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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Little Mix-Up

~Thursday, March 16, 2023~

Day 1,006

Hey everybody! We finally have amazing water! The taste, the smell, the clarity! We are jumping for joy over our ClearSource. I’m not sure if we conjured it all up in our heads, but we could swear that our hair and bodies feel even cleaner too, because of it. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be healthier because of the switch from our basic Brita filter to this. Sadie’s also giving her paw version of a high five! 🐾

From the get go, it seemed a good weather day was in store for us in Key West, about a 90-minute drive from where we’re staying in Marathon. A bit windy, but who’s complaining when some wind makes for prime sailing weather. Our puppy care exchange began in the morning as Blair and Cindy took off for Key West around 10:00 a.m. Going into THEIR trailer to get their dog Selah, I must say was a bit surreal as it is the exact same model as ours, but newer with a few minor differences with the interior finishes. But the layout is a carbon copy. Before it was our turn to leave, we managed to get in a few good laps around the park with Sadie and Selah. We were looking forward to getting to Key West, especially since Cindy had texted ahead about what a beautiful day it was there.

Once we arrived at the southern end, we found a good, safe place to park the truck, then biked to the north end. But what we didn’t know was how limiting the bike parking would be, especially with the hubbub of activity at this end of Key West. And the city is very picky about where you land your bike as they will confiscate it if it’s not parked on a bike parking rack specifically. We managed to wiggle in next to somebody else’s spot with just enough room to get our locks on the bikes.

It’s amazing how much is packed into this 4-square mile destination that is Key West. Our first mission was to find a great early dinner spot, after having rechecked a few of the places we had seen a few days prior. First Flight would be the ticket. Loved the outdoor patio area and ambiance. Our meals, which included Mahi Mahi fish tacos and Jeff’s burger topped with a “holy” pickle, satisfied our hunger, but weren’t over the top great. The Mai Tais certainly helped of course.

After a satisfying lunch, we continued our downtown tour of President Truman’s Little White House annex and grounds. Located in “old town” Key West, this was once the winter White House for President Truman. Though he wasn’t the first President to use it, he frequented it the most. Having already fallen in love with the area, the President didn’t mind the fact his doctors ordered him to a warmer climate for health reasons.

Other Presidents and important political figures enjoyed the home as well such as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Colin Powell, to name a few. The home was deeded to the state of Florida in 1987, where it was turned into a state historic site and museum, allowing visitors a closer look of the home and botanical gardens. Surrounding the premises are condominium rentals and a gated community of master property owners. A stunning area with a hefty price tag I’m sure.

We thought we’d check in for our sunset cruise a little early to make sure everything was set. When we gave the concierge our name, it took a little longer than it should have, prompting me to double check our email confirmation. There’s only one other time in the 1,000 plus days of being on the road that we made a mistake on a reservation. This would be the second. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Our reservation was for tomorrow night, not TO-night!! Completely stunned, the reservation lady tried to see if she could get us on a boat for this evening, but everything (the schooner and the catamaran) was full. Looks like we’ll be spending another evening in Key West after all. Looking back, it was an easy mistake. Having Thursday in mind to do the Schooner cruise, we had already marked the calendar for it and forgot to change it after we found out they were full for Thursday. In the end it wasn’t a big deal. At least it gave us a little more time to tour the Harborwalk and watch the other boats go out to sea from Sunset Pier. If we hadn’t gotten there when we did, we wouldn’t have gotten the perfect seats that we did, right next to the water and in good view of the live band that was playing.

As the sun began to sink, people were coming in, in droves to get their perfect seat. On the way back to get our bikes, we stopped by a

most refreshing looking shop called the Key Lime Store with its outdoor kitchen/cafe overlooking a serene koi pond. The shop was filled with everything you CAN imagine and NOT imagine with key lime in it….salt water taffy, facial cleansers, baked goods, salsa, etc.

Lastly, we stopped by the Bull and Whistle Bar where it was complete mayhem. Though the band left a lot to be desired, at least they had a good music selection. Upstairs would be our seat and a perfect perch to people watch, looking over Duval Street. It took us back a little to New Orleans’ French Quarter, but cleaner. Biking back to the car was a worthwhile activity in itself as we whizzed by the many uplit tropical homes, waving at all our fellow tourists traveling on foot, scooter, or bike. The warm, breezy weather added to the amusement.

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