My husband and I started adding a third trip annually to Key West last year and wanted to keep up with tradition, so after our visit last year in July, I booked another trip for the last week in January, making it our 23rd time visiting since back in March of 2006, but who’s counting? We didn’t do too much this trip because it was cooler then we are used to. The days were filled will brilliant blue sky, but just not warm enough to out on the water or hang out at our hotel pool. Instead we spent each day walking the streets of Key West, drinking/eating delicious food and seeing great people.
Sunday, January 26th – Arrival Day
Thankfully the day before we only had rain instead of snow. I always get concerned traveling during this time of year due to the threat of snow, freezing rain, etc. Our flight was scheduled for a 9am departure so we had our car service pick us up at 5:45am just to be on the safe side. Once we arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport, it was very crowded – which I was surprised due to the fact it was a Sunday. Then again, Newark Airport is always busy. We had TSA pre so it made going through security painless and easy. Once through, we went to the United Club to wait for our flight. Eventually it was time to head to the gate to board our flight. Besides the gate change there were no flight delays which I was extremely happy about.
Our flight wound up taking off a bit behind schedule, but we made up the time in the air. The flight was just under 3 hours and soon I could see the Keys appear below. I always get so excited when I see Key West come in to view.
Once we landed we were the first ones of the plane. I noticed that it was a bit on the cold side for Key West, but the sun was shining and the skies were blue and the most important thing, we were back in Key West! We quickly walked to the taxi stand and grabbed a taxi. It is funny how the drive to the hotel makes me so happy and yet the drive back to the airport makes me so sad. After a couple of minutes, I could see the yellow walls of the Gardens Hotel. I thought to myself we are coming back “home”. That is what the Gardens feels to us. I think it is the fact that yes we have stayed there so many times, but we have also come to know the staff very well. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34345-d227346-r742840597-The_Gardens_Hotel-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html
The taxi dropped us off and we walked in to check in. We saw David at the desk and he gave us a big hello. He told us our room wasn’t ready, but would be in about an hour or so. It wasn’t a big deal since we didn’t need to change, so we left our luggage in the check in area and made our way onto Duval. To us, it never gets old making that first right hand turn on to Duval. It makes it feel official that we are back in Key West.
With our faces smiling we discussed where to go for our first stop. Being that it was a Sunday, not many of the musicians we knew were playing. We decided to walk down to the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon so we could get a nice view of the water. Once we walked in we saw a familiar face at the bar, Philip. He welcomed us back and we sat down and ordered a couple of drinks. I started to take in that we were back to one of my favorite places to visit!
It was nearing the time that our room should be ready so we paid our tab and walked down Duval back towards the Gardens. We walked by the Smallest Bar in Key West/ the Paradise Restaurant and thought why not stop in there for a quick drink since we never had been there before. It was an interesting little place.
We walked in and found the inside bar area. We ordered a couple of mojitos. I watched the bartender make our drinks and began to question our decision when I noticed after he muddled the mint, he added pure sugar and rum. Then he topped the drinks with sprite. I thought how I have never seen a mojito made like that before. Our drinks were served and we both agreed that they were very sweet – too sweet in fact. Quickly we finished our drinks and went back to the hotel. It was some place new new to try.
Before we made it back we saw that Miguel was bar tending at Rick’s. We thought he was off so we popped in to say hello. It was quite crowded so we didn’t stay long, but that’s when he told us about Koby Bryant. We couldn’t believe the news. We told him we would come by the next day to see him before heading back to the Gardens.
We walked in to the check in office and our room was ready. We quickly checked in and went to our room to freshen up. When we walked into the courtyard area we noticed that they were setting up for jazz. We saw the two bartenders Peggy and Adam setting up as well. We waved hello as we walked up to our room.
Once we unpacked our things, we figured that we would just stay in our clothes since it was still a bit chilly out and it wasn’t going to get any warmer later on in the evening. We walked back downstairs to the bar and talked to Adam a bit. While we were talking to him, he mentioned the General Manager Jim had an accident but he was okay. Apparently he suffered a bad fall, so I was a bit disappointed that he wouldn’t be around for jazz, but thankfully he was okay.
People started to make there way to the seats and soon the jazz music began.
We were also hoping to see Kate the owner of the Gardens, but she was away in Argentina. We couldn’t stay for too long because I made dinner reservations at Lola’s Cafe. Lola’s is a brand new restaurant that took over the old Deuce’s Off the Hook location. We walked in and we were seated at the only open table. I thought to myself, I am glad I made reservations.
