Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Key West Interlude


I was away again for a few days last week, to do another dream drive on the way to a business function. Fortunate to have another chance to experience another few days of an  "endless summer," my husband and I flew into Miami and drove along U.S. 1, the Overseas Highway, through all the Florida Keys: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine and the lower keys, and Key West.

This video shows some scenes of the Overseas Highway and explains why it was named an "All American Road" in 2009. (You can also watch this video on this link: http://youtu.be/dDmBtMuHZac)




The Overseas Highway is the only All-American Road in Florida. It’s the highest recognition possible under the National Scenic Byways program established by the U.S. Congress in 1991. Only 31 other roadways in the nation have earned the prestigious title.  Completed in 1938, the Overseas Highway incorporates 42 bridges over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. They include the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon, which stretches 6.79 miles across open water and was referred on its completion as “the eighth wonder of the world.”


The views we had of the beautiful turquoise blue water and tropical islands that were situated along the highway were breathtaking to see!


This was our second time visiting Key West -- my prior posts about a longer visit we had there to celebrate a wedding anniversary, can be read on this link.  It was fun to see all the familiar sights we saw before, along with some new ones. Key West has its own very special charm and when you walk in its streets all cares and worries seem to fall away.  Its year long tropical climate, bohemian atmosphere, good food, fishing and sailing opportunities, museums, houses of past famous, stores, naval base, and of course places to drink a frosty margarita or two, all add to it's allure.


One of the most enjoyable things to do while visiting Key West is to go over to Mallory Square and watch the sun go down. This historic waterfront has a daily celebration for the sunset and large crowds gather as the sunset hour approaches. The cruise ship in the harbor departs, and vendors and performers gather.  I even saw an old cat, sitting under a bench, enjoying the warmth of the fleeting sunlight shining on his face.


It is truly magical, isn't it?




There is still time to enter the "My Memories" digital scrapbook software give away on my last post!  The winner will be announced on Tuesday. Click here to enter, and to see examples of the pages I was able to make with the software on my first tries!

I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Mosaic Monday

Blue Monday

Our World Tuesday
Watery Wednesday

Pink Saturday

Many thanks to all the hosts!
                                



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71 comments:

ellen b. said...

Such beautiful views you were afforded! Love the mosaics. I have never been to Florida.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Stunning views Pat...I particularly like that sunset! This is such a special and romantic place...a little too sunny for me but so beautiful!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I was on that stretch of highway years ago with my parents! It was awe inspiring, even as a kid.

Gorgeous photos, as always, Pat!

From the Kitchen said...

Lovely! I've never been to Key West or Miami. In fact, I've not gotten much south of Orlando. My sister, who lives near Orlando, and I have talked of taking a drive down to Key West some day. Your beautiful photos make it very tempting.

Best,
Bonnie

La said...

The Keys are on my Bucket List. It looks magnificent. Is that Mango Pie?

Barbara F. said...

I would love to visit the Florida Keys. Driving there would be a dream! What gorgeous photos, the sunset is spectacular! It is wonderful that you can accompany Vinny on his business travels. xo

Snap said...

You didn't ask me to carry your bags!!!!! :D :D :D Looks like a fun time in paradise complete with cat!

Pamela Gordon said...

I have never even been to Florida before but seeing these pics of the Keys really makes me want to visit someday. Thanks for sharing them. It really is beautiful!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Is that water in the Keys not the most beautiful thing on earth? That color, that aquamarine color, and the intensity of the other colors is just so pretty!

There is an artist in St. Augustine who lived in Key West for years, and she has paintings in galleries in both places. Her palette is altered somewhat due to the light, and they keep asking her in the gallery down there, what is going on with your colors? LOL! It seems the further south you go, the colors become cleaner or what I refer to as cleaner.

Some day, I hope you will get up this way for a meeting, and if you do, I would love to entertain you, Pat! I may not be the best chef, but I sure know where to eat! LOL!

Loved reading this, and it makes me want to go to the Keys. I haven't been in about twenty something years. Hard to believe, but true. We used to go more frequently when we were young and didn't need much sleep! LOL!

XO,

Sheila

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It's Key Lime pie, La! It's so good!

Pondside said...

Ah, Pat, that took me back. In the 70's when we were posted just outside Philadelphia, we used to go to Key West for a couple of weeks in the winter and stay in the BOQ at the Naval Base. It was another world then. I was deep into Hemingway and imagined his ghost around every corner!

Sheila said...

Pat this looks like a wonderful place to visit. I would love to be driving to the sunshine today. instead we put our deck furniture away. The highway must be a fascinating one to drive. I'm off to watch the video now.

GrandmaK said...

