Thursday morning of our trip found us docked at Key West. We hit the shore after breakfast. Both of us were a little crispy from exposure to the sun the past couple days, so the first thing we did was buy hats. Big hats. We were big hat people for the day.
Knights of Old.
Knights of New? Nnnnn-no.
The Key West Art & Historical Museum is the first major building you run into as you come off the dock. We were greeted by these ladies in the back of the building. No, it has nothing to do with high school theater, thankfully.
Interestingly the front of the building had a tribute to a different (almost opposing, morally) peice of artwork:
Near there is the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. I saw something on tv about this guy, who had not too long ago found sunken Spanish treasure in the Caribbean.
There's train ride tours of the Key available, but we decided to huff it.
This little house was the original world headquarters of the now defunct Pan-Am airline. First flight was to Cuba from Key West.
No lavish lawns down here, most houses have gardens and lush vegetation in front.
Some have added homemade artwork.
Most of the houses are colorfully painted, as seems to be the norm, at least in the touristy areas of the tropics. The ones that aren't colorful, are at least architectually different.
One attractive house had a little poke at the gawking tourists:
We walked through down the main streets, and detoured into the seedier sections of town. To get a 'cross-section' of local life, as Doctor Willie would say.
Downtown Key west is relatively small, and you can cover a lot of ground on foot. It wasn't long before we were near the end of the line. Or rather, the beginning of the line. The beginning of Route 1, which stretches all the way up the eastern seaboard of the USA, up into Maine.
The Southernmost Point is a huge picture spot. There was a small crowd waiting their turn to take their picture here.
The Southernmost aspiring artist.
In fact the whole area takes advantage of being "Southernmost". There was the Southernmost House, where many Presidents have stayed, and supposedly one of the finest examples of victorian archetecture in the U.S. Across the intersection is the Southernmost Hotel, ect.
Who Let The Hens Out?
Why did the chicken cross the road? Because all the chickens are doin' it.
One thing you notice about Key West right away, is the sound of roosters and chickens. That's right. They're everywhere. The Key West version of squirrels, as Kelly pointed out. They roam the streets, in the back yards, down the alleyways.
No one owns them, no one eats them. They're as free as, well, birds. Heavy fines are imposed for even harassing the animals. Ironically the chickens in this park have more freedom than the two fellows doing community service in the background of this picture.
It was getting HOT and humid. We grabbed ice-coffees at the first cafe we came across. I don't know if it's the way they're supposed to be made, but they were basically expressos on ice. I called my sister up, and ruthlessly jiggled the ice in the cup over the phone. She said it had been cold and raining for like two days up in Massachusetts. I laughed gleefully and took another swig under the shade of a palm tree. Suckas.
We continued on, to check out the beach areas.
We overheard this conversation among two guys nearby:
Guy one: "Dude, where can I sleep in a car around here without getting hassled?"
Guy two: "Any side street. What kind of car?"
Guy one: "It's a van"
Guy two: (scoffing) "Aw dude, then you're allll set!"
Guy two honing his frisbee marksmanship skills:
I suppose if I ever have the misfortune to wind up homeless, I sure hope it's someplace like here.
We headed back into town.
This post is getting long, and I'm out of time for now, I'll continue with the rest of Key West, (booze and butterflies), on another post...