Last Night in Key West
It was at this point in our visit that sadness starting sinking in as we realized that in a few short days we would no longer be living (okay, just parking) in the Florida Keys. However, we had a few more things to enjoy before heading back in the Northernly direction, something we had not done towing “Charlie” since we traveled to Chicago in October. I guess every good run has to come to an end, but we have just one request. Can we take this weather with us to Maine?
Enough of looking into the future and back to enjoying this tropical island that you can actually drive too! We started with a trip to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center which has a few exhibits detailing the ecosystem of South Florida. The center features a mock-up of Aquarius, which is the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory. In my next life, I want to be an aquanaut. As a kid I always dreamed of being an astronaut or marine biologist, so it seems like a natural fit, don't you think? If you are looking to keep your feet dry, but still want to enjoy the beautiful underwater marine life, check out the short film of the Florida Keys or the short 3-D screen of the coral reef environment shot from the Dry Tortugas. There is also a 2,500 gallon reef tank with living coral and tropical fish. The Florida Eco-Discovery Center is fairly small, but worth every penny of its FREE admission. It would be good to combine with a trip to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park which is touted as the best beach option in Key West. We will make certain to catch our next Key West sunset there without the crowds of Mallory Square.
During our visit to Key West with Mike & Annette, we spotted a Tervis store located right near the corner of Front & Duval streets. When I met Russ I had no idea what a Tervis tumbler even was, but now I’m rarely caught without one in hand. I did experience sticker shock when I first thought about purchasing one. They just look like a decorative plastic cup, so explain to me why I should pay $18+ for a plastic tumbler? Well now that I am a Tervis tumbler addict, I can explain that to you. The double-wall design is great for two reasons. One it keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. But more importantly, the tumbler does not, will not, and has not sweated (condensation not perspiration)! Sit that cup right on grandpa’s antique coffee table & don’t sweat it (pun drastically intended)! I think it might be my OCD-like behaviors that make me have a strange-love for these cups. No need for a coaster or napkin and these are perfect for hot days at the beach. My ice lasts much longer and there is no condensation on the outside of the cup to pick up 1,345 grains of sand. No sandy hands here, just a happy iced coffee or tea drinker here! If I haven’t sold you on it yet (and no I am not making any sort of commission here), Tervis also has a Made for Life Guarantee. If you experience a seal failure or crack, they will exchange your product no questions asked. After hundreds of uses, we had two cups that needed replaced. We walked in to the Tervis store where we were warmly greeted. The lady told us to walk around and pick out our replacements while she took care of the paperwork. We were in and out with 2 brand new tumblers within 10 minutes. Sip happy my friends!
It just so happened that there was a Starbucks nearby as well and it was a BOGO day for Macchiatos. Sign us up. Good deal, good coffee, good day!
We had a mystery shop scheduled for dinner time and we had several hours before our reservation time. We headed back to the Historic Seaport and Harborwalk, where we had enjoyed dinner with Mike & Annette several days ago. The seaport was originally used in the 1950s as a commercial hub for delivering fish, sponge, and shrimp to Florida. Eventually this area was developed into the popular destination tourists enjoy today. Russ and I both enjoy looking at boats, especially the ones we cannot afford and most likely never will be able to. However, the next big idea could be ours - so don’t count us out! There are boats galore along with trendy shops, restaurants, bars, local art galleries, and as many fishing charters and sunset cruise excursions as you could desire. For some added entertainment, it was also the start of Spring Break 2017 so you can imagine the natural increase in people-watching opportunities. On our lovely walk we also stumbled upon the Dry Tortugas Museum & the Key West Turtle Museum tucked between the piers. Both super small, free museums providing little bits of information each about their related themes. The turtle museum was closed during our walk, but we did browse through the Dry Tortugas Museum. Eventually we headed back to Duval for dinner and then waved farewell to Key West until next time.
Sunday was our last full day in the Florida Keys and it was incredibly windy. They were experiencing what are referred to as “The Easterlies” - which believe it or not is strong winds blowing from the east. Creative name, huh? That didn’t stop us from enjoying some time at the pool. On days like this, towel placement in regard to the exit of the pool is key. We made the move from out of pool to wrapped up in towel in record-setting speeds. We ended the evening with laundry, preliminary pack-up, and a dip in the hot tub. While we weren’t quite ready for our time here to be over, I have a feeling that this won’t be Charlie’s last visit to the tropical oasis, called the Florida Keys. As a parting measure, we were treated to one of God’s promised rainbows….