Southernmost Hospitality, FREE Ice-Cold Water!

IMG_1815I found this to be most original and unique to say the least! A 24-7 FREE ice-cold water by the cup or bowl.

Southernmost hospitality is still alive in the Florida Keys. At anytime during the day or night you can stop by and get your FREE cup of ice-cold drinking water while passing by walking your dog,  your daily jog, running errands, or simply driving past as a tourist heading further down the Keys.

If you look closely you can see the little cone-shaped paper cups middle ways up on the featured photo just beside the yellow Igloo cooler that holds the water. As an extra bonus, this also dispenses refreshing liquid for your four-legged friends in the bottom right hand corner of the same photo. So if you have two legs or four this hot weather remedy stop is for you.

You can find this FREE ice-cold water at Mile Marker 88.5 on US-1 in the parking lot of Forest Tek Lumber Company.

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Rainbow Row Homes

Rainbow Row Homes (4 of the 8)

Here’s one of the sights I passed on the way down to Key West for over a years while under construction. Now that it’s finally done, I call it Rainbow Row because of it’s 8 unique brightly colored 3-story duplex homes.

As you can tell they’re Purple, Yellow, Brown, Green, Orange, Blue, Aqua, & Pink. Now that it’s completed come on by and take a look, it’s a sight to be seen with its brilliant newly applied pastel colors. This of course is FREE to visit and photograph, just be aware that these are private homes so please respect their privacy & property.

Rainbow Row Homes can be found on US-1 at Mile Marker 10.7 bayside by turning onto Jade Drive and then an immediate left on Opal Drive. This is VERY NEAT to see in person I promise!


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Duval Street Courtyard

Duval Street Courtyard

For months I’ve written about specific attractions both FREE & FEE, historical sites, nautical boats & notable beaches… well, this one is about noticing pure beauty! Look at the colors, you have brilliant blues, ravishing reds, glimmering greens, whiter than white, posh pastels, ghostly greys and a posing cat & bicycle to boot! An absolutely perfect photo just waiting to be taken… and so I did.

To me, it looks like a puzzle photo or one from Better Homes & Garden magazine. Of all places to see something so unintended by its owner to draw attention and yet just look at it!!!! Wow, as I was walking down Duval Street on its northeastern side I just so happened to swivel my head and tucked between an alleyway and fence was this homes personal courtyard. Let me tell you, homes alone are RARE on Duval Street so dedicated to bars, hotels & shops that this one simply stood out. So pardon my lack of historical significance, no lines to wait in, and missing star power as a Sloppy Joe’s or Largest Fish because this one is all about the hidden views of serenity in the busy hustle and bustle pedestrian packed Duval Street.

Don’t be afraid to go the road less traveled down side roads and alleyways, you just might find a diamond in the rough. I hope you enjoy its simplistic allure as I did upon my first gander. When someone asks you: “What are your top things to do in Key West?”… maybe you too will simply say “Nothing but enjoying its natural beauty that others might have missed!”

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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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The Key’s 9-11 Memorial Flagpole

The Florida Keys 9-11 Memorial Flagpole is a sad reminder of that fateful day nearly fourteen years ago in New York City.

I’d venture to say that most Florida Keys residents don’t know about this or even where to find it. The bronze plaque at its base reads: “THIS FLAGPOLE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ALL THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”. This memorial was dedicated on December 22, 2001 only 3 months and 11 days after that tragic day in our nations history.

Now on to where you can find this little seen hidden memorial, it’s located at Mile Marker 28.3 near the entrance to the Little Palm Island Ferry. Going southbound on US-1 turn left onto Pirates Road where you’ll see a subdivision sign called Jolly Roger Estates with the flagpole directly behind it on the right.

While there go down to the roads end after the curve and look out into the Atlantic Ocean where you’ll see a real Dragon Boat if they’re not out practicing or off competing somewhere.

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Flying Cloud… What Is It?

Sticking out like a sore thumb among other street names is what appears at first glance to be nothing more than an American Indian reference.     You would be so wrong!

Being an incredible WWII and history buff I seized the opportunity to pass along a little bit of our nations great fighting past during trying times. The name ‘Flying Cloud’ is indeed American Indian related in this instance correlated with a Navy vessel of great stature. With the outbreak of WWII, the U.S. Navy after the attack of Pearl Harbor was in dire need for ships of all sizes acquired the ‘Flying Cloud’ and commissioned her into service as the USS Jupiter. (seen below)

USS Jupiter received six battle stars for World War II:

Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
Gilbert Islands operation
Marianas operation
Leyte Gulf operation
Iwo Jima operation
Okinawa operation

She also procured 7 more battle stars for the Korean War.

How do I know this street name was meant directly for this particular Navy ship, It’s located on Ships Row! You can find the proud ‘Flying Cloud’ wedged in-between other better known vessels such as ‘Enterprise’ & ‘Saratoga’ at Mile Marker 29.7 bayside Big Pine Key.

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Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

Happy-St-Patricks-Day-Free-Clip-Art-23-5-465x251Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you of Irish descent… and the billions of people who claim to be Irish one day a year! 🙂

As you know, today is all about shamrocks, leprechauns and pints of green beer! Here’s some little known fun facts that may end up wining you a bar bet of Irish Guinness!

1) It’s shortened nickname is St. Paddy’s Day NOT St. Patty’s Day.

2) It’s ONLY a public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland, & Montserrat.

3) Eating corned beef and cabbage today is no big deal in Ireland… but Americans love it!

4) St. Patrick is believed to have been born in Wales or Scotland.

5) The color green was adopted ONLY after the Irish Rebellion, before that believe it or not it was BLUE.

6) The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in the USA in 1737, not in Ireland, they didn’t have one until 1931.

7) St. Patrick was credited with banishing snakes from Ireland, truth is, there’s NEVER been snakes there.

8) One percent of the world’s annual beer consumption happens on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s about 528 million gallons or 4.2 billion pints! I’ll drink to that! 🙂

So, you might ask “What does this blog have to do with Key West and the Florida Keys?” Well, that’s easy “We’re Irish Too!” (that is, at least today we are) 🙂 And YES… that’s me in the photo below!



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