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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Marathon Key

This morning, Mark and Sue headed out toward the Orlando area to visit Sue’s brother for a few days.  Patsy and I had made reservations at the “Jolly Roger” Campground, a Passport America park, on Marathon Key for two days.

Last night, Sue made dinner……… fried shrimp, salmon, black-eyed peas, and potatoes.  It was good, and Mark served as a waiter!!  Here’s a picture……

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As we drove north toward Marathon Key, we crossed the ‘Seven Mile’ bridge.   Here’s the view from the Bus……

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We arrived at the Jolly Roger campground and got into our site……….

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Marathon Key 031 After we got set up in the site, we took a drive to look at two of the state parks between here and Key West that we passed on the road.  They were Bahia Honda State Park and Curry Hammack State Park.  We were able to talk the ranger at each park to let us go in to see the campgrounds.  Both were very nice……. and for Mark’s information, both had openings for Saturday night!!

We then returned to the campground and walked around it.  There is a dock area, with some nice RV sites around it…………

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And, of course, boats and pelicans………..

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At dusk, Patsy went down by the water to take some sunset pictures…….

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Tomorrow is Sunday.  We will sleep in late, and then explore the “Keys” highway north of here.

Key West – Day 3 (Hemingway’s Home)

On Friday, Mark and Sue said that they had seen enough of Key West and wanted to just stay around the campground.  Patsy and I still want to tour Ernest Hemingway’s Home, so we went for one more trip.

I wasn’t sure that it was for me, but it turned out to be a good tour.  After paying your tour fee, you are free to walk through the house and grounds, or wait a few minutes for a guide.  We (Patsy!!) chose to wait for a guide, and we ended up with an entertaining one.  HIs picture is on the web page under the “tour guides” tab.  He is “Boston” Bob Smith!! 

There are 42 cats roaming the grounds and they are all descendents from a “six-toed” cat that Hemingway brought back from Paris.  They are allowed all over the house and grounds………. so, you will see some in the pictures.

Here are pictures of the house and rooms:

The house as you enter the gate……

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The living room and a painting of the house that was hanging in the living room…….

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Another painting in the Living Room.  It is of Hemingway and a close friend from Cuba, who was his inspiration for the book, “The Old Man and The Sea”…….

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The Master Bedroom with cats laying on the bed……

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Our tour guide in the Master Bedroom……

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In the back of the house, Hemingway converted an old carriage house into his writing studio.  Here are a couple of inside shots, and the outside with Patsy walking toward it………….

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Here are some ‘outside and ground’ shots, beginning with a view of a lighthouse across the street from the Master Bedroom…………….

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The pool………….

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A fountain made from a urinal torn out of ‘Sloppy Joe’s Saloon”……..

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A restful area in the garden………

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Part of the upstairs porch around the house……

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After we returned to the campground, we just relaxed.  We used the pool and hot tub, sat on the beach, and laid around the rigs.

Tomorrow, we check out and head north!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Key West – Day 2 (Night Tour)

On Thursday afternoon, we decided to go into Key West to have dinner, and then to see the tourist area at night. 

We chose another one of Nick Russell’s recommendations for dinner……. El Siboney Restaurant, an authentic Cuban restaurant.  Again, we had a very good meal.  Here is a picture of the restaurant……….

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After dinner, we had a pretty good walk back to where we had parked the car.  On the way, I took several night time pictures of the tourist area on Duval Street.

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After our Cuban dinner, Mark wanted a piece of Key Lime Pie, and he found a bakery…….

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I took this picture for Manual Esparza.  When a pretty woman walks by, he always says that “She has pretty eyes!” 

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A hand-rolled cigar store………..

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Another hand-rolled cigar store with what I think is the husband-wife owners…. he rolls, she sells……..

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Another type of smoking apparatus that was displayed in many stores on Duval St.………

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Tomorrow, our 3rd day will be the wrap-up day.  Patsy and I plan to tour the Ernest Hemingway home.

Key West – Day 2

We have our sites here at the Sugarloaf Key KOA for three days…….. Wednesday through Friday nights.  Here are some pictures of our sites and the pool area……

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As I have stated before, we are here because of some coupons that we “won” on a slot machine at a KOA booth at the TAMPA RV Show recently.  The coupons allowed us to pay for one night ($115) and get two more for free!  Along with that, we got a coupon for a free 1/2 day rental of a boat.  I thought that it would be a plastic paddle boat, but it turned out to be our choice of any boat in their marina!!    

We decided to use the boat coupon today.  Here is a picture of Sue and Patsy watching the guy clean the dew off the seats of ‘our’ boat……

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Near the marina, there was a small island with a lot of pelicans in the bushes.  Here are some shots that Patsy got……….

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We left out on our “4-hour” boat ride, and the following are some of the pictures that I took:

Leaving the campground dock……

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Traveling down a cove and a close-up of the mangrove bushes……

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Some of the views that we saw……….

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A trap marking buoy and the trap under the clear water…….

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A passing sailboat with dingy in tow…..

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The captain and his crew…….

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Another shore view…….

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Returning to the campground marina………

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After resting from the boat ride, we went into Key West for dinner, and to see the night-time activity.  That will be another post.