The first is that this was one of the best trips in the last two years and there are several reasons.
1. The weather was just about perfect and I hope everyone who is down now and who will be going down soon will have as good conditions. Mornings were coolish with little humidity and the afternoons got hotter and hotter. Perfect for sitting on the beach and for going out to the reef to snorkel and kayak and then relax in the water. I don't think it rained from 5/17 - 5/25.
2. The Pier House is refurbishing the garden view rooms so I was given a complimentry upgrade to a harbor view junior suite. It was one of the rooms I've been coveting all these years. Two queen-sized beds so I could spread out my stuff and a giant veranda which was big enough for a table and four chairs, a lounge and a drinks cart. It was also covered and had a ceiling fan! At night I could sit on the lounge, put a glass of wine on the cart, and listen to the music from the piano bar. It also had a set of sliding glass doors on the harbor side and on the other side so I could open both at night and enjoy the cool breeze.
The construction is due to go on for another six months so I don't know what will happen if you book a garden view room for that time period. I expect I'll get another upgrade in July.
3. Various meet-ups. Met Simkeith and the Mr and Mrs Deanrae and Mr and Mrs PJ507 and other people whose name I either didn't catch or whose names I've forgotten. The two best meet-ups were at the Green Parrot one afternoon and at the Magic Bar at the SWB one evening. Remind me to tell you about Mark and my bicycle ride back to the Pier House afterwards. I did go over to the tiki bar at the Ocean Key Resort twice and mey KWAL. If you haven't gone over to meet him yet, he is the nicest guy and takes time to chat while tending bar. As soon as I get some photos developed I'll show you who to look for, but he has a name tag as he probably forgets who he is.
1. Captain Haig on the way in from a fabulous trip asked how people had heard about Danger Charters. One or two mentioned TA and he asked, if they had had a good time, to post a few words in a review. This shows how important TA has become to the businesses in Key West. I was told that many of the crews of the trips lurk on the boards. So, and you all know this, be generous with your praise, and fair with your concerns.
2. I finally went back to the Banana Cafe for a breakfast and it was fantastic. They make filled crepes along with other breakfast items, and if you can make it there, try out La Super or La Formidable. (I think that should be Le Super) I was so impressed that I walked down there for dinner, moules maronieres, and was not disappointed. I was going to do a review but they are moving one half block farther south and so will wait until that opening in June. They lost their least and so are moving
3. Someone asked about chocolate so I noticed a new-to-me place at 411 Petronia, Better Than Sex, a desert restaurant.
4. Lazt Dog Rentals (kayaking) has opened a store on Front Street and natch I can't find the address. But I got a contact, Jen Berry, (305) 293-7634. They run a 2 hour ($35.00) and 4 hour ($60.00) guided kayak tour, and will rent kayaks ($20.00 / half day), and my understanding is that they will pick you up at the store on in Key West and take you to the starting mile marker. I don't know if this is new.
5. There is now an Indian restaurant on Duval, almost to the end on the Whitehead side - The India Restaurant. Mike Mongo says it's good and it smelled good as I passed by.
6. Croissants de France on Duval is now serving dinner. This is new to me. I didn't even know they served lunch.
7. The See Key West magazine has changed quite a bit; it's almost a small, squarish glossy rather than the older oblong one. No more free drinks at Alonzo's or the Half Shell and the map is now inside rather than a fold-out, and there is now a calendar of events. I have several if anyone needs one, but they are still available all over the island.
And a coule of wierd things.
1. There were two powere outages last week, something I've never seen before. I've never heard Key West so quiet - AC was off, fans were off, blenders!! were off, music was off. It was kind of refreshing. Everyone wanted to know "Do the taps work?"
2. One of the seaplanes sank! It apparently developed engine trouble, made a sea landing, and the passengers were taken off. Then, while bein towed, the tow rope caused it to turn sideways and the floats filled with water and it sank. Rides to the Tortugas are still being done.
3. And someone burned down a section of Smathers Beach. Honest. Years ago the sand from the beach would blow inland and cover the sidewalk, so they build a 4 foot retaining wall and to anchor the sand planted sand grass. I used to watch a worker water each individual plant every morning until it took root. Because of the dryness, a flicked ciggie ignited the vegatation and burned about a 1/4 mile stretch of this. But almost unbelievably, green shoots are poking back up.
I almost cried while packing to come home. Keys disease for sure.