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Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

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Arlington, Virginia
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Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

On Monday, my very first order of business was getting to Blue Heaven and finally trying the lobster benedict I had read so much about on this forum. After grabbing a (great!) bloody mary at the bar, we were quickly seated. As advertised, the lobster benedict was fabulous. My husband got the Rooster Special (eggs, bacon, grits, etc), and loved it, as well. Such a great place made even more interesting by the roosters, hens and baby chicks strolling between the tables. We ended up going back a second time later in the week once our friends joined us.

We spent a good portion of Monday afternoon relaxing by the pool at the hotel. After the craziness of our first day, it was a very welcome rest! Since we had reservations the following night at Latitudes on Sunset Key, we decided to take it easy Monday night for dinner. After some quick research, we found a local seafood market, called Eaton’s Seafood I believe, and stopped by to pick up 1½ pounds of fresh-off-the-boat Key West pinks. They had also just made some conch ceviche, which looked absolutely wonderful and we couldn’t pass up. We then stopped by Publix for a bottle of wine and a block of cheese and were all set for our evening “picnic” by the pool. We even grabbed a slice of Key Lime Pie from Blonde Giraffe to split as desert. It was such a great (and peaceful) evening!

On Tuesday, we got up early and headed to Mallory Square, to make our reservation for Island Watersports’ jet ski tour around Key West. My husband likes all things water – he’s dying for a boat – so just getting to drive the jet ski in the ocean for two hours was heaven for him. Our guide was wonderful. It ended up just being us and one other couple. We made several stops where our guide gave us a bit of history of the island, we stopped at a sandbar and got to wade around a bit. But the best part of the tour was just cruising on the jet ski under gorgeous blue skies. We had a GREAT time.

Afterward, we stopped by Kelly’s on Whitehead for a very, very tasty spicy bloody mary before heading back to the hotel for some pool time and to freshen up for our dinner reservation at Latitudes on Sunset Key. When it was time to go, we walked to down Duval to the Westin, where the concierge gave us our boarding pass for the short boat ride to the island. My husband knew we were going to an island, and he knew that we would be eating right beside the water, but he was blown away by the actual place. We got a great table right on the sand – the furthest one from the restaurant. It was very romantic and intimate – just what we were looking for! We ordered a bottle of wine, toasted several times and then began the important work: deciding what to eat!! 

We had a shrimp appetizer, which was stuffed with crabmeat, wrapped in glazed bacon and topped with some kind of lime mustard sauce. To. Die. For. For our main entrees, I had the pappardelle di mare, a pasta dish filled with lobster, shrimp, asparagus, mushroom, etc. The hubby had the beef tenderloin. Both were wonderful. Truly one of the best meals we have ever had. We finished off with the biggest piece of carrot cake I’ve ever seen (literally a whole pound!) and coffee. Looking back, this was one of the most special days we had in Key West, and we’ll remember it for a long time.

On Wednesday, our friends were set to arrive in the afternoon, so we decided to take the day to wander about town. We walked over to the Bight, took pictures, and saw some large tarpon before heading back to the other end of the island to see the Southernmost Point. We grabbed lunch at the Southernmost Point Café – I had another shrimp wrap, while the hubby had a chicken Caesar wrap (both pretty good) – before we headed back to the hotel for some pool time and to await our friends’ arrival.

Once they arrived around 5 o’clock, they got settled in and we all headed down to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. Since we’d discovered the Westin rooftop bar on Monday night, it was the first place we took them after a quick stop to watch some of the performers. After a perfect sunset – and some additional “That Green Thing” drinks! – we headed over to the Bight for dinner. Ultimately, we chose the rooftop bar at Turtle Kraals and a table overlooking all of the boats. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals – I can’t remember what everyone had, but I chose the fish tacos and they were excellent. Afterward, my husband and I headed back to the hotel, while our friends wanted to sing karaoke and headed to Two Friends (and then on to Rick’s) for some additional fun.

On Thursday, my husband and I headed to breakfast at a French restaurant on Duval – something about croissants in the name. The food was good. In fact, I would have said it was great had we not been to Blue Heaven earlier in the week. Blue Heaven ruined breakfast for me anywhere else in Key West! Then, we rented bicycles from a spot around the corner from our hotel and took off toward southernmost and then around the beach side of the island all the way to Stock Island. I had read such good things about Hogfish that we just keep biking and biking (sometimes wondering where the heck we were going!) until we found the place. It ended up being a great adventure – we loved the “local” feel of the place. We each had a beer, bought a tee-shirt, and saw the biggest wild manatee I have ever seen hanging out by the boats. Then, it was back on our bikes for the return trip to Old Town.

For dinner, because we loved our trip to Latitudes so much and wanted our friends to experience it, we made reservations for the four of us on Thursday night. And none of us were disappointed. It was quite possibly the largest restaurant bill I’ve ever paid – and worth every cent! Another memorable dinner in Key West. It will be a must-do from now on when we are in Key West.

Saint Louis...
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1. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

WOW! Sounds great. Thanks for the detailed rpt.

Syracuse NY
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2. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

Great report! I am so glad to hear you had a good experience at Lattitude's. A few weeks back, our dinner was a huge disappointment. Maybe it was just the night instead of the place going completely downhill. Reassuring!

Hoosier in Iowa
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3. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

Sounds like a great trip! I can't wait for ours in September! You mentioned riding out to Stock Island and Hogfish. We're thinking about doing that. About how long does it take to ride there?

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

From the southernmost end of Duval, it was about a 35-40 minute bike ride. We weren't going particularly fast, just enjoying the ride. I would definitely recommend taking a map with you, because once you get onto Stock Island the roads are pretty confusing and it always feels like you're going the wrong direction - even when you aren't! Have fun!

Hoosier in Iowa
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5. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

Thanks, tnvol24! That's about what we expected. Good to know we won't be in for any crazy suprises (like it's a 90-minute ride)!

columbus, in
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6. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

Great report! So glad you liked Latitudes. If you read my Key West Culinary Tour Results you will see why I like your report. Almost every choice you made is on my favorites list, too.

Orlando, Florida
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7. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

This is an excellent trip report! We were out of town last weekend, so I missed seeing this earlier. Sounds like you had a fabulous trip.

Philly
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8. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

Thanks for the detail in your report...brings back great memories!

Wanderlust, do not miss Hogfish. We went out there for lunch and wound up spending the afternoon just relaxing there and meeting interesting people. We rode out on a motor scooter, which would make the trip even quicker.

Raleigh, North...
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9. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

VERY NICE detailed report......Thanks for posting it........

10. Re: Trip Report 5/3 - 5/10 - Part II of III

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