Easter Week in Key West April 2017

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The anticipation of returning to Key West (even though this was going to make it our 15th time within 11 years – yes you can say we love Key West) was starting to set in. Normally we would have never picked Easter week, but good friends of ours were planning on going so I booked our trip for the same time. However, plans changed and disappointingly our friends couldn’t go, but I had already booked the airfare so we were committed to go. I was concerned that Easter week would be busy in Key West, but it turned out that many Florida residents do come down for the long Easter weekend, but leave on Sunday so besides being busy that Saturday – the day we arrived, it was just like any other week in Key West.

Our hotel of choice has always been the Gardens Hotel on Angela St. so once again we had our favorite garden view room booked for the week. As an added bonus, I designed their logo last year and was eager to see the logo throughout the hotel when we arrived. https://tinyurl.com/mon7x5e

And as an added side note, I started doing design work almost 2 years ago, for a local musician in Key West. My husband and I thought it would be fun to surprise him.

Saturday, April 25th – Arrival Day

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Our flight to Orlando was at 6:00am so we had to get up at 2:30am (ouch!) since the car service was scheduled to pick us up at 3:15am. It was hard to get up that early, but the excitement started to set it I was able to get going. When we arrived at Newark Liberty Airport check-in through security was a breeze. That’s one benefit of being so early – not many people are at the airport yet. Unfortunately it was 4:30am and all we wanted was a hot cup of coffee. Everywhere we looked didn’t open up until 5:00am, so we just walked to the gate and waited until we had to board trying to make the best of it.IMG_8286

Our flight left on time and we actually arrived about 15 minutes early which always seems to happen when we have a long layover. Once we got off the plane we saw a sign that said that Silver Airways was at Gate 13. We were not sure how to get there, but my husband asked one of the airport security and they told us we had to take a shuttle/tram to the next terminal which actually turned into two shuttles that we had to take to get to Terminal A. It was a scenic ride nevertheless.

We got to the Terminal and found a place where we could sit down and have breakfast. About an hour had passed and we walked down to the Gate where our Silver Airways flight was. We checked in and just waited for our flight. It was about another hour to go, but it felt like an eternity.
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Eventually it was time to check-in and board the flight. Our flight actually left a few minutes early. There were no issues and before we knew it we were back in Key West by 1:00pm.
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We were one of the first people off the plane and grabbed one of the few taxis waiting outside. It is always a great feeling seeing that water off of Higgs Beach on our way to the hotel. Once again we were staying at the Gardens Hotel. We have never stayed anywhere because we love the place so much.

We were welcomed by Jim the hotel manager and he offered us two glasses of prosecco while we quickly signed the paper work. I also noticed the new logo that I did even made it to the champagne glasses and towels.IMG_8294Our room was ready so we were able to unpack our things before making our way down Duval Street. IMG_8293When we entered our room we notice a card welcoming us pack. It read to check the fridge and so we did. It was such a nice gesture that they did. IMG_8296

Our first stop is usually Willie T’s to have a margarita. A local Key West musician, Dallas Doctor was playing. We walked in and it was packed. We couldn’t find one seat available. Standing room only.IMG_8303We decided to walk down further on Duval onto Caroline Street and grab a few key lime margaritas for our first stop at Kelly’s.IMG_8302It was a great call because the place was quiet. We sat down and just took it all in. We were back to one of our favorite places – Key West!
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After our margaritas we remembered that one of our friends, Gabriel Wright (who I also did some design work for) was playing at Captain Tony’s. We walked down and sat down at the bar. He recognized us and enjoyed listening to him play. IMG_8306

I kept checking the time because we wanted to see Zack Seemiller play at Rick’s. I have been doing artwork for him for a while now (as I mentioned earlier) and he had no idea that we were coming down. So after a few beers at Captain Tony’s we made our way to Rick’s. IMG_8308Once Zack finished a song we walked in and I think it took him a second to realize it was us! We had pulled off the surprise!! Of course I had to get a few photos with him and the banner that I designed after he finished his set. IMG_8312.jpgHe told us that he was playing also at the Smokin’ Tuna later that evening so we were excited to see him there. The Smokin’ Tuna is one of our favorite places to sit and listen to music in Key West.
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We walked back to the Gardens to freshen up before heading back to the Tuna. P1030204We made it back down Duval and to the Tuna. https://tinyurl.com/myqo2kwIMG_8321It wasn’t too crowded and we sat down at our favorite seats. It was a nice way to ease into the trip listening to Zack play. P1030206

We couldn’t stay for the entire show because we had dinner reservations at Deuce’s Off the Hook which is conveniently located just behind the Gardens. We said good bye to Zack and walked back. We were both quiet hungry at this point so it was a good call.