Absolutely beautiful sunset!!!! Yes, it is magical! Cathy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

WOW! How fabulous! This is on my list of places I want to visit! What beautiful photos, my friend! ♥

Mary said...

Oooo, beautiful warm waters and lovely sunsets! I would love to visit there, especially around oh, say, February? lol

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, OH --that last picture won my heart!!!!! wow!!!! The Keys are on our list of places to visit.. Hope we get there sometime.
Hugs,
Betsy

Willow said...

Yes, it is truly magical! When my parents were living in Miami many years ago (Dad was working there), I visited them and we drove HALF WAY! I've always wanted to return, drive the entire highway and visit Key West. Someday.

Lavender Cottage said...

Florida does offer some beautiful scenery and the keys are a warm place to be there. Beautiful sunset.

Kim, USA said...

It is indeed magical. That is why hubby love it there. ^_^

Mosaic Monday

Linda Chapman said...

What a beautiful post about such a beautiful place!! It's the next best thing to BEING there!! Perhaps someday! Until that time I will enjoy travelling along with you via the world of blog!!
Also enjoy the snippets you posted on Facebook!

podso said...

Love that sunset -- a favorite activity of ours when we are in FL. You've arranged them all in such a pretty way and your tours are always the best!

The French Hutch said...

Yes it is truly magical. Great photographs. Wow, what a great escape for a few days. I've never traveled here but my son and dil have spent vacations there and I've heard how beautiful it is. I need to put this on my must see destination list.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Ginny said...

I never heard of this road before, but the video has beautiful images of it! And I love your gorgeous collages, but the last picture is my favorite!!

Lovella ♥ said...

I so enjoyed those mosaics. Wow. The colors are so vivid and oh that blue water. .big sigh

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It looks truly magical! I have been to Florida...but not to Key West. Maybe one day. Now I'm wishing for a piece of key lime pie!

Ola said...

another great trip you had! what a view on the last shot!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a great trip Pat! I've only been to Key West once, it was a lot of fun:@)

Tracy said...

WOW... look at that SUNSET! It looks like a mini-paradise there in Key West...simple dazzled...*sigh*... Another place to add to the to-got-to list. ;o) Thanks for taking us there, Pat. Glad you had a wonderful time! ((LOVE & HUGS))

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Pat, you've out-done yourself with our photo-tour again!! LOVE the veiws. Need to add that one to my bucket list, too. LOL! I'd better live a long time to finish off this list!

Thank you for the offer on the memories thing, but I'm passing (they have e-mailed, too). I am just overwhelmed right now and one more thing... even a good one, seems one too much.

Have a great week! hugs and blessings ~ tanna

Vee said...

Beautiful getaway. Love how you describe it as "endless summer." It really does look that way. I'm not sure that I'd enjoy being on a 7 mile bridge, though. No, I wouldn't so the only way that I can enjoy this journey is because you shared yours. Thank you!

Carol said...

The views are stunning! I'd go for the pie alone, LOL! That bridge is amazing. Not a big fan of driving over bridges though, they make me nervous, I even try to avoid the Tappan Zee. Too open!

Pie Lady Pat said...

What a lovely tropical getaway! Thanks! Was that a Hemingway cat?

nanny said...

Gorgeous....yes that sunset is magical.

Yvette said...

Just beautiful, Pat. I've always wanted to visit Key West and now I feel as if I almost have - with this post and your previous one. :)

Did you see any six toed cats?

Theanne and Baron said...

Key West...it's on my list of places to go in southern Florida...go before I have to hang up my car keys...I love everything about it...the passion variety color history creativity. My kind of place! Thanks for sharing this visit Pat!

Whosyergurl said...

Thanks for stopping by to visit...I'll follow both of your blogs...looks great. I've always wanted to visit Key West..and Hemingway's house. I know I would love it all.
xo, Cheryl

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful part of your country. I love the colours of the water. And is that a Johnny Depp look a like there?

Beverly said...

It is all beautiful, Pat. Key West is one of our favorite places. It reminds me of home.

Happy Pink Saturday.

SmilingSally said...

Yep, it sure is delightful. You may remember that I used to live in South Florida. Thanks for sharing these beautiful blues.

Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

Riet said...

Hi Pat. Memories for me, Key West, one of my favoite places. The blueest water the longest highway; We have been there several times, always had beautiful weather, and last time we were there when we boarded there during our cruise,last February there was storm and rain. We booked one of these open round trip carts and it was so cold. We have been in Islamorade for our holidays at least 15 times during the years and I would love to go there again but DH is still thinking about it. He hates to fly because most times he comes back home sick because of the airco in the planes. I love all your photo's and I am going to have a look again after I post this.
Have a nice week.
Riet

Teagarden said...

Beautiful colours! And -wow- what a great sunset!
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Have a nice week,
Markus

Genie said...

