We flew out of Boston on American. We only brought carry-ons as we had a washer/Dryer. They immediately started telling everyone with a rolling bag that it was oversized and were making you check them. My bag has American emblems all over it, as it was approved by them, and that is why I bought it. She ignored me and took it. I asked if it was definitely going on our plane as I had no checked luggage and she said yes. Not. We arrived on time in Key West and guess what? No luggage. Reported it, they were shocked in Key West that they took our carry-ons, and promised to deliver them, but they had no idea where they were.
We got our car at Avis, a new Chevy Cobalt, and we were off to Century 21 to get the keys to the Shipyard Condo we rented. Checkin took 2 minutes and off to Publix and liquor store. We are spoiled here in the Northeast, our grocery prices are definitely lower and we can buy our hard alcohol right along with our groceries in the same store.
Found the shipyard condo, we were glad we had a small car as parking spaces are tight here. Our unit was on the second floor and had a slight view of the harbor. It was a great place,centrally located for walking & quiet, one bedroom, big screen TV, large deck, and fully stocked kitchen with an awesome blender. We made good use of that. Furniture and bed were very comfortable, we didn't bring our computer but it also had high speed DSL. We were just heading out a few hours later when our luggage arrived, soaking wet and covered in grease. I will be making a complaint. But at least it arrived on the same day as us. Now I can take a shower and change clothes.
We headed out on our first night for something to eat and a few drinks, we were exhausted so we agreed it would be a short night. Well we started at Sloppy Joe's, and did the whole Duval Crawl, we were sitting in the Green Parrot as we had to walk by it to get to our condo (this proved to be a problem for us) at 1:00 AM, I think we got back after 2:00.
Friday the 12th, we got up by 8:30 had coffee and decided to take it easy as we wanted to make it to the CTH happy hour. We got unpacked and sat around a while, then just decided to go out walking. We did okay until about 1:00 when we walked by Captain Tony's, we only went in for 1 and well, we were hurrying to the Conch Republic at 5:00 (Do you see a pattern?) We probably should apologize to all the people that night, it was great meeting everyone, but after the first hour, things get a little fuzzy. We again didn't make it home past the Green Parrot.
Sat. 13th. We wanted to make it to Schooner Wharf for the boat parade, so we decided that we would not be walking around today as we are weak and can't walk by any place, so we took a ride in the car out to Stock Island to look at some campgrounds for and extended stay for next winter. We looked at Boyd's, Leo's and Elmar, and we found the Hogfish. What a great place, we ate lunch outside, we shared some peel n eats, and my husband had the fish tacos, I had a burger. Everything was excellent. We went back to the condo and got cleaned up and had a few drinks on the deck. We ran out to the Harbor just in time to see the sunset, and then headed for Schooner Wharf. We got two seats at the railing that overlooks the tables in front of the bar. We had a decent view, the boats were great, we saw Tim and met his wife they were also there at a table. After it was over we started the crawl home.
Sunday we did some driving around and went out for a decent meal at Carolines, hit the usual places again.
Monday we had decided it was our day in all day, I had bought stuff to make spaghetti. We went to the pool for the day, I made out all my christmas cards. I thought about putting beach sand in them, but decided not to torture our friends too much. We got cleaned up and before I started to make the spaghetti we headed out to the post office to mail my cards. Well guess what, we had to walk by the Green Parrot, and we didn't make it by on the way back. We ended up playing Bingo at the bar and had a blast, I was making Spaghetti at 8:00 pm.
For the rest of the week, we relaxed by the pool in the day time, we went to Ft. Zach beach for a day, and drove around to look at some other campgrounds further up the keys. We didnt do many tourist things, as this trip was mainly to check out places for next year, and we have been going to Key West yearly for a long time, so we have done most of the boat trips etc.
We are not big eaters so most of our meals were apps or burgers, but a few of the places we did eat were Conch Republic, (good burger and chicken sandwich), Caroline's (great cajun pasta) Schooner Wharf for wings and peel n eats, Sports Page for Sunday football and burgers, my husband liked their burger the best, Hogfish (husband loved the fish tacos) and for breakfast we ususally never go out at all, but decided based on recommendations here that we needed to try Harpoon Harry's and Pepe's, both were execellent and bloody mary's awesome. I also like the Bloody's at Shooner Wharf.
My husband bought a new dive bag while we were there, so we had a checked bag for the way home, so we had to go to Pepper's to get a variety of sauce, and I got some hot Green Beans for Bloody's, also I like the Garlic Hot Sauce at the Conch Repubic, so I had to get some of that.
We managed to do the Crawl more nights than we should have, and saw all the usuals, Matt F**in Avery at Big Uns, JMH at Irish Kevins, Uncle Bob & Adrian at Rick's, some great singers at Captain Tony's and the Green Parrot, and a good band at Hog's Breath. Pete & Wayne were off while we were there, so we will have to catch them here in Maine this August at The Pier in OOB. Adrian also plays there in the summer.
Friday 19th, sadly we got up and started packing as we had to go home today. Checkout was at 10 am , but our flight wasn't until 6:20 pm, so we were deciding what to do that day when we got a call from home. Our friends said the Boston airport was closing. I got on the phone with AA, and they said it wasn't closed but down to one runway, and flights were backing up. She told me I could get on an earlier plane if I wanted (Not what I wanted, leaving Key West early) or for no charge she could get me on a plane the next day. PERFECT!! Called Cen. 21, they said I could stay another day, and I was a distressed passenger so they gave me a reduced rate. It couldn't get any better, an extra day in paradise. We got one last day in at the pool, and tried to drink up the beer we had left, and the best thing of the day, we got to go to CTH again, we got to meet everyone again, and some new people too. We had the best time, it was the perfect end to our vacation.
We managed to get home on Saturday, our flight from Miami was delayed 3 hours, as Logan still only had one runway open, but we made it in before they closed the airport again on Sunday for a huge storm, that was not very fun on our first day back, but I booked flights for a weekend the end of Feb, so I have something to look forward to now. We will be ther 2/27 to 3/2 at the Duval House, this time we are bringing 10 other people with us, See you soon..