Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Undersea Lab

Deep Sea adventures can be imagined here at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. I’ve reported on the FREE 20-minute film here which is awesome and well worth your time.

Now on the rest of the facility which consists of many exhibits including several nature & wildlife, a deep-sea laboratory and other underwater wonders along with a maned welcome center counter. The best part about this whole facility is that everything here is 100% FREE to the public (except: Gift Shop). 🙂 A government grant pays for ALL of it in hopes to educate its interested visitors into becoming more Eco-conscious in our lives. It’s here you can come and cool off in the air-conditioned atmosphere while taking in the exhibits and clean restrooms! Enjoy, the film is worth the trip alone!

The Eco-Discovery Center can be found in the old Navy Shipyard next to Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West.


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Florida’s ONLY Buoy Tree

IMG_3033OK, you’re probably saying about now “What the heck is a Buoy tree?” In this case it’s rather simple, a tree native to the Florida Keys decorated with dozens of strands of fishing buoys… and it wasn’t even Christmas! This year-round decor doesn’t look half bad and seamlessly fits its surroundings. OK, so maybe it’s not Florida’s only buoy tree… but it is the ONLY Buoy Tree here! 🙂

We found this oddity of a tree while dining outside in the beautiful Florida sunshine for about 4 minutes till we began sweating profusely in the shade. We then admired it from the confines of our air-conditioned table while enjoying a cold beer and stuffed olive appetizers.

You can find this uniquely decorated ‘Buoy Tree’ and many other tourist photo-ops including feeding live wild tarpon located in the Sundowner Complex at Mile Marker 104 in Key Largo bayside.

IMG_3032     IMG_3031

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Key West’s Hawaiian Home

Here’s one that stuck out like a sore thumb as we were peddling around town taking photos. It’s a Hawaiian style home architecture smack dab in the middle of all of these Caribbean style homes all the way down here in Key West.

I imagine if you were in real estate this would be a great marketing ploy, or if you’re a “House Whisperer” (believe me, I know one) and loves the way that homes silently speak to your inner self then this is the house for you. I can say that this is the ONLY Hawaiian home on the island and you can’t miss it!

You can find these unique rooftop adornments on the southern side of the island near the corners of Washington Street & Vernon Avenue. Till tomorrow, I’m your roving reporter Maki Liki Luau… that’s “Blog Writer” in Hawaiian! 🙂 I do on the other hand know some Hawaiian, unlike the prior attempt at humor, this one is 100% TRUE and it’s “Aloha Nui Loa” which means “I Love You” in Hawaiian! When I was in Maui I had a local pastry chef call the college in town to confirm it… try that on your better-half and score some brownie points… or in this case maybe some Hawaiian pineapple points! 🙂

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4th of July’s Most Unknown Historical Coincidence!

Did you know that three U.S. Presidents have died on the 4th of July… two of them on the same day in the same year! Wow, two Ex-Presidents died on the same day in history, with one being born on July 4th… unbelievable!

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, the Fifth President of the United States, died on July 4, 1831. Calvin Coolidge, the Thirtieth President, was born on July 4, 1872, and thus was the only President to be born on Independence Day.

When you win a bar bet using this trivia, drink a beer for me! 🙂

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Brewing Controversy: Southernmost Buoy

There’s a brewing controversy over Key West’s #1 tourist attraction, the Southernmost Buoy! It claims to be the southernmost point in the continental United States only 90 miles from Cuba… but is it 100% true?

1) CONTINENTAL: The dictionary when referring to continental as land states: continuous mainland as opposed to islands. The Florida Keys are a chain of islands connected by bridges… I guess that satisfies Key West lawyers. 🙂

2) SOUTHERNMOST POINT: Wikipedia says the United States official southernmost point (excluding sand bars) is Ballast Key a privately owned island southwest of Key West. Heck, the buoy isn’t even the southernmost point of Key West, that title goes to the Truman Annex & Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, both government properties lie southwest of the buoy.

3) 90 MILES FROM CUBA: That my friends is a rounded off number, Cuba at its closest point is 94 miles due south.

There you have the facts! To be honest, 99% of tourists don’t care about the controversy at all! They still flock to this iconic symbol of Key West regardless if it’s 100% accurate or not. For me, it doesn’t bother me at all. Who knows, you may go to the buoy next time seeing subtle changes in the wording.

To find this simply go to the corner of South and Whitehead Streets where you too can see the World-Famous controversial Southernmost Buoy. 🙂


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Sushi Or Live Bait?

IMG_0934I wonder how many people instantly notice such ironies as me? Notice the ‘Live Bait’ sign over the inside portion of this restaurant’s seating area. I can see the waitress now asking her patrons: “What will you have, Sushi or Live Bait?” 🙂

I heard a joke at church this past weekend… yes, at church… “What’s the difference between Miami sushi and Key West sushi? In Key West they call it bait!” 🙂 A little pulpit humor to hammer home the weekend sermon. If you think a little humor at church is cool, mine also serves coffee and doughnuts. I kid you not, Yummy 🙂 Now that I’ve gotten myself hungry, back to the blog!

You can find the ‘Live Bait’ sign over a dining room seating area inside of Key Largo’s Pilot House Restaurant. Go to Mile Marker 99.6 oceanside turning onto Ocean Bay Drive, go down .6 miles turning left on Seagate Boulevard about .1 mile on the right.

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Biking The 7-Mile Bridge

Have you ever wanted to ride a bike across the 7-Mile Bridge? For me it’s a future ambition, the man seen here doesn’t have to wonder what it’s like because I saw him do it!

I passed this man riding his bike on the bridge and pulled over a few miles ahead waiting for him to ride by wanting to speak with him. In our conversation that ensued, the man simply known as ‘Burger’ reveled that the flag on the back of his bike was in showing his American pride for the country that he loves and served during his military service. Thank you ‘Burger’ for your service to our country and showing us that it’s NEVER too late for achieving your dreams! As for me, I’ll keep biking the 7-Mile bridge on my bucket list pushing it closer to the top thanks to the inspiration of Mr. ‘Burger’.

You can find the Florida Keys #1 ALL-TIME attraction the 7-Mile Bridge between Mile Markers 39.9 to 46.8 on Hwy. US-1… and ‘YES’, it ONLY measures 6.9 miles long! 🙂

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