Growing up in Palm Beach, I went to Key West often. My dad was with the Corps of Engineers and was always having to go there for work. It is to die for. I went for a family cousins reunion sever years back and that was a real treat. One of my cousins had a home there so we were wined and dined and did lots and lots of sightseeing. Love all of your photos and mosaics. They do bring back happy memories. genie

EG Wow said...

Your photos sure make me want to visit Florida!

H said...

The ocean looks so inviting! How wonderful to see turquoise water, blue skies and sunshine! I can totally understand why people want to drive that highway and gather to watch the sun go down!

Old Kitty said...

Now that's what I call a scenic drive!! I don't suppose you are able to pull over - say if you do see a pod of dolphins?!?! Cos if I ever drove down that way (I don't drive but I can dream!!!) and saw these amazing wildlife, I'd love to stop and watch!

Oh it's a most amazing networks of bridges!

Thanks for the road trip! LOL! take care
x

Treasia said...

Gorgeous views that someday I long to see for myself. The sunset is just stunning.

pat said...

What a beautiful site! That highway is phenomenal. Now I want to go to Key West. Thanks for the dream.

Lynn said...

I love your travels and the way you share them!

Jeanne said...

Thanks Pat, I am so happy to be home...where my heart is.

What a fantastic trip in the keys. I grew up in Miami and the Keys were a big part of our life. My cousin lived in the city of Key West. We spent so many wonderful times all over the Keys for many years. We once rented a houseboat for a week in the Keys and had the best time. The water is so clear it knocks your socks off. Smile.

We snorkeled in John Pennycamp State Park and saw beautiful reefs, fish and the Christ of the Deep. I could go on and on.

Your photos sure bring back memories. You described the fabulous bridges and the many Keys perfectly. Thanks for the memories.
Hugs, Jeanne

Annie said...

I hated that drive. I was so scared back then. It was pretty, but oh, how I hated it.
Getting to Key West was wonderful though. The keys are just lovely. :)

Claudia said...

Ever think of becoming a travel writer? I'm intrigued by that drive - it would probably terrify me as many drives do - but still... I have never been to Key West - it's something I must do one day.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks, Everyone! I did see the famous Hemingway six toed cats --future blog post..lol!

chubskulit said...

Delightful photos!

Late visiting from Blue Monday, hope you can come and see my entry, thanks!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Downunder here in OZ I can't see Florida without thinking of CSI Miami! Happily, it looks like there's LOTS more to see and do there than crime scenes ...

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Another favorite vacation spot of my husband's and mine. Such great local color and flavor. Great phots, Pat!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

What a beautiful area and a lovely post!
Have a great week!
Coralie

Arija said...

A great highway and a magnificent sunset!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Key West is on my bucket list...
of course that is a deep bucket :-)

come link to our traveling tuesdays!

Oliag said...

The first time I drove to Key West was in 1972 in an old VW bug with a college girlfriend...we camped on the hard coral ground and got bitten by many many mosquitoes but it was a trip I will never forget! I have to find those old vintage photos somewhere:)

ladyfi said...

Ah - yes. The magical isles! Your shots are gorgeous.

Roberto Machado Alves said...

Really,it is truly magical. Thanks for sharing so beatiful pictures.

Roberto, Rio de Janeiro

Tina´s PicStory said...

wonderful serie! :)

Jenny said...

You have such an eye for beauty, Miss Pat!

Thanks for the trip! I really needed to get away for a little while!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Fabulous photos. Can't wait to go there someday!

Tammie Lee said...

absolutely beautiful waters, sky, scenery!

Jo's This and That said...

Beautiful shots!

Skye said...

This is great- I need to go back and check out all your Key West stuff- My husband and I plan on going to the KEys in the spring time - exactly how you did it. We want to fly into Miami, and take our time driving down to Key West, and staying at great hotels along the way! I can't wait. We have not booked yet... but soon enough!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Wow! I can't get over that sunset. It looks like a Tequila Sunrise (the drink). I guess the coloring is why they called it sunrise. Beautiful!

Brenda said...

Beautiful pictures Pat, especially that sunset! We've only been as far as Ft. Myers, but hope to get to Key West one of these days. (I'd love to spend a night in one of those haunted hotels! :)

Annesphamily said...

Our SON-IN-LAW GREW UP IN THE FLORIDA KEYS. HE USE TO LOVE TO DRIVE ACROSS THE HWY WITH HIS DAD WHEN HE WAS A LITTLE KID. HE SAID HE FELT LIKE THE WATER WAS SO BIG AND HE WAS SO SMALL! STUNNING PHOTOS.

Gracie said...

Aren't you tired already of all those trips? I know I wouldn't.... LOL........