TGIF! We are in Key West, the kids don’t have school today so we can explore all day.
I had an ok night of sleep, just ate too much crap before going to bed last night, on top of having a lot of beers. I usually don’t eat chips and that kind of stuff and had lots of it last night, and I’m burping that flavor now hahahaha so I know it was the chips. Oh, and it was not the kind that got me, it was the quantity I ate… yikes.
I wrote a bit in the morning, but didn’t finish as I wanted to go for a run before my 9am call, so I had to leave around 7:45. I also wanted to run towards town to get a golf cart for the day. I left on time to put in almost 5 miles and got to the rental place by 8:50, and they opened at 9. Only problem is not finishing my writing, so now I’m behind again. [I’m writing this from the ferry (on saturday), as the ride to Dry Tortugas is two and a half hours.] I was the first customer at the rental place and yet they only had one golf cart left, which was a six seater. It was a bit expensive at almost $200 for 6 hours, but I did it anyway so we could see as much of Key West as possible. I took the cart and stopped by a beach and had my work call. It was a nice spot. The sun was still rising, the beach sand was combed and neat and clean.
I was there for about 30 minutes and gave Carol a heads up that I’d be back by ten and we’d leave soon. I got back right at ten and they were all ready. I showered quick, and we left. We traced a plan quick, to circle the island from left to right and see as much as we could. The first scenic area was Smathers beach front, which is where I had stopped earlier. We just drove by as we biked through here before as well. As far as beaches we are used to, Key West is not great for that. Not a lot of sand, and the bottom is mucky. Next, we drove by the bouy that shows the southern most point of the US. There was a bit of a line there again, so we just drove by.
Next up was Fort Zachary. There is a lot going on in that area. There’s a navy base and a big ship was docked there. They have a water park, as in a park that has water hoses and sprays for kids to play in and get wet. The girls wanted to stop there right away, but I said we would on the way back from checking out the Fort area. The fort is a state park so we paid $10 to get in, and have access to the Fort and beach. We went to the fort first. As we were walking in I asked Bia if she thought we’d see an Iguana as big as her, and just as she was answering she spotted one coming down a tree that was pretty big, it was about 3-4 feet. We saw lots of iguanas at that stop, not all that big. [ I had to stop writing at the boat here, the rocking around and writing on my phone was not very good…. So continuing on Monday…. ]
Fort Zachary is not a really big fort, and we’ve seen a few now so they are all very similar, with the canons, balls, storage, some shapes, etc. It is cool to see how they were built, how thick the walls are and the architecture used. We walked around, went up to the top floor to get a nice view of the area around us, and moved on to check out the beach. We parked the golf cart and walked in by the main area of the beach, and it looked very nice.
This is easily the best beach in Key West. The access to the water is sandy, the water is a bit protected so you can just walk in and there are no big waves, it is clear, and you can just hang out in there. The concession offered everything you need, including rental of umbrellas and chairs. It is not too big though, and it looked like it was filling up fast. Bia wanted to check out the water next to some rocks, so we walked there. We all agreed that was the spot to go for some beach time, and maybe later in the day we’d go back there.
We got back to the cart and put on sunscreen since the girls wanted to go play at the water park next. Then, we drove out of the state park where the fort is, and went to that water park which is by the pier. As we found a spot to park, some folks leaving on a golf cart offered me their parking slip, which had 45 minutes left on it. That was sweet, saved me a few bucks. We went towards the water and the girls went right to it. Bia went all in, got wet, went up and down the slide.
Bella didn’t go all in, she got a little wet and came back saying it was cold. hahahaha.. then she wanted to go to the playground that was next to the water park, so Carol went there with her. Bia played a lot in the water, and just loved going up and down the slide, getting wet. As it was almost time to go, Carol and Bella came back and that’s when Bella decided to get wet and go all in. It was pretty hot by then, so that was a good decision.
From there, we went to eat at a cuban restaurant that was recommended to us. The girls had been taking turns with Carol as to who would sit in the front of the golf cart with me, and was also holding the phone with the GPS and telling me where I’d have to turn next. They loved doing both, siting in front and being in charge of the directions. When we got to the cuban restaurant, we drove around a bit looking for a place to park, but ended up finding one right in front of the restaurant. The restaurant, El Siboney, is a bit off the main streets so it was not full, and we got seated right away. They had authentic Cuban beer so Carol and I ordered that, and the girls got some fruit juices. Carol ordered some fish dish, and the girls and I ordered the house specialty, which was steak and shrimp, with rice and beans. The food was great, we all loved it.
From there, we wanted to continue on our tour around the island, so we went back to the water park area to see the rest there. The only thing left was a building that was an old mini White House I think for president Truman. We drove by, looked at it from the outside and kept going. We drove by Mallory square, just to see it, and while it was empty, we didn’t stop there. We drove by Duval Street a few times, but also didn’t stop. We had been to the Mile Marker 0 before on our bikes. We also drove by the ferry port, where we will go to tomorrow for our day trip. Then lastly, we stopped at the Waterfront Brewery. We had time for just one before needing to return the golf cart. We parked on the street, and while Carol paid for parking, I went inside with the girls and we got seated by the bar. The place is pretty big, I was surprised to see something that big in Key West. The beers were good, and with the hot weather and all the tourists the cruise ships drop in town I guess I can see it packing up all the time. It was half full when we were there, which was good with us. We had a good time trying our beers and chatting, then we went back to the return the golf cart, and made it right on time. We got a ride back from the rental place to our campground, so we skipped going back to that beach.
Once we were back, Carol wanted to go to the pool and I wanted to paddleboard right out of the campground, so she took Bella, and I got the board filled up and left with Bia. I paddle boarded for about an hour, and it was pretty fun. The water is clear, yet it is mucky pretty much everywhere. There were a few spots with sandy bottom. Bia did awesome sitting in the front while I paddled. We were talking about things, looking for stuff, saw some fish, and I am pretty sure I saw a turtle peaking out then going under again. Bia had a good time, and so did I.
Once we got back, I stayed with the board while Bia went to get Carol so she could go. I guess Carol and Bella didn’t stay by the pool too long as there were too many people. Carol and Bia showed up soon, and Carol left to paddle. I went to get a beer and came back to watch Carol from the beach. Carol liked that area as well and paddled for about 45 minutes.
Bia and Bella were back by the trailer on their electronics, so they were happy as well. We asked them to shower, so they were ready to go. Carol and I got back, and while Carol showered I cleaned up the board and got it ready for tomorrow as we are taking it to Dry Tortugas. When we were all showered, we left to get pizza at the nearby restaurant called Roostica. That place was very good. The pizza was pretty good, they had good beers, the vibe in there was very nice, and service was really nice too. I had seen it as we drive by it to get to our campground, but someone on Instagram commented on a post I did saying that place was excellent, so we decided to try it, and they were right. We even had dessert. Bia had a flan (Pudim de Leite), and Bella had Key Lime pie.
After dinner, we walked back, and got ready for bed. We have to be up early tomorrow, so we went to bed early to make sure we had a good rest.
We had an awesome day driving around Key West in a golf cart and getting to see a lot of the town.