Welcome To Paradise!

IMG_3130If a sign says it, it has to be TRUE! 🙂 Just like the internet, everything ever written on there is a verified by science bonafide fact! (OK, that we know is a LIE!) A ‘Welcome To Paradise’ sign in Key West on the other hand is 100% TRUE!

You can find this ‘Welcome To Paradise’ greeting posted on the Bayside Inn & Suites sign located at Seventeenth Street & North Roosevelt Boulevard.

OK, no need to hurry because there’s no telling if it will be there when you are. If it’s gone don’t fret, just be diligent and keep looking around town, there’s usually more than one!


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Mobile Mosquito Control

Though NOT a bonafide tourist attraction… I’d say that 99% of Florida Key’s visitor have NEVER seen one of these before!

While driving to Key West I saw the mosquito control truck spraying on a side road and actually turned around flagging him down asking if I could take these photos. The things I do for a blog! 🙂

Seen below is one of the Key West Mosquito Control District trucks out on his route in the Monroe County portion of the Florida Keys. He didn’t mind at all showing me how powerful the sprayer was as he gassed it for the photo. Look close at the back of the side view of the pickup truck and you can see the small mist of fog-killing spray. A rear view of the fog machine is also pictured while not spraying.

They obviously don’t kill all the mosquitos, though I’m very grateful for the ones that are killed never having a chance to bite me… and boy do mosquitos LOVE to bite me! 🙂 I kid you not, I got bit twice while taking this photo! TRUE 🙂

You can find any one of the many Key West Mosquito Control District trucks patrolling Monroe Counties portion of the Keys during mosquito season. Happy hunting mi amigos, I got lucky in seeing this one and couldn’t let him get away without snapping a few photos for your viewing pleasure!

PS – It’s always a good idea to bring along a spray can of ‘Deep Woods Off’ for extra protection during mosquito season… especially if going to Mosquito central better known as Lignumvitae Key! That’s from first hand knowledge I assure you! 🙂 I think that’s called “Lessons Learned”!


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Tomb or Shelter? Maybe It’s BOTH!

What in the world is this? Is it a tomb, hurricane shelter, storage shed or outhouse? 🙂 A Lignumvitae Key park ranger (as seen below) asked the tour group; “Does anyone have any idea what this is?” My hand went up instantly as I blurted out the answer!

Before the answer, here’s a descriptive sentence about Lignumvitae Key itself. Accessed by boat alone, this island sits only feet above sea-level, during any type of severe weather especially a hurricane the structure in question would be doomed. ANSWER: Though never used, it’s an underground hurricane shelter. Look closely at the door, built decades ago, it’s by no means weatherproof! Therefore the park ranger said that if it would’ve been used as a hurricane shelter it would’ve been flooded turning into a tomb for its occupants. That’s funny, it’s safer standing beside the hurricane shelter than being inside it! 🙂

Though not a free tour, you can find a catamaran tour boat company to take you to Lignumvitae Key at Robbie’s Marina at Mile Marker 77.5 on US-1 bayside.

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Key West’s Oldest House

IMG_1720Built by a ship’s carpenter in 1829 this is not only the oldest house in Key West, but also the oldest house in south Florida. Throughout the years this cedar & pine home has weathered countless hurricanes, several fires, and a brutal corrosive coastal environment.

Known as Gulf Coast Cottage style architecture, it stands one-and-a-half stories tall with a pitched roof sporting three uniquely looking dormers. A central hallway divides the first floor into four equally sized rooms. The back door lies directly in line with the front, providing excellent ventilation – an important feature in the steamy tropic Key West summers.

Though not always at this location, it was moved here from one block away in 1834 due to constant low-land flooding by mules pulling the home on rolling logs. Captain William Watlington and his descendants lived here till the 1970’s. It was later purchased and donated to the city of Key West.

You can find Key West’s Oldest House (and South Florida’s) in the heart of town at 322 Duval Street. There’s an entrance fee to tour the inside of the home, the grounds on the other hand are FREE to roam.

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Key’s Most Elaborate Elevator

This has to be the Key’s Most Elaborate Elevator! (or Lift if you’re from across the pond) 🙂 From the artwork on the glass to the picturesque frame surrounding it, this elevator screams out ‘WOW!’ Look at the smiles on the three faces inside the elevator, it has to be the most elaborate one they’ve ever seen too! Or are they just happy getting their pictures taken! 🙂

You can find the ‘Key’s Most Elaborate Elevator’ inside the World Wide Sportsman store at Mile Marker 81.4 on Highway US-1 bayside.

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Key’s Largest Bell Tower

This is the Key’s largest bell tower I’ve found yet and by far the most beautiful! Rising nearly 50′ this 3-tiered bell masterpiece is a site worth the 2-minutes it would take to pull into the parking lot and capture your souvenir photo. This is a church so please be considerate and schedule your visit for other than your standard Sunday church service hours.

While here, check out the amazing ‘Christ Of The Deep Mosaic’ on display in the fenced in church garden.

You can find this incredible bell tower at St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church at Mile Marker 105.5 bayside in Key Largo.

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Big Pine Visitor Center

IMG_9563Got information & directions to your favorite things to do in the Lower Keys? If not, don’t fret because this place does!

Welcome to the Chamber of Commerce of the Lower Keys Visitor Center. Here’s your multi-freebie stop on your way down to Key West. You’ll be greeted with a smiling face along with FREE restrooms, picnic area, and all of the tourist information you can stuff into a 5 gallon sack! 🙂

You can find this information wonderland known as the Lower Keys Visitor Center at Mile Marker 31.0 oceanside.

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