Key West, Florida is a family favorite locale. My parents and sister have been there more frequently than Eric and I – we have only been twice now. I know, the shame! Poor Greta has yet to experience Key West. I have been daydreaming of spring break trips this year, as we are not likely to have one with the process of packing, selling a house, and moving on our radar this spring. So, on this nice and sunny, 60 degree day in Greensboro, I dream of Key West. Read on to find some highlights of our last trip to Key West in April of 2010 plus an easy side, a Key West inspired recipe – Lemon Garlic Roasted Carrots.
My family always stays in the same place – the Eden House. This place is heaven. This is the elaborate system of walkways with privacy fences between the pool and one of the houses that has been converted to suites. We stayed on the second floor of one such suite. There are a variety of rooms, suites, and even condo-like setups.
The front porch of the Eden House – I could spend an entire day sitting here watching Key West amble by.
Our suite had a porch off the back with chairs and a swing. We spent most of our evenings out here watching the tour buses and people go by.
Eric and I love to take our Diana camera along on vacations – it takes lovely dreamy photos. Analog film is still better than Instagram, if you ask me. I was working on a watercolor painting of Eric sitting in the swing.
The Southernmost Point is a fun place to visit. Be prepared to wait in line for your turn to take a photo, though.
We ride our rental bikes everywhere on the island. The island is flat and the roads easy enough to ride on – cars are well-versed in tourists on bicycles. We enjoy riding around the entire edge of the island at least once. This trip always takes us out to the pier. Everyone smiles in Key West – how could you not with this backdrop?
The furniture inside the home was used by Hemingway and his family.
The home and gardens are filled with cats. There are about 40-50 poly dactyl cats around the house and grounds – all descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s 6-toed cat named Snowball. This particular marmalade enjoys its place on the bed.
There are signs of the cats everywhere – footprints in the concrete around the house and pool.
The cats are sleeping on furniture, in the gardens, and in the house.
There is even a little cat graveyard in the garden, complete with a cat house for the living.
This last trip, we headed over to the Martello Tower, which is now the Key West Garden Club. This is a free destination in Key West and was once a fort during the Civil war, but now home to a lush garden full of interesting plants.
The colors were just a riot.
The lizards are everywhere.
Once inside the courtyard, you are in, well Blue Heaven. The stage hosts live music, the bar is stocked for breakfast or drinks, and the ground is sand and usually teeming with chickens.
We watched this hen and rooster scratch around while enjoying some of the best banana bread on earth.
Another fun place to eat is Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery. This is in the former headquarters of Pan American Airlines and boasts themselves as the southern most brewery. It has a wonderful second floor deck/patio we like to sit at while we enjoy its very own beer. I enjoyed the coconut shrimp and Havana Red Ale.
The rooftop views of the boats and the marina can’t be beat. This is a lovely place to enjoy drinks while the sun sets.
This recipe is so easy – it takes only the above ingredients, and after slicing my carrots, I prepared the rest with only one arm, due to a Greta Monster. These are a delicious side to any meal, are fast, easy, and cheap!