Picturesque Mangrove Swamp Deck

Grab a brew, sit down and enjoy the view of the Gulf of Mexico with such unique surroundings. Normally seen offshore and afar, here’s your chance for an up close and personal visit with these picturesque saltwater thriving foliage. Remember to bring your camera!

Once considered useless, the many values of mangroves are now evident. A variety of wildlife finds food and shelter in the mangroves. Their roots help stabilize the shoreline and also filter pollutants. Graceful long-legged wading birds build tree-top nests in their branches.

You can find this beautiful photograph setting of mangrove swamp and dock across the parking lot of the World Wide Sportsman store at Mile Marker 81.4 bayside on US-1.

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History Of Valentine’s Day

heartHAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Do you know how and why Valentine’s Day came about? I do and now you will too! 🙂

The most popular martyrology associated with Valentine’s was a Christian saint named Valentinus that was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed (others say fell in love with) the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote a letter to her that included the words “From Your Valentine” an expression still used today.

The day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering candies, and sending greeting cards (known as “Valentines“). Today’s Valentine’s Day symbols include hearts, doves, and winged Cupids.

Isn’t it GREAT to be just a wee bit smarter today! Now go and impress your mate by showing your knowledge of this most romantically evolved day of the year!

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Giant Human Birdcage

Does someone in your vacation party need a timeout? If so, here’s where you take them! 🙂

Oddities like this are always a great photo-op! Take this picture back to show your friends, I promise you’ll laugh each time you look at it in the future. I’ve passed this a number of times in the past always saying I’ll come back to it later yet never had until today. There was another couple there before us that obviously had the same idea, they snapped their best Saturday morning Tweety Bird cartoon pose and pulled out of the parking lot within minutes. There’s never a line, it’s FREE and always a blast to let loose for a few moments taking that unique souvenir photo. Tweet-Tweet my friends! 🙂

You can find this human birdcage at the corner of Truman & Watson located in the dead center of Key West where you too can act like Robin Williams in the 1997 big screen Hollywood comedy Birdcage.

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Airport Bar’s Historic Photo Wall

It’s a pictorial BONANZA and feast for your eyes! This is one of Key West’s best photo exhibits open to the public and FREE! You can easily spend 30 to 45 minutes just looking at the pictures on this one wall alone! There are plenty other photos around the bar that are equally worth your time once here. Get ready to see some of Key West’s one-of-a-kind historical pictures only found here for all to admire.

Oh yeah, while here check out the bar stool legs that are shaped into airplane propeller replicas along with an actual propeller protruding from the main bar’s mirror (both seen below). This is an excellent side trip addition to anyones Key West adventure for seeing something other than beaches, Duval Street, & Southernmost Buoy.

You can find this spectacular photographic history of Key West on display inside the Conch Flyer Bar located at Key West International Airport’s departure terminal.

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Unique Mailboxes Of The Keys (part #3)

Too cool! All were found just driving around! The Florida Keys are full of a diverse assortment of mailboxes throughout its entire 128 mile stretch. Seen here are three such examples of unique approaches to receiving your US Postal snail mail. They include a caboose replica of the Islamorada welcome center, a symbolic dolphin family frolicking among the waves, and the most unusual (my favorite) for this blog is an undersea diver complete with vintage brass helmet, diving suit and heavy weighted boots.

You can find these and thousands of others on your next trip to Key West both on US-1 and its side roads.

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Patriotic Street Corner Buoy

IMG_9591Does your street corner have a big red, white & blue painted buoy marking it? Believe it or not this one does! 🙂 The Florida Keys never ceases to amaze me, you never know what you’ll find!

Most people give directions to identify where to turn at a particular house or mailbox… not here, this is impossible to drive by without eyeballing (or laughing at it). 🙂 If you can’t tell, its blue base is nothing more than a tire rim which reminds me of one of those Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck if… ” jokes! 🙂

You can find this… oh let’s say “Unique” street corner oddity (to say the least) at Mile Marker 58.2 on US-1 by turning bayside onto Guava Ave. and going to its first corner Crains Street. I promise, you CAN’T miss it… NO ONE CAN!

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Road & Ferry Marker

I wish I could set up a video camera to see how many people per day (IF ANY) stop along the side of the road to read this 3 ft. x 3 ft. white stone with a plague on it… my educated quess would be a grand total of ONLY ME! 🙂 I’ve NEVER seen a single person looking at it EVER!!!!!

This Road & Ferry Marker sits about 12 ft off the main road US-1 southbound against some hedges and is nearly impossible to see as you travel by the gas station & hardware store across the street. It reads: “In April, 1926 Monroe County began construction of a road on the east end of Upper Matecumbe Key to connect with other islands. It eventually made it possible to drive to Key West by using a ferry. The first car drove to Key West on January 25th, 1928 by boarding a ferry here at todays Boy Scout Sea Base and crossing 40 miles of water to No Name Key. Later the ferry docked at Grassy Key, traveling by road to the west end of todays Marathon. From there a ferry crossed to No Name Key. It was on the morning of March 29, 1938 that the daughter of the Cuban Council cut the ribbon opening the road without the ferries by using the widened railway bridges. A toll booth was erected here to collect $1 for car and driver and 25 cents for each additional passenger. The toll was removed in 1954.” Wow, how neat! It’s hard for us to fathom, think about it, the only way to travel to Key West until 1938 was by boat or train and before September 22nd, 1912 (train’s debut) it was ONLY accessible by boat!

You can find this FREE overlooked historical marker at Mile Marker 73.8 on the bayside of US-1.

    

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