The HOT Florida Keys


March 23-28

Monday morning we left Cypress Woods by 8 am for a 4-5 hour drive to Islamorada in the Florida Keys. The temperatures continued in the high 80’s and where quite humid but the A/C in the RV kept us comfortable as we drove along Alligator Alley and eventually on Hwy 1.

We arrived at our site at San Pedro RV park and where set up by 1 pm. It was a tight spot to get the RV into and nothing special, but it was basically across the street from my brother’s condo, so very convenient. Shortly after, Stephen and Sue arrived at our site by bike for a reunion and some cold beer. After some catching up, we got our bikes out and the 4 of us went for a tour of the area and their condo. We came back to the RV later to freshen up as we would get picked up at 5 to head out with them as they had been invited to a friend’s BBQ in Key Largo in an RV park. The host Tony (and wife – can’t remember her name) were having about 16 people over for the evening. They have a great spot right on the water and we enjoyed the BBQ and meeting my brother’s friends that evening. Another camper in the park, a retired Boston Fire Chief came by later to play the bagpipes for us. He wasn’t too bad for only starting to learn 4 years ago.

Tuesday’s plan was to head off to the sandbar after lunch at Dillon’s. It would prove to be another HOT day, so what better spot to be than in the cool ocean waters at the Sandbar! Water temp was about 84 degree and it felt great. After a few hours out there we headed back to freshen up for another night out. We must say, Jazz was a real trooper with very little outside time. I’m sure with the heat she enjoyed the cool RV A/C. After freshening up, we were off to the Marina for happy hour with some more of Stephen and Sue’s friends they made when they lived in a boat there. We met a fun bunch of people and I partook in a few games of corn hole.

As the sun was setting, a few of the men grabbed their conch shells and in island tradition, they blew their “horns” to celebrate the sunset and praise the transition of the day into the night.  Off to the Ocean View restaurant for dinner.

Wednesday morning I was up early for a short bike ride with Stephen before we headed down to Key West (KW) for a couple of nights.

We arrived in KW after some shopping in Marathon around noon. As we were going into KW for the evening, we decided to have a “lupper” (lunch and supper) at 3 so we could catch the 4 o’clock bus to town. We had BBQ’d salmon with rice and salad. The bus took about 45 minutes with many stops for the 5 mile ride into town. For those that don’t know, we have been to KW a few times before, so we are pretty familiar with the streets, the sights, restaurants and the bars! If you haven’t been here before, KW is quite unique and very eclectic with beautiful old homes and interesting people. It also has a lot of history. (put it on your must visit list)

At 5 o’clock it was still quite hot, so after a short stay at Louie’s Backyard, it was off the our favourite dive bar, the Green Parrot – go figure! This place is a KW tradition dating back to 1890 and in some respects it looks like it, filled with locals and tourists. We left here at about 6:30 and headed to Mallory Sq. to join the hundreds of people to watch the sunset. This is a nightly KW tradition filled with buskers, magicians and musicians entertaining as the sun is setting. After sunset, we headed over to the Schooner Wharf Grill for some appetizers and listen to some great live music. The last bus leaving town was at 9:30, so we were on it heading home. The outside temp was still over 80 back at camp.

Thursday’s plan was to bike into town for the morning for breakfast and some shopping. At 8:30 we headed in for a 5 mile ride along the west side (marina) of KW. The temp was good and sun wasn’t too high so it was a nice ride in. We parked our bikes outside Two Friends restaurant and had breakfast as it was one of the top rated places on Trip advisor.  And it was. We then headed out to do some shopping, loading up on lots of souvenirs and stuff! We packed a small duffle bag and managed to buy enough things to stuff it full. At 12:20, we headed out along the east side of the island by all the beaches which turned out to be the longer way home… in the heat of the day! We arrived back at the site at 1:30 quite exhausted due to the heat. We spent a cool afternoon at the site and by the pool.

Thursday night we took the bus in later planning to bring a cab home. The bus was able to drop us at our first stop – the Green Parrot as we knew they had a 5 member band starting at 5:30. We stayed and watched them for about an hour then headed towards the  Schooner Wharf again to watch the sunset from their 2nd floor deck and listen to their live music – 2 guys with their steel drums and guitars. They were called the Island Time Band and as you can imagine they played lots of our favourites with an island theme. They even had there own song called Minnesotaville played to the music of Margaritaville. Fun! After a little more carousing around Olde Town KW, we grabbed a cab at about 10:15 and headed back to camp.

Friday morning we were relocating about 35 miles north, so we had a sleep in and a later start. After some gas and groceries in Marathon, we landed at Jolly Roger Campgrounds on Grassy Key shortly after noon. A change in the weather was about to occur, but yesterday was still a hot day. We spent some time at the pool then played some scrabble and managed to get our dinner/BBQ completed just before the winds and rain started. The awning went in and outside stuff went under the RV for a rainy and blustery night ahead. It’s hard to believe we are saying this, but today is 72 deg at time of writing and we are enjoying the cooler temps.

Tomorrow we head north for a longer drive to Cape Canaveral for 3 nights.

That’s this weeks scoop (or poop) from the perch!

Leaving out Ft. Myer's Resort
Leaving out Ft. Myer’s Resort

Cypress Woods entrance
Cypress Woods entrance

Checking out the Gators (Alligator Alley) -on the way to the Keys
Checking out the Gators (Alligator Alley) -on the way to the Keys

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Temps outside and inside the RV
Temps outside and inside the RV

A retired Boston Fire chief who took up the pipes 4 years ago
A retired Boston Fire chief who took up the pipes 4 years ago

Islamorada - on the way to the "Sandbar" - brother Stephen, sister in law Sue and Kathy
Islamorada – on the way to the “Sandbar” – brother Stephen, sister in law Sue and Kathy

The Sandbar
The Sandbar

At the Sandbar
At the Sandbar

A nice outing with family
A nice outing with family

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Note the pirate figures hanging in the upper deck at this island beauty
Note the pirate figures hanging in the upper deck at this island beauty

Islamorda - meting the Marina friends - Sue playing cornhole
Islamorda – meeting the Marina friends – Sue playing cornhole

The "Conch Band"  - blowing conch shells to celebrate the Sunset and the transition from day to night
The “Conch Band” – blowing conch shells to celebrate the Sunset and the transition from day to night

 

Our park in Grassy Key - Jolly Roger
Our park in Grassy Key – Jolly Roger

Grassy Key
Grassy Key

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Kathy at her chair - just like her 50th
Kathy at her chair – just like her 50th

Roosters are the island bird on KW
Roosters are the island bird on KW

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It's "things" like this that makes KW unique and eclectic
It’s “things” like this that makes KW unique and eclectic

Our site at Boyd's about 4-5 miles outside of KW
Our site at Boyd’s about 4-5 miles outside of KW

Our 6th month on the road and we finally made as far south as we are going
Our 6th month on the road and we finally made as far south as we are going

Yep, another Margaritaville - the original
Yep, another Margaritaville – the original

Sunset at Mallory Square - KW
Sunset at Mallory Square – KW

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Someone caught a small fish during the sunset and this buddy came right up beside me-3 feet away
Someone caught a small fish during the sunset and this buddy came right up beside me-3 feet away

Highway 1 - Mile 0 - it either starts here or ends here. Whatever the case what happens in KW stays in KW!
Highway 1 – Mile 0 – it either starts here or ends here. Whatever the case what happens in KW stays in KW!

KW Airforce base nearby our site - training flights
KW Airforce base nearby our site – training flights

Jet Training over the bay by our site
Jet Training over the bay by our site