Ragged Edge Shark Sign

IMG_1386There’s a number of fiberglass photo-op shark replicas throughout the Florida Keys, this is not intended as such. I’m not quite sure what a shark has to do with the Ragged Edge Motel but it does make a GREAT looking sign that absolutely stands out as you’re driving by! Can’t miss it even if you wanted to.

Oh yeah, the motel itself is just as gorgeous as the sign is… we’ve gotten our prices and will return for a weekend in our oceanfront room.

You can find the Ragged Edge Motel at Mile Marker 86.8 oceanside by turning onto Treasure Harbor Drive (unmarked) and wiggling down the road .3 miles on the left.

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Dinghy Boat Dock

Dinghy Dock

Key West’s Dinghy Boat Dock… I call it ‘Dinky Boat Dock’ since that’s exactly as you can see pulls up to dock here. There is a fee to park your personal dinghy so close to one of Key West’s most populated tourist areas of Harbor Walk. You can dock here by the hour or by the day… don’t try to cheat either, it is patrolled.

I’ve reported so many times on Harbor Walk for a great reason. It’s full of things to do and see along with incredible dining choices including Turtle Kraals Restaurant seen at the end of the Dinghy Dock shown in this photo. So if you have a personal watercraft and are in need of a place to park your pint size floating device then you’ve found it here at Harbor Walks Dinghy Dock. Harbor Walk is located on the southwestern portion of the island about 3 blocks north of Duval Street.


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Color or Colour… We’ve Got It!

Lime Tree Food Mart

The envelope please… This years winner of the most colorful building in Key West goes to the Lime Tree Food Mart! Believe me, there is no runner-up to this stand out… and WOW does it stand out!

You can find this multi-colored delight of a site just one block west of Key West High School on Flagler Avenue. I’d tell you on what side of the road but that would be pointless… YOU’RE NOT GOING TO MISS IT! Oh yeah, when you take your souvenir photo I have one piece of advice for you… RUN as fast as you can! 🙂 Upon taking mine, I was approached by the owner asking why I was taking a photo of the store. He’s VERY nice and approved of the photo after sharing it with him. Have fun seeing it and enjoy its beautiful rainbow paint job. So ‘COLOR’ or ‘COLOUR’ no matter how you spell it, we’ve got it for you here in the eye-catching Florida Keys!

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Time To Be Schooled On Murals!

IMG_1616Yet another beautiful mural found in the Florida Keys, its location though may surprise you!

Most all of the murals throughout the entire Keys are painted on businesses of all kinds including a K-Mart, scuba dive shops, veterinary clinic, restaurants, boat storage facility, tourist information centers, and many other privately run businesses. This however is none of the above, this my friends is found on a government funded high school! Yes mi amigos, Marathon High School proudly displays this beautifully painted mural upon their front wall for all to see. So kudos for being different Marathon High, you fit right into the Florida Keys laidback unique take on life!

You can find this schoolhouse mural at Mile Marker 50.1 on US-1 oceanside. Turn onto Sombrero Beach Road heading down about .9 tenths of a mile where you’ll see it on the left.

OK, here’s common sense rule # 101 🙂 that states: Since being a school, you should plan your visit for either before or after what would be considered regular school hours or on a weekend.


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Let’s Go Sponging!

Key West has a long history of sponge diving… ok, stop here, it’s actually called ‘sponge fishing’. The history of our nations sponge industry began in the early 19th century here in the small settlement of Key West.

The sponges were first found on beach shores after storms and used for domestic purposes only long before the selling & warehousing of this sea-soft absorbent wonder. In 1849 a small shipment of sponges were shipped to New York where they quickly sold out and the business exploded thereon for decades to come. At one time nearly 100% of sponges in the USA came from Key West and its 350 ship fleet & 1,400 local workers. Though the industry faded into history along with turtle harvesting, with the help of the Civil Works Administration sponging resurfaced during the depression era (1930’s) but never regained prominence as a principle industry. Here at the Old Sponge Warehouse is where the sea harvest was stored during the industries short-lived revival.

The can’t miss aqua 2-story building now stands among newer homes on either side of it but can be distinguished by its own sign as seen in the photo to the left. Key West’s Old Sponge Warehouse can be found near the corners of  James Street & Margaret Street just 2 blocks east of Harbor Walk.

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A Round Tree Branch… Freak OF Nature?

Is this oddity a freak of nature, genetic hybrid or the beginnings of a Disney World topiary characters sculpted from a bush? Have you ever in your life seen a ROUND tree branch?

This small tree sits nearly alone only feet away from a pond and is impossible to miss. Upon seeing this from a distance I was nothing less than astounded as I hurried toward my prized photo. Being inside a Botanical Garden I already expected the unexpected but never this!