We were seated in a booth and I ordered grouper ceviche and the snapper with a side of cheesy grits and haricot vert. My husband had the tuna tartare and the french onion burger. Our meals were delicious. At that point we were feeling the affects of the 2:30am wake up and the long travel day. We wanted to try and catch Caffeine Carl at the Tuna but we just couldn’t do it. It was time to get to bed.

Sunday April 16th – Easter

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This was the first time we were away from home during Easter and heard that several restaurants in Key West are know for brunch on Easter. I heard that Louie’s Backyard was one of them, so i made reservations several weeks in advance. We haven’t been to Louie’s Backyard since our very first trip to Key West back in 2006.
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Our reservations were not until 11:30, but we figured we would walk down towards that side of the island and check it out since we usually don’t go that way. Before we started our long walk, my husband remembered that a friend of his who recently stayed in Key West recommended this place near the Garden’s called Cuban Coffee Queen. http://www.cubancoffeequeen.com/ It was only about a block away just off Duval. We had to wait a few minutes for it, but boy it was worth the wait. The coffee was delicious – I personally recommend the cuban american.
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With our coffee in hand, we walked all the way down to the Southernmost Point. IMG_8346I thought about getting another photo, but then i saw the line of about 50 people waiting to get their photo taken at the point so I decided that we’ve been there done that.
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It was getting warm out and we were getting thirsty. We agreed that a cold drink was in order, so we went to Southernmost Beach Cafe. We noticed that the water was quite rough too. It was a nice to look at the view from our seats.
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We then decided just to walk to Louie’s Backyard just to be sure we knew where it was. We walked by, but it wasn’t open yet. IMG_8351We then stumbled upon this little hole in the wall… the Patio Bar. IMG_8359You had to open the fence and walk through the back. We weren’t sure what to expect, but when we turned the corner it was a really neat little place.
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We had a drink a piece before it was time to walk back to Louie’s Backyard. We walked to the entrance and saw a line of people. I guess everyone had the same idea to have brunch at Louie’s Backyard for Easter. IMG_8364Luckily it moved pretty quickly and we were seated at a nice table outside on the porch.IMG_8360

It was perfect. We started off with a rock shrimp and mango appetizer served with chicharrones. For our main course, I decided to go with the eggs benedict while my husband had the Asian chicken salad with green tea soba noodles and a spicy peanut sauce – which was huge. Everything was delicious and the service was spot on. IMG_8362It was a nice way to spend Easter in Key West.
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We made the walk back to the Gardens to freshen up. Then we remembered that Gabriel Wright was playing at Hogs Breath. We regrouped and made our way back down Duval. (Yes we did a lot of walking during this trip – especially this day – over 8 miles.) We stopped at Hogs Breath for a while.
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I knew it was also Jazz at the Gardens later that evening and we wanted to stop by again before making our way to Mallory Square to catch the sunset. When we walked in, they were in the process of setting up, but we were able to find two seats by the pool. It was a beautiful evening to listen to the music for a bit.
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We only stayed for about an hour so we could make sunset – or at least that is what we had planned. IMG_8384We walked back down Duval and when we walked by Willie T’s we noticed that this musician John LaMere was playing. We saw him last year and thought it would be fun to stop in and we hadn’t been to Willie T’s yet. While I was waiting for my husband to get us two drinks, I recognized Zack Seemiller’s son, Kai. We talked for a few minutes and he was getting ready to play a few songs with John. I wanted to stay and hear them play so we sat down.
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While they were playing Zack wound up showing up. So then he wound up playing a few songs with his son. zandkNeedless to say we didn’t make sunset. It was fun though just to watch them play. Then we hung out for a bit before calling it a night. It was definitely a different way for us to spend Easter. https://youtu.be/HQ3QWUqnZRo

Eventually it was time for us to make our way back for the evening, but then we both realized we never had any dinner! Thankfully Margaritaville was still open so we stopped in to grab some much needed food. At this point I can’t recollect what we actually ate, but I think we shared several appetizers a piece. After that we were both ready to pack it in.

