Sunday, January 25, 2015

Friends, Key West and Sunsets

We always say seeing friends on the road is one of the best things about our lifestyle and that includes having them stay with us.  We love having the chance to share our adventures with them and having extended time to catch up on what has been happening in their lives.  Tom and Georgie have visited us in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Florida.  They usually come south in the winter to escape the PA weather.  They joined us for a week of watching sunsets and just kicking back on island time.
 We went to several places just to watch the beautiful Keys sunsets.  They had to be careful that they did not burn, exposing themselves to the warm Florida sun.
We stopped at the local World Wide Sportsman to see the Pilar, the half-sister ship to Hemingway's famed Pilar.  The ship has a great history going back to 1933 when it was built, from being a fishing boat, to taking part in World War II, to being used in the movies "Key Largo" and "The Blue Heron."  It is definitely worth a stop at the store just to see the boat and to have a cocktail at the adjacent Islamorada Fish Company to watch the sunset.  
Sunset at the Islamorada Fish Company, one of many local places to take part in the Keys tradition of watching the sunset.
At the Fish Company they feed the fish at sunset.  Usually, it's just tarpon that show up for the free meal, but the evening we were there these two sharks showed up.  Very cool!
Another day, another place, another sunset.  This one was at the Lorelei.  It is a very popular spot with great local music in addition to great sunsets.
We took Georgie and Tom to another must see local stop, the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary.  The sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates many birds.  Those that recover are released back into the wild, while those with permanent injuries are housed there.  They range from wading birds, to vultures, raptors and pelicans.
In addition to the injured birds, the sanctuary is a popular hangout for many different wild birds who seem to be looking for a easy meal.  All of these birds were outside of the pens.
This wild pelican was not bothered at all by our presence.  It was almost like they were coming to visit the birds in the pens.
Of course, here at the Elks we do not have to venture out to see great sunsets.  We only have to look out the front window.
We did a road trip to Key West and stopped off on No Name Key to go to the No Name Pub on the way.  The pub should be on your to do list if you visit the Keys.  The background of this collage shows just a few of the $170,000 stapled to the walls and ceiling of the pub.  No Name Key is famous for the Key Deer. The one on the left looks like a regular whitetail with a nice seven point rack.  The picture on the right shows how big he is compared to the car.  About the size of a big dog.
Look at us.  In June we were at the Arctic Circle in Alaska and now we are at US Route 1, milepost zero in Key West. Very neat and much warmer.
Any visit to Key West must include watching the entertainment and sunset a Mallory Square.  
Tom and Georgie soaking up the rays while watching the sunset.  Much nicer here than in WashPA at this time of the year.
There were few clouds but it was still a great Key West sunset with many boats on the water. 
We stopped at The Wreck near Marathon on the way back to Tavernier so we could replicate the picture that we took here on an visit a few years ago.  The place has not changed much and the food was still very good. 
One last sunset for Tom and Georgie before they headed off into the coming winter storm moving across PA.  We had a wonderful week with them sharing our warm weather time in the Keys.  I'm also happy to report that the guys reign supreme winning at euchre three out of four nights.
What did I say about seeing friends on the road.  Not long after Tom and Georgie left we got a text from George and Nan whom we met at Betty's this fall.  They are staying just a few miles south of us on Long Key and are enjoying their first winter in the warmer climes since going fulltime in April.  They stopped by for sunset and we went to dinner to share travel tales.  Life is Good!!!!

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