Saturday, May 18, 2013

Florida Wrap Up: Rum Running in the Keys

I went to Key West as a post-spring break, last-hurrah from Disney with Maja, Amelia and Jill right before flying to Costa Rica. It is the last of my Florida Wrap Ups and it was awesome!

The drive down took us almost twice as long as it should have as we got lost alligator hunting (and ended up doing a tour of almost the whole of the everglades!), stopped for lunch at a cute Italian style village sitting just off the interstate and had a margarita at Robbie's Marina.

My first alligator!

 They had dollar bills with peoples' names on them covering the walls.
 There was also a gorgeous outside seating area where we stopped for a drink.

We managed to miss the airboat rides and Tarpon feeding by 15 minutes each which was frustrating, but we eventually arrived at our hotel around 10 that night!
Almost there!

 We got some delicious cocktails for breakfast the next day (not all of them were alcoholic) then hit the beach!

Getting ready - very focused!

Almost ready to go!
There were palm trees of course.

 And bikinis occasionally got lost...

 We did some attempted jumping photos
 ...and some reasonably successful ones.
 Then we munched on some fish tacos for lunch from a street cart - yum!

 We made some friends who helped us with our pyramids (Jill's favourites!)

 And also played cameraman for some cute photos.

 Maja was, of course, Queen of the Pyramid.
 We also had a sneaky malibu and mango ice...

That evening we checked out the sunset which we had heard was the most beautiful in the continental USA. 
 It wasn't bad...

 We checked it out the third night as well.

 We also caught up with some of our friends from the beach.
 Who showed us these inexplicably naked statues.
 We then went out dancing and befriended a bachelor party!
The groom!

His groomsmen.
 I made friends with this guy with the awesome hat!
 We had some frozen drinks - a necessary evil in the heat of the Florida Keys.
They may have made us a little silly...
Now this was long enough ago that I can't remember accurately what we did for the next two days but I have mushed it all together so you have some idea of what we got up to.

First: we went shopping. Of course. I had been told about some shoes called Kinos which are handmade leather, cost about $11 and last forever. You get whatever styles they have decided to make that day. I picked up some blue ones that have served me well in Central America!
This is the Kino store.

 We also invested in some giant cookies to keep us going!
Weirdly there were roosters all over the place and the would crow ridiculously early every morning.

 We also checked out the Southernmost Point in the Continental USA - coming from NZ I was not super impressed (southern hemisphere and all!) but it seemed pretty exciting to everyone else. We were also closer to Cuba than we were to either Miami or Walmart! The latter was something Maja was thrilled with.

 We also checked out Hemingway's house (one of them anyway, he had a few over the years). My inner bookworm was thrilled.

We caught another sunset
 ...and some pineapple cocktails.
 It was very cool to watch them being made.

 We also went to a night market and got matching heat rings.
 On our last night we went to Casa Cayo Hueso which shockingly is Spanish for "Key West House"

 We had some sangria, which was delicious, and a couple of mixed platters to share.
 On our last morning we went via the Key Lime Factory - though this photo is taken the night before.
 I was excited by the bike outside...

We hung out with our pyramid friends from the beach and they showed me how to pose like a true American. My sunglasses have little American flags on them which explains both the pose and why I'm wearing sunglasses at night.
 And or course we had another pyramid pic!
 The boys wanted a group photo.
 You have to smoke a cigar in the Keys!
 And you have to get on the bar at Coyote Ugly!
On the drive home we had key lime pie and key lime creaming soda - courtesy of a quick stop at the factory from the night before.

 We had also gone shopping on our second to last day and Maja picked up these utterly necessary pink boxing gloves.
And we stopped for lunch at Five Guys - my first time! Maja wore an appropriate T-shirt.

The girls were pretty exhausted from the trip.

 Oh, Maja also got one last thing from the Key Lime Factory - a coconut bikini!

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