Monday April 17th – Truman Annex and the Rooftop Café

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Usually the first morning in Key West for breakfast we go to Blue Heaven, but since we had the brunch at Louie’s the day before for Easter, that was put on hold. Unfortunately we woke up to rain. We first made a stop again at Cuban Coffee Queen for coffee. The rain appeared to be stopping so we walked down to Blue Heaven. When we walked in all the tables were still wet and they were not ready to serve outside yet. They said there was seating available inside. I was a bit disappointed but we figured we would come back another day and try somewhere else for breakfast.

We walked along Whitehead Street when we both agreed to go back to Bagatelle’s. https://bagatellekw.com We always have had a decent breakfast there. Once we were seated I decided to go with the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. It definitely hit the spot. And the mimosa was a nice accompaniment.

After breakfast I remembered that I inquired about a potential place to stay for our return trip (whenever that may be). We do love the Gardens, but it is getting to be a bit pricey. I found this great 2 bedroom condo in the Truman Annex area. I got in touch with the property owner prior to our trip and agreed to meet him at 11:00am. We walked into Truman Annex and it was just so beautiful and quiet. Plus the sun had come back out. IMG_8408

We walked around the front and there was the owner. He greeted us with a friendly smile and showed us around. We both looked at each other and agreed we could definitely stay here at some point down the road. We especially liked how it was only a quarter of a mile off of Duval. IMG_8409

Once we were finished looking around we thanked the owner.

We went back to the Gardens to relax for a bit. Once we got our composure together we grabbed our things and you guessed it, made that walk back town Duval. When we walked by Rick’s we saw Miguel. IMG_8411We always seem to run into him at Rick’s when we go and he’s always an entertaining guy. We grabbed two seats that are just right outside the bar. We talked for a bit and just watched the people go by.   IMG_8413

It was getting to be that time to start to motivate to our next stop. Gabriel Wright was playing again at Captain Tony’s so that was our next order of business. https://youtu.be/svsPmg3WeN0 We walked in and sat down for a bit. It rained on and off all day, but we didn’t mind staying indoors for the rest of the day. P1030235 Then we recognized one of Key West’s most famous icons. Buddy! He is such a friendly dog and it was nice to see him. IMG_8416

Then our next stop was to check out Zack at Hog’s Breath. So after a few beverages we were on our way again. It was kind of crowded but managed to find a few seats to listen to him play. It was a nice afternoon. After he was done with his show I made sure I got a photo. IMG_8421

We were getting hungry and figured we should go back to the Gardens to freshen up and pick somewhere for dinner. I always enjoyed dinner at the Rooftop Café so we made the long walk back. http://www.rooftopcafekeywest.com It wasn’t too crowded so we were able to be seated right away. I ordered the pork belly appetizer and then the grilled mahi mahi with a mango salsa. It was delicious. My husband enjoyed the flame grilled 8 oz. filet that he ordered.

IMG_8506We have never had a bad meal there and this was another time it didn’t disappoint. After we finished our meals it was time for us to head back “home” to the Gardens.

Tuesday April 18th – Overcast and Rainy Day

IMG_8515We woke up to another rainy morning. I was disheartened because I wanted to go to Blue Heaven, but knowing what happened the day before, we would have to eat inside. We grabbed a couple of umbrellas from the Gardens and just started walking.

It was one of those mornings that we just felt like walking, probably since we had the late dinner at the Rooftop Café. Again our first stop was Cuban Coffee Queen. This time there wasn’t much of a wait. We got our two Cuban Americans and began the trek down Simonton St. As we were walking I thought about Harpoon Harry’s. http://www.harpoonharryskeywest.com As we started walking further away from the Garden’s the rain just got worse. Thank goodness we had our umbrellas, but when it rains that heavy, the water has nowhere to go. We were dodging puddles left and right. It was quite the adventure just to get to breakfast.

We finally made it to Harpoon Harry’s where we could sit down for breakfast and dry off. Once we ordered we did have to wait for a bit. Luckily we had our coffee to pass by the time. We did eventually get our order and it was a tasty breakfast. I always order the grits there because they taste so good. IMG_8429It was still raining once we were done so it wasn’t really the time to walk around. Ultimately we did walk all the way back in the rain to the Gardens – again we were soaked. We were supposed to meet up with Zack at this place called Don’s but the rain wasn’t letting up. We got in touch with him and told him we would have to take a rain check.