The server which I believe is also one of the owner’s, came over and told us about the four appetizer options and the four main courses. As a side note, the restaurant only offers four apps and four main courses and they change nightly, except for the scallops because so many people got upset when they weren’t on the menu. Also note that there is no physical paper menu so if you want to know the prices you have to ask. We had a wonderful dinner but it was very pricey even without having any drinks included – and they only accept cash.
Once we heard the options, I decided to go with the scallops and the fresh sea bass. My husband ordered the gnocchi and the rib eye for dinner. After we ordered we sat back and watched the chef at work. If you had ever been to Deuce’s you may have remembered the bar that was there. Now, in place of the bar, is the open air kitchen where the chef prepares your meal. It was quite entertaining to watch him.
We felt like we were watching a show from the Food Network. Also the decor inside is lit with many candles lining the walls which make it very romantic. Every table was full so it was a bit loud. Mostly all the tables were larger groups as well.
The runner then brought out a first course from the chef which was a nice little surprise. Instead of a basket of bread and butter (that I never eat because it fills me too much), they served us a nice plate of fresh mozzarella and tomato on a slice of a baguette. It was a nice start to the meal.
Then our appetizers were brought out. I took one bite of the scallops and they were super tender and delicious. I myself am not a scallop fan, but after having them I am one now. I took a taste of my husband’s gnocchi appetizer and they were full of flavor. I couldn’t wait to try our next course. The appetizers came out rather quickly, but we did have to wait a bit for our entrees. You could see all the food that the chef was preparing so we totally understood why there was a bit of a delay.
Eventually our entrees made their way to our table. The sea bass was huge. I couldn’t believe it. And the rib eye my husband ordered was also a generous portion. We thoroughly enjoyed what we ordered. Everything was delicious. By the time we finished our meal, we were quite stuffed. I couldn’t even think about dessert. We asked for our check and thanked our server for a wonderful meal. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34345-d19247202-r742841798-Lola_s_Bistro-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html
My husband wanted to walk back to the Gardens, but I wanted to walk down to the Smokin’ Tuna to see Caffeine Carl play. I knew he was playing that night and only the following night, due to the fact the Mile 0 Festival was starting in a couple of days. I didn’t realize the festival coincided with the dates we were in Key West, so I was a bit disappointed that the festival was taking over a few of our favorite places to see music, like the Smokin’ Tuna.
After convincing my husband, we walked down Duval to the Tuna. Actually it was a nice way to walk off our dinner. We walked in and it was already crowded, but within minutes two seats dead center at the bar opened up. It was like it was meant to be (we both thought). A gentlemen (which name escapes me) was finishing up his set. He was quite good. Once he finished I saw Caffeine Carl getting ready to take the stage. I walked up to him and asked him for a picture. It was nice to see him again. (And I was glad we went because it wound up being the only time we saw him.)
As everyone took the stage we noticed that George wasn’t playing, but there was a new lead singer. We weren’t sure of his name – he was just okay. We enjoyed a few songs. While we were there the bartender told us our next round was bought. And then we saw a familiar face from our favorite shore town in NJ, Lavallette… Vincent!! He came up to us and we thanked him for the drinks. It was fun to see him in Key West. Small world!! Later on I went in the back to thank him again and meet his wife but unfortunately they left. I wanted to stay longer but the long travel day was starting to set in, so we left and made it back to the Gardens and called it a night.
Monday, January 27th – First Full Day
We woke up to a beautiful day. We freshened up and headed to our usual first stop every trip, Cuban Coffee Queen. It was a bit brisk in the morning so I made sure I grabbed a jacket to wear until it warmed up later on the day. We walked in to Cuban Coffee Queen and there wasn’t much of a line since we were there early. The coffee was much needed after the day before.
Once we had our coffees in hand we walked down to Duval St. to have breakfast. In the past our first breakfast would always be Blue Heaven and we felt like we have gone there a lot of times that we have become a bit tired of the place. We decided to go to La Te Da for breakfast.
We walked in and were excited to see that the bar area was quiet. We sat down and ordered a couple of drinks. For breakfast I ordered the standard eggs over medium with bacon and my husband had their egg scramble that was served with their candied maple bacon. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34345-d1007451-r742852258-The_Restaurant_at_La_Te_Da-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html
After breakfast we walked back to the Gardens to relax for a little bit before heading out for the day.
It was then time to make our way back out on to Duval.
We walked down to Front Street before making a loop back towards Ricks. My husband wanted to stop in and see Miguel the bartender.
