A young fun-loving 10-year old boy awakens in the sleepy island town of 1945 Key West. Walking the cracked sidewalks from Pa’s house, a joyful thought “It’s one day closer to summer” spurs the arrival to his assigned one-piece desk.
The mundane daily routine of reading, writing and arithmetic are interrupted at noon with a whiff of eye-opening pleasure through the hand-cranked windows. The fresh scent’s sleep intoxicating properties entice an ill-advised midday nap as the ever-nearing class bell signaling the end of studies draws nearer. With school now over he’s free to follow the daylong mesmerizing scent street by street. Reaching the source he peers in a window taking in a long deep breath sighing ‘Ahhh’ to the smell of freshly hand-ground coffee beans. Too young to drink coffee at the time, 68 years later my uncle would finally tell his story as I was drinking mine.
Though air-filled aromas of Colombian dark roast and sounds of hand-cranked coffee grounds are treasured memories of a faded past, its structure survives evolved in tune with today’s fit-conscious generation. The sight of scantily dressed ‘HOT’ aerobic babes and sounds of Yoga’s sacred chant ‘Om’ now furnish the next young school boy a tantalizing tale to pass along to his future nephew.
You can find Key West’s Old Coffee Mill still standing proudly marked at 916 Pohalski Street near the dead center of town in the city I love.
Sometimes less written is more… in this case these seven different angled pictures are worth 1,000 words including: Astounding, Magnificent, Breathtaking & Awesome. These photos tell it all about the southern end of the old abandoned Bahia Honda Bridge. Though I’m not a professional photographer, these are all my photos that turned out pretty MARVELOUS if I should say so myself! 🙂 I’ll simply shut up and let you marvel at the view at this hard to find once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a picture to remember for life.
Go to Mile Marker 36.o oceanside hiking down a white gravel path towards the base of the bridge and then go right up the embankment to the roads edge as seen above. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Enjoy the wonder!
This is truly one ODD looking mermaid fountain! I even brought my wife here last time showing her, she too agrees there’s something not right about it. It honestly looks like one of the arms had fallen off in the past and was attached in the wrong place. 🙂
Come by and see what appears to be a mismatched mermaid fountain at Mile Marker 103.8 bayside right next to the gate leading to the swimming pool. There’s plenty in this complex to see so budget at least 15-20 minutes.
Naval Air Station Key West is a naval air station and military airport located about four miles outside of the central business district of the island of Key West. This is where the President would fly into if visiting Key West.
NAS Key West has perfect flying weather year round and unparalleled aerial ranges that offer aircrew training within minutes after takeoff. The station is equipped with a sophisticated Tactical Combat Training System, similar to the one depicted in the popular movie “Top Gun,” which tracks and records aerial maneuvers. NAS Key West’s national security mission supports operational and readiness requirements for Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, National Guard units, federal agencies, and allied forces. The air station is also host to many tenant commands, including Fighter Composite Squadron 111, Strike Fighter Squadron 106 and the U.S. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations to name a few.
NAS Key West also comprises of several separate annexes in the Key West area. Properties include Boca Chica Field, Truman Annex, Trumbo Point, Sigsbee Park Annex, Peary Court, Naval Branch Health Clinic Key West and several other properties in the Florida Keys. Most family housing, as well as the Navy Exchange, Commissary, RV park and other Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities are located at Sigsbee Park, a man-made island created from dredging of seaplane runways in the 1940s. Single service members are housed at Truman Annex. NAS Key West also provides a degree of support for Cudjoe Key Air Force Station, a U.S. Air Force installation located north of Key West that is home to the Cudjoe Key Tethered Aerostat Radar System.
You can find this southernmost winged squadron on Hwy. US-1 at Mile Marker 8.2 oceanside about 4 miles before entering the island city of Key West.
Want a really neat FREE place to visit while in Key West? Well then, I’ve got a great get away from the crowds on Duval Street by simply heading towards Higgs Beach.
The Key West Wildlife Center is one of those hidden places that if not for the sign you’d miss it for sure. The entrance pictured below sits off the main road barely visible as you drive by. It is 100% FREE to enter even though they do have two photo-op pelicans that double as donation stations ready to take your money. The exhibits include caged and wild roaming animals, Key West chickens, walking paths, a massive Staghorn Fern & the fantastic Audubon pond. The pond is for sure one of the highlights where we stood for 30 minutes watching the many different wildlife animals frolic in the water and its surrounding trees.
You and your family can find this awesome FREE getaway at 1801 White Street beside Key West’s largest bocce ball courts across from Higgs Beach. Be looking for future blogs on several of the listed attractions.
Here are some of the more interesting city limit signs you’ll find along your drive down US-1 South. They make memorable photos especially if you’ll be stopping to see one of the attractions mentioned in a previous blog.
I use the printed city signs to organize the photos taken on an entire trip. When getting my photos printed I always include a photo CD and the all important photo index card (30 tiny photos per card) for the whole trip. It’s very easy to sort out your trip when you have the photo index card that shows you exactly in what order every single one of your photos were taken.
Not every city along your drive will even have a painted city sign, some only have your typical street sign type markers while others that do have home-made signs aren’t worth your time at all. Listed are the signs for the cities of Islamorada, Marathon, Key Largo and a non-city of Knights Key (the fun island).
I assure you, you’ll be hard pressed to EVER find a more morbid love story than this TRUE tale from the crypt!
Doctor, Necrophiliac. Born Karl Tanzler in Dresden, Germany abandoned his family in 1927 to move to Key West, where he changed his name to Count Carl Von Cosel. He claimed to have 19 different degrees, none were substantiated. Von Cosel worked for years in a hospital full of sick and dying tuberculosis patients (which was then incurable). In 1933 one of his patients was 22-year-old Elena Hoyos whom he fell in love with and did everything he could trying to save her. Not long after her funeral he got permission from her family to place Elena’s body in a casket full of formaldehyde. His daily visits to her crypt made people take notice, then one day he stopped coming by. That was until he turned up in another part of town buying a small house near the sea. Keeping to himself and only being seen carrying large packages and heard singing and playing his organ late into the night. Elena’s sister grew suspicious and sought out Von Cosel when the cemetery reported that her casket was missing. Confronting the doctor at his house she demanded to know what happened to her sister and Von Cosel showed her, THE BODY WAS UPSTAIRS IN HIS BED. He was arrested and released since the statute of limitations on molesting a grave was only 2-years (it had been 7-yrs). In 1972 it was made public that Von Cosel had stolen Elena’s body and taken it home where he treated it with oil and wax and attempted to rebuild her body as it decomposed, even giving her glass eyes and making her a wig out of her hair. He made a puppet-like death mask of Elena to preserve her beauty and was put on display in a local museum when the case became local folklore. It was stolen some time later and turned up in 1952 on the floor of Von Cosel’s home lying next to his dead body. Elena’s body was buried and encased in cement in an undisclosed, unmarked grave in the Key West Cemetery where Von Cosel couldn’t find her again. Von Cosel is buried in Zephyr Hills, Florida.
I’ve included a photo of Von Cosel along with before and after photos of Elena seen below. Nothing remains of Elena’s original grave in Key West but you can find this historical replica at the West Martello Tower Museum for a FEE $5-$7 on the northeast part of Key West beside the airport. Creepy isn’t it!