Sunday, February 24, 2008


Key West - Day 3 - Campground & Downtown

NOTE: Click on photos to see larger view!

Sandra with her electric scooter standing in front of our RV (Road House), and beside our "Toad" vehicle (Side Road Suzie).
Many of the campers here stay all Winter...some bring their fishing boats as well.
The view from the end of our lane in the campground.....beautiful as only the Keys can be!
We were again downtown, and watched this lovely sunset. Notice the much larger "weekend" crowd standin facing the departing orb.
After the sunset, and the accompanying entertainment of escape artists, acrobats, glass walkers, et al, we adjourned to "Cheese Burger", the restaurant for a meal completely off our allowed food stuffs list! Dee-Lish-US!......The weather was fine, and we ate on the front porch of the restaurant, watching the crowds go by. Seeing the many, many types, sizes and life-styles so openly on display in Key West. At last it all became a blur of life....

We are enjoying Key West and have a day left.....thinking of a submarine ride to see the coral and fish. We were going to take one of the fishing boats, but it turns out the only good fishing right now is way off shore.....cost runs about $400 per person. I don't like fishing quite that much, unless of course it is on my boat!



Saturday, February 23, 2008


Kelly's Restaurant......Cue The Top Gun Theme!!!

This restaurant is just one block off Duval, on Whiteside. It is named for and owned by Kelly McGillis, the striking blonde from "Top Gun".....The place is all open air, not unusual for Key West, but the entire eating area is outside as shown here... Eating what proved to be our best meal so far among palms and flowers beneath the starry sky!
Did this guy write a book or two. NOPE! He is me.....Sandra snapped this one. YES, I had had two "Havana Red Ales"!!!
The Bar is called Kelly's Hanger....meals & drinks include "Kelly's Ceaser", "The Top Gun", and "Kelly's Cosmo". The story from our trolley driver is no one would today recognize the lovely woman from the movie.....and not only has she deteriorated a LOT, but also she has been banned from her own restaurant/bar for conduct unbecoming a lady!
YES....It is one of Ton Cruise' jackets from the movie. It is in a glass case above the bar. I knew he was small, but I have a grandson going on 12 who could not come close to getting into this little thing!



Sunset At Key West - An Event

Well, it was two hours til sunset and we were tired of walking/riding the trolley...
S-o-o-o-o-o......Off to.......
Hogs Breath is an experience. We loaded up with a pair of 17 oz drinks, and headed off to see the sunset and the crowds and entertainment.....this fellow's songs were from the was he!
No where but Key West at sunset could you snap a picture of a sword swallower plying his trade and a departing cruise ship (Enchantment of The Seas) all in one picture! The crowds were not too large, and every square in the entire area had some form of entertainment, each vying with the other for crowds and money!
It was all it was said to are most West Florida sunsets! & NO, not in nearing 30 years here have I ever witnessed the "Green Flash" rumored to show up...
It was a fine time.....and then we walked to dinner at Kellys....that will be the next story!



I Forgot Sponge Bob - Round Pants?

Downtown I snapped this pic of Sandra with her new buddy, Sponge Bob....made entirely of sponges. The industry was big here til the sponges were killed off...then the industry moved to Tarpon Springs, near Tampa/St. Pete.

Seems most Key West industry has moved to Tampa over the years. This was the largest cigar manufacturing place in the world (bigger than Cuba) in the late 1800s...then it moved to Ybor City in Tampa.



Key West - Day Two - Downtown

You know you're there when you arrive at.....Mile Marker "0"

Soon enough you'll find the truth about transportation here. Electric! Electric scooters, some gas scooters, electric cars for two-four-six passengers, etc. Small streets make them a natural. There are free parking slots for scooters/bikes/electric cars. All others pay A LOT! $.25 per 10 minutes at meters....$25 per day in the parking garage.

Mallory Square, trolley stop, shops, etc.
Ate lunch at "Red Fish Blue Fish....per their sign some here are only half-lit also.....some, particularly in the afternoon are fully lit if you know what I mean! Below, the hen and chicks roamed the restaurant (as they do most here) picking scraps which many threw to them. The chickens are all over Key West.
I'll post two more today.....One on the sunset area and activities, and one on our dinner spot......think Top Gun!



Friday, February 22, 2008


Key West - Trip Down

NOTE: Click on the pictures to see full-sized view!

THE KEYS! Everyone knows the meaning. Seems impossible that Duke has lived in Florida for 29 years & this is my 1st Trip There! Sheltered life, I guess. The sign shows the Florida Turnpike where we drove South to famous Route 1. The 2nd pic shows a typical rainy time as we drove...taking care of my new wash job on the car and RV.

Enroute to the keys I discovered several misconceptions in my knowledge of the trip down. 1st; The major part of the trip is actually land-based and much of the Northern part thru swampy coastal lowlands. 2nd; I thought the bridges were twin spans of two lanes in each direction. Wrong! The picture above shows the span on which we drove...a single lane each way...and to the right the older original bridge which in many places is used for walking/biking/fishing. In others, such as this stretch, the old bridge has been dropped across channels, thus abandoning the rest of the span. Rusted old railings are collapsing. The spans will eventually collapse, but concrete has a long life!

We spent our 1st night downtown and I did not take pics. Some more revelations. Parking meters are everywhere and cost $.25 PER 10 MINUTES! Thus $1.50 per hour. Steep. We ate a much-overpriced meal at Conch Republic at Greene and Elizabeth Streets. Drink apiece at the bar....$15 w/tip. Small dinner of some appetizers and a split meal of stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon (barely adequate meal in taste and quality) topped $85 and we had to wait a long time for it. The view was lovely along the boat dock.

More pics of Boyd's campground & downtown after today's tour.



Tuesday, February 19, 2008


"Warmup Trip!" - Off to Key West!

Thursday morning we'll be off to Key West where we're booked in at Boyd's Campground...the only apparent RV park actually on Key West. We'll be there until Monday morning. My very 1st trip to Key West. Duchess visited many years ago. We are getting conflicting info about our use of the Schwinn electric scooters....some say yes, some no. 1st Key West policeman I find will be the deciding factor.

The ratings are high for Boyd's, more so than several which we considered on the Lower Keys away from Key West. Of course, one pays the local freight which is steep!

I'll be posting again as we visit Key West. We've been home since Thanksgiving and that is way too long!



Tuesday, February 05, 2008


A-L-A-S-K-A !!!!!

Duchess and I have made it official.....2008 is the "Year of Alaska!"

Actually, we are following the same basic theory we used when we bought our 27 foot flybridge sportfisher "Reality", a number of years ago....."We are now physically a year, two, or three we may not be......" & Thus ALASKA (at the expense of a year's delay in our tour of the beloved German wine country!)

I am already into the planning, though we'll probably not leave til late May from Tampa....

Current plans.....trip from Tampa to Seattle.....

West route trip from Seattle to Prince George to Dawson Creek.

Alaska Highway to Tok, then the Tok cutoff to Anchorage....then to the Kenai Peninsula, and North to Fairbanks, and a visit to Chena Hot Springs.

Our return will involve a trip down the Cassier Highway, and then through Calgary and South to Great Falls, WY.

Gotta plan folks....we'll see! Oh, and there will be FISH caught, frozen and sent home for our later use......Loves the fishes of various places. (Check back to our last Summer tour of the UP & Mackinaw City and the fish we bought/ate there!)