He is always fun to hang out with. We chatted for a while before making our way to our next stop, Captain Tony’s to see Gabriel Wright play.
We walked in and he immediately recognized us. We sat down at a couple of open bar stools and ordered drinks while we listened to him play. It is funny how he remembers our requests so he always makes sure to play the songs when we see him. Once he went on break we were able to talk to him for a bit before he started playing again.
While we were listening to him play, we started talking to two gentlemen that were asking questions about Key West. It was their first time in Key West so we talked to them for a few giving them some tips as to where to go to eat, drink, etc. We told them that we were on our way to Hog’s Breath to see our friend Zack Seemiller. I have been doing his design work for several years now and he has become a great friend so I was looking forward to see him again.
We said goodbye to Gabriel and told him we would catch him when he was playing at Captain Tony’s again later on in the week (which unfortunately we totally forgot his Wednesday evening show and it turned out to be the only time we could see him). We walked down to Hog’s Breath and through their gift shop. Once we walked in, the place was packed. After a couple of minutes one seat did open up. Luckily there was enough room for my husband to stand next to me. Zack acknowledged us as we waved to him. Not before long his son Kai came by with their dog Bullet. The dog was so cute. We also got to meet to his mom who was staying with them while we were in town.
While we were enjoying his show, the bartender Stephanie told us that our next round was bought and paid for. We look over and it was the two guys from Captain Tony’s. We thanked them and they wound up walking over and ordered us shots. I really didn’t want to do one (and really didn’t NEED to do one), but I caved and had one shot. We wound up staying for the rest of his show. It was a lot of fun. https://youtu.be/iL4kwCPlsFo
Once Zack finished his show I had to get my usual photos with him before he packed up everything. It is always great to see him.
He told us that he was playing later with his son Kai that night at the Schooner Wharf. We hadn’t been there in years to see a show at night and thought it would be fun to stop by and see them after dinner.
We walked back to the Garden’s to regroup for a little bit before going out to dinner. One of my husband’s favorite places to eat is Berlin’s. He likes the old dark retro feel it has. I enjoy it as well, so we wound up walking down to the A&B Lobster house. We walked in up the stairs and into Berlin’s. We sat at the bar and the bartender took our dinner order (it is the same menu from A&B Lobster house). We were the only ones in there but we didn’t mind. I started with the oysters rockefeller and my husband had the beef carpaccio. For dinner I had the yellowtail snapper and my husband had the filet mignon. As always, the food was delicious.
Feeling refueled, we walked down to the Schooner Wharf. Zack and Kai were already playing so we sat down at a table right in front. Zack’s mom was there so she came over and sat with us. It was a nice evening to hanging out and watch them play.
Another long day was catching up with us so we said goodbye to everyone and made the walk back to the Gardens.
Tuesday, January 28th – Lots of walking, Rick’s, Willie T’s, Little Pearl
Originally I planned this day to go out on the boat with our good friend Billy, however it was just too cold. I contacted him and we agreed to save our trip for another time and that maybe we could meet up later on in the week.
We woke up to another beautiful but cool day. We freshened up and made our usual first stop to Cuban Coffee Queen. Our breakfast choice of the morning was Moon Dog Cafe. It isn’t a far walk from where the Gardens is located and is right next to the Hemingway House. We walked in and it started to warm up a bit so we sat outside. This was the first time sitting outside for us due to the fact most of the time we go it is too crowded.
We were seated near the edge of the porch and you could watch people walk by. We ordered breakfast and it came out fairly quick. I like how they cook their eggs at this place. They were perfect as usual. When we were done with breakfast we walked back to the hotel and relaxed for a little bit. The day was becoming more and more beautiful.
We walked back down Duval and noticed that a portion of the street was blocked off. Miguel mentioned to us yesterday that they were going to set up a stage for the Mile O Festival, which we saw when we got to Sloppy Joe’s. The show wasn’t scheduled until 6pm that evening so it didn’t really affect anything that much.
We wound up walking around town for a bit and through Mallory Square. When we walked around to Sunset Pier we saw Al setting up the bar, so we stopped to say hello. We planned to stop by again when he was open, but unfortunately we never got back there.
Eventually we made our way to the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon for a cold beverage.
We agreed to only stay for one before making our next stop at Rick’s since Miguel was working again. We were able to get the two perch seats (which are great to see all the action walking by). They were still setting up the stage area so that added some entertainment.
