Trip report for week of July 17th
Ok so my friend and I (two 40+ single women) arrive in KW Sunday morning and I must say it was hotter than heck!! Whoever said not to come to KW in the summer wasn’t kidding. I immediately knew I had brought too many clothes even though we had only brought a wheeled carryon each…BTW flights on AA where superfast and on time…excellent experience..the way air travel used to be. Anyway, back to the temperature….I am not a huge heat and humidity lover but I did not see the point in whining because back home in Mass it was even hotter! And more humid! Record breaking temps! So I went about enjoying my week in the much more temperate Florida Keys lol.
So we take a cab to our hotel, the Truman hotel over on Truman St right next door to Moped Hospital. I have to say what a gem that hotel was!! Like a tranquil oasis in the middle of craziness of Key West. The hotel has all been remodeled into a kind of modern art deco type of style. It was comfortable, clean, luxurious, convenient and very reasonable priced. They were very generous with the towels. They put out a nice continental breakfast every morning right by the pool. In the evening there was turn down service with chocolates on our pillows and two bottled waters on our nightstand. The maid service was great and very unobtrusive. Nice AC . The guys at the desk were very helpful and kept our luggage until our room could be ready as it was only noon time. And we walked off for our first trip to Duval St.
We walk around a bit and the area is pretty dead so as we are hotter than heck, we feel the cool air blowing on us out of Cowboy Bills and in we go. That whole air conditioning the whole street thing you Key Westers have going on is really fascinating to me lol. So we meet the friendly and lovely Sally who is bartending. We drink the two for one Margaritas which are pretty good and Sally fills us in on some of the hotspots and good happy hours. We eat chips and salsa which are also very good and decide to skip lunch since we want to hit Alonzo’s for happy hour.
After a couple of margaritas and good byes to Sally we head off to take a trolley tour. Again it is hotter that heck (recurring theme here) so we wait around in the mall area for the trolley to leave. We take the tour and the breeze on the trolley makes it almost pleasant. It is a nice ride and we see the sights and orientate ourselves around the area. While we are getting the trolley tickets, guys at the Sebago booth sell us an all day adventure for $130 including parasail with a free sunset cruise which we can take that night. We had wanted to do the all day adventure so we put down our deposits and get directions for our cruise.
Off we go to our hotel to freshen up. The walk back is torturous and we decide we need to start taking cabs everywhere cause this sweat pouring off our bodies while walking around is for the birds. Back at our hotel we check in and change. We ask at the front desk if the cab drivers would be pissed at us for a 5 minute fare to Alonzo’s and our hotel manager says Who cares? (in NYC cabbies will kick you out for that) and he calls Friendly cabs for us.
We tell the cab where we are going and there is no problem! It is slow season after all and we tip well! The cabbies all love us and so begins our habit of cabbing everywhere in Key West.
We go to Alonzo’s and try to sit inside. It’s crowded at the bar and we order drinks and give up and decide to sit on the patio. The patio turns out to be much cooler than we thought. It is breezy and pleasant and we order our ½ price seafood and then decide to get bloody Mary’s. They are so freaking good with the shrimps, giant olives and spicy rims that it begins our quest to find the best Bloody Marys on KW. Waste of time, folks! They are at Alonzo’s guaranteed. Don’t bother having them anywhere else. Alonzo’s happy hour is excellent. The giant Bloodys are only $4.50 too. Sigh.
So we head down to the Sebago dock for our sunset cruise. It is a very nice time. There is a group of single guys on a bachelor party trip but they are geeky and not very rowdy and only slightly annoying. We partake of the free drinks and enjoy what turns out to be the best sunset of our 4 night trip in Key West. Lucky us. It’s a beautiful cruise and with the free alcohol, well worth the $30 it costs. I have been to Key West a couple of times but never taken one of the sunset cruises. Now something else crossed off my bucket list. I forgot what we did after the cruise (should have taken notes ha ha) but we were not out too late since we had the all day adventure the next day.
