We are rounding out our last night in Key West. It truly is a bittersweet moment. We are all hanging out in the apartment watching Dr. Ken and laughing our butts off. This is a welcome break because I walked everyone (minus grandma) around Key West in the blistering sun! (when I first started writing this, we were watching Dr. Ken. Now, two hours later, everyone has again knocked out and I, the lone night owl, am blogging in the dark.)
This morning we enjoyed breakfast in our apartment. There were eggs, toast, and homemade banana pancakes. Plus various leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast and dinner. Then, us girls got ready to go shopping. Where shopping equals pretty much buying out the Dollar Tree, perusing K-Mart, going H.A.M. in Walgreen’s for cheap souvenirs, and grocery shopping. IT WAS SO HOT OUTSIDE.
We came back and enjoyed the fine dining selections of Publix. AKA fried chicken, Hawaiian sweet rolls (are they crack? I love them so much) southern style potato salad, and cole slaw. YUMMY. I get that there are amazing restaurants in Key West, but nothing really beats fried chicken from Publix.
After lunch, we all (minus grandma – shopping wore her out) went back to Duval Street to walk around the shops and explore.
Honestly, worst idea ever (for the adults) because I LOVE exploring. So we walked and walked and walked…
We visited several shops. Stopped to try $5 sangria from this wine bar. It was good, not the greatest, but still pretty good for $5.
We left with our drinks and continued looking at all of the shops. I saw a really nice gallery and I wanted to check it out! They had a gorgeous fountain with dolphins in the front and various paintings that were marine in nature.
Honestly, probably not the best place to be walking around. I saw my mom and somehow ran into her and dropped my sangria on their floor. MAJOR EMBARRASSMENT ENSUED. Thankfully their carpet was a dark color and you couldn’t see the sangria stain. I felt so bad so I dried it out with paper towels and hightailed it out of there. The lady was nice and was like “it’s not very good sangria anyways” but the guy looked like he wanted to murder me. Apparently, our clumsiness is hereditary, so Aunt Connie says when she dropped the uncovered cup of milk dad took from the lobby for his morning coffee, not too long ago. D:
We continued onward to find Irish Kevins. I got confused so I wasn’t sure if they wanted to walk to the Red Doors or Irish Kevins. Alcohol and decision making = not so great idea. But my uncle really wanted to see it and Sloppy Joes so we walked towards the fun side of Duval and I took some pictures of the fam in front of the various bars.
When we finished seeing all the bars, (there was a Coyote Ugly!!!!!!! I really want to go back next time,) we made our way to Caroline street to see the Red Doors. The cool thing about this (very old) building is that my Great Great Grandpa Martin Key owned/managed it during the 1920s. Back then, it was called “Bucket of Blood” because of the stabbings, violence, and occasional “quiet” murder. The second floor was also a brothel! Aside from owning a fine dining establishment in the 1920’s double great gramps, Martin, was arrested for having over 300 gallons of “Pre-Volstead, American-Made” liquor! This is Prohibition type stuff! Also very cool.
My dad and aunt talked to the current owner. He actually came in the 80s (1980’s, because 1880’s is like 130 years ago) so he really didn’t know much about stuff that went down in the 1920s with Mr. Key.
I saw a brewery that probably would have been really cool to check out, but I don’t think anyone really wanted to try craft beers. Shame. That will be another one I will check out next time.
By then, everyone was exhausted, so we trekked back to the car. We stopped by Margaritaville on the way back to the car. My grandma really wanted to visit it and hopefully see Jimmy Buffet. Since she didn’t make out with us, I bought her a keychain and magnet! Thankfully, we didn’t see Jimmy Buffet. She might have been devastated if we did.
We left and drove by the Hemingway House. It would have been nice to stop but we heard there were a bunch of cats. Which isn’t so great if you are allergic to cats like I am. So we did a drive by!
We got back to the apartment and everyone was pooped! We had walked over 5 miles total, (maybe more, my fitbit has been buggy)! My aunt and I made our way down to the pool to catch the final rays of sunshine. I explored more of the hotel and found a really quiet corner in front of the mangroves with a small opening to the ocean. It was amazing just sitting there and listening to the waves lap against the sand and feel the wind caused by Hurricane Joaquin’s feeder bands.
I also stumbled upon some hammocks! When we explored last night, it was dark (obviously) so we really didn’t get to see much. But I literally stumbled on the hammocks. I was swinging, tried to maneuver myself sideways and ended up falling out. AMUSING. Here, for your enjoyment:
My aunt and I walked toward the Tiki Hut Bar and realized we didn’t need to charge to the room so I went back to change into my bathing suit to swim in the pool and get my uncle so they could drink. I got a delicious blackberry Mojito and my aunt tried a strawberry Mojito. Then, my parents came down to enjoy the fun. We all drank by the pool, swam, and chilled (HA) in the hot tub! I’d say it was a spectacular end to our mini-vacation.
It’s only 10PM but everyone is knocked out. I’m catching an episode of Full House and I think it’s ridiculous because this episode is the last episode I remember watching when they were still “new” episodes. Michelle fell off her horse and forgot everyone! I think I had cried when I first watched it because I was so sad. Now, I’m watching it and it’s rather ridiculous. Like stupid ridiculous. But I still love this show.
Anyways, we’re leaving early in the morning. I think leaving is the saddest part of a vacation because it means it’s over. While this was a great reprieve from my prior week’s chaos. It wasn’t long enough! I wish I could stay longer.
We will make our way back home and get started on making cabbage rolls in the evening. LET ME TELL YOU HOW EXCITED I AM FOR CABBAGE ROLLS! I’ve been craving these since the last time I had them thirteen years ago! But I always crave them. They’re delicious and cabbage-y and amazing. They remind me of childhood and Christmases at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Unfortunately, my mom will have to watch and take notes because I’ll be working when they are actually assembled on Sunday. Cabbage is a two day affair. You have to boil the cabbage the night before, before you can actually roll them! I’m really sad that I will miss out. However, I’ll be coming home to FRESH cabbage rolls. I wonder if I can con my grandma into also making Kibbeh… hmm….
What a perfect end to our weekend of reminiscing on grandma’s family history, by making food from grandpa’s Syrian side of the family! I’m on a whole family history kick.
In other news, I’ll be moving to Key West soon.
Until next time!