We ultimately stayed longer then we intended but it was fun. They were starting to do sound check on the stage so it was getting pretty loud. Then I realized that Zack was playing soon at Willie T’s so we walked down to catch his show. We walked in and we were able to find an empty table. We noticed the protesters were busy at work, standing outside one of the cosmetic shops.
It turned out that both Zack and his son Kai were playing. We stayed for a while but we to cut it short because we had to get ready for dinner at Little Pearl. We would try to catch Zack later at the Ramshead Southernmost where he was playing that evening.
We made it back to the Gardens and quickly freshened up. Then we walked down Simonton to Olivia Street to Little Pearl, which used to be the old Seven Fish location.
I did request a couple of seats at the small bar when I initially made the reservations, but when we walked in, there were no open seats available. We were seated at a table in the corner pretty close to another table. Luckily they were really nice and not too loud.
We looked over and noticed the one patron ordered the octopus. My husband immediately decided to order the same thing for an appetizer. I decided to go with the ceviche of the day which I believe was snapper. Then for our entrees I had the yellowfin tuna and my husband had the lobster, shrimp and crab pot pie. Our server promptly brought out our appetizers and I had to try the octopus. I knew they were know for the dish so I was curious. It did not disappoint. It was tender and delicious.
The rest of what we ordered was all very well done and fresh. We were too full again for dessert so we paid our bill and walked down to the Ramshead Southernmost, which is the former Blue McCaw Restaurant. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34345-d12231430-r742849825-Little_Pearl-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html
Besides for a couple new signs/branding, the overall atmosphere looks exactly the same with the tropical feel and color ambiance. We walked in and sat at the bar and listened to a few more songs that Zack was playing. We were planning on going to Rick’s after to check out Caffeine Carl who was playing there with Geortge. I was kind of puzzled though thinking how can he play there while the Mile 0 Festival is going on at the stage right outside of Rick’s on Duval? I figured I would message him just in case to see if indeed he was still playing. I am glad I did because he wasn’t feeling well and not playing at all that night. In hind sight it worked at well because we were both pretty tired from the day. Once Zack finished up his show we headed back to the Gardens, but not before another Kodak moment!
Wednesday, January 29th – Breakfast Club Too and few more familiar stops
It was another beautiful morning. It felt a little warmer then the previous days.
We made our usual stop at Cuban Coffee Queen before walking down to Breakfast Club Too where we were meeting Zack and his family. It was a nice way to spend the morning.
After breakfast we told Zack we would catch him later at Willie T’s. We walked back to the Gardens again to relax for a little bit.
The weather was so nice, but still a bit too cool to lay out by the pool (too much shade at that point of the day at the Gardens pool). So we wound up going back out and walked down to, yes the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon. It was funny watching the floating tiki bar drift in the water.
Then it was time to start walking again. We walked down to First Flight since we had not stopped by there yet during our trip. There was some entertainment so it made it a bit festive. We sat at the bar and I decided to give their key lime margarita another try. Last year, I ordered one and it the taste was not right. I tasted the margarita and it was good, but still not the same as they were back when it was Kelly’s.
I did manage to finish my margarita and once my husband finished his beer, we walked down towards the Green Parrot, but first had to get a picture at the Mile O Sign.
We realized we had not stopped in yet so we walked on it. It was quite busy but found a couple seats at the end of the bar. It seems that every time we go to the Green Parrot we wind up striking up a conversation with someone sitting next to us. This time it was a guy named Scott. He was traveling by himself and it was his first time to Key West. We talked him for a bit and told him we were going to Willie T’s and catching part of Zack’s show before dinner.
We got to Willie T’s and were able to grab a table on the side near where Zack was playing. Not before long we saw Scott walk in. It actually wound up being a fun time talking to him and listening to Zack.
Then several of Zack’s friends showed up that we have met from previous visits, so we had a chance to said hello to them. Not planning to, but we wound up staying until the end of Zack’s show.
We were pretty hungry at this point so we went back to the Gardens to freshen up.
We were in the mood for a casual and reasonable place to eat that had sports, so we decided to go back to Jack Flat’s where we watched the NFL draft last year. I totally forgot about going to Mary Ellen’s instead until after the fact. I guess that will have to wait until next time. We walked on in and found a couple seats at the bar. It wasn’t very crowded. We split the coconut shrimp which hit the spot. I ordered a white claw but was pretty much done for the day and couldn’t drink it. My husband had their meatloaf and I was a bit redundant and a shrimp and rice entree which was okay.
We watched part of the Nets basketball game before retiring back to the Gardens for the evening.
