Its like -where IS they??- innit?

Day 84: Florida City to Key West

Having been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts we decided that today was the day to make the run to Key West – it was meant to be overcast and windy but dry – hence the reason we chose it as everywhere else down south here was to be wet and rainy!  The drive of 120 odd miles took us about 3 hours, as there is only one highway connecting all the Keys. We marvelled at the colour of the waters as we crossed the linking bridges and at the tiny width of the land mass in places as we travelled down. Stopping for fuel on the way, we also treated ourselves to a chocolate bar each – and it was Sharons first taste of a ‘Baby Ruth’ all these years after hearing them mentioned in the movie the goonies! its now become her new favourite, and she plans to spend whatever money we have left at the end on as many as possible to take home ! hahah

We arrived at our Key West hotel at around 4pm. Our hotel would have cost $199 for the night (grossly overbudget) but as we had earned a stack of loyalty points using the hotel chains websites, we got it for the grand total of Zero Dollars ! hahaha… we LOVE free. The hotel is a little up the way from the main area – but as the island is so small, its only a 5 minute drive to the all the action. After checkin, we headed straight down to Duval Street, and started to explore. Moments after luckily finding ourselves somewhere we didn’t have to pay for parking, we stumbled upon a live concert blasting out from a stage setup in the middle of the street. It seems to have been running for a while as everyone was in party mode and very merry ! :-) our kind of place. Our first thoughts of the place is that its very laid back and quite bohemian. Lots of people cycling around and with Chickens wandering quite wildly along almost every street. It seemed to draw on a lot of other american influences – there were places that reminded us of New Orleans, Santa Fe, a little Californian, and maybe even a little of Texas! we like it!! strangely enough, this island is closer to Cuba than to mainland America, as all the signs told us it was only 90 miles to ..

it was these signs that also made us recognise something about our trip. We saw in one of the stores a sign saying ‘Mile Marker zero – The end of the road’ – and that clicked with us. Reaching here is truly the end of our USA road trip.. we are travelling to no more new places from here – only backtracking up to Miami for the last couple of days. So this really was a marker for us. We’ve covered thousands of miles, and end up here, near mile marker zero, with no more miles to explore.

We took a walk to Mallory square – famous for its nightly sunset celebration! though for us there was no sunset hahaha- but we did have gale force winds, and all the street performers struggling against the conditions. For the first time in a long time, we started to feel a little chill, though not as cold as we know we’re going to be when we get back to England ! we stopped and had a meal at a hawaiian themed restaurant – before driving to a little restaurant we’d seen on the television since we’d been in the states. This little place called ‘Blue heaven’ is always cited as one of the 2 best places to get Key Lime pie ! (which originated on this tiny island) so we knew we just had to go and sample some. At $10 a slice  we thought it had better be one of the best 2 ever ! haha We took our slice back to the hotel with us and enjoyed it at our leisure :-) and yes, it was very good..