Once the rain subsided we both decided to go back out and walk around. We really hadn’t been to the Bight yet so we found our way back to the Half Shell Raw Bar. Usually when we go there it is before lunch so it is generally quite. However, by the time we got there it was close to 1:00pm and it was filled with people. Obviously with the weather it makes everyone want to find somewhere indoors to grab something to eat and drink like us.IMG_8430Luckily two people were leaving and we found two seats at the bar. It was a little tough to start drinking a beer but we got through it.

The skies started to get brighter and we both wanted to go somewhere with a view of the water. My husband suggested the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon Resort. http://www.sunsettikibar.com It is kind of off the beaten path and the views of the water are always great there. We walked along the Bight and walked into the Tiki Bar. There were a few people there but it wasn’t too bad. It was nice and quiet while we enjoyed a few beverages. IMG_8435

Then I realized that it was Tuesday and our friend Al (who works at the Sunset Pier at the Ocean Key Resort) should be working. We thanked the bartender at the Tiki Bar and we were on our way again. IMG_8436The weather was becoming overcast again but once we got to Sunset Pier we saw a couple of guys playing. The one guy was Tony Baltimore but unfortunately I don’t remember who the other guy was. They sounded very good as we had another beverage. We then noticed that we didn’t see Al, and were told that he switched with another bartender. I guess we would just have to come back another day.

It was getting to be about that time to catch Zack playing at Willie T’s. We were on our way before we saw El Meson De Pepe which have really good mojitos. They are bit pricey but taste darn good. We only had one a piece before walking towards Willie T’s.IMG_8439We walked in and it was a nice surprise to see both Zack and his son playing together. We sat down and enjoyed them play until their show was done. https://youtu.be/elVijgUP3tkIMG_8447We then made our way back to the Gardens to get some energy back and freshen up. Both our stomachs were quite hungry and realized that we hadn’t been to the Tuna since our first night. IMG_8451We walked in and a young musician by the name of Mick Fury was playing. He is originally from Syracuse, NY and then moved down to Nashville, TN. He had a great voice and we listened to him for a bit.

We didn’t feel like moving so we ordered a few appetizers to share. Once he was done we talked to him for a bit. I was then starting to feel the day and it was time to go back to the Gardens. Plus we had a fishing charter with our good friend Billy Rentz of Six Pack Charters the next day, so we didn’t want to stay out too late. http://tinyurl.com/n5hfnxc

Wednesday April 19th – Fishing with Billy IMG_8460We woke up to a beautiful morning. Since we were meeting Billy at 9:00am we had our breakfast at the Gardens. The Gardens does offer a nice variety for breakfast besides the standard continental fare. They had several chafing dishes filled with several hotoptions. The one option we both went with, was the egg casserole. The Gardens also offers a Keurig espresso machine. It is a nice alternative to have vs. the regular coffee. After breakfast we met Billy outside where he took us to the marina.  IMG_8462We have been going out with Billy for years now and it was great to see him again. He did mention to us that it was pretty windy but he would to take us to a spot to fish that was on the Leeward side of the island. Another plus was that Billy just recently got a new boat. It was a little smaller then the previous one, but it had full seats, a great sound system and a bathroom which was a huge plus for me. IMG_8466Soon we were on our way and then I realized we never took any Dramamine which we usually do. Thankfully we never did get seasick. The first spot we anchored at it was pretty wavy. There was this perfect seat however where I could fish and sit all at the same time. It made it a lot easier for me. We started catching fish after fish right away, but they were too small to keep. Still it wound up being a lot of fun. IMG_8463About an hour or so had passed and Billy wanted to try another spot to fish closer to our eventual destination, the sand bar. Once we got to the next spot my husband still fished for a while. I was just happy to relax on the back of the boat in the sun.IMG_8465Again my husband did catch a bunch of fish, but too small to keep. We then went over to the sand bar where we just relaxed for a bit. IMG_8483We talked to Billy and just caught up with what we have both been doing since the last time we saw him. IMG_8486It wound up being a nice day to be out on the water and have a change of scenery.IMG_8470After a full day out on the water it was time to go back. IMG_8491We made our way to the marina and then Billy dropped us off back at the Gardens. We thanked him for the day and we made tentative plans to see him again later in the week.

