Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Florida Keys

By Uncle Hans 

Renee and I spent our Christmas on the Florida Keys.  Great weather. 80 and sunny each day. 
We drove, as crazy as that sounds.  It was 2060 miles, a little further than I thought.  The driving went well, good weather on the way down and no traffic problems.  We stopped at a Waffle House, which is a southern, fast food breakfast place.  It is inexpensive and a unique experience as the whole kitchen is exposed along with all the noise and chaos to the customer.  People seemed to like it.  I had a pecan waffle and it hit the spot...........

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Our favorite place, however, was Chad's in Tavernier on the Keys.  We found this place in April when we were down.  A great deli like place that bakes all it's own bread.  Everything is so fresh and good.  They were closed Christmas eve and Christmas day so the only day we could go was the 23rd.  Too bad!

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....................We found something from history:  Smoking in bars!   You are a "bar" if less than 20% of your revenue comes from food.  Several "restaurants" have attached off-sale liquor stores so they could bring their % below 20 and the patrons could smoke.  a cute trick.........

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   .....................The Keys are famous for sun and fun, but the dirty little secret is that they have virtually no sand beaches.  There is one at mile marker 70 called Anne's Beach and another, nicer and larger. around 37.  That's it.  Anne's is sort of narrow, depending on the tide.  But there is a little park there and some walking paths.  It is in a spot on the island where you literally can stand in the water and throw a rock to the other water.  Over the park, over the two lane road and over the shoulder on the far side of the road.............

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Of course, we have to make observations about RV living.  It is the reason for Rex and Mary's Blog!  The park takes up the entire small island and has at least 800 spots.  We stayed in one of the 20 motel rooms.  It is called Fiesta Key.  Occupancy was about 20%, but the motel rooms were full.  Some of the Christmas decorations were quite elaborate.......

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.........The "regulars" put on a nice feed on Christmas Eve and cooked up a pig.  Santa Clause did a celebrity gig as DJ, and got a kiss from Renee.............

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..... I did my damnest to get invited for a tour of this beauty, a four slide-out land yacht, but to no avail.  They were parked across the road from us and managed to stay aloof from the poor Wisconsin white trash in the Buick..........

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.......this sculpture caught our eye.  It depicts a Grandpa spinning a yarn about a big fish that he caught to his grandson, while a monster fish is rising up out of the water behind him.  A little hard to see, but very imaginative..........

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.........a highlight of the trip was a stop in Leesburg on the way home to visit AJ and Ruth  (our Dad's Brother).  Cousin John was there for Christmas from Atlanta.  We had  brunch at the IHOP, and set out in search of a tavern to be Rechsteiners.  Taverns are scarce as hen's teeth in the south, but we were very dedicated.  They looked good and we enjoyed the stop..........

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..........we decided to try driving after some harrowing experiences in the airport lately.  It was 2060 miles one way and that distance is gruesome.  But we did not have to rent a car.  We bought some fun and clunky souvenirs.........because we could. The expense was less than a third of flying, but takes two extra days out of your vacation.  Yuck!  You get to see how people live along the way. 

    The verdict?  Both methods of travel are equally unsatisfactory.

    I leave you with a sunset on Anne's Beach.........................

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By Uncle Hans

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the means of transportation! The airports have become a nasty part of ones travel. If you got the time then take a back road! ;) BiLL

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Well you do fly a long ways under the radar in your old Buick. I wonder how many would be able to guess your profession if they were pressed.....