Motel’s Animal Statues

IMG_0019Do your children like seeing animals? If so, I’ve found just the place for them in the Florida Keys!

Though not a petting zoo or even real animals, here’s a motel that has at least a dozen or so statues places strategically around its grounds. Some are in obvious wide-open spaces while others are nestled in or near foliage and trees.

Pictured below are MOST of the ones you’ll see there: elephant, deer, dolphin, panther, zebra, alligator, momma bear and cub, swan, & a monkey that is your challenge of the day to find on your own. :-) Enjoy, I know your children will!

You too can find this ‘Animal Fantasy Land’ at Mile Marker 99.5 bayside across from the ‘Super Big Ass Chair’.

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Captain Kidd Is In The House!

7169804814_3cfc0ce9a8_bWelcome to Capt. Kidd Lane, that’s the infamous pirate Captain William Kidd! And “No, he’s not related to the Wild West’s Billy The Kid” :-)

Captain William Kidd (1645 – 1701) was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there’s evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer (bounty hunter). Kidd’s fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual time spent on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.

Captain William Kidd (pictured below) was either one of the most notorious pirates in the history of the world, or one of its most unjustly vilified and prosecuted privateers. Despite the legends and fiction surrounding this character, his actual career was punctuated by only a handful of skirmishes, followed by a desperate quest to clear his name.

To find this pirate legends name blazing upon a street sign, on US-1 go to Mile Marker 23.o oceanside turning onto Spanish Main Drive. Just keep driving down till seeing Capt. Kidd Ln. on your right.

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Blue Heron Hammocks

IMG_1724No this blog is not about a hammock that you take a nap in while sipping on an ice frothed Piña Colada! :-) But if you’re into plants, shrubs, bushes, and trees then this is you mecca! Covering over 51 acres, this Monroe County Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Environmental Area is just what you’re looking for.

The Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area is an archipelago of small sites stretching 80 miles from Key Largo almost to Key West. These sites contain some of the best examples of undisturbed tropical hardwood hammocks remaining in Florida. Unfortunately many of the tropical hardwood hammocks on the south Florida mainland and in the Keys have been lost to development.

Tropical hardwood hammocks are the only tropical hardwood forests in the continental United States and are among the most imperiled natural communities in the world. This area was acquired to protect and to restore native plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the continental United States and some of which are found nowhere else in the world. The hammocks are critical feeding and resting areas for scores of migratory bird species on their way between the eastern half of North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

There are some 188 known varieties of plants, shrubs, bushes and trees growing here from A to Z including: Abutilon Permolle, Manikara Zapota, Ximenia Americana. There, I hope you know what those are because I sure don’t! :-)

You can find Blue Heron Hammocks Environmental Area at Mile Marker 51.0 bayside by turning onto Aviation Boulevard and going 1.8 miles on your left.

PS – Don’t bring a picnic, it’s NOT that kind of a place!

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Key West’s Life-Like Statues

IMG_1874I ask you, which person in each of the photos are real? :-) OK it’s not that hard but boy are the others life-like all the way down to skin tone, fingernails, shoes, clothes, & pocketbook contents. It’s AMAZING, these are the BEST I’ve ever seen!

There’s two options in photographing these life-like sculptures: 1) Pay to go within the compound if a person is required in your photo, 2) Simply stand outside as I did and peer over the top of the fence and zoom in for a FREE photo… then run away so they don’t catch you! :-)  (just kidding… walk away really fast)

You can find these incredibly beautiful full-sized life-like statues at 938 Whitehead Street across from the Ernest Hemingway House within the grounds of the Key West Lighthouse.

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Historic Dr. Joseph Yates Porter House

IMG_0400Dr. Joseph Yates Porter is nothing less than a home town hero to Key West… hmm, nothing less than a hero to the entire state of Florida! Just keep reading and you’ll find out why!

Built as a two-story house and later expanded with a rare third-story mansard roof with gabled dormers. Dr. Porter was born here in 1847 and died in the room of his birth 80 years later. Dr. Porter was Florida’s first Public Health Officer. His medical research and involvement in yellow fever epidemics is credited with the eradication of yellow fever in Florida.

You can find the historic Dr. Joseph Yates Porter House and its informational markers at the corner of Caroline Street & Duval Street in beautiful Key West.

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El Meson De Pepe

The Cuban American community has been a prominent part of the Key West culture for a century and no more visible than here at El Meson De Pepe.

This is nothing less than a FANTASTIC place to spend 30 minutes to an hour doing nothing but looking around at the wall décor, exhibits, cigar shop, restaurant, live music nightly, & all around joy to the eyes experience. It’s all FREE unless you eat it or take it home as a souvenir! :-)

Seen below are a couple of twins I spotted and asked if I could take their pictures and of course all four said ‘Yes’. The bearded ones were in town for the annual Earnest Hemingway ‘Look-a-like’ contest just sitting down having a meal. The other odd looking guys (one tall & one small) looked like Danny DeVito & Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1988 genetic experiment comedy movie ‘Twins’. Believe it or not the two guy don’t even know each other but past the other wearing the same shirt which I thought extremely amusing! :-)

You can find this proud centerpiece of the Cuban American community paying homage to its rich heritage and istory all over the outside and inside of the ‘El Meson de Pepe Restaurant’ located at the insanely popular tourist mecca of Mallory Square.

         

         

         

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Take Your Sightseeing To New Heights!

4488976259_e10820d33c_bLiterally take your sightseeing to new heights by being airborne in one of several services available here at the TINY TINY Sugarloaf Airport!

Oh, if you think I’m kidding about the word TINY then look at the photo below showing the airport office which measures about 6′ in depth and 12′ wide. The larger open-aired front section is a picnic & waiting area!

A sightseeing tour from the sky over the Keys would be a great experience, in fact, it’s on my list. I’ve done it in Hawaii but never here! Though not free, you can find out exact pricing by calling the number above. Have fun, buckle up and enjoy the views high above my homeland!

You can find the TINY Sugarloaf Airport located about 3/4 of a mile off US-1 at Mile Marker 16.9 bayside at the large Airplane Rides sign in the featured photo.

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