Surf and Turf

Turtle Kralls - Fried Oysters and Fish Hooks

Half Shell Raw Bar - 1 doz Oysters, Lobster Bisque and Fish Hooks

Rum Barrel - Cajun Shrimp Po' Boy

Conch Republic Seafood Co - Lobster Escabeche and Key West Scallops

Red Fish Blue Fish - Blackened Mahi Mahi

Hot Tin Roof (Ocean Key Resort) - Hot Tin Paella and Curried Crab Cakes

BO's Fish Wagon - Deep Fried Hot Dog

El Mason de Pepe - Mojitos and a #10 - Chorizo and Fried Cheese

Margaritaville - Cheese Burger in Paradise

Mr Z's - Philly Cheesesteak (take out)

Keys Fisheries in Marathon (on our last day) - Lobster Ruben (the best) and Lobster Tidbits

Bars we imbibed at: Green Parrot, Big 'Uns, Fat Tuesdays, Willie T's, Hog's Breath, Captain Tony's, Sloppy Joes, Rick's, The Bull and Whistle, Flying Monkey, Irish Kevin's (wild), Jack Flats, Sunset Pier, Roof Top at Crowne Plaza, Schooner Wharf, Fogarty's, Pirate Pub & Tavern, World's Smallest Bar

Met Captain Tony Tarracino on Saturday night. He gave me 'the finger'. We now call 'the finger' a 'captain tony'.

Air Travel: Did not know about the 1 checked bag per person limit into KW. Luckily, we had 1 each (her clothes and my scuba) and my clothes suitcase was small enough to be checked at boarding. It fit through the security scanner but was too big to fit overhead or under seat. Kind of like mom with a baby stroller I guess.

This worked for the trip down. But at KW, the butt-head in charge of Delta's gig would not allow it to be plane checked. It had to be checked as 'standby' luggage. Any who, it all worked out because all 3 pieces were waiting for us at the baggage claim when we got home.

Phew. Gained six pounds and a nice tan.

Thanks for taking the time to read our long winded report.

Key Lime Bike Tours
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Scuba & Snorkeling, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
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Sightseeing Tours, Equipment Hire, Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Up The Keys
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1. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

WOW! You ate and drank at a lot of places! And you only gained 6lbs??!! I think I just gained 10 reading your report, lol! Thanks for taking the time to post. Sounds like you had fun.

Stroud, United...
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2. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

I've got 14 days until we arrive in KW, and after reading your post am already planning to buy a bigger pair of shorts for the homeward journey!


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3. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Nice report, we try to stay 10 to 12 days also. I don't think we have ever done as much as you in one stay. Good job planning.


Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
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4. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Excellant report is right. We were there the same time and go that time of year every year, especially when you get that extra day off after Thanksgiving. Hope to see you next year!!

Rolla, Missouri
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5. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

darn i was going to post our trip report, but after reading that i feel like the kid with the little pee pee in the shower room after gym class. nice job!!

Memphis, TN
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6. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Very nice trip report. I got exhausted just reading it. LOL

Glad you had a good time. Yep, jet airplanes are weight restricted in and out of EYW airport. Unfortunately the airlines don't tell you that when you make the reservation.

Rolla, Missouri
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7. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

my large suitcase weighed 49.5 lbs. when leaving key west. do any of you use like a portable scale like one uses to weigh a fish when traveling to check the weight of luggage? course those aren't light, are they?

Kittery, Maine
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8. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Hi Buizer - I'm sorry we missed each other at Capn Tony's - must have been by minutes since that's when we and H20melon and her husband (and pup too) left to go over to Mallory. Sounds like you maximized your week for sure. I hope Santa leaves some KW flight tix in your stocking for Christmas! In fact I think I'll put that on my wish list too!

Lansing, MI
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236 posts
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9. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

Thanks to all for the nice replies!

My daughter asked me which food we liked best and I say it was the Hot Tin Paella (baked saffron rice with lobster tail, shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken and chorizo sausage) at the Hot Tin Roof....My wife, Bethann, says it was the Lobster Escabeche (blackened lobster pieces tossed with vegetables, mangoes, citrus mojo, herbs, with avocado puree and tortilla chips) and Key West Scallops at the Conch Republic Seafood Co.

The best pupu was the #10 at Mason Pepe and the fish hooks (deep fried onion and jalapeno strips) at the Half Shell Raw Bar. I don't know why we don't have fish hooks up here in Michigan.

The roof at La Concha is the bomb for sunsets.

OBTW - I was wondering if the rate we got at the Annex was good or exceptional. Perhaps a new post?


New Jersey
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for Key West
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10. Re: Trip Report 11/23 - 12/3

I don't eat too much fried food anymore and I generally have the pinks at the bars at the bight, but those hooks go great with a cool Key West Sunset Ale. And I've only had the paella at El Meson de Pepe ($50.00 for two) but I'll have to give the Hot Tin Roof's a try next visit with a friend.