This month’s stop was one we’d been looking forward to when we made our list. We’ve both been to Key West before; The Queen a couple of times with her family and she and I together once on a cruise. Neither of us had made the 300 mile journey by car. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s not always about the destination, but the journey itself….and what a journey it was.
We’re going to break this post up into two – because there’s just to much to cram into one blog post.
Packed up, gassed up and jacked up (on Mountain Dew), we began our journey with big smiles and excitement on our minds. The plan was to hit Miami around lunch time, hit our favorite pizza place, Sir Pizza and then take our time getting to the Banana Bay Resort in Key West.
As I mentioned, we’ve never taken the drive so we were pretty stoked about the scenery and the long highway surrounded by ocean on both sides.
When I say “scenery” I mean just that. There are a ton of places to see and stop by on your way through the Florida Keys (you can click the map above for a better view). Every place has its own historic story, many of them quite fascinating. For some reason, there are also many large plastic/plaster animals that grace businesses and locations throughout the Keys.
Like giant Conchs.
and giant Marlin.
and giant Fish.
and giant Dolphin.
and giant Lobster, like “Betsy” at the Rain Barrel Artisans’ Village in Islamorada.
…and even a giant Rhino. Yes, a rhino. You ever heard of a rhino in the Florida Keys? Me neither, but there’s one there.
The view on the drive is spectacular, and as you make your way further along, the water changes from a clear blue to a magnificent turquiose.
I kept mentioning to the Queen how bad I’d like to pull over the jump in, so she relented and let me, just before we hit the main drag in Islamorada.
I mean, come on. Look at it. Who wouldn’t want to get in?
I waded a ways in and noticed an abundance of Periwinkles.
I started scanning the rocks and picked up an American Star with a little guy inside. He peeked his head out to see who was disrupting his dinner.
It was warm. And clear. I wanted to get in deeper. Wish I’d have had my trunks on. I’d have grabbed my snorkel and done some investigating. Frustrated by my poor planning, we hopped back into the Shellmobile, over the 7 Mile Bridge, through Marathon and Big Pine Key (where if you pay attention, Iguanas sit on the side of the road watching the traffic pass) and made our way into Key West.