A Bad Mad Rocky Road!

A Bad Mad Rocky Road!I love stores, businesses & road signs with funny, weird & different names. There are many of these type signs along the 127 mile trek to Key West.

This collection of three off-the-wall street name signs is not from the entire US-1 south… oh no, these can be found on ONE road only a half mile long. Get all three of these in less than 5 minutes driving down the road and turning back getting on US-1 again.

You can find Bad George Road, Mad Bob Road & Rocky Road across from Sugarloaf Elementary School on Sugarloaf Key at Mile Marker 19.4 by turning right on Crane Boulevard heading south on US-1. It’s worth the few minute side trip to snap a couple of photos and show your friends.

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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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‘Florida Keys’ Big Chair

IMG_2971Welcome to the FIRST ‘Big Chair’ in the Florida Keys! And yes, its pastel painted sunset even says ‘Florida Keys’. So if you’re driving south, this is in fact the very first of many big chairs you’ll encounter along your journey to Key West.

Believe me, there’s a number of these type of BIG chair photo-ops located throughout the Florida Keys. This is unique only in the sense that it says ‘Florida Keys’ which makes a great addition to any vacation photo album.

You can find this ‘Florida Keys’ big chair photo-op at Mile Marker 106.7 on US-1 bayside in front of the Key Largo Visitor Center.

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Paddleboarding The Keys

IMG_3141Here’s something different that I’d say most of us have never done before! Though not everyone’s cup of tea, it might be just what you’re looking for to do on vacation in the Florida Keys.

Paddleboarding is a growing type of adventure exploring on water that can be done alone or in groups as the photo below depicts. It’s really simple to explain in laymen’s terms: It’s surfing with no waves using a canoe paddle while trying to keep your balance! 🙂 Have fun, it looks too much like exercise to me! 🙂

Though there’s many paddleboarding rental companies throughout our paradise, here’s directions to this particular one. When arriving on the island of Key West via US-1 South, turn left on to South Roosevelt Blvd/A1A. The Coconut Mallory Resort & Marina condo sits only 3/4 of a mile on the left across from Flagler Avenue. Walk to the very back to the ‘Boathouse Bar’ and place your order for two beers and two boards as we would! 🙂

IMG_3142     supatx_lakerider4

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Iron Maiden

No, not the British heavy metal rock band formed in 1975 ‘Iron Maiden’. No, not the torture device associated with the Middle Ages ‘Iron Maiden’. The made of steel temptress of the sea Darrell Hanna wanna-be from the movie Splash ‘Iron Maiden’.

You can find this waterfront ‘Iron Maiden’ metal mermaid spending her days sunbathing on the shore in the Key West Botanical Garden at Mile Marker 4.3 bayside on College Road.

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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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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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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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Key West’s Outdoor Candlelight Vigil

I’ve seen hundreds of these around the world from Moscow, Russia to Rome, Italy… but, they’ve always been indoors.

Here in the heart of Key West is yet another first for me, an outdoor candlelight vigil area complete with stone kneeling pew alters for praying. A bit of advice, bring a towel, the uneven jagged surface is not kneeling friendly!

Way too cool, save a few minutes out of your next visit to see Key West’s one-of-a-kind outside candlelight vigil. Once here I’m sure you’ll want to expand your timeframe since you’ll be within feet of SOOOOOOOOO many other fantastic religious related wonders.

See these and more at the St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church Gardens located behind and to the side of their activity building at the corner of Truman Avenue & Windsor Lane.

    

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