Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo
After staying the first night at a delightful resort in Key Largo, we stopped at a tourist trap on Hwy 1 in Islamorada. Who could resist this lobster?!!! Among the treasures inside, we fell in love with a life size bronze pellican and debated whether we wanted it....
We spent three days enjoying Key West. We stayed at the lovely Duval House inn on Duval Street, centrally located where we could walk everywhere, very comfortable and surprisingly quiet. We started with a narrated trolley tour to get our bearings and give us an overview of Key West. After that we walked everywhere.
Left: the lighthouse viewed from the balcony of the Ernest Hemingway house;
Right: the end of Highway 1
Of course we checked out the Southernmost Point and the end of Hwy 1. We enjoyed the activity and the sunset at Mallory Square. I'm a wimp, I couldn't look at the sword swallower, but we did watch some jugglers and acrobats before the sun went down.
The Southernmost point of the Continental USA
Sunset view from Mallory Square, Key West
Also in Key West we toured the Hemingway House and saw the six-toed cats. (I had a six-toed pet cat when I was a child.) We also visited the Mel Fisher Museum about the search for and salvaging of the Atocha and the treasures he and his crew found.
We visited the Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key, where they rescue and rehabilitate (if possible) endangered sea turtles that are sick or have been injured. Most of the turtles' problems are in some way connected to pollution caused by people.
On one of the islands - I can't remember which one - there is a state park that used to be a quarry where they mined for fossilized coral. It's protected now, and they no longer use the coral for building blocks, but the Hemingway house was built entirely from limestone coral blocks.
Fossilized coral remaining in the quarry
We took a Sea-Doo tour out of Key West, around the island. (No photos - we don't have a waterproof camera and didn't want to risk damage to our phones.) It wasn't a tour so much as a race; I held on for dear life, afraid I was going to fly off the back of the Sea-Doo somewhere out in the water! A harrowing adventure for us, but the young guys who wanted to "freestyle" and go fast had a great time.
We went snorkeling in Key Largo. I wasn't sure about that because I previously had a bad snorkeling experience, but we had a small group, with a great guide, and she fitted me with a full-face mask that made all the difference. With that mask I didn't feel claustrophobic and panicky, and was able to enjoy the reef, the corals, and all the fish. It was an unforgettable experience, and I'm glad she had a mask for me that made it possible to enjoy it.
Back in Key Largo we stayed in another resort, the Seafarer Key Largo, a throwback to the 1960's with tiny but nicely renovated rooms. They had a beach area with lounge chairs, picnic tables, etc. We happened to sit in the shade under some palm trees, and when we looked up, we saw a circular rainbow surrounding the sun, silhouetted by the palms. Cool!
All in all it was a great vacation, a bucket list trip that we thoroughly enjoyed.
We stopped again at that tourist trap to reconsider the bronze pellican. Turns out it was plastic. Yuck!
Now we're home and I'll be able to get back into the sewing room. It was a nice break but now I feel like playing with fabric again. And getting ready to go to Paducah next week.