The Best Seat In The House!

All I can say is WOW! This is one AWESOME VIEW! Some things speak for themselves… simply put, this is the BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! With that said, I give you my shortest blog to date.

This oceanside park bench can be found on the southeastern end of the island across from the East Martello Tower Museum.

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Key’s Alternative Energy Center

IMG_1581When you think of our nations alternative energy initiative you don’t think of Key West. So where do you think you’d find the Alternative Energy Center in the Florida Keys? Well, you darn sure would never think of a High School in Key West! In this case that’s exactly where you’d find it!

From Biodiesel to wind turbines this schools does it all. Painted on the outside of the schools Alternative Energy Center are a number of different depictions including several nationally recognized awards listed upon its walls. What’s your local high school doing about alternative energy?

Here’s how to find this ‘Go Green’ High School. The school is located on the corner of Flagler Avenue & Bertha Street with your needed entrance on Bertha. Drive around the back of the school to the entrance beside the outdoor roller hockey arena and head to the baseball field.

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Got Kids? Marathon’s Fantastic Childrens Park

It’s feels GREAT to blog every once in a while about something totally dedicated to enriching the lives of our children. As a father of four (3 boys with families of their own and a 18-year-old daughter), I’ve spent countless pleasurable hours at parks smiling and laughing watching them swing and slide over all the years as they’ve each grown up.

Here’s one of those places that kids dream of! You name it and it has it, everything from standard swings & marry-go-rounds to suspended bridges, a Thomas The Train look-alike to a full size shark in its sand box (seen below).

What a blessing for children and us parents. If you’re heading to Key West for the weekend and you have children please reserve no less than 30 minutes for your kids to explore and thoroughly enjoy. This park sits just over halfway down the Keys and is a perfect rest stop for a picnic.

Amazing Factoid: This incredible children’s park ‘Field Of Dreams’ was built by hundreds of local volunteers in only FIVE DAYS during November 2001! Job well done!

You too can find this tantalizing fun spot for our young ones at the City Of Marathon’s Rotary Children’s Park at Mile Marker 51.1 on US-1 oceanside.

         

    

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Welcome To Thompson’s Island… Sorry, I Meant Key West!

untitledUpon return of a friends visit from Key West he asked me about Thompson’s Island to which I responded “Where’s that?”. He then replied “That’s the prior name of Key West”. Since he shares the same last name as the former island I asked “Does that make it your island now?” as in staking a claim. 🙂 I actually found it quite intriguing and said “I see a future blog coming out of this!” That future is now… thanks J. Thompson!

Here’s the scoop on the establishment of Thompson’s Island now called Key West: On March 25, 1822, Lt. Commander, Matthew Perry, sailed the schooner Shark to Key West and planted the U.S. flag, claiming the Keys as United States property. No protests were made over the American claim so Perry renamed Cayo Hueso (Key West) to “Thompson’s Island” for Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson. Luckily for us the name never stuck. There you have it, knowing more about Key West’s prior name than you ever wanted to know.

Wow, seeing the postcard below, it’s hard to fathom that they almost said ‘Greetings From Thompson’s Island Florida, Southernmost City In The USA’. Hmmm, I like Key West better! 🙂

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Florida Key’s New Emergency Warning Sirens

Is this the Florida Keys newest tourist attraction? Maybe not, but it is one of the Florida Keys newest additions! But what is it?

From out of nowhere I could see it rising above the surrounding trees, it can’t be a power pole it’s too tall. Getting out of my car and walking towards the sky-scrapping pole my neck and eyes peered upward to what appeared to be a super-sized speaker. (seen below in a super close-up photo)

Using myself as a gauge (seen above), I can tell that this stands nearly 52′ tall into the Florida sky. At its base a sign reads: ‘WHEN YOU HEAR THIS EMERGENCY WARNING SIREN, TUNE TO YOUR LOCAL RADIO OR TV STATION AT ONCE FOR INFORMATION’.  Awesome, except for one thing, who is it going to warn… the gators! 🙂 This siren points out into the Everglades on a road where no one lives for miles and as you can see by the photo nothing what so ever around.

You can find this ‘Emergency Waring Siren’ in the middle of nowhere at the mouth of the Florida Keys. At Mile Marker 127.6 on US-1 turn onto Card Sound Road and head east where you’ll see not one but two sirens at .6 miles and another at 3.5 miles, both will be on your left. (sorry, there’s no mile markers on this road)

    

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Sharing A Beach With Sea Turtles

IMG_0890Ever shared a silver-sand beach with sea turtles? Well here you can… from of distance that is! Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles nest in these sands during the day instead of at night as all other sea turtles do.

Look at one of the photos below, you can see that the red-colored walkway has lightened sections that from afar look non-disscript. Now look at the up close picture as a miniature turtle comes into focus.

Who knows, depending on the time of year you visit, you might actually be on the beach at the same time as turtles!

You can find these tiny embedded images of sea turtles just off US-1 at Mile Marker 50.1 oceanside along beautiful Sombrero Beach. Turn on Sombrero Beach Road and drive down 2 miles on your left. Parking and beach access are FREE.

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Conch Shell Cutie!

How cool is this! We had stopped by to get my long-awaited photo with the ‘Pink Ape’ made famous by Adam Richmond on one of the episodes of the Travel Channel’s Man-V-Food Nation. We were then approached by a gentlemen coming out of the store in the background who said “You ought to get a picture of her laying down in the conch shell!” And so we did! Boys, this is my ‘Conch Shell Cutie’, I suggest you head on down the Keys and photograph one of your own! 🙂

You can find this goliath sized conch shell sitting exactly beside the pink ape at Mile Marker 53.9 oceanside in front of Fred’s Beds on US-1 in Marathon.

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Lighthouse With A View

IMG_1863  Some things in life need no explanations at ALL. Let me tell you; “Standing at the top of an inland lighthouse looking over the entire city of Key West is one of them!” 🙂 You just simply ENJOY it!

You can find Key West’s historic inland lighthouse at 938 Whitehead Street across from Ernest Hemingway’s House. Entrance fee per person $10, children 6 and under $5. That’s as hard as it gets! 🙂

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The Rip Off Shop

The Rip Off Shop

I simply call this one ‘Honesty in Advertising’! If you shop here, you will get ripped off and I LOVE IT! I call it as I see it and this is indeed a clever concept in naming your business. I’ve always enjoyed hearing of and seeing a business taking advantage of their similarities or multiple meanings of words such as the Hockey Store called ‘Puck You!’. I can only think of one funnier named business that I’ve ever seen, in the city of Big Dam the junk was correct in calling itself ‘Big Dam Mess’… how awesome is that! 🙂

You too can find and photograph this uniquely named self-proclaimed Rip Off Shop at Mile Marker 52.7 on the left hand side of US-1 heading south in the town of Marathon. This of course is FREE and will only cost you the 2-minutes of pulling over and capturing your memory and a good giggle!

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K-Mart’s Oceanic Mural

Wow, how beautiful is this! Probably the WIDEST oceanic mural in the Florida Keys! I’d venture to say that it’s one of the most ornately painted K-Mart stores in the entire country! Believe it or not, it’s in our own backyard at Mile Marker 50.1 oceanside on US-1.

YOU CAN’T MISS this oceanic wonder on the left hand side of the road as you drive thru the beautiful city of Marathon heading south. Stop and enjoy this painted splendor, it’s a good stopping point almost half way down the Keys for a photo and stretching your legs. This is well worth 5-minutes of your time and of course it’s FREE!

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