road trips

key west get down

fort-on-dry-totugas

We were well into our trip driving from Atlanta to Key West when we visited Selby Gardens. During our last night on the road, we hit the beach for another sunset. This time we checked out Sanibel Beach, where we collected shells destined for a jar and called it a night. (Party animals, I know.)

sanibel-beach

As much as we enjoyed taking our time and making memorable stops on our way, once Tuesday rolled around, I was definitely ready to get to Key West. The best of everything was still waiting on us.

driving-through-the-keys

We rolled in just in time to grab dinner with family and take in all our hotel had to offer i.e. go for a late night swim.

Truman hotel key west

The next day was pretty low-key. We spent the morning roaming around Key West doing what we do- oohing and aahing over tropical plant life. We found many of our own houseplants in the landscape and a few that we would love to add to our ongoing houseplant love affair. Later, we all met up at Ernest Hemingway’s home for a guided tour. It was interesting to see the space he wrote in and hear the history of his furnishings.

ernest-hemingway's-writing-space

Hemingway lived a fascinating life, right down to his family cat. The Hemingway property has 40-50 cats who all call it home. Many of them are six-toed cuties.

ernest-hemingway-cat

(It started to be a bit like playing I-spy, they were hiding everywhere.) It turns out Hemingway was given a six-toed cat who got frisky (a lot!) and the rest is history. I think we found a cat’s paradise on earth.

hemingway-cat

All the cats made me miss our little Kearney even more.

Thursday was an amazing day spent at the Dry Tortugas, a remote national park with an interesting history ranging from shipwrecks to prison tales. That morning we all took a two hour ferry ride from Key West and found pure beauty. We had to keep reminding ourselves it was January, for Pete’s sake.

Dry-Tortugas-from-afar

Once we arrived, the first thing we did was get our snorkel on. Ryan enjoyed this a little more than I did. His only regret was not having an underwater camera. What a good husband carrying everything we had with us, swoon.

walking-dry-tortugas

After having lunch provided by the ferry, we took a tour of the grounds and learned some fun tidbits about the islands history both as a fort and a prison. What a gorgeous place to be miserable fulfilling your prison sentence.

Fort-Jeffersonfort-on-dry-totugasdry-totugas-fortprison-view

The following day started early with a guided kayak outing through the mangroves and getting an up-close view of underwater life. Though, I would have to say the highlight of that venture was seeing the 8 or so Naval aircrafts that flew overhead. Took me back to when my dad would take us to air shows in North Dakota.

jelly-fish-key-west kayak-key-west

As usual, the vacation time was over in a blink of an eye, and we were headed back before we knew it. We started the morning of departure at Kermit’s Cafe and Kitchen with the best key lime pie we found, as well as strawberries and cream crepes. So. Good.

kermits-cafe-kitchen kermits-kitchen

Can you see why I was so eager to get to Key West? So many sights and colors to be seen, so many experiences to be had. There is only one way to close this photo heavy post down, the sunset at Key West. It is an event, let me tell ya, with a canon finale and all. Pure beauty, that is what Key West is.

Key-West-sunset

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