Skip to main content

Catching Up: 2011 Florida Trip: Part 3 - Exploring Key West

(Editor's Note: While there's some slow time in the few week's before we have a new addition to the family, I'm trying to catch up on blog entries that I wanted to post or started but never completed.  This is another one of those entries.)

We made it to Key West.  A tropical paradise or party. Or both.

I've never been on a Caribbean Cruise or really anywhere tropical, and Key West really gave me first taste of the tropics, or at least to me it did.  For the first day in Key West in photos, head to flickr.

Mile 0.  The End of US 1.  The end of the Overseas Highway.  It's most likely is the most photographed road sign in the United States.

IMG_6577

Yup, that's me.  It's only 2,377 miles - and oh about 40 or so degrees Fahrenheit less to Fort Kent, ME.  And that's a lot of signs for one post.

Continuing past the End

Yeah, there's an END sign too.  Not as many signs though.

One Tough Chicken

Not sure why, but there sure are a lot of roosters and chickens wandering around various parts of the island.  The "gypsy chickens" are descendents of former cock-fighting Cubalya chickens and domesticated chickens that were kept by residents on the island.  Just another thing that makes Key West unique.

Of course, no visit to Key West is complete without a walk down Duval Street - where everything and pretty much anything can be seen or done.

IMG_6604

Including a passed out drunk tourist at 4:30 in the afternoon.  Last call sure came early for this fella.

The preferred mode of transportation on Duval Street.  Rental golf carts or golf cart taxi's.  And as these ladies show, it doesn't stop you from having a good time.  I'm not allowed to publish the pictures of what they did next.  It is a family friendly blog of course!

IMG_6608

Key West has some great architecture.

IMG_6802

St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Key West, FL

And some colorful creatures:

IMG_6613

And of course there's Sloppy Joe's Bar.  I think a guy named Hemingway liked to hang out here.

IMG_6611

At Mallory Square, every evening there is a Sunset Celebration.  Tourists that came by car, or plane, or just arrived via massive cruise ships docked nearby are enertained by this nightly carnival that features juggling acts, acrobatics, musicians, and numerous other types of street performers. 

IMG_6640

This guy was pretty good.

IMG_6648

This man would be performing various gymnastics next.

IMG_6655

IMG_6675

And the sunset...wasn't bad either.  Even with Sunset Key in the way.

Key West Sunset

IMG_6680

IMG_6710

Day 2: Sunrise

This was a quick road trip, so unfortunately the next morning it was time to head back north to Raleigh via Daytona.  But I managed to get up for sunrise and a swim in our hotel's outdoor pool before we left the Keys.

Sunrise Day 2 photos can be found here.

IMG_6746

IMG_6753

IMG_6790

I wish we had another day to spend at Key West.  It's an amazing place and there was a lot more I would like to have done. I would be fascinated by taking the trip - and even spending the money - to check out Dry Tortuga.  But sometimes, the best thing is to get just a little taste of something or somewhere to make you want to go back and enjoy it even more.  Key West is certainly one of those places for me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The story behind the ghost ramps around Pittsburgh International Airport

The roads around Pittsburgh International Airport have a lot of history and intrigue.  The growth of the airport and resulting land acquisitions has changed the routing of many roads in Western Allegheny County.  As the airport grew and traffic around the airport increased, the need for new roads would also change the landscape.  Of course, the fact that this is Pittsburgh means there were also plans for highways that never came to be.  Two of these never built highway plans, the Beaver Valley Expressway (BVE) extension and the full-speed connection to the Southern Expressway at Flaugherty Run Road have traces - specifically ghost ramps - of highways that never came to be.

Beaver Valley Expressway Extension:

For close to three decades this unused piece of roadway along the southern end of Beaver Valley Expressway puzzled Pittsburgh area travelers.  Located near the current-day maintenance hangers for Pittsburgh International Airport, this concrete stub of a highway was supposed to be …

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

Roebling Aqueduct

In a quiet and often overlooked corner of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the country's oldest surviving suspension bridge crosses the Delaware River into New York.  The Delaware Aqueduct, designed and built by famed engineer John A. Roebling, has withstood a very colorful history from being an important piece in the region's transportation, to uncertainty during the growth of rail, nearly eight decades of neglect and poor management as a private toll bridge, to finally being restored by the National Park Service and in use as an automobile bridge today.

Construction and Canal Era (1847-1898):
During the 1840's, the Delaware & Hudson Canal was looking at ways to speed up service along its route.  One of the major bottlenecks was where the canal reached the Delaware River.  Since it began operation in 1828, the D&H used a rope ferry to pull traffic along to Canal across the Delaware.  The conflicting traffic of vessels going down the Delaware to Trenton or Philadelphia and…