As I got closer I could see that the branch was almost perfectly round wondering how could that be? Standing only feet away you could finally tell that something wasn’t right about this lone growing tree. I couldn’t resist in touching the tree to find out what it was either petrified or bronze… my little brain said bronze. It was in fact a man-made sculpture without a sign. 😦 I was actually hoping that it was in some way real. Oh well, either way, it’s TOO cool!

You can find this artists rendition of nature gone awry at the Key West Botanical Garden on College Road by turning off of US-1 at Mile Marker 4.3 just before crossing the bridge onto the main island of Key West.

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Oops, Forgot Wife!

Got wife? If so, you better make sure she’s with you in the family camper or car before leaving a fun-filled weekend of camping! 🙂 Look closely at the yellow ‘Check List’ sign: Antenna Down, Steps Up, Sewer Cap On, Wife In Car!

I love humorous signs and this one falls right in there along with another yellow road sign spotted in the Keys that read “Children, They Taste Like Chicken”.

You can find this oddity photo-op just off of US-1 South at Mile Marker 20.0 oceanside. Turn onto road 939B and head into the KOA Kampground finding the sign at the campsites main entrances exit lane.

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Police Badge Found By Fountain

IMG_1564Finding neat, exciting and different oddities by accident is a very rewarding part of my job. Many times I’ll see a sign, marker, statue or plaque (as in this one), take a photo without ever reading it till getting home knowing that if it’s not blog-worthy material it can simply be deleted. This on the other hand surprised me upon enlarging the commemorative plaque.

I found a Key West Police Officer’s badge none like any other I’d run across mounted above a plaque in front of a fountain. This stand-alone badge made me take note, think and contemplate its message. I’ll let you do the same. Here’s what’s inscribed:

Behind this badge you will meet strength and truth.

Behind this badge you will meet honor and compassion.

Behind this badge you will meet mothers, fathers, sisters, and sons.

Behind this badge you will meet the men and women of the Key West Police Department.

You too can find this Key West Police Officer’s badge and plaque in front of the main entrance to the Key West Police Department at 1600 North Roosevelt Boulevard.


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Robert The Doll

Robert The Doll

Here’s a famous local Ghost Tale for you! Robert the Doll was once owned by Key West painter Robert Eugene Otto. The doll allegedly cursed has become a fixture of local ghost tours and featured on TV’s Travel Channel for America’s Most Haunted.

Eugene was given the doll in 1904 by a servant who was skilled in black magic & voodoo. Soon afterwards it became clear that there was something eerie about the doll. Eugene’s parents often heard him talking to the doll and the doll appeared to be talking back. Although at first they assumed that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice, they later believed that the doll was actually speaking. Neighbors claimed to see the doll moving from window to window when the family was out. The Otto family swore that sometimes the doll would emit a terrifying giggle and that they caught glimpses of it running from room to room. In the night Eugene would scream, and when his parents ran to the room they would find furniture knocked over and Eugene in bed, looking incredibly scared, telling them that “Robert did it!”.When Eugene died in 1972, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought again. The new family’s ten-year old girl became Robert’s new owner. It was not long before the girl began screaming out in the night, claiming that Robert moved about the room and even attack her.

The doll made an appearance at a paranormal convention in Clearwater, Florida in 2008 making it the first time ever leaving Key West in 105 years. Be aware and heed this warning: If you wish to take a picture of him, you must ask Robert politely or the doll will curse you and your family. Along with the doll, you will find letters written to him including one from former President George Bush. The 1988 American slasher movie Child’s Play, was inspired by Robert the Doll. (True, look it up!)

You can find Robert The Doll at the East Martello Tower Museum in Key West on the southeast portion of town for a $6 fee.



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Garden -or- Cemetery?

IMG_0209Though from a distance it looks like a pet cemetery, I assure you it’s NOT! Upon closer inspection it turns out to be the only one of its kind I’ve seen in the Florida Keys! It’s actually a local seafood restaurant’s own herb garden. Now how’s that for FRESH! “I’ll have the blackened Mahi-Mahi garnished with some of those weeds I saw in your garden outside!” 🙂 OK, they wouldn’t appreciate that too much!

So, I ask you my loyal readers, “Does your local seafood restaurant have its own herb garden?”… I bet 99.9% of you answered with a resounding “No!”. Well this one does and that makes it unique enough to be Florida Keys blog-worthy… besides, “IT LOOKS LIKE A PET CEMETERY… and those are always cool!”. 🙂

You can find this stand-alone herb garden at Snapper’s restaurant at Mile Marker 94.8 oceanside. Turn onto Ocean View Boulevard driving about 1/4 mile to Seaside Avenue where you’ll see the restaurant directly in front of you. Parking is FREE and so are the astounding views from their back BAR! 🙂


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