We decided to head down for a 3 day weekend and as usual had a wonderful time. Stopped at the new Sunset Grill on Pigeon Key at the foot of Seven Mile Bridge--awesome place with a big palapa, good menu and prices, and a huge swimming pool! What fun to enjoy lunch in our swimsuits and take a dip before continuing the drive south.
We stayed (first time) at Orchid Key Inn, and almost had a disaster. We showed up at 3:00 on Saturday to find a loud, very drunk group of retirees filling the entire pool and courtyard. When I walked up to the registration desk (fully clothed, with my luggage) they completely soaked me with water guns, screaming 'FRESH MEAT!' (I am not making this up!!). Now we are party people and very good sports but this was too much. They had empty bottles, food, pizza boxes, etc. everywhere, all over the deck, every table, etc. and there were actually two of the 'let's-just-say-not-so-young' women flashing every man in the pool yelling lewd propositions. NOT our idea of a good time. There was a young honeymoon couple also staying there and the bride was in tears. We approached Brandon at the desk, who apologized profusely and offered to send us for the afternoon to their sister property, the Almond Tree Inn, right across Duval. Although we had looked forward to spending time at the Orchid Key, this was really our only option as both places were fully booked. Brandon and the new bartender at the Orchid Bar, Siobhan, were horrified at the group's behavior but assured us they would be out the next morning. Luckily Orchid Key also decided that the group in question would not be allowed back --what a relief. We figured we were only there for a couple of days so we just went with their suggestion and we ended up having an enjoyable afternoon by the pool at the Almond Tree (nice place BTW!) thanks to Bruce, who knew of our situation, and thankfully enjoyed a peaceful rest of the weekend at Orchid Key. Orchid Key rooms are top notch, good housekeeping service, and the breakfast and happy hour are nice too. Good location to explore up and down Duval.
As usual on a short trip we ended up doing our favorites, congratulated Frank on his 13 years of magic at Schooner Wharf, had lunch at Conch Republic Seafood Co., great dinner at the bar at Virgilio's--same menu as LaTrattoria, great martinis and fantastic reggae guitarist Sunday night. Loved the Sauce Boss at Green Parrot and stopped by the new Babalu's next door, seemed nice but didn't eat there. Lots of bicycling around stopping here and there and not much time for anything else! Can't wait to go back. Luckily Orchid Key also decided that the group in question would not be allowed back --what a relief.