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Trip review and pictures

Oldsmar, Florida
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1,191 posts
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Trip review and pictures

We were in Key West from July 15-18, flying in on Air Tran. I was surprised how large the plane was (a 737), but the Key West airport extended their runway about a year ago to handle larger jets. Even still, our pilot warned us that we’d be coming to a quick stop.

We stayed at the Silver Palms Inn on Truman. It is a new hotel and very nice. Large, modern room with safe, microwave and mini-fridge. My husband and I are light sleepers so I was worried that it would be noisy but we didn’t have any problems with noise at all. We never heard doors slamming, people talking, or traffic. We only heard the roosters one morning. The hotel has a saltwater swimming pool (which we didn’t use) and a continental breakfast (which we did use). The front desk was great and helped us arrange for renting bicycles and booking a snorkeling tour.

We requested the bicycles when we checked in and before we’d even gotten unpacked, the guy from Eaton Bikes was there with two cruisers. All we had to do when we left was drop the lock keys off at the hotel front desk. Really convenient. Since Silver Palms is a bit of a walk from the main Old Town areas, we really loved having the bikes. We rode everywhere. I hadn’t ridden a bike in a long time so at first I was kind of nervous about riding in the street and I stayed on the sidewalks on the busier roads. But pretty soon, I got more comfortable. Riding around Key West is very easy. I think the roads might even have magical properties since they seemed to all go downhill. :-) The only problem we had was on our last night when we discovered that someone had stolen our bike lights! The thief took my front light and my husband’s back light, so I guess we should be glad they left us each one. It was still a little scary riding back to the hotel that night. I called Eaton the next morning and they were very nice about it and didn’t charge us for the lights. The lights were tie-wrapped to the bikes or I would have taken them off and kept them in my purse until we needed them.

We got to explore a lot of the island. We went to the Key West cemetery, the lighthouse, the Southernmost Point, rode down past Higg’s Beach to the White Street Pier and checked out Casa Marina. We also went to the Butterfly Conservatory. I don’t know if it’s the #1 thing to see in Key West but it’s a really nice way to spend an hour or so. The butterflies are gorgeous. We went around mid-morning and the butterflies were very active. We almost had the place to ourselves too.

We also took a snorkeling tour with Fury. The crew was a lot of fun and there was free beer after the snorkeling. I agree with a lot of the forum posters here that you need to get out on the water. The tour took us out to the Sand Key reef. I was hoping we’d get close to the Sand Key Lighthouse, but because of the water conditions that day, we didn’t get very close. But we did see dolphins, plenty of fish and a lobster. A great morning!

We did the usual bar-hopping. Best drink – the mojito at the bar outside El Meson de Pepe. Wow, was that awesome. They do not skimp on the rum. Second best drink – the Key lime martini at White Tarpon. We went to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar twice because it was so fun. It just opened a few weeks ago and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. I’d definitely recommend it if you like to sing along.

My favorite meal was at El Siboney, a Cuban restaurant on Catherine Street. My husband had the Ropa Vieja and I had the roast pork. We could easily have shared one of the dishes because the portions were large. They had good sangria and café con leche too.

We had one breakfast at Blue Heaven, also very good. Since it was Monday morning, it wasn’t very busy. I enjoyed being greeted by Shadow, the resident cat. He was a sweetie.

Thanks to all on Trip Advisor for the information and advice. It helped us get the most out of our trip. I hope you find my review helpful too. Here is a link to some of our pictures: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome…

Athens, Tennessee
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2,483 posts
37 reviews
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1. Re: Trip review and pictures

Great report! Sounds like a nice time and you hit many of my favorites. Thanks for the link to the photos!

Minnesota
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338 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Trip review and pictures

Nice report. Enjoyed the photos too. Our first trip was back in May and it brought back some nice memories. Thanks!

Ohio
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3. Re: Trip review and pictures

Love your photos - thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

Michigan
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4. Re: Trip review and pictures

That's funny about the Air Tran! Ours only had about 20 people on it despite being a 737 and the captain came on the speaker & said "I don't know if you've ever landed on an aircraft carrier before, but we're going to land fast & brake hard! The contents of the overhead compartments WILL SHIFT SIGNIFICANTLY!" Also the (male) flight attendants called each other "Miss Fruit" and gave us free beer. We felt like we were already in Key West as soon as we took off!

Michigan
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5. Re: Trip review and pictures

Great pics too! I love how Sloppy's is tilted & out of focus, how appropriate! And the cat at Blue Heaven has a face like a panther!

Oldsmar, Florida
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1,191 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Trip review and pictures

My husband asked for one of those little bottles of rum on the plane and the flight attendant said their credit card machine was broken so she gave it to him for free. First time in a long time we've gotten anything free from an airline!

I swear, I wasn't drunk when I took the Sloppy Joe picture. :-)

Oldsmar, Florida
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1,191 posts
13 reviews
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7. Re: Trip review and pictures

I forgot to mention in my review that we also had a fun time doing a hot sauce tasting at Peppers of Key West. They've added a soft drink/bottled water machine since the last time we were there - good idea.

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Trip review and pictures

Loved the pics! Thanks...

Northern NH
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9. Re: Trip review and pictures

Thanks for the great trip report and pictures!

Cape Canaveral...
Destination Expert
for Key West
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7,445 posts
42 reviews
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10. Re: Trip review and pictures

Sounds like a good trip! El Siboney is always one of our favorite meals, as well. Thanks for posting your experience; I enjoyed your pictures, too.