Thursday, January 30th – Bagatelle’s. The Retro Room and Cafe Sole
It was another gorgeous morning and it was definitely warming up. It was the first morning I didn’t need to wear a light jacket to breakfast. I dropped off a couple bags of laundry at the front desk so I didn’t have too much laundry to do when we get back home. Luckily the laundry service hadn’t arrived yet so were able to get our laundry back later on that day.
After grabbing our Cuban Coffee Queen coffees, we walked down Duval – this time towards Mallory Square.
My husband and I usually save Bagatelle’s for our last full day breakfast, but both felt like going there. We walked in and they just opened up. (I didn’t realize they didn’t open up until 9am). They sat us outside on the porch where we could watch the action go by on Duval. I remembered during our last visit I really enjoyed the salmon toast so I ordered it again. My husband had the huervos rancheros which are also always very well done (even though they forgot to add the refried beans to the dish).
We wound up going back to the Gardens for a bit before going back out and walk around.
Eventually we walked down to check out the Retro Room (aka Glitchcraft). They wound up changing the name due to another bar in the state had the same name. It looked the same as last time with all the old video games, 80s figurines and so many other eclectic things hanging from every inch of the place. It is quite impressive how they managed to collect so many iconic things. My husband had a beer and I had a white claw. I remembered the last time we were there how they were setting up for the Stranger Things premiere. This time they were setting up for the Big Game.
My husband felt like a snack so we walked down to the Dirty Pig. I wasn’t really hungry at that point so I just had something to drink. My husband ordered the wings with the dry rub and he said they were outstanding. I was tempted to have one, but I knew one would turn into more and it would ruin my appetite late for our dinner at Cafe Sole.
Our next stop was again Willie T’s to see Zack.
We didn’t stay for the entire show this time because we wanted to get back to freshen up before dinner. Our reservations were at 6pm so we went back around 4pm.
Once we freshened up we had some time to see Scott the other bartender that works at the Gardens. He is a pretty funny guy once you talk to him. We were having a good time chatting with him and some fellow guests before realizing we had to get to Cafe Sole.
We quickly walked down Simonton to Southard St. I find it funny how years ago we had a hard time finding the restaurant. Now we could probably get there blindfolded. When we reached Cafe Sole it was just 6pm so we made it.
It was getting cooler out so they sat us inside. This was the first time we ever sat in inside and it was nice and cozy. I had the lamb chops to start and my husband had the escargot. Not really a surprise, we both had the hogfish entree for dinner. That dish never ever disappoints and always tastes so good. (I think it is the sauce…. you could put that sauce on anything and it would taste good).
We didn’t really feel like going anywhere else after dinner so went back to the Garden’s. Scott was still bar tending so we talked to him for a little before he closed up the bar. It was an early night for us but I didn’t mind – I was tired.
Friday, January 31st – Last Full Day
Why does the beginning part of vacation go so slow and then when it nears the end it goes by so quickly? Well the end of our trip was near and it was already our last full day. After we freshened up, we packed up our luggage with the clothes we knew we weren’t going to wear for the remainder of the trip. I always hate doing it because it makes me sad, but it is a huge time saver to do it the day before you leave.
Of course we went back to Cuban Coffee Queen for coffee and wanted to go back to La Te Da for breakfast. The air was very warm and the sun was trying to come out. There was mention of rain that day but so far it was holding off.
We walked to La Te Da and sat at the bar. We ordered breakfast and talked about how we couldn’t believe how quick the week went but that we were glad to know we were returning in the not so distant future which made the thought of leaving a bit easier.
After another solid breakfast at La Te Da we went back to the Gardens to relax for a little while. Then it was that time to get back out to walk around. We wound up walking down Duval towards Mallory Square again.
We noticed that it was definitely more humid and almost getting a little hot – it felt great. When we walked by Custom House Museum we noticed that there is now a cafe shop inside. I am not sure who new it is but thought that it was interesting.
We wound up back to the Sunset Tiki Bar at the Galleon and Grubby was working.
We talked to him for a bit before moving on to our next stop. And of course our next stop was Rick’s to see Zack play one last time.
Our favorite porch seats were open so we sat down and listened to his show.
While we were hanging out another couple that we met the previous day at Zack’s show, Brad and Jen came by. Ironically they are fans of Zack and also enjoy my blog so that is always nice to hear.
It was another fun afternoon hanging out and talking to nice people. We talked about how it seems so crazy that the Lazy Gecko is now a sandals shop?! I don’t know how that is going to stay open – such a shame that is what has come of that location.
