Mallory Square’s Open-Air Market

Here’s one of Key West’s largest open air markets. If you like to souvenir shop then this collection of old-timey wheeled gift carts is where you want to head. I’m sorry, if you’re going to Key West then at one point or another you’ll come across this tourist shopping district I promise!

I assure you that all your tourist knickknacks can be sought out here and distributed to your family and friends upon returning home. Everything and I mean everything can be had here, from the smallest treasure coin, key chain, oceanic sponge, t-shirts, mugs, postcards to a smorgasbord of products containing key limes are all competing for your hard-earned money.

Located in the second most famous part of town, only behind Duval Street, Mallory Square is a cinch in claiming the rightful ‘I’m almost #1’ title. Only two blocks removed from the reining champ, Mallory Square is best known for its spectacular but over crowed sunsets.

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Spectacular Sunset Park!

Nothing less than AWESOME! And YES, that’s the parks real name! Sunset Park lives up to its name and then some. This is a corner lot in a subdivision that someone had the fortitude to purchase and donate to the city.

Sandwiched between two million dollar properties is this prime oceanfront real estate waiting for the daily rush of patrons to line its shore. I predict that your expectations will be surpassed in viewing the ritual hand painted pastel paradise upon the horizon. Take your time and be sure to arrive early taking full advantage of the other beautiful sites within its confines.

To find this hidden sunset haven head south on US-1 to Key Colony Beach turning left at Mile Marker 53.5 on Sadowski Causeway. Once on Sadowski go down to the first right following it to the big curve and there she’ll be on your left.

    

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I Found A 7 Ft. Tall Pelican!

IMG_3124So where in the Florida Keys can you find a six to seven foot tall welded pelican?

This schools mascot is nothing less than a spectacular work of art. Seen from the street is impressive, but up close and personal you can see the ultra intricate patterns and carving details in its wings, feathers and three foot long beak.

Well worth a two minute swing by to check it out. Being a school, time your visit before school, after school or anytime over the weekend.

You can find this pelican welded mascot standing in front of the Poinciana Elementary School at 1407 Kennedy Drive in Key West.

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Does Your Restaurant Have A Swimming Pool?

Dante’s Restaurant Swimming Pool

Does your restaurant have a swimming pool? This one does!

Here at 951 Caroline Street is a  place where the not so serious tourists go, the ones who pass up a daytime visit to the Southernmost Buoy in order to sleep-in for the next 2AM band & beerfest! (wow, I just described me when I was younger) 🙂

In Key West this party playground is called Dante’s Restaurant & Raw Bar and is packed with mostly college aged patrons with a beer in one hand while secretly seeking out their party partner for the evening. Look close and you can see the beer bottles & plastic cups all around the pools edge and in the hands of a number on inner pool dwellers. What a sight, a bar with a pool… that’s basically what it is, the restaurant portion is limited with pool side tables and a live band. Let’s be honest, these future world & business leaders aren’t here for the renowned shrimp or rib eye, they’re here to connect with friends and party. Reminds me of a midnight swim of mine in Auburn when 6 of us… wait.. I better not go there! 🙂 It’s FREE for patrons of the bar so bring your camera and swimming trunks.

You’ll find this spectacle at the northernmost point of Harbor Walk. So I ask you again, “Does your restaurant have a swimming pool… THIS ONE DOES!”

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Key Colony’s Ice Fountain

Key Colony’s Ice Fountain! Deep inside the warmth of the Florida Keys, you too can see this incredible shimmering daily spectacle. Appearing nightly for only minutes, this astounding illusion is truly a sight to be seen.

I love finding topics and photos totally by accident, this being one of them. Park bound at the end of our 3hr bike ride, we turned the corner just as the sun was nearing the top of the trees. We couldn’t help noticing the eye-popping image as the sun’s beams illuminated the flowing water into what appeared as glimmering icicles. I yelled out “Oh My Gosh! Look at that!” pointing to the fountain as we steered our bikes into position.

Here’s how you too can be in the right place at the right time! Key Colony City Hall is the home of this brilliant photographic prize, capture your own ‘Ice Fountain’ on your next visit. Remember, timing is everything, so time it 10 to 15 minutes before sunset. On US-1 turn at Mile Marker 53.5 oceanside onto Sadowski Causeway, go down to the big curve and on the right sits City Hall.

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Mallory Square Historic Marker

Welcome to the historic Mallory Square marker. Though it’s within the square, it’s still very easily missed being flanked by bushes.

The Mallory Square Area was the hub of Key West’s Wrecking industry in the 19th century. It includes warehouses where salvage from ships wrecked on the reef were stored and auctioned. Named for Stephen Mallory who left the United States Senate to become Secretary of the Navy for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.

Here’s a little known fact that’ll win you a bar bet: Even though Stephen Mallory was the Secretary of the Navy for the Confederate States of America and stationed in Key West, the Civil War Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West remained in northern Yankee hands during the ENTIRE Civil War!

Mallory Square is known worldwide for its celebration of sunset and the hub of the city’s tourism industry. Maps available upon request in the former Tift’s Ice House now known as the Shell Warehouse.

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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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