January 2023 Trip Day 8: Florida Keys

 Day 8 started out with breakfast from a local Cuban place. It was amazing. The type of place where very little English is spoken and you don't know what anything is, but it all looks and smells amazing and you wish you could try one of everything, buy you don't have time to browse because the locals are all there, too, and they know what they want and you're holding them up so just choose already! Ah-mazing.

Next up was Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. We saw a lot of interesting local plant life and met the most upbeat and enthusiastic park ranger that has ever existed. Islamorda.

Old Quarry

Fossils embedded in the limestone.

We got our feet in the sand for a bit at Anne's Beach. 

No trip is complete without a stop at Shell World. They lived up to the name!

Lunch was excellent. We found a net little place that was tucked away in a tropical garden. It's located just off the road but has the feeling of being somewhere else entirely. 

We saw the scraggliest cat in the world here. He looks like something out of a horror move, and moved like one, too, but he was very affectionate. 

7-Mile bridge. We love a good bridge when we're on vacation. We couldn't pass over this one. 

By the time we got to Key West, it was starting to sprinkle. We found a parking spot and walked to the "Southernmost Point of the Continental United States." It's not though. 

Street poetry
This top-secret government area is supposed to be the Southernmost point. 

Easily the highlight of my day was Fort Zachary Tyler. It's an old Civil War fort that you can just wander around at will. We arrived about 45 minutes prior to closing and we were being threatened with rain so it was pretty well empty. Exploring the old fort was a captivating experience. 

If you decide you'd like to watch the sun set off of the pier at Key West, learn a lesson from us and arrive early. Ben finally dropped off Gabe and I and he circled around for 30 minutes waiting for parking to open up before he could join us. 

After the sun set, we walked around town, taking in the night life, almost getting run over buy a pedi-cab, and sampling all the key lime pie our stomachs could handle. Sooooo fun. 

One of several Key Lime restaurants


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