Since we were out on the water all day it was time to freshen up. Once we were ready to go back out we realized that we both got pretty sunburned. It wasn’t too bad but I knew we wouldn’t be relaxing out in the sun the following day. IMG_8492It turned out that Zack was still playing at Willie T’s and so we stopped in to check out the end of his set before we made our second attempt to see the sunset at Mallory Square. We stayed until the end then and told him we were on our way to see the sunset. However, before we did we wanted to back to Martin’s for their happy hour special. https://www.martinskeywest.comIMG_8498It is a great deal where you have a variety of items to choose from off their tapas menu. I thought that the happy hour was from 4-7pm, but when we got there it was packed. We asked the gentlemen at the front if there were any tables available. He said to wait a few minutes and he could see what he could do. Only a few minutes passed and he found a table available for us.

We were seated outside in the back. It was a really nice setting. Once we got the menus the server told us that happy hour was about over. We literally made it by one minute! The happy hour only went until 6 not 7. IMG_8497We ordered their calamari ceviche martini, escargot, lamb chops, tuna tataki, grilled lamp chops and the pork tenderloin & bermuda onion skewer. Everything came out in a timely fashion and each one was as good as the next. IMG_8528IMG_8525Once we were done with our early dinner we were determined to make to sunset. We walked along Duval and onto Greene St. As we were passing Captain Tony’s we saw that Gabriel Wright was playing. I also noticed a gentlemen sitting at the bar with a familiar hat. It was Ralph DePalma. He is a very well known photographer down in Key West which so happens also photographs Zack and I had been doing some work for him as well. IMG_8502So we made the turn into the bar where I met Ralph. He was very nice and had some crazy stories to share with us. We asked Gabriel when he was playing next and it wasn’t until Saturday, the day we were leaving so we grabbed to seats at the bar since it was the last time we would see him play. We weren’t making the sunset again.

As we were listening to Gabriel play I noticed a familiar face outside on his bike. It was Zack. He came in and joined us for a while. We talked for a bit and then another artist came on to play. It wasn’t too late, but we were getting tired. When you are out on the water all day it definitely drains your energy.IMG_8505Zack mentioned to us that Caffeine Carl may be playing at the Lazy Gecko and we hadn’t seen him yet. We said our goodbyes and we walked down towards the Gecko. When we walked by it wasn’t Carl. Just as well because the best thing for us was to go back to the Gardens.

We walked back and got a couple glasses of wine at the Garden’s wine bar. IMG_8507It probably wasn’t the best idea, because once we sat on our porch we couldn’t even finish the wine. It was a long day and it was time to go to bed.

Thursday – April 20th – Cafe Solé and finally made it to Mallory Square IMG_8512We slept in a bit since we were going to attempt to see Caffeine Carl play at the Smokin’ Tuna later that evening. This was our last night without consequence as my husband always says. It’s basically our last night we can stay out late and not have to get up early.

It was a sunny morning and we could finally go to Blue Heaven! It was just past 9:00am and knew if we went to Blue Heaven we may have an issue since it was late. We figured that we would chance it, but the first stop was much needed coffee at Cuban Coffee Queen. IMG_8509We walked down to Blue Heaven and just like we suspected, it was crowded. We walked up to the hostess and she said it would be about a 20 minute wait to sit outside. We had our coffee already so it wasn’t really a big issue for us. We got a couple seats at the bar and my husband ordered a Bloody Mary. I tried it but I just can’t drink them. I wish I could because they look so good.
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Instead of 20 minutes it wound up being over 30 minutes. We were seated at a table where the server read all of the benedict specials. They sounded delicious but, I had eggs benedict for several days now, so I just felt like two eggs with grits and bacon. My husband ordered the same thing but with sausage and potatoes.

The breakfast was good as usual and it is always entertaining to watch the roosters and chickens run around. After breakfast we went back to the Gardens to relax on our porch/balcony for a while. IMG_8513
I was starting to get antsy and we got ready to go back out. We hadn’t been to Irish Kevin’s so that was our next stop. IMG_8520We were literally the only ones in there, which was fine since we were able to make a few song requests. Irish Kevin’s is a great place to go too if it is hot out since they always have the AC blasting, but after one beer I needed to get back outside. I was freezing.
IMG_8527We walked all the way out to Sunset Pier to see if Al was working. As we walked in, we saw a familiar face. It was Al and he recognized us right away. We found a couple of seats along the water. Al was pretty busy but he made a point to come over to talk to us for a bit. We caught up on things and it was great to see him.IMG_8521We said our goodbyes and then walked around for a bit. We wound up walking back to Sunset Tiki bar the Galleon. It was a beautiful day. IMG_8522.jpg

