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Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

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New Jersey
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22 posts
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Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

This was our first trip to Key West...I don't really count being there once as a child. We decided to get married in Key West and it was only the 2 of us, as it was both our 2nd weddings. We are so happy we did it that way. We had the most romantic wedding and the best time of our lives the week we spend in KW. We are planning our return trip back already, hopefully in May!!! Keep in mind when I am rating food places we are foodies and my husband is a chef.

Sunday - We flew PHL to Ft Lauderdale to KW. Our hosts from the Atlantis House picked us up at the airport. We arrived at our room with music playing and a beautiful HUGE bouquet of flowers from my father in our room. Kayla and Steve are the owners of the Atlantis House and have done a beautiful job making their guests feel so comfortable and welcoming. Kayla greeted us with her homemade Key Lime pie...which was the best we had all week. We settled in and hopped on our bikes provided by the Atlantis House and headed to Salute for dinner. Glad we did.. it was the last night they were open. Great antipasta, scallops and carbonara. Waitress was so helpful with suggestions. View of the beach was great too!!! Rode to white street pier and watched sunset. Stopped to stock up our fridge for the night and called it a night as we were getting married the next day.

Monday - Rode the bikes to get our marriage license then to Glazed Donuts! A must try if you like donuts. Bacon maple glazed and I had the cream filled with apricot pastry (cross between a donut and crossiant). Got some snacks and things at Fausto's for the room and returned to meet Aaron from Aarons Key West Weddings. I can not say enough good things about Aaron. His attention to detail and taking the time to make sure he gives you the ceremony that is meant for you! I had my hair and makeup done by Elena at Casa Salon, she even came to me!! She is so talented. I was so nervous since she never saw me before or did my hair beforehand. I could not have been happier. We were married at 6pm on smathers beach which was PERFECT and made reservations at A&B Lobster House for Dinner. They had a table ready for us decorated with flower petals, stones and candles with a GREAT view. I have to say the view was better then the food. It didn't wow either one of us...it was ok. My lobster was chewy. walked the harbor and had drinks at Conch Republic.

Tuesday - Went fishing on Gulfstream Party Boat! Awesome time. Caught a lot of fish and had a lot of fun doing it. Met great people. Took our fish that our mate filet and cleaned for us to Dante's. We had them fry it....one of the BEST fish fry's we have ever had. Not too much breading, just thin coat...perfect!!! Hit some bars down Duval...Hogfish, sloppy joes - had a great band playing, bull & whistle - to people watch...great spot!

Wednesday - Rented mopeds for the rest of the week from A&M scooters. Had lunch at Pepe's because we didn't make it in time for breakfast. My husband said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had and I had one of the best grouper sandwiches I have ever had. They grind their meat daily and make each burger to order. Spent the afternoon at Ft Zachary Beach. Recommend water shoes since its very rocky. Headed to Sunset Pier for Shrimp night which was awesome! Shrimp were cooked perfectly, drinks were delicious and couldn't beat our view of the sunset. Headed back down Duval...Durty Harrys and cant remember where else we ended up that night!

Thursday - Southernmost Beach Café for breakfast which as much as we enjoyed the view we were not impressed with the food at all. Omelets were ok, fruit served with them was packaged fruit from Sysco,,,far from fresh. Toast tasted old and coffee was bitter. Not worth the $$! We went snorkeling on a private charter with Captn Steve from the Atlantis House. BEST SNORKELING we have ever done. Took us out to the reef and the fish were everywhere!!! Captn Steve caught us lobsters and took them back and made us a lobster tail snack on our patio back at Atlantis House...it was the best lobster we have ever had. We went back to the Harbour area, did some shopping, walking around. Stopped at Amigos for a few tacos. Great tacos! Just what we needed. Went to smoking tuna for a few drinks, and onto Flying Monkey for their delicious frozen drinks. We sat along the sidewalk, drank, met some great people and just people watched for a few hours.

Friday - We planned to go fishing with Gulfstream again but there were not enough people, so we went fishing with Captain Tony's. Had a great time fishing on this boat too. Caught fish and just had a great time with everyone on the boat. Headed right to Half Shell Raw Bar for happy hour. Great buffalo shrimp!! Went back to relax and shower for our dinner reservations at Santiagos. This was by far the best meal we had. Everything we ate was exceeding the dish that came out before it, we were amazed...burrata mozzarella, tuna ceviche, filet mignon with blue cheese, short ribs, and I know I am missing a few! Back to flying monkey because I loved the banana drink and sitting people watching.

Saturday - Breakfast at Harpoon Harrys - great food!!!! Pancakes, eggs, potatoes, coffee...everything was GOOD! Simple and GOOD food! We shopped around the area, rode our mopeds around as we would be returning them later. We loved riding them everywhere! Except when we were heading out drinking we called for a cab! We went up into the Lighthouse which was really cool to see the whole island. Lunch at Garbo's which we tried to get to before but they were closed. The Korean Beef Taco was delicious! What a neat place to see and how they can pull off such awesome food in a little food cart. We went parasailing with Fury Adventures. Out first time and not our last. The staff was great, and the experience was surreal. Not what I expected. We will be doing it again on our return trip. Then onto our last Happy Hour at Half Shell Raw Bar. Back to our room to relax and ordered Cuban Sandwiches from Sandys, which we thought were really good!!! We stumbled upon this place one morning and got the best Cuban coffee and great breakfast sandwiches. Its attached to a laundry mat which is why we rode past it a few times until I read some reviews! Onto the Green Parrot that night for some great music. We loved it there. Great bar and great band!

Sunday - Ordered again from Sandys for some Cuban coffee and breakfast sandwiches...did I mention they deliver!!! So sad to pack up and leave as this was by the best vacation we have ever experienced. Now I know what people mean by the Keys disease...we have it. This was truly a vacation to us, we didn't worry about anything and enjoyed every minute of it.

New Jersey
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22 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Sorry my report was so long!!! Want to thank all of you in this forum that lead me to many places that we went to or wanted to go to and where closed, so needless to say all the places that were closed and were on the top of my list we will be hitting up in May!!!! :)

Pjk
New Jersey
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for Key West
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2. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Sheesh! Is all I can say. No sense goin' back as you've done it all.

Pjk

New Jersey
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22 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Thanks PJK...haha!!

We are planning a trip back right now in May and looking at the Pier House. I know you stay there. Anything I should know? Trying to get a cheaper rate but doesn't seem possible there. We feel that is the best location for us and love that they have a little private beach,

Boston...
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897 posts
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4. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Love the review, and congrats!

PHILADELPHIA,PA
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400 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your report!!! Anyone who reads this will agree it just gets you that much more excited for their next trip and at the same time miss being there that much more too :) !

Atlanta, Georgia
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121 posts
21 reviews
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6. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Great report!! Congrats! You went to some of the best places and did a lot of fun things. Your trip in May will be even better! You've got the disease. And I thinks it important that you mentioned you took a can when drinking instead of hopping on the scooters. Good point.

Key West
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for Key West
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8 reviews
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7. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Wonderful report!! Congrats!! Thanks for sharing your adventures!!!

Western...
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8. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Great report, you did a lot thanks for posting.

PJ

Grand Rapids mi
Destination Expert
for South Haven
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9. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

THANKS for your TR, and it can never be too long :)

Easton,Pa
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258 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: Trip Report 9/22-9/29/13

Thanks for your TR they hold me over till our next visit in Dec. of 2014.