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Shades of Blue

I like all shades of blue and there are a lot of them. The main living areas in our home are painted Windy Blue, which, from now on will make me think of our trip to Key West; it was windy and it was blue.

Just the names of blue shades are nice don't you think? Aquamarine, aqua, cerulean, turquoise, cobalt, midnight, royal and baby--all very wonderful names of which most were represented on our trip. The night sky was the deepest of midnight blue while the water was so varied in shades of blue it is hard to describe using only one term. What's not to like? For my money, I can't think of a thing.

One of the highlights of the Tuesday's drive was a stop at Bahia Honda State Park. Simply wonderful. Windy too! We walked out on the bridge which the link provides details, HOWEVER, I suspect few readers will bother to check it out so I'll say this much about it--Henry Flagler built it as part of the Overseas Railway in 1912. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (interesting that they didn't have names back then) destroyed much of the railway, so the State of Florida converted it for vehicular use. Anyway, what you really need to know is that it is super cool. This is what people do while on top of the bridge:
If you didn't believe me about the wind before, surely you will after seeing this photo Bruce took of me!
Good grief my real hair is dark!! I'm holding on for fear of getting blown away! To stand there and ponder how it must have been in 1912 when Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway was considered one of the wonders of the world was pretty darn awesome.

We wandered around the park enjoying everything we saw. Here's a view that shows how they cut sections out for boat traffic.
Well now--look who's sitting amongst the rocks!!! Wearing blue no less.

Hopping back into the car, onward on US 1 to Key West. One final stop was on our agenda however. Bruce's buddy, Jeff, insisted we stop at MM 18 and eat lunch at Mangrove Mama's. And so we did, eating on the outdoor patio where Bruce tried his first and probably now, not his last, fish taco.
By golly, we finally made it!!!
Paradise indeed. I don't know what kind of tree that is on the right, but happily, there were gobs of them in bloom with that sunny yellow color. We made our way into town to check into our fancy digs for the night. Once there we extended our stay until Friday. The Casa Marina is quite the place, both visually and historically. We kept getting the name mixed up with the Casa Monica where we stayed in St. Augustine! It was one more dream of Henry Flaglers to build a resort for his railroad travelers, although he died before building began in 1921.
Don't go thinking we're that extravagent now because we are not. What we do have (or did) are Hilton points from Bruce's weekly travels! Lucky for us Hilton now owns the Waldorf-Astoria collection right? The grounds were gorgeous, including both hammocks swaying beneath the towering palm trees,
and sand sculptures for your viewing pleasure:
Something to watch out for if one were to venture into the water:
You might also note the rocks lining the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The long dock has steps that let you get into the water where the rocks are not so plentiful. There are actually very few real beaches in the Keys that aren't rocky. At Bahia Honda there is a gorgeous beach, while the other one of any consequence is at Fort Zachary Talyor State Park a few blocks from Duvall Street. Talk about beauty, oh my!!! But I'm getting ahead of myself...... What the heck--a sneak peak of the place:
We walked the few blocks to Duval Street through the adjacent neighborhoods all the while I was looking for photo ops.
After all our traveling we decided to head back to the hotel and hang out at the outdoor bar. Here is where big money comes into play---$12 for a drink. Yikes!!! Although before we left I told Bruce let us not be too frugal, I can't help myself. At those prices I didn't drink much!

Again I arose looking for a great sunrise only to be disappointed. There are worse things in life! We spent the day roaming around in the center of Key West. If you've never been there you cannot imagine how tacky some of the shops are. The sayings on the t-shirts and paraphernalia are atrocious! We had to go into Hog's Breath Saloon to see what it was like and the same goes for Sloppy Joes.
Later on we visited the Hemingway House which was quite interesting. Many of the six-toed cats roamed and slept and they even have their own cat house which is a replica of Hemingway's down to the no air conditioning!
Jeff also told us we must go to Blue Heaven, a famous Key West restaurant which we did for an early dinner. The place is wildly busy with outdoor seating only; I'm terming the look rustic for lack of a better word. The empty chair at Bruce's table is adjacent to a gigantic banyan tree. Good thing I'm a bit of a tiny thing.
Another famous Key West sight are the roaming chickens and at Blue Heaven there were plenty, walking about amongst the tables and roosting overhead.
As in right over our heads!! The food was absolutely scrumptious and we discovered first hand why it is so popular. Walking back to our car we were feeling a bit weary, however, the night was not completely over just yet because we found that the tire warning light was on as we were driving away--never a welcome sight.

Bruce found a place that fixes scooters, of which there are tons and tons all over downtown, and asked if he might fill his tire. The folks were very accommodating and we hoped that would be the end of that.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story......
Gail
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