I love finding brand new interesting things to see and do in the Florida Keys totally by accident. On my way last weekend to take photographs of the Blue Hole I saw this stop-me-in-my-tracks montage while heading back to US-1.
For too many people the number 13 is unlucky, but to these modern-day iconic heroes that number signifies the love they have for our country and being lucky enough to live in this nation we call the United State Of America. Here on Big Pine Key you’ll find the Monroe County Fire Station #13. As you can see in the photo to the left, the fire station’s outer wall is ornately designed with a beautiful richly colored paintings, mosaics & plaques. The palm tree plaque on the left is a beauty in itself, but the true American Hero proudly serving his country is the focal point for me. Don’t think for a moment that the flag is painted, no chance, those are tri-colored glass tiles in the shape of our nations flag.
This was a real find, my uncle who himself is a retired Monroe County firemen, finding this makes me respect & appreciate what he did even more in serving his city, county, state & nation! I hope that you too know a firemen either current or retired somewhere that you can share this photo with. It’s twice as stunning in person believe you me! Oh yeah, the doorway leading into the office further to the right is worth a photo for your collection too!
You can find the Fire Station-sensation worth a view at Mile Marker 30.4 on US-1 south and then turning right onto Key Deer Blvd. and going down .4 miles on the left. Enjoy and remember, these men and women risk their lives everyday to save ours no matter the circumstance!
This U-shaped tree has been begging me to stop and photograph it on every trip down here for years now… well, todays that day!
This is one of those WOW’s that stick out like a sore thumb as you pass by at 45 MPH yet never take time to stop for. On this day we finally did for some fun-type photos seen below. U-can’t miss this awesome U-shaped tree sitting only 10′ from the roads edge, all you have to do is STOP!
U-can find this oddity of nature U-shaped tree tempting your vacation’s fun senses at Mile Marker 105.0 at the corner of Marlin Avenue & US-1′s southbound lane before the Pet Hotel.
Here’s one that stands out among your standard oceanfront homes! Reminiscent to an out-of-this-world spaceship that ET, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, or Will Smith’s Men In Black saga would have used comes this one-of-a-kind unique home.
Despite the years… ok decades of traveling the Keys it seems an endless abundance of new sites keep coming to our attention. I’ve passed this 1,000′s of times without seeing it, I had always payed attention to the only remaining drawbridge in the Florida Keys. This time however, my wife spotted it out of the corner of her eye as we noted our location to return upon our way home. Shown below is the view from the bridge with the spaceship shaped home in the upper right corner. If you’re adventuress and willing to take an extra 5-minutes, you can wind your way down the side roads to get a closer look. If ET’s home, tell him to “Phone Home!”.
There’s three other futuristic homes on your way down the Keys. Check out and add these three previous blogs to what I hope is your ever-growing list of must see items! The 5-Sided Futuristic Home, Marathon’s Space Domes, & Tent Shaped Home.
You can find ET’s Mushroom Spaceship House by safely pulling over at Mile Marker 85.8 on US-1 and looking towards the Gulf Of Mexico… you can’t miss it!
This historic photo shows Key West as the “Birthplace of INTERNATIONAL FLYING”. It credits the Aero Marine Airways being the first to fly from Key West, USA to Havana, Cuba in 1919. The first passenger flight however is credited to Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1927 also from Key West, USA to Havana, Cuba.
The sign pictured reads: “Birthplace of International Flying. Aero Marine Airways started here in 1919 with three small flying boats, Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. Flying between Key West and Havana. Radios of those days being large and cumbersome were discarded in favor of carrier pigeons.” Hmm, “Yes co-pilot, turn off our navigational system, I’ve already released the carrier pigeons!”
While little is known about Aero Marine Airways, Pan Am on the other hand was the principal US international air carrier from the late 1920′s until its collapse on December 4, 1991. Founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail (contract with the U.S.Postal Service) and passenger service operating between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba (Flight#1 on Oct. 28, 1927) the airline became a major company credited with many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets, and computerized reservation systems. Identified by its blue globe logo and the use of the word “Clipper” in aircraft name, the airline was a cultural icon of the 20th century!
You can find this spectacular photographic history of the United States “First International Flight” on display inside the Conch Flyer Bar located at Key West International Airport’s departure terminal.
Even though they look painted on, the colors on the trunk are entirely natural. The Rainbow Eucalyptus doesn’t have a thick wooden cork-like bark as an Oak or Pine tree. Instead, its bark is smooth and vibrantly alive as it grows until shedding its outer layers. The shedding process (officially called exfoliation) occurs differently throughout the tree’s trunk revealing a fresh new bright green bark.
As the tree slowly ages, it changes from bright green to a darker green, then bluish to purplish and to pink-orange, finally the color is a brownish maroon right before shedding. Since the shedding occurs on different parts of the trunk at any one time, the colors are varied and constantly changing. The tree will never have the same pattern twice making it a work of living art. There’s a great color chart at the base of the tree showing all of its beautiful colors at their best.
You can find this amazingly beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus tree for FREE at Mile Marker 99.5 bayside beside of the original Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen sign. While here, look to your right behind Mrs. Mac’s and check out the incredible 3D Shark Mural blogged on earlier.