Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sun Soaked Keys

We had a great week at the Elks Lodge in Tavernier in the Northern Keys. This was the first time we have stayed at an Elks and this one is a real winner. There are only eleven sites but nine of them have a great view of the gulf. The weather was fantastic so we just kicked back and enjoyed checking out the area. All the people staying here were very friendly and we spent a lot of time just swapping travel stories. We got together most days at the tiki hut for happy hour and sunsets.

The group from the Elks at the Zane Grey Lounge.
The first night we arrived we were invited to go to the Zane Grey Lounge where, on Wednesdays, they have free appetizers during happy hour. The photo above was taken on our last night staying at the Elks when several of the group again decided to go. The lounge is located in the World Wide Sportsman that is a Bass Pro Shop totally dedicated to fishing and clothing. This store is worth a visit by itself.
On display at the World Wide Sportsman is the Pilar, a restored sister ship of Ernest Hemingway's Pilar. Hemingway's ship is in Cuba where it was docked when Castro took over the government. It is believed that Hemingway fished from this ship and then had a similar one built for himself.
The weather was so warm I was able to take a swim in the warm clear gulf water.
We explored the area on our bikes. There is a great bike trail along much of US 1 going down the Keys. Bottom is a pic of a unique housing development in Islamorado where there is a runway and planes can be parked under the homes.
We continue to see the great diversity of wildlife in Florida. Here are a tarpon, tri-colored heron, iguana, osprey, woodpecker and white heron. Florida is a great place to see many different species.
We enjoyed several wonderful sunsets here and by the name of the beer on tap they are a common occurrence. Each of these four and the new pic at the top of the blog were taken on different days. It is very easy to get into "island" mode here in the Keys.