Finally Seeing The Keys!
~Friday, January 22, 2021~
We really couldn’t believe we were heading to The Keys today. It’s always seemed like something so out of reach, something we’ve only heard about. Jeff remembers just how much this place meant to his parents and the great times they shared here with dear friends. So of course, we had to make sure on our occasional tiki bar stops today, that we make a few toasts in honor of them.
As we left our campsite around 10:00, we noticed our friendly neighbors were both leaving today….one family headed to The Keys and the other heading to Flamingo Campground in The Everglades (not too far from this one). The couple from Colorado suggested we check out this little white hut in The Keys called Key West Key Lime Co., for the best key lime pie and beer selection anywhere. We exchanged information with both families and hope to see them again one day.
Next…..gas, DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) and Starbucks. There haven’t been too many times that we’ve had to purchase the DEF by the gallon bottle, but when we do, it just kills us that we have to spend about 3 times more than when you buy it at a truck stop. You simply fill it up like you do your gas tank. And there are no truck stops in The Keys, so all the diesel drivers are forced to buy it this way. Rip off. I remember Jeff’s brother (a master mechanic for Ford) told us the numerous times he’s had a customer slip up and put the DEF in the gas tank by accident. It’s basically a $20,000 mistake you definitely want to avoid.
Not long after we had a late morning snack from Starbucks, Jeff was intrigued with a place we spotted in The Keys called Islamorada Fish Co. We took a walk around the grounds where Sadie couldn’t help but want to chase a few stray roosters. That’s when Jeff informed me that The Keys has an abundance of roosters. Kind of reminds me of Hawaii a little bit.
Finally, we asked one of the waitresses if dogs were allowed on the outdoor deck. Sadie was in luck. In fact as the day went on, we came to realize that most people in The Keys are dog lovers. Sadie was a “star” anywhere we went. On the way to our table, we walked over a raised platform that looked out over a pond of tarpon and got a perfectly situated table right next to the water with views of chartered boats coming in and out of the marina. We ordered one plate of fried conch, Jeff an IPA and a berry mojito for me.
Fantastic drinks but the conch, not quite as we remembered it when we had it for the first time in Clear Water, FL., quite a while ago.
Next, we thought we’d stop at the RV resort we’ll soon be staying at for 3 days in Fiesta Key, to just check out our site to see if it’s worth the price. (remember everything in The Keys during the winter is expensive even if it’s just a mediocre place, because everyone wants to be here). We were quickly turned away. They don’t allow anyone in unless you are a current patron. But, it does appear very nice from the entrance. So we think we’ll be good. And we’re really looking forward to packing a lot in those 3 days we’ll be there.
We decided to forgo Key West until we’re staying in Fiesta Key those 3 days. So we turned around and started heading back north to Anne’s Beach which is about 70 miles from Key West. One of the Everglades park attendants recommended this beach to us, and we’re so glad he did. We were one of the lucky ones to find a parking spot next to this little slice of heaven. There are actually not that many beaches in The Keys, so to snag your own little sand spot is like gold. As we walked the boardwalk that parallels Anne’s Beach, there are about 10 access points with steps that lead you out to small sections of beach, and some with their own elevated ‘huts’ that house a picnic table along with spectacular views. Of course we had to take advantage of its dog friendliness, where Sadie was thrilled to be back in her water element. The water felt amazing. We’ll definitely be back.
Our final stop of the day was a cool, funky joint called Robbie’s. This place has so many quirky things about it but these are the kind of places we love. They offer outdoor shopping in makeshift tents, kayak, snorkel and diving rentals and of course chartered boat tours. The restaurant part is named The Hungry Tarpon, where a lot of locals and tourists alike, hang out. There isn’t a bad seat in the joint as you have views of a busy harbor, pelicans taking a dip or enjoying “leftovers” from the fishing boats and patrons partaking in libations. Our cool waiter, Martavius, brought us refreshing drinks and some delicious food. At our waterside table, we were enjoying the PERFECT sunny 😎 day with our refreshing beverages 🍹🍺 until…….Sadie threw up on the deck. Poor thing…..she did have too much ocean fun after all. This does seem to happen when we have visits to a beach, and she gets carried away with her saltwater fun. She hasn’t quite made the connection that this kind of water makes her sick. 🥴🐾 After that slight distraction, Jeff enjoyed his pork sandwich/fries and me an Ahi Sashimi Salad. The beverages…….a very appropriately named “Pain in the A%$” for Inger, with Jeff’s counterpart……”The Pain Reliever”. Ha!! 🤣 And once again, Sadie helped fellow patrons get their dog fix.
What beautiful and pristine scenery. The water is absolutely stunning and so calm. How about moving here? We certainly won’t rule it out. Now for the remainder of the Oceanview Highway back towards The Everglades.