(Pic of Fort Lauderdale Beach... I had to put it in...)
I know of a few bloggers that had jumped from key to key crossed inlets and seas to reach Key West. I did twice in the past few weeks. The true beauty of the ride is when one gets past south Miami, Homestead, and Florida City.
The turquoise and white extension bridge carries you to the first key... Key Largo. The 70's song played in my head for miles "We had it all .... Just like Boggie and Bacall ... playing in our own Late Late show... sailing away to Key Largo ..."
How the lyrics haunted me during the drive through the first and largest key. As the traffic thins arriving to the next key, the crystal, sea foam green water streaked with vibrant violet, greets the weary driver with almost a shocking display. It torments and teases you, knowing you can't stop to admire its beauty, but the glimpses out of the corners of your eyes is enough to feast upon.
Each key is a jewel. Many are nothing more that a few stunning homes caressed by the emerald green seas. It takes some time to finally make it to Isla Mirada: a group of keys, which are more commercialized with many hotels, restaurants, shops, and even a Starbucks...
In the lower keys the shades of blues, greens, and violets blend together seamlessly with the periwinkle blue skies dotted with a streak of white cotton. Could an image be any more perfect? Perhaps, but the drive is not over yet.
Another hour or so, the Marathon chain of keys pops into view. By this point the driver longs to reach their destination. Too much of the same isn't a good thing, but the prize awaits and the driver is patient.
As one approaches the seven mile bridge, the excitement returns and once again the seas captivate and seduce the senses more than anyone could imagine.
Key West is close now. As the driver approaches more commercialize properties litter the landscape. Fifties architecture dominates mixed with new construction. Is this Hemingway's Key West?
No, not at all, but it's the Key West that the driver sees until he arrives into Old Town... Ah, now that's worth the wait.
Thankfully it takes only a moment to arrive in Old Town. Charming historic homes, many turned into guest houses, are painted in pastel colors with white gingerbread trim. If one travels to Key West this is the area to reside in. Thankfully my final destination was smack in the center of Old Town.
At this point the driver should LEAVE the car and continue on foot. Weaving through the quaint narrow streets, the visitor feels like you entered a different era. Most homes for the 1800's are lovingly preserved. Guests sitting on front porches wave to new friends strolling by. A light a carefree time awaits all who cross over into this tropical paradise ...
As a writer I thought it was important to paint the scene with words, now for those of you who are screaming for pics, here they are ... enjoy .... Make that frozen cocktail and dream about sitting under the swaying palms this weekend and have a wonderful time.