Jules’ Undersea Lodge, The World’s FIRST One!

From Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous, every major travel channel in the world, insane amount of newspaper & magazine articles, to the infamous Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue have all featured this one-of-a-kind WORLD-CLASS attraction! Named after famed novelist Jules Verne who penned such blockbusters as “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”, “Around The World In 80 Days”, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea”, “Captain Nemo”, “From The Earth To The Moon” to name a few… this man is indeed the father of the current science-fiction genre. Wow, who would’ve ever thought that so many of his off-the-wall dreams would’ve ever come true!

For the first time average-Joe non-divers have access to such an incredible opportunity. This undersea lodge is ONLY accessible via scuba diving. If you’re not a certified scuba diver you’ll be required to take a crash course (about $150 each) before submerging to enter your room. The submerged waterproof rooms hold up to 2 families with restrictions on the total  number of people. As you can see, this is not a stripped down room either complete with shower, restrooms, radio & DVD. Can you imagine staying a single night 27 feet under the sea? I can’t, this is NOT CHEAP since it will set you back an approximate cool $650 per person depending on what overnight package you choose! Hey, but I’m glad to say that it does include a 6 pm gourmet dinner by your mer-chef (mermaid chef) and an early 8 am breakfast.

In talking to one of the managers, she said as much as you’d like to give an adventure like this as a gift, it’s best to ask the recipient first since some are terrified of the thought of being confined all night under water. Final comment, you’re absolutely safe being monitored ashore around the clock by trained Oceanic Institute observers ready to intervene upon a seconds notice. As much as I’d like to do this sometime in the future… I’m not too confident on it ever happening! 🙂

You can find the WORLD’S FIRST underwater hotel room with a view at Mile Marker 103.3 oceanside off US-1’s Transylvania Avenue in the Florida’s Keys. At one time, this was the WORLD’S ONLY undersea lodge! Way too cool!

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Ernest Hemingway’s Doorknob

One of Key West’s best kept secrets! Even though it’s posted on the outside alleyway wall (seen below) it’s not facing the road and can be missed in a heartbeat. This is in fact Ernest Hemingway’s first home in Key West as stated on the hidden sign. This little known fact is available for all at NO cost whatsoever!

Just think, Ernest Hemingway himself touched this doorknob 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of times as he entered and exited his first Key West home. Now called Casa Antiqua, his former residence is on the second floor corner directly above the door seen here. You too can get your photo taken touching the famous doorknob that even few locals know of! Shhhhhh… it’s our secret! Amazing what information a FREE internet blog can give you… so keep reading daily OK! 🙂

Hemingway’s first Key West doorknob can be found at 314 Simonton Street on the right hand side of the infamous former Pelican Poop Shoppe. Just think, you can tell your friends “I touched Hemingway’s knob!”… hmmmm, on second thought maybe you shouldn’t! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Florida Key’s License Plate Central

IMG_0094License plates, license plates and even more license plates! Old, new, Florida, Wisconsin, Alaska… they’re all here!

There’s a number of Florida Keys bars and restaurants that use hang-up gimmicks such as dollar bills, business cards, ball caps, and even bras as their calling card for uniqueness… this restaurant chose license plates. In fact they’ve used them as wallpaper, lampshades, fence décor and even their dinner plates… OK, I made up that last one! 🙂

Here’s how to find this Florida Keys license place oddity. Pull into the parking lot of Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen at Mile Marker 99.5 bayside where you’ll see them on the exterior restaurant sign and upon its outer fence.

IMG_0092     IMG_0222

IMG_0217     IMG_0219

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Oddest Find EVER In Florida Keys!

8340958199_9f319b0a7c_bAbsolutely one of my oddest finds ever in the Florida Keys! WOW, talk about unexpected and out of place, this is definitely a fish out of water! Oops, with this being off shore by 20 feet and in the Gulf Of Mexico, I guess it’s literally like a fish in water. It’s finds like this that make what I do so rewarding… “I NEVER know what awesome unexpected new find is around the next corner”… and I LOVE IT!

A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. They are however a common sight at Japanese Buddhist temples too, where they stand at the entrance of the temple’s own shrine. Their first appearance in Japan can be reliably pinpointed to at least the mid-Heian period because they are mentioned in a text written in 922.

You can find this Japanese torii gate on the campus of the Florida Keys Community College just outside of Key West at one of its two entrances at Mile Marker 5.0 & 4.3 onto the horseshoe-shaped College Road. Drive down the road about 1/2 mile from either entrance and there it be behind by the Tennessee Williams Theater.