Then it was time to head back to the Gardens and figure out where to go for dinner. We said goodbye to Zack and would meet up again the next morning for our farewell breakfast.
When we got back to the Gardens we saw that Scott was bar tending again so we grabbed a couple of seats and hung out for a little while before freshening up for dinner.
We discussed some possible options for dinner and decided on Onlywood at the new location on Caroline St. I looked up the number on my phone and quickly made a reservation and was given the option to sit inside or outside so I decided on outside.
When we walked over, I couldn’t believe how big the place was. The outside dining area was lit up with small outdoor white lights which I love. We were seated at a nice table and ordered the octopus and tuna tartare for apps to share. For dinner I had the branzino and my husband had the filet mignon carpaccio that was served over arugula, which I thought was an odd choice. Everything was okay, but in hind sight we probably just should have had a pizza, which they are known for. We saw them being served and they looked amazing. Next time.
We debated about going somewhere else after dinner but we were both getting tired and due to the fact he following day was the dreaded “travel day”, we agreed to go back to the Gardens. When we got back Scott was finishing up closing up the bar, but we had a few minutes to ordered one last drink. While we were sitting there we wound up meeting Kate’s (the owner of the Garden’s Hotel) brother. He was a friendly guy.
I wound up going up to the room and my husband stayed up a little longer and talked to Scott.
Saturday, February 1st – Going Home 😦
It wasn’t the greatest night of sleep knowing that we were heading home the next day and plus I get the anxiety of making sure we get up on time, pack everything, etc.
When it was time to get up I noticed that it was raining. My husband mentioned that there was a loud storm that happened just after I went up to the room. I had no idea. We never usually experience and rain the day we leave. It is generally a beautiful day. I thought it will make it easier to leave in a way if was raining (not knowing it would affect our flight).
We freshened up and made our last walk down Duval to Cuban Coffee Queen. While we were sitting there we saw Zack and his son and also his other friend Tim that we met a few times walk in. They figured that we would be there (like we are every morning) and meet us there before walking down to Sarabeth’s for breakfast.
We all walked over to Sarabeth’s and were seated at a nice table outside. It was a nice way to end our stay in Key West just talking to them and having a good breakfast. Then it was dreaded time to say goodbye and told them we would see them again soon.
We walked back to the Gardens and packed up the rest of our things and waited for the taxi to pick us up to take us to the airport.
Not before long it was that time and we rolled our luggage out the front of the hotel and into the taxi we went.
Once we were dropped off at the airport we could not get over how long the line was to get through security. We had never seen it that long. The line went all the way to where you would check-in your luggage. I assumed it was because all the people leaving from the Mile 0 festival.
Luckily we heard someone mention if you have TSA Pre the line started up further. And it did. WAY further up. It must have saved us at least 45 minutes easy. We went through security, but then my luggage was stopped. I couldn’t figure out how or why? So the TSA agent brought my luggage to be checked, which is always so embarassing. She went through it and found a box of coasters. My husband asked that is what set off the red flag? She said it was, because it appeared to be a solid mass on the x-ray machine and they had to check it out. It made sense but who would think that a box like that would do that? (Incidentally the same thing happened to me a couple of years ago going through the St. Thomas airport – I had a box of ceramic coasters. Maybe no more coasters for me.)
After that ordeal we walked down to the gate and to the restaurant / bar area. Thankfully two seats were open and we grabbed them right away. We know in the past how crowded the place can get being that it is so small. Once we ordered a couple drinks I get the “oh no” text on my phone from United saying how our 1:15pm flight was delayed an hour. Great I thought, but at least we have seats. Then we started to hear how other flights were delayed.
The rain that was coming through Key West was actually causing planes to get diverted to Miami. I guess the storm was a bigger deal then I initially thought. Then our flight was diverted to Miami as well causing another delay. Eventually our plane did land and we started to board around 3:30pm.
The boarding process was pretty quick since it is a small plane. And not before long we were on our way back home.
2 and 1/2 (bumpy) hours later we landed back in Newark Airport. We gathered our things and met our car service. We finally made it home around 7:45pm. It was a long day, but we made it home safely.
We wound up not doing too many different things this trip to Key West, but that’s what happens sometimes. You either do a lot or a little and we wound up somewhere in between which is fine by me – there is always next time!
Key West will continue to be one of my happy places that I will never get tired of visiting – filled with great people and friends that makes us feel like we see our “Key West family” each and every time we return.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog….. Until next time!