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Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Rochester, NY
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Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Been back for a little over a week and I am already “home” sick. I was able to piece together most of the week by time stamps on my pictures and check ins on Facebook. Grab a drink and/or pack a lunch cuz it’s a long one! Here goes:

Sunday - We flew into Key West with a short lay over in Tampa. This was our first time flying right into EYW and since we have made the drive from either FLL or MIA since 1998, flying direct is the only way to go. We weren’t planning on renting a car since we were staying in Truman Annex but, at the last minute the boyfriend decided he couldn’t live without a car for the week. Oh well, we did make good use of it.

We were splitting the condo with our neighbor here in Rochester who had already been in KW a couple days before us. We picked him up, dropped off our luggage at the condo and we were off. First stop was to see our friends at the Bocci ball pits. They were in the tourney and did very well. Went to Albertsen’s for the staples. (Figured we get that out of the way.) Dumped everything off and headed to the Rum Barrel to see my friend who now bartends there. My first Mojito, oh how I have missed them! Stopped at the Green Parrot and caught the end of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. We saw them last year and was so glad to see them again. After a few there we went up Duval to McConnels (the old Bogarts). I really like this place. But, of course I am partial to Irish pubs. Good vibe here, pool table, cool juke box. Great Irish nachos! We finished the night at the Green Parrot.

Monday we decided to make good use of the rental car. First stop was the Hurricane Hole. Wanted to see if we could talk to some of the fisherman at the marina on which fish were biting. Then we drove to the Hog Fish. Had the fish dip – excellent. Then I had to make a stop at Louie’s Backyard. (My Corona commercial moment.) Neighbor hadn’t been to Hog Fish or Louie’s and loved both of them. Went back to the condo to drop off the car and had happy hour at the Tower Bar. Love the bucket of bones here and the view is spectacular! From there we went to the Galleon Tiki bar to hear Tony Robert’s play. I can not say enough good things about Tony or his music. I was disappointed that he only played out once during our visit. After he finished his set, we went to the Rum Barrel. Tony met us over there after loading up his gear. At the Rum Barrel we met a couple who won a trip to Key West & were staying at the Galleon. We kept in touch with them throughout the week. From there we all went to the Garden of Eden. Not much happening there. Went to Mr. Z’s for some pizza and called it a night.

Tuesday- Since I still had not had a pina colada (oh the horror!) we walked over to the Flying Monkey. Walked over to the Southernmost Cigar Lounge on Front to see our buddy Mike. I am not a cigar smoker but the place is really cool, complete with a pool table. From there we went to the Porch. Chris Schultz was bartending and it’s always nice to chat with him. He told us to peak in at the old Ilona's spot on Appelrouth where he is opening up another bar. It was almost time for Happy hour so we walked toward the Boathouse. On the way, we checked out Chris' new bar. It was still under construction but looking good. Hope it's open in when we come back in March. We got a table outside at the Boathouse and the weather was just perfect! I liked the variety of the menu much better here than Alonzo’s. Stopped at the Rum Barrel. Then checked out Smokin Tuna (the old El Alamo). Not much happening here so we moved on after a drink. Finished the night at the Parrot.

Wednesday – The guys went fishing on our neighbors friend’s charter out of the Hurricane Hole. Since I was solo, I decided to walk up Duval & shop. I ended up at the SMOB café. Had a pina colada and enjoyed the beautiful day. My local friend met me at Hemingway house and we took the tour. Our guide was very informative. I loved all the cats around the house. I would definitely go back! We decided on Sweet Tea’s for lunch. We both had the Mahi wrap. It was okay – nothing to write home about. They really did raise their prices a lot since March. Rumor has it that it is a different owner. The whole reason this place was so great was because of the decent prices. I won’t go out of my way to return here. We walked back up Duval and to the Wharf. My friend went home & the boys were still fishing so I was on my own. After all the years of coming to KW, this was the 1st day that I found myself on my own. I felt perfectly safe and content. More so in Key West than at home! I walked around Lazy Lane and down the Wharf. Michael McCloud was playing at Schooners so I stayed there and had a drink. It was almost time for sunset so I made my way over to Mallory Square. I sat at the bar at El Mason de Pepe. This was the 1st time I saw the Bushman & I am glad it was from afar! It was hilarious to have him jump out and scare the Dickens out of people. I say this because I am not one of said people! I walked over to the Westin and saw the end of the Catman’s act and of course the ‘main event’. The sunset was so beautiful. I got a call from the boys that they were headed home and that they had a ton of fish. Yum! I met them back at the condo and we walked to McConnels. The bartender Bree here is very cool. From there we went to the Parrot and then to Cowboy Bills for the sexy bull riding competition. The boys were very happy with all the eye candy. It is so easy to amuse them! Ended up at Mr. Z’s and then back home for the night.

