My mother came for a short visit a month or so ago - my first visitor while living in Florida!
Of course while she was here we went to the beach and shopping at the outlets, but the main event was taking the Key West Express down to Key West, Florida for a day! The ride itself was four hours each way, leaving Fort Myers Beach at 8:30AM and set to return at 6:00PM. Luckily for me (as I foolishly forgot a book) they showed a movie there and back. Both were sports related - Trouble With the Curve and The Greatest Game Ever Played. It wasn't a half bad trip, I just wish I had been a bit better prepared.
We had a solid five and a half hours on the island to explore. Almost immediately after we disembarked from the boat, someone (who I assume works for the Key West tourist board) handed us a little booklet of advertisements from local shops, bars, and restaurants. A vintage book store caught my attention first, classic Tabitha. My mom was willing to go in search of it with me, but we had trouble and sadly, gave up in favor of other activities. I mean, we *were* on somewhat of a time crunch.
Besides looking for the bookstore, first thing was first: locate Duval Street. My uncle had told us that was the place to be on Key West and he wasn't wrong. Mom and I had barely turned down the street when we came across Willie T's, a bar completely covered in dollar bills. We stopped in for a couple drinks and to hear the live music. We're suckers for live music, but we didn't want to waste a second of our first Key West experience, so we moved on shortly after.
Walking up and down Duval Street reminded me a bit of Broadway in Nashville... But less country and more tropical. Live music all over the place, more bars and restaurants that I could count, and store after store - some touristy, some chains. We briefly paused when I saw a cute vintage train-car that was selling pizza by the slice. Obviously. I was so preoccupied with the sight of pizza that it took me a second to notice that there were two roosters roaming around this little courtyard. No one had any explanation, the roosters were simply scampering about.
Eventually we made our way down to "the southern most point" of the continental US. My mom didn't particularly care about seeing it, but I just *had* to see it, what with being the eternal tourist. Besides that, our trip was mostly popping in and out of stores and bars - we wanted to get the feel of the place on this first trip down. Hopefully it won't be too long before we go back, because I feel like we only saw a part of Key West.
One immediate family member down, two to go. When my dad comes to visit we will probably go look for gators. When my sister comes to visit we will sit on the beach and have a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie marathon.