(On a side note, my husband wears a FitBit while we walk around Key West. On average we would walk between 7 to 8 miles a day. You don’t realize it.)
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We had a couple of drinks and then stopped back at Willie T’s to catch Zack play. We couldn’t stay for too long, since i made dinner reservations at Café Solé at 5:30pm. We were able to stay for a little bit before we had to leave.  IMG_8531We told him that we had dinner and that maybe we would run into him later. We made it back to the Gardens to freshen up once again. The Gardens is such a beautiful place to stay but we are barely there. I probably would have hung out more by the pool if I didn’t get so sunburn the other day on the boat.

We made our way towards Café Solé, which isn’t too far from the Gardens. We used to get lost trying to find it but basically you walk down Simonton Street which is right behind the Gardens and make a right onto Southard St. and it’s straight down the road. IMG_8532We walked in and were seated at a very nice table. IMG_8536I love the location and setting of the restaurant since it is off the beaten path and generally very quiet. My husband ordered the beef carpaccio while I had the angels on horseback (which are dates wrapped in bacon stuffed with garlic). Both appetizers were very good. Then we both ordered the hogfish snapper for dinner which the restaurant is known for. It was delicious. http://tinyurl.com/ludwg96

My husband and I were quite full after dinner and decided it would be the perfect opportunity to walk around and make our way towards Mallory Square.

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The skies started to get more overcast unfortunately but it just felt good to walk.
IMG_8546We walked on over to check out the new Margaritaville Hotel which is the former Westin. IMG_8552Everything looked the same besides the new branding of the signs. We wanted to see if Mojito Jimmy was working still at his cart. IMG_8553On our way we ran into Zack and Kai. At this point I started not feeling too well. I don’t know if was from the richness of the dinner or drinking but I needed to sit. They suggested that I should try coconut water which is served in an actual coconut. IMG_8582I was determined to feel better so I gave it ago. Let’s just say I wasn’t a fan. It really didn’t taste like much but it was lukewarm which just made it not very appealing. I eventually got most of it down.

We found a spot to sit down for a while to hang out and watch the acrobats perform at Mallory Square. It wound up being too cloudy for sunset but it was a fun evening nevertheless. We said our goodbyes and started walking back towards the Gardens.
IMG_8554 I was actually started to feel better so we walked to the Tuna wait for Caffeine Carl. I guess the coconut water actually worked! We grabbed two seats at the bar enjoyed Mick Fury play before Caffeine Carl came on. IMG_8600Once his set was over, he came by and we talked to him for a bit. He was a really nice guy. IMG_8604I was feeling revived in a way and we wound up staying out the latest we had all during our vacation. I think we made it to about midnight before we called it a night. IMG_8608

Friday – April 21st – Our Last Full Day
IMG_8615Was it really our last full day already? I thought staying a full week would feel like eternity, but the trip just flew by.

After being up the previous night pretty late (for us) we slept in for a bit. The weather was overcast again. We freshened up before we walked to Cuban Coffee Queen for coffee. Since we were feeling a bit sluggish, we wound going to Sarabeth’s for breakfast since it is so close to the hotel. http://sarabethskeywest.comIMG_8610.jpgWe walked down the Simonton St. and were seated outside at a nice corner table. IMG_8613The rain held off while we enjoyed a much needed breakfast. I had the cheddar omelet while my husband ordered the green and white omelet which is basically scallions and cream cheese. When we were done with breakfast we went back to the Gardens to relax for a bit. This gave us the opportunity to set up our pickup to the airport through the front desk before we went back to the room. We asked to be picked up by 6:00am since our flight was at 7:10am. I would have probably made it a little earlier, but I was able to print out our boarding passes from the hotel so we could go straight to the security line and not the ticket counter.

I also used the opportunity to pack most of our things so we wouldn’t have to worry about it later on. The sense of the trip nearing the end just sat with me for the rest of the day. I tried to make the best of it and realized how lucky we are for being able to return to Key West each and every year, sometimes twice a year. IMG_8614We relaxed for a bit and eventually made our way back towards the Bight. My husband suggest going to Dante’s for a drink since we had not been there yet. It wound up not being a very good suggestion. We sat down and noticed loud music playing. I looked around and noticed a lot of bachelorette parties. As we tried to get our drinks down a DJ came on and mentioned that it was the Dante’s Poolside Party. I was starting to get flashbacks of spring break in Panama City Beach, FL many years ago. We definitely felt out of place. We didn’t even finish our drinks before leaving. It wasn’t bad, but just not what we were in the mood for.

