Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More from the Keys or Mom Over Board!

More photos from my trip to the Florida Keys with my daughters. Blogger is finally cooperating today so it is easier to get them posted.

One of the stops every tourist to Key West must make is to view the sunset from Mallory Square. They have what they call the Sunset Celebration and several street performances take place in the hour before and after sunset. We got there early to get a good seat on the pier and watched several ships and cruise boats sail by against the beautiful sky. Nearby was a man with this two trained dogs. I'm sorry I can't remember his name. But it was interesting and funny enough to keep us and several dozen other tourists entertained for awhile before sunset.

When he began his show again for the second time, it wasn't quite as funny so we were ready to move on. Near the Westin Hotel we found Dominique and Flying House Cats! This guy is seriously crazy! With his french accent and his "ha, ha, ha, ha" we weren't sure if the cute kitties were well trained or just frightened of this man!

If you're in need of a couple minutes of entertainment, you can watch the youtube video! I actually was able to figure out how to add this!!

Not only are there lots of chickens on Key West, there are many cats. They are residents of most every B & B and also hang around the outside dining areas of the restaurants waiting for hand outs. Of course, Ernest Hemingway's house is known for the six toed cats that reside there. We didn't tour the Hemingway house this time, but we did have our own host kitty at the Merlin House. We named him Merlin (but found out later his name is Jordan - Merlin fit him better!) and he would greet us every time we opened our door and come in to drink out of the kitchen sink. Guess he knew three cat lovers were visiting!

Our only adventurous activity for the week was a sunset snorkeling cruise. None of us had been snorkeling before and I agreed to at least try it! We boarded the Fury Water Adventure catamaran with about 50 other tourists. My first clue to what lie ahead should have been when they handed out the snorkel gear with only basic instruction. For this fifty-three old mom with only limited swimming skills, I think a little longer learning curve was necessary! But I did enter the ocean with my buoyancy vest, fins, mask etc. Brave B jumped right over the side of the boat and E followed me down the ramp. The girls took right off as I tried to figure out the whole mask and breathing thing. Bravely I put my face in the water and opened my eyes as I swam a few feet. I actually saw the coral reef and some pretty fish swim by - but then this weird round, gelatinous thing floated by near my face and I was done with this experience! There were too many bodies splashing around nearby, giving me visions of the movie Titanic and the girls were several feet away. I tried to get the mask and snorkel in position again, but at that point I decided that this just wasn't worth the trouble. I've now tried snorkeling, and it's not for me! So back to the boat I swam and with only a little help from the crew, climbed back up the ramp to the deck of the boat. There were a few others on board that didn't even enter the water, so I wasn't the only wimp!

Once I made sure the girls knew I was safely onboard I was content to watch them having fun in the pretty aqua water. B had an underwater camera, but I don't think she's gotten her pictures back yet. Should be interesting to see what I might have seen. As we sailed back to Key West, the sun came down and the views were awesome.

We drove back up the Keys on Friday. With a couple stops for more souvenir shopping at the Key Lime House and the Shell Man, we made it up to Miami and Ocean Drive in South Beach. All the old Art Deco buildings that have been and are in the process of being restored are pretty cool. We thought we'd eat an early dinner at one of the beach front cafes and watch the "beautiful" people . Though many of them offered "early bird" specials, this ended up being one of our most expensive meals and not even the best. There were far too many people and too much traffic for this old farm girl in this part of the country.

I could leave you with the photo of the snow that greeted us when we got home, but this pretty flower from the poolside at the B & B is much more cheery!


sarah said...

when i first read it i thought your snorkeling tour company was called 'furry' and i got a kick out of those crazy key west people. but then my brain started working right!

i'm with you on the snorkeling thing. i have a friend - she reads your blog, hi kim! - who scuba dives and the whole idea of being under water for that long FREAKS me out! :)

Brooke said...

can we go back?

Lisa Boyer said...

What a fun trip! I loved the "flying kitties" (was that your voice in the background, urging the cat to jump??) and that aqua water was just so beautiful! I would LOVE to snorkle in that! I'll bet you have different fish than we do. Ahhh...I wanna go back, too....

JD said...

your pictures are fun, cannot wait to see more! Congrats on the snorkeling incentive, I couldn't do it.