I had purchased a Gypsy Guide tour of the Florida Keys so we got up early and fired the guide up to head on down the Keys. The first stop turned out to be nearby right in Homestead. It was a large fruit stand with the memorable name “Robert is Here” and it had a lot of exotic fruits that are often hard to find. We ended up buying over $45 in fruits and vegetables.
We continued to drive down Highway 1 through the Keys until we saw a giant lobster. Of course we had to stop and compare it to the giant lobster we had visited in Canada. This one was a little bit smaller than the Canadian lobster and since it was a Florida Spiny Lobster it did not have claws. Behind the lobster was a number of cute souvenir stores.
Next, we stopped at Robbie’s Marina where we fed some giant Tarpon fish. These fish were very large, some over 6 feet long. There were also a large number of rather aggressive pelicans who were fighting for a share of the fish the tourists were trying to feed the Tarpon. One even bit my leg but since pelicans don’t have teeth it did not hurt despite their huge beaks.
We drove over the famous 7 mile bridge before reaching Bahia Honda State Beach, our final stop before Key West. Bahia Honda is said to be the best beach in the Florida Keys and ranks in the top 10 beaches in the USA but we don’t see how it would be in the top 10 in the USA. Bahia Honda is in a scenic location but it is a very narrow beach and the sand on the beach is coarse with shells. The water is very shallow but 20 feet offshore there is seagrass. We still enjoyed a few hours swimming in the ocean before continuing down to Key West and checking into the Fairfield Inn in Key West. We normally don’t stay in hotels but overnight parking was limited in Key West and at $360 a night it was worth using a free hotel night certificate.
The hotel had a free breakfast which was quite similar to a Holiday Inn Express except there was no pancake machine. The hotel had a free shuttle to Old Town Key West so we rode that to the main tourist part of Key West where we spent $85 to take the Conch Train hop on hop off tour. Unlike most bus tours this tour was on a cuter train trolley. The drivers provided some amusing and informative stories about Key West pointing out the local landmarks. It was pretty fun.
We stopped at the Southernmost Point in the USA marker, visited the Butterfly Conservatory, walked along Duval Street and had a nice lunch at the Waterfront Brewery right on water.
We went to Mallory Square to watch the sunset and was planning to have dinner in town and check out Duval Street in the evening but Olivia started feeling sick so we returned to Rover for dinner and go to bed early.