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{ Tag Archives } Florida Keys

Milepost 0

South we went over the 7-mile bridge, past Henry Flagler’s magnificent old railroad bridge at Bahia Honda, past state parks and the signs warning of crossing the territory of the tiny and highly endangered key deer, and on to Whitehead Street, past the house where Hemingway lived and wrote between 1931 and 1942, until we reached the Route 1 Mile 0 marker in the heart of Key West IMG_7053 two months and two days after leaving Rt. 1 in Maine on 13 October. Having heard and read so many stories about a rowdy city full of gay bars and kitch, we were quite astonished to find street after street of beautiful, bahamian-style houses and lush, tidy gardens. IMG_7054 We went to the Blue Heaven restaurant because that’s what you do if you don’t actually stand in line at lunch time to visit the Hemingway house; you go to his favorite restaurant instead.

…Despite having just absorbed four or five thousand visitors, the port was a very pleasant place, and we lingered long enough to make a few purchases and check out a few boats in the yacht basin, one of which is the schooner Appledore we had first seen sailing out of Camden Harbor. D7K_1230

…(We were in the car and couldn’t stop, so the photo is a bit blurry.) IMG_7086 We didn’t try to park, but drove on behind a nice beach until we reached a small monument to those who had died of AIDS in the city.

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Dan’s birthday dinner to the final southern stop

At every turn there was something to see: gorgeous, if shy, tri-color herons, glossy ibis, a reddish egret along with several sizes of white ones, white pelicans, wood storks, roseate spoonbills, a marbled godwit, sleeping blue-winged teal, two bald eagles sharing a perch, a kingfisher and, last but not least, three sun-bathing alligators. This is the Florida it is hard not to love. D7K_1112 D7K_1131 D7K_1149 Nightfall found us at Jupiter, where we walked into a small, riverside resort on Rte 1 and were given a huge room with two double beds at a very off-season rate. As we were a bit ahead of where we expected to be on Saturday, we decided to take a detour off 95 and drive into Fort Lauderdale to see why it was a spring break mecca. … It was a relief to find a quiet little resort on Key Largo IMG_7021 IMG_7023 and to know that the following morning would find us a our final southern destination: Kristin’s family condo on Marathon Key. IMG_7030 And here we are most comfortably installed in this pretty apartment by a pool, with the ocean just a few steps beyond the neighboring building not quite two months after we left Sprague Road in Phippsburg, Me.

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