Key West Draws Us Back Again

Cooking out at Mile Marker 68 in the Florida Keys.

Key west is one of our favorite towns in America. The Key elements that draw us to the town are the history, the West Indies style homes surrounded by tropical foliage and the laid back island atmosphere.


Cooking out at Mile Marker 68 in the Florida Keys.

Cooking out at Mile Marker 68 in the Florida Keys.

We love the 127 mile drive from Homestead across the keys and always stop for a cookout at mile marker 68.

After more than a dozen trips throughout our lives and thousands of pictures, we decided to visit again this January. And for the first time, vow NOT to fantasize about moving there.

We have cherished memories of our visits to Key West so to prevent this trip from becoming anticlimactic, we decided to try something different. The National Geographic Traveler Miami & the Keys mentions a brochure for a walking tour that can be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce, just a block from the infamous Sloppy Joe’s bar.

The brochure maps out notable buildings with brief historical notes. These notes gave new meaning to our pictures as we wandered through the treelined streets.

Camping out in Key West Florida

Camping out in Key West Florida

Through our work we befriended Tom, a man in his 80’s, who had a similar love for Key West. Although quite well off, each winter he drove from his home in Virginia to Key West to live in his van in the streets for a month. He spent his days socializing with the homeless people, eating where they ate, finding free places to shower, playing checkers and watching local baseball games. At night he became an expert at avoiding the police who were always on the lookout for people sleeping in their vehicles – something we tried unsuccessfully in our limo once, (the limo was another idea we conjured up to support ourselves) but that’s a story for another time.

Occasionally Tom would leave his friends to splurge on a meal at El Siboney, a Cuban restaurant away from the historic district. This trip we decided to try out his favorite restaurant for ourselves. El Siboney was crowded and hectic, but we were served promptly and the food was delicious.

Now we can add El Siboney and the walking tour to our fond memories of Key West.

Written January 28, 2016 nomadbarb


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