Day 2 – we get up early, get coffee and fruit at our continental breakfast bar and walk down to the Schooners Wharf for breakfast and a Bloody. (It is possible to walk around in KW at 8 am. Only moderately clammy upon our arrival). We split a delish shrimp, spinach and feta omelet and have a good (2nd best) Bloody but not even close to Alonzos. I will remark that waitstaff in KW never gave us a hassle about splitting things and were always very friendly and accommodating. Yeah! My friend even spills her half full drink and the waitress brings her another on the house!
So we board our boat and are given the spiel about drinking and driving jet skis. We wear wrist bands until we want to stop riding jet skis and then they rip them off and we can start on the open bar. Ingenious plan.
The Sebago full day adventure runs very well. The staff is funny and courteous and really works hard. The sun is intense so I spray myself often with my 45 waterproof shellac spray which saves me from being burnt like a crisp. We go on our parasailing ride first which is short but really nice. I had never done this before because most of the time when I have had the opportunity it has been in some crazy place like Mexico. It is much more relaxing doing this in the good old USA with no high rise buildings to splat into. Very fun and enjoyable. We are zipped back to the main boat in about 20 minutes and off we go to snorkeling. I am feeling slightly nauseous partly from motion sickness (I get that on boats) and partly from too much alcohol the night before. I alternate between being burnt to a crisp while getting fresh are on the deck and sitting beneath the overhang feeling nauseous for the one hour trip to the reef. We arrive at the reef and in we go. I am not a huge snorkel or scuba fan, preferring not to breath out of tubes but I go in anyway and see some fish and a blah reef. I have snorkeled in Mexico 25 years ago when the reefs where bountiful, colorful and teeming with fish. Now everything looks so sad. It is depressing. But the water is gorgeous and I have an entertaining time watching the mates try to get a few non-swimmers to see a few fish by inching them into the water a little at a time. Why non-swimmers are on this trip I have no idea…
We have a nice lunch with cold cuts and various salads. A few shrimp too. I sit beneath out of the sun and make some new friends.
Next we go to the watersports area. Here is where the trip needs some work. We are attached to a little dock with a slide, a water trampoline, 3 jet skis and a banana boat to ride. There are long lines for the jet skis and it requires a herculean effort to get on them. Swim out to them, pull yourself on, take off the rope and go to the area they tell you while staying 150 feet away from everything else. And do the whole thing in reverse to get back to the boat. I am a former lifeguard and reasonably athletic and all this wasn’t easy or fun. Several folks from our group were not able to do it and gave up. A huge storm cloud had popped up to the side of us and it made the current very speedy. In fact, I swam out the trampoline and had to use a rope attached to a life preserver to get back the current was that strong. So if you are looking for jet skiing go somewhere else!! The banana boat rides were really fun and I went on those twice. The trampoline was ten thousand degrees but the kids went on it often. They must have no nerve endings in their skin lol. I rip off my wrist band after my one jet ski adventure and partake of a Yinglueng lager. Ahhh. The staff puts out fresh baked cookies and watermelon. Delish…… After our adventure, we pay $20 for the CD or our parasailing pictures which were pretty funny and head to the Conch Republic for a drink. They hassle us about happy hour since it is 5 minutes to 4:00 so we use a 2 for 1 drink coupon. Our drinks are mediocre and the service is ok there. Not really a fan of CR. The fire alarm goes off while we are there and some hot firemen show up so we enjoy watching all that. I will say that if you are two single women and think you will meet guys in Key West, forgetaboutit lol! At least in the off season as the tourists are made up of mostly couples and gay men. No problem we have fun anyway but we do enjoy seeing the only men who checked us out all week (the firemen). We head to the Mallory Square for sunset. Walk around for a bit and then decide to bag it for the relaxing Sunset Pier restaurant. Good R&B music and margaritas and a beautiful sunset later and we mosey over to El Mason de Pepes. The Cuban music is fun and lively and we enjoy nice drinks including Mojitos. I love the atmosphere and music at Pepe’s but man is it expensive!! So we mosey over to Schooners and have a couple of there somehow it becomes 11pm but I don’t remember what else we did in that time period lol. Blame it on too much sun. We call our buds at Friendly Cabs and they are there in 2 minutes for the ride back to the Truman.
Day 3 -5 to follow….