We walked back down towards the Galleon since we needed a quiet place to hang out. We found two seats where we just enjoyed conversation with the bartender and the view for a bit. IMG_8431Since we wanted to see Zack and Caffeine Carl play later on back at the Smokin’ Tuna, we didn’t want to stay out for too long, so we walked back down Duval to the Garden’s. Before we got back, we stopped in at Rick’s to catch the last few songs of Zack’s show. After the show was over, we did mention to him how I would love a picture of my husband and I with him and Caffeine Carl. He said that it shouldn’t be a problem when we went to the Tuna later. We made it back to the Gardens to regroup one last time.

We planned on going to the Tuna a bit earlier to catch Mick Fury, the musician we saw at the Tuna the night before from Nashville. Before we camped out (if you will) at the Tuna, we walked back to Kelly’s for one last key lime margarita. It was nice and refreshing.IMG_8621.jpgWe were getting a bit antsy making sure we would get our favorite seats at the bar, so we made our way back to the Tuna. It wasn’t crowded at all so we had no problem finding our seats. We also order some dinner while we were listening to Mick Fury.

I ordered the jalapeno poppers and fried snapper sandwich. It wasn’t the healthiest thing I have ever eaten, but I wanted to make sure I had enough fuel to stay up for a while that evening and not feel terrible the next morning.
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Zack came by earlier so we could catch the Yankees vs. Pittsburgh baseball game, however they didn’t have the broadcast on the tv, but it was just as well because it gave us an opportunity to just hang out for a bit.

Soon it was time for him to get set up for the show and my husband reminded me about the photo. We walked up and asked if it was okay for a photo and it wasn’t a problem at all. So we finally got the photo I wanted! I was so happy! IMG_8629

Once the band came on we just sat back and had a great time. https://youtu.be/4-80CjqrwfQ Mick Fury also wound up hanging out with us for a while too. It was a great night and the sense of leaving the next day started to hit me. I did keep it together without getting upset. It was so much fun but I knew we had to get back to reality.

When the band had a break, Zack came over and we were able to talk for a few minutes. Soon it was time to say our goodbyes and thought until next year (fingers crossed). We made it back just before midnight. I was quite relieved that I had packed all of our things ahead of time.

Saturday – April 22nd – Going Home IMG_8633
The 5:00am alarm came quickly and we freshened up before the flight back home. The one thing that we were able to do, is book a direct flight that United started offering during the high season. This made it a lot easier for us leaving knowing that we would be back home before noon.

Once we had everything ready to go I wasn’t sure what to do with our keys. We normally leave them in the drop off basket outside the main house, however sometimes they would call me later on looking for them. So I decided to leave them in the room.

We walked out to the front and realized it was a very bad decision. There is a gate that is locked to get out of the Gardens and you need a key to get out. During the day it is open. The sense of panic started to set in. We were not going to be able to get out!

Thankfully my husband thought quickly and hoped over the railing on the porch. I then handed him our luggage and I was able get over the railing as well. We were so relieved but then we hit another obstacle. We had the front main gate to tackle next! Fortunately my husband remembered the combination and we were finally outside of the hotel. A huge sense of relief overwhelmed us. Within minutes there was the taxi ready to take us to the airport.

We got to the airport and went straight to the security line. We had to wait a few minutes, but we had plenty of time before we boarded. When we got to the gate we noticed that the rain was coming down heavy. Even the airport personnel told everyone that umbrellas were available to use when we had to walk to the plane.

They called our flight number and we walked out onto the runway. It was pouring so hard it was hard to find our plane. There were around 4 planes that were boarding the same time and they all looked the same. Finally we saw one of the air traffic controllers and they were calling out United. Our plane was one of the furthest one away to get to and we were soaked.

Soon we were on our way and the flight only took about 2 and 1/2 hours. We wound up landing about 40 minutes early. Our car service picked us up on time and we were home by 11:00am. We both looked at each and thought were we just in Key West?

Once again, Key West is a special place that never disappoints. We have met some great people and made great friendships throught out the years of visiting. People keep asking me why do we keep going back to the same place year after year -and I just look at them and smile…. because there is no other place like Key West and we love it.
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Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. Until the next time!

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