IMG_1479

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Gilbert’s Resort “ALL IN ONE”

Here’s a place that has EVERYTHING needed to ensure a fantastic time in the Florida Keys all in one place at this VERY reasonably priced resort! You can take a walk around the grounds enjoying the beautiful ocean views, have some spicy-sauced chicken wings at one of their tiki hut covered tables, dig into an almond-crusted tilapia while dining in their restaurant, wash down the days pleasures with an ice-cold Piña Colada at the waterfront bar, soak in the sun as your toes nestle into the white sandy beach, tie up your sailboat after a romantic sunset cruise at its marina, listen to the soothing sounds of one of the local live bands, take a photo by the famous Diving Dolphins (seen below), and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you hung around for the night in one of the  hotel’s ocean view rooms! Oh yeah, have I mentioned that you can do everything listed above right here all in one place! 🙂

I invite you to come see and experience it for yourself. You can find this ‘ALL YOU NEED RESORT’ and local hot spot at Mile Marker 108.2 bayside underneath the 18-Mile Stretch Bridge.

    

    

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Journeys End!

What a great place to live for a traveler like me! Although I don’t live on this road it aptly applies with all of the traveling I do. It would be so cool to travel throughout the U.S. or 2-weeks abroad for vacation and coming home to the address ‘Journeys End’! 🙂 TOO COOL!

Journeys End Road can be found in the Florida Keys at Mile Marker 29.7 bayside on Big Pine Key directly across from a previously blogged road sign named ‘Flying Cloud’.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Scuba Picnic Table

Hmm, a combo picnic table and scuba symbol… I got it! This blog is for all of you fans of two fantastic past times that go together like peanut butter and jelly… ok, I lied! I don’t know anyone who scuba dives that their second passion in life is picnics or vis versa, lifetime picnickers who are passionate about scuba diving. 🙂

You can find this unique combination of picnic table and scuba symbol here at the Sundowner Complex at Mile Marker 104 in Key Largo bayside.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

The Florida Key’s Largest Manatee

Welcome to Key West’s land loving friendly manatee. This 8′ tall statue sits on a concrete pad facing the main road into Old Town for all to admire.

I recommend that you take 4-minutes out of your already busy planned day and stop for an up close visit with this silent gentle giant. Upon closer inspection you’ll find that its whiskers, whose numbers are in the hundreds, are actually rigid and the exact thickness of a heavy-duty clothes hanger (as seen below).

Now for your FREE science/history lesson: 🙂 Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals with paddle-like flippers sometimes known as Sea Cows. They are noted for their friendly nature, their large size up to 12 ft in length with the average being 9 ft. The name manatí comes from pre-Columbian people of the Caribbean meaning “breast”.

You can find the Florida Key’s largest Manatee statue on display 24-7 in front of the First State Bank at the corner of North Roosevelt Blvd. & Toppino Drive on the left hand side of the road as you enter Key West.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Key Largo’s TINY TINY Beach!

7175529710_c83ff179ae_bThe sign reads: “Pets Are Not Allowed On Beach”… they should also add “Neither Are A Lot Of People!” 🙂 Welcome to one of the Florida Key’s Smallest Beaches! Though not the smallest, that title so far belongs to one in Key West nicknamed ‘Dog Beach’.

Located at the end of a dead-end road (shown here), this beach is indeed tiny! Talk about disparity, the roped off swimming area this side of the paddling canoes is large enough for a thousand patrons while the sandy beach portion can accommodate a mere ten neatly laid out beach towels! *Beach estimates based on three double-blind taste tests conducted by the prestigious institute of UUG (University Of Useless Guesses). 🙂

In all fairness, this is only one of the beaches here, the larger one is about a mile away and is always packed with people holding thousands of sun-worshipers and picnickers with no problems. If solitude is on your list while soaking up sun rays then this beach is for you!

Though your beach visit itself is FREE, the park does charge an entrance fee per car’s occupants… if I recall, maybe the $3 to $4 range. The park is so well worth the price, bring a picnic and make a day of it, there’s that much here to do!

You can find one of the Florida Key’s Smallest Beaches along with dozens of day-long activities at John Pennekamp State Park on US-1 at Mile Marker 102.3 oceanside.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Bare Naked Beauty

Sometimes I run across something so uniquely different that it stands out like a sore thumb to me… others may just walk by without giving it a passing glance. This my friends is one of those instances. Take a look at this, a simple lone tree stands at the edge of the Atlantic ocean gracing God’s horizon. I wasn’t here for the tree but rather a sign posted to its right about 50′ away. Taking a treasured photo doesn’t have to include a person nor even be centered. This leafless wonder begged to be noticed and I willingly obliged! 🙂

You can find the uniquely different view of a tree on the Ohio Key Wildlife Refuge (near the main refuge sign) at Mile Marker 39 on US-1 on Ohio Key oceanside. As big as the sign is, it’s easily missed since the main very large sign faces the channel not the road and can only be seen from the northern end of the bridge over the Missouri Ohio Channel crossing onto Ohio key.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west