Tag Archives: key west

Duval Street Courtyard

Duval Street Courtyard

For months I’ve written about specific attractions both FREE & FEE, historical sites, nautical boats & notable beaches… well, this one is about noticing pure beauty! Look at the colors, you have brilliant blues, ravishing reds, glimmering greens, whiter than white, posh pastels, ghostly greys and a posing cat & bicycle to boot! An absolutely perfect photo just waiting to be taken… and so I did.

To me, it looks like a puzzle photo or one from Better Homes & Garden magazine. Of all places to see something so unintended by its owner to draw attention and yet just look at it!!!! Wow, as I was walking down Duval Street on its northeastern side I just so happened to swivel my head and tucked between an alleyway and fence was this homes personal courtyard. Let me tell you, homes alone are RARE on Duval Street so dedicated to bars, hotels & shops that this one simply stood out. So pardon my lack of historical significance, no lines to wait in, and missing star power as a Sloppy Joe’s or Largest Fish because this one is all about the hidden views of serenity in the busy hustle and bustle pedestrian packed Duval Street.

Don’t be afraid to go the road less traveled down side roads and alleyways, you just might find a diamond in the rough. I hope you enjoy its simplistic allure as I did upon my first gander. When someone asks you: “What are your top things to do in Key West?”… maybe you too will simply say “Nothing but enjoying its natural beauty that others might have missed!”

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A Bad Mad Rocky Road!

A Bad Mad Rocky Road!I love stores, businesses & road signs with funny, weird & different names. There are many of these type signs along the 127 mile trek to Key West.

This collection of three off-the-wall street name signs is not from the entire US-1 south… oh no, these can be found on ONE road only a half mile long. Get all three of these in less than 5 minutes driving down the road and turning back getting on US-1 again.

You can find Bad George Road, Mad Bob Road & Rocky Road across from Sugarloaf Elementary School on Sugarloaf Key at Mile Marker 19.4 by turning right on Crane Boulevard heading south on US-1. It’s worth the few minute side trip to snap a couple of photos and show your friends.

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The Key’s 9-11 Memorial Flagpole

The Florida Keys 9-11 Memorial Flagpole is a sad reminder of that fateful day nearly fourteen years ago in New York City.

I’d venture to say that most Florida Keys residents don’t know about this or even where to find it. The bronze plaque at its base reads: “THIS FLAGPOLE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ALL THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”. This memorial was dedicated on December 22, 2001 only 3 months and 11 days after that tragic day in our nations history.

Now on to where you can find this little seen hidden memorial, it’s located at Mile Marker 28.3 near the entrance to the Little Palm Island Ferry. Going southbound on US-1 turn left onto Pirates Road where you’ll see a subdivision sign called Jolly Roger Estates with the flagpole directly behind it on the right.

While there go down to the roads end after the curve and look out into the Atlantic Ocean where you’ll see a real Dragon Boat if they’re not out practicing or off competing somewhere.

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Flying Cloud… What Is It?

Sticking out like a sore thumb among other street names is what appears at first glance to be nothing more than an American Indian reference.     You would be so wrong!

Being an incredible WWII and history buff I seized the opportunity to pass along a little bit of our nations great fighting past during trying times. The name ‘Flying Cloud’ is indeed American Indian related in this instance correlated with a Navy vessel of great stature. With the outbreak of WWII, the U.S. Navy after the attack of Pearl Harbor was in dire need for ships of all sizes acquired the ‘Flying Cloud’ and commissioned her into service as the USS Jupiter. (seen below)

USS Jupiter received six battle stars for World War II:

Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
Gilbert Islands operation
Marianas operation
Leyte Gulf operation
Iwo Jima operation
Okinawa operation

She also procured 7 more battle stars for the Korean War.

How do I know this street name was meant directly for this particular Navy ship, It’s located on Ships Row! You can find the proud ‘Flying Cloud’ wedged in-between other better known vessels such as ‘Enterprise’ & ‘Saratoga’ at Mile Marker 29.7 bayside Big Pine Key.

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Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

Happy-St-Patricks-Day-Free-Clip-Art-23-5-465x251Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you of Irish descent… and the billions of people who claim to be Irish one day a year! 🙂

As you know, today is all about shamrocks, leprechauns and pints of green beer! Here’s some little known fun facts that may end up wining you a bar bet of Irish Guinness!

1) It’s shortened nickname is St. Paddy’s Day NOT St. Patty’s Day.

2) It’s ONLY a public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland, & Montserrat.

3) Eating corned beef and cabbage today is no big deal in Ireland… but Americans love it!

4) St. Patrick is believed to have been born in Wales or Scotland.

5) The color green was adopted ONLY after the Irish Rebellion, before that believe it or not it was BLUE.

6) The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in the USA in 1737, not in Ireland, they didn’t have one until 1931.

7) St. Patrick was credited with banishing snakes from Ireland, truth is, there’s NEVER been snakes there.

8) One percent of the world’s annual beer consumption happens on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s about 528 million gallons or 4.2 billion pints! I’ll drink to that! 🙂

So, you might ask “What does this blog have to do with Key West and the Florida Keys?” Well, that’s easy “We’re Irish Too!” (that is, at least today we are) 🙂 And YES… that’s me in the photo below!



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Lighthouse Cistern

IMG_1819Since everyone knows what a lighthouse is, we’ll focus on a cistern. 🙂 So what’s a cistern? A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns can be above or below ground and were commonly used in Key West to capture and store rain water. Early on this water was used for many purposes including drinking, cooking, irrigation and washing. You have to remember that an unending flow of fresh water was not available to Key West until 1912.

This particular unique looking brick and cement cistern held approximately 6,000 gallons of rain water collected from the roof’s downspouts. (look closely and you can see it)

You can see this beautiful example of a well preserved cistern for yourself two ways. First – Pay to enter the historic Key West Lighthouse for a self-guided tour. Second – Simply look over the fence for a glance. The lighthouse is located at 938 Whitehead Street across from Ernest Hemingway’s House.

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Children, They Taste Like Chicken! :-)

It’s absolutely amazing what you can find once you get off the main road! You have to be a DIEHARD fan to risk finding this sign.

I found this one-of-a-kind sign posted at the end of a 7.5 mile desolate road. I never dreamed that ANY road on a Florida Key could be 8 miles long! This road is so long with absolutely nothing to mention on its entire length that I was beginning to worry about breaking down and being eaten alive by the millions of mosquitoes that attacked me while taking this photo. I had a great laugh and after it was all said and done, I’m so glad that I kept going after wanting to stop and turn around saying “There can’t be anything down here worth photographing!”… I was dead wrong! 🙂 Too FUNNY of a sign!

This is the farthest out-of-the-way sign in the history of ‘365 Things To Do In The Florida Keys’! Go to Mile Marker 27.8 bayside and turn onto Middle Torch Road, go down to Dorn Road (Big Torch Key) and turn left and keep driving straight till you think you’ll never reach the end and eventually you will I promise! The sign is posted on a pole to the left. WHAT A HOOT!

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