Thursday – We took a ride up the Keys with our local buddy. First stop was No Name Pub. Had a couple beers and went to Sparky’s In Key Colony. I am hooked on their “gratinee” dish. I saw Bluewater come in briefly but, she didn’t stay long so, I didn’t get a chance to say hello. (Sure we will see you in March: ) We ate till we were stuffed & headed back down the Keys. Had to make a stop at Daffy Doug’s Discount Dollar in Marathon. We dropped off our friend and the car and did some more crawling. A cold front had come through – I actually had to wear a sweatshirt (I know - boo hoo! lol). The locals stuck out like sore thumbs with their winter coats. We walked around a looked at some of the Christmas lights on the homes. I can totally get used to no snow for Christmas – in fact, I prefer it! Had a drink at Hog’s Breath then went over to Smokin Tuna, Tattoos & Scars, and ended up at Rick’s. Their house band the Durt Bags was playing. Great band – they knew a lot of covers. Think we probably ended up at Mr. Z’s again since it’s practically auto pilot on the way home.

Friday – Had lunch at Garbo’s Grill. Our neighbor has a cart here in Rochester so they had a lot in common. The burger was fantastic. Walked up the wharf & had drinks at Dante’s. Went back to the condo and lounged around a little bit before going to the Rum Barrel. They have awesome food specials for happy hour. Chicken Cesear salad just $5.00. The chicken spring rolls are excellent – just like mini cheese steaks - & also just $5.00. Then it was time to go to Galleon Tiki Bar for Conch Tale Hour. It’s always great to see Seabus and Janie. Our new friends we met earlier in the week at RB showed up. Good times! From there we walked over to Schooners. Frank the magician was off but Allan from RB was filling in. Had lots of laughs there.Then I remembered the ½ off drinks after 11PM special at the Sports Page. Had a few there. Stopped back to Rick’s since the Durt Bags were playing again. Ended up at the Green Parrot. Damon Fowler was playing. He’s a very good guitarist.

Saturday – Our neighbor was flying out today. Took him to the airport. Went to Finnegan’s and had reuban sandwich and a Harp – the breakfast of champions! Went home to drop off the car & chill for a bit. Made plans with our friend to meet at Alonzo’s. Had a few drinks there and went to the Boat House for food. Then off to the Galleon for the Lighted Boat Parade. This was my first boat parade and it won’ t be my last! I took several pictures – just beautiful. Walked back up Greene St. to Captain Tony’s to shoot some pool. Those tables must be magic cuz I rock on them! Back to Mr. Z’s and then home.

Sunday – Our last day in Key West. One more drink at Flying Monkey as we made our way down Duval to meet our friend for lunch at Amigo’s. Got there just in time to beat the rain. As soon as we finished eating the rain stopped! My guy was a little tired so he went back to the room while I went to Fast Buck Freddy’s for some shopping. Afterwards it was almost time for sunset so we walked down to Mallory Square. Even though it was cloudy, I took some of the best pictures, yet. We walked slowly back down Duval and had a few more at McConnels. Headed back to finish our final packing.

New places we went to: McConnels – great Irish pub, liked the juke box, pool table & Irish nachos.

The Boathouse- Like the food better than Alonzo’s but Alonzo’s give you call drinks for happy hour.

El Mason de Pepe – Like the location on Mallory Square but drinks are pricey.

Hemingway House – A must see.

Tattoos & Scars – Good location, good service.

Garbo’s Grill – Yes it is a cart, but the food is delish!

Key West Airport – the only way to go! I recommend driving down the Keys at least once but I’ve been there, done that several times.

We’ll be back in 82 more days!

Frozen North
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1. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Nice Report, I am amazed at how people remember everything during their trips, it's all jumbled up in my brain by the time I get home. See ya in March!

Key Colony Beach...
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for Florida Keys
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2. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

LOL - I hav a hard time with trip reports too. It all seems like one long day (with a night tossed in to keep me confused).

Thanks for the TR.

Edited: 21 December 2011, 00:06
Webster, New York
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3. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Great trip report kysdisease1. We leave Rochester for Key West in 10 days. Can't wait to get out of the cold...

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4. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Great report and we stopped at Sparky's for Lunch on the way to KW on Thursday! That was the cold front day - we were the loosers with the top down and sweatshirts and heat on LOL!

In the Country, NY
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5. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Nice report, thanks for sharing.

Baltimore, MD
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6. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Great report with lots of details. You highlighted a few new spots that we will have to add to the list for May 2012.


Edited: 21 December 2011, 01:46
New Jersey
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for Key West
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7. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Bogarts has changed hands? That place has been there forever. And Ilonas was where Martins was before it moved to Duval. I hope he doesn't change it too much.


Syracuse NY
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8. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Awesome report -- thanks!

So, March is the month ---- lots of fun to be had.


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9. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Great trip report.

I am also here in march ;-) can't wait

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10. Re: Trip Report Dec 4-12, 2011

Thanks Keys , Got me smiling this morning!! Your back in 82 days??? Yeah that must suck LOL . Thanks again for the awesome report!!!

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