Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day Two in Key West, FL

Wednesday, 1/11/12 - Oh what a change in the weather when we got up today.....NO sun and they are predicting showers latter on, thank you Jesus I got to see the wonderful sunset yesterday. Breakfast was being served right outside our door at 8 am so it was just perfect. Becky, the lady who prepares the breakfast and also works at the front desk.....and lives at mile marker 25 was a terrific lady who moved out here from Missouri with her husband, a fisherman. He is working in a tackle shop and she is working at The Palms Hotel and they are loving life.

Our breakfast was good, they had several different types of fruit, juices, coffee and tea, french toast, pastries and hard boiled eggs and more....it was perfect for Will and I. Note to Nancy & Howard - they also had individual peanut butter servings when breakfast started, but none when it ended. They had a breakfast bar with a tiki hut covering on the top and we were able to meet some of the other guests, many from Europe. After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel, put our stuff in the trunk of the car and headed out for our walk to trolley stop number 6 again. On our walk down, we noticed this old house was being remodeled by a local company and we walked up on the porch just to look in the open front door. At that moment the owner of the construction company, came out and invited us in and took us on a tour of the 3 floors he is remodeling. Some guy from NJ bought it a year ago and this guy has been remodeling for one entire year and has about 3 more months to go. The house was fabulous - 6 bedrooms (2 in the attic for the 2 boys) a large family room, dining room & beautiful kitchen - all local wood used through out on the house - beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms, we estimated about 2,000 sq feet. Now in KW, yards are unheard of, this home is on a corner and has a yard with a small swimming pool and garage!! What a wonderful tour and we thanked him so much for taking the time to show us around. This was a real highlight of the trip.

First stop for us was the Flagler Station Museum www.flaglerstation.net , now Mr. Flagler is one of Will's hero's. We of course knew nothing of him before our trip to FL in 2005 but on our trip down the Atlantic side you learn that Mr. Flagler is responsible for opening up Florida and bringing the tourist down here. He built the railroad that ran from New York down to St Augustine, Miami and Key West, FL. He then had a ship, that took people, cars & railroad cars to Cuba from Key West. He was a partner with Mr. Rockefeller in the Chevron Oil business, we are talking BIG MONEY. So seeing the Flagler Museum was on Wills "to do" list. We watched the DVD on how the over-sea railroad was built from Miami to Key West.....nothing short of a miracle. Actually, today you can still see several long parts of the train tressel that is still standing out in the ocean. The museum was very interesting and we read and saw everything. Actually, this year is the 100 year anniversary and they will be having Flagler celebrations for the rest of the year.

We took the trolley back down to Mallory Square to have lunch and we had also purchased tickets to see the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum www.melfisher.org No experiments on lunch today....Will had a hot dog & coke and I had Hagen Daus ice cream cup, now these are tried and true winning lunches. Afterwards we walked a block over to see the Treasure Museum. Now I remember some years back seeing on the Learning Channel about the Fisher family excursions and how they discovered, off the coast of Florida, huge amounts of treasure from 2 sunken Spanish ships. Mel Fisher and his wife and 3 sons, plus others spent many years looking for the sunken treasure and in the 80's - found it. On display at the museum are cannons, historic weapons, solid gold & silver bars, fabulous jewelery. There are two floors displaying the treasures, telling the story of their excursions. Mel Fisher was really an interesting guy who met his wife in California and they opened a diving shop. If you have a chance to learn about this story it is really interesting. We spent several hours here reading and watching the DVD.

Afterwards I just had to buy another black Key West shirt.....only $5.00 and they put what ever decoration you want on the front. We then spent time walking through the Duval Street and in and out of stores and bars - loved Sloppy Joe's, where Hemingway did his serious drinking. We saw the local bar that opens every morning at 7 am for Happy Hour and the small little "hole in the wall" restaurant that Harry Truman use to escape to have dinner by himself (no secret service) the many times he was in KW. Lots of stuff to buy, lots of FREAKS to see and we both enjoyed our 2 day stay in Key West. Actually, I was amazed how much Will liked it.

We then boarded the trolley for our last ride to stop 6 and the final walk back to the car. Now the weather really was turning ugly and dark (but still warm) and you could feel rain at any moment. We got back into the car around 2 pm, found highway 1 north....and headed back just as the skies opened up and it started to rain. I drove home, as Will drove the day before and we had rain most of the way home. Thank God, we came on Tuesday and not Wednesday. We got back to the RV park in Miami about 5:30 pm - just before dark and dead tired. It was a very fun 2 days and we were so glad we got to visit Key West again. Much love to all our family and friends.