Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Search Feature

I'm a little late to the party, but I've added a search feature.  I have to go back and add labels to some of my posts, but hopefully this will help when hubs hands out the web address and says....check out the posts on Chicago or China or France.


I sound like a broken record....I'm behind!

A little teaser....cherry blossoms in full bloom in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wind and Wine on Danger Charters

We tend to be creatures of habit.  One of the things we like to do when we are in a beach town is find a small sailing excursion.  We aren't fans of the large 30+ boats where you feel like part of the herd.   After a terrible experience on the Princesa Yelapa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1997 we will never again take a large boat excursion.

Danger Charters out of Key West offers a Wind and Wine tour that features watching the sunset as you taste a variety of wines and light snacks.  The wine was plentiful; crew attentive; and sunset divine.  If we ever make our way back to the Keys, I'd quickly book another trip with Danger Charters.

 Chuck after a few glasses of wine (see the perma-grin).

Around the Keys

A few pictures from around the Keys.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Butterfly House and Nature Conservatory in Key West

The afternoons were so hot and humid that we needed a bit of a break, so we headed into the Key West Butterfly House and Nature Conservatory.   It's located on Duval Street, closer to the Southernmost Point, not all the restaurants.

I love butterflies; however butterflies are more attracted to Chuck than they are to me.  It is supposed to be good luck to have a butterfly land on you.  As we (slowly) walked through the butterfly house, Chuck continually attracted butterflies.  Perhaps it was his khaki shorts that reminded them of wood....err a tree or maybe he smelled sweet.  Every time I turned around another butterfly was perched on his shoulder, his pants, the camera bag.  I think he has all the luck needed for awhile!

The deets:  1316 Duval Street; Open 9-5; admission is about $12; however you can find discount coupons, for a few dollars off, in the travel magazines located throughout town.

Surprise Downpour and Flooding in Key West

And we were off for a long weekend in the Florida Keys and Miami.  Ever since Chuck read On the Road with Charles Kuralt, he has had the Florida Keys on his bucket list.  We arrived at MIA, trekked over to Avis and picked up our Chrysler 200 convertible.  An aside:  the Chrysler convertible has come a long way since my sebring in 2000!

Back to the trip.

We envisioned a series of bridges on Highway 5 as it connected the various islands of the Keys.  If you've never been to the Florida Keys, this is probably how you envision it, too...long bridges with the ocean flanking both sides of the car and quick descent to land for a few miles, another bridge, repeat.  Not so fast. Our expectations were set a bit high.  At one point I muttered..."gee, this is like driving through Door County, but a little more rundown."  I suspect the journey down Highway 5 in the 70s, 80s and even 90s was a different experience, but in 2013, it was a series of billboards, weathered buildings, neon yellow storefronts hawking t-shirts and sandals.

On the way down we stopped at Burdine's for lunch...and to watch the storm roll in!  Burdine's is a bit tricky to get to, but trust your GPS as you turn down the small alleys and eventually end up in a gravel parking lot that seems to double as a parking area for boaters.  Climb the steps up to the restaurant and enjoy the view of the canal, the cold beverages, table games and fantastic food.  Here are the tripadvisor reviews.

After lunch, I was on deck to drive the rest of the way to Key West.  The sky turned black and the rain came down in sheets.  I spent the next two hours with some slow white knuckled driving and navigating flooded streets.  As I'm driving on Front Street in Key West, Chuck says, "keep driving, drive slow, don't make a wake, but don't stop driving"....and water begins to trickle in the floorboards.  Luckily we managed and there were no superior driving skills or perhaps Chuck's superior navigation skills.

A few pictures from the flooding in the Keys taken about 3 hours after the big downpour, so the waters already started to recede.

 Duvall Street

Front Street