Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 2: Key West

We left Miami at dawn and arrived at Key West around 10AM. 500+ miles to Key West and another 500+ back to Miami. This day was exhausting but well worth every ounce of energy and sweat.

Overseas Highway

After a delicious pastry breakfast at Cole's Peace Bakery, we checked out Truman's Little White House.

Truman's Little White House

Floral and Fauna around the Little White House

We made reservations for a lunch of Cuban paella at El Siboney. Avoid the bar grub mess near the touristy Mallory Square and go straight to this restaurant smack inside a residential neightborhood. Amazing Cuban food.

After stuffing our bellies, we went to the Southernmost Point marker for an obligatory photo-op.

Southernmost Point Marker
I was most excited about visiting the Hemingway House because of the 50+ descendents of Hemingway's cats that now occupy the house. The cats seemed content and the tour guides and museum caretakers were all really nice to the kitties, but I couldn't help feeling sad for their dirty and hot outdoor environment.

Hemingway House

Hemingway Cat
After touring Hemingway's house, I had some time before my scheduled parasailing departure, so we walked around Key West, shared a super tart key lime pie from the Blond Giraffe, and gawked at some stray roosters, hens, and chicks.

Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House

Museum of Art and History at the Custom House

Wild Hen and Chicks
I reserved my parasailing trip through Fury Water Adventures. Originally, we wanted to also do the glassbottom boat tour, but we didn't want to over-schedule ourselves. Parasailing was awesome! This was my first time, and I can't wait to do it again! One of the passengers said that they caught a baby shark the day before on a fishing trip in these very waters.

Getting ready to parasail!

After parasailing, we headed to Mallory Square to enjoy the sunset. For the entire day, I was elated that was wrong about Key West being stormy, but menancing clouds quickly covered the sky as the sun was setting so we didn't get to witness the supposedly gorgeous Key West sunset...just a wee hint of it.

Mallory Sqaure

Street Performers during the Sunset Festivities at Mallory Square
We enjoyed a light dinner of conch fritters, key lime iced tea, and some Cole's Peace mango bread while watching the sun set and a juggler perform on a tightrope.

Key West Sunset

This would have been a perfectly relaxing and fun-filled day had the drive back to Miami been less stormy and scary.  The Atlantic Ocean actually poured onto the narrow, two-way Overseas Highway!  Driving that 500 mile stretch was incredibly stressful!

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