Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mile Marker 0 = Key West

Sugarloaf Key to Key West
April 1, 2011
20 miles

We both slept well last night probably due to swimming right before bed, and the two Benadryls we both popped. Our heat rash and bug bites had us trying to scratch our skin off, so we tried anti-histamine and some hydro-cortisone cream. It worked, but only for awhile. I woke up feeling extremely groggy, almost hung over. I don't know if this was because of the Benadryl or not, but I didn't have much motivation.

Luckily getting out of camp was easy, and so was the ride into Key West. We stopped around the half way mark in a little coffee shop called Baby's Coffee to get some cold drinks and some a/c. We had a strong headwind today, but it didn't matter. Having any breeze to relieve the oppressive heat makes riding much more bearable. We ambled along just enjoying ourselves and the short ride. The water down here is just like it looks in the commercials, so emerald and clear.

We rolled into key west after noon and took our time finding our hotel. When we did find it, we were able to check in early, and took the opportunity to take some nice showers and enjoy more a/c. Once we were all cleaned up, we decided we had better take the chance to enjoy Key West. This is a happening little island, obviously tourist driven, but unique none the less. We heard bike theft is a big problem here, and didn't want the burden of worrying about our bikes while trying to explore old town Key West, Mallory Square, and Duval street. The trolleys were pretty expensive, so we decided that for the same price we would rent a moped. Our hotel had a rental operation, so we went for it.

The two of us cruising around on a tiny little moped was a real hoot! It felt totally ridiculous to be riding one after pedaling our bikes the whole way, but it was also a nice break to have a breeze in our faces with no effort on our part. We buzzed around town to see the sights like: the southern most point in the continental US, the marina boardwalk, Duval street (the main downtown street with all of the vendors, little shops, and bars), and Mallory Square where we watched the sunset (a tradition here) during the Fool's Day celebration. It was a great time! There is a lot going on in this little town, and there is a real laid back atmosphere. Mopeds, pedicabs, cruiser bikes, and all the cars sort of share the roads together, and people chat with you while you are cruising down the road.

After the sun set, we buzzed around town more on our little scooter (we named it scoot scoot) and found a nice Chinese restaurant for supper. After supper, we rode around some more, mostly because we were lost, but that didn't really matter. On an island we couldn't be lost for too long. We made our way back to Duval street and decided to have some margaritas at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. The place wasn't bad, and the drinks were good, but the live band playing (it wasn't Jimmy Buffet) was either way too loud, or we are way too old, because we couldn't wait to leave. With our bellies full of liquor slushies we went back out on Duval and checked out some art galleries before we called it a night and headed back to our hotel. Key West is a friendly and fun place, but just like most tourist traps, if you are not careful, money will just start flying out of your bank account. We lived it up without breaking the bank, but just barely. But hey, when will we be in Key West again?


Key West has wild chickens everywhere

Greg's dream body

Boardwalk with fancy boats and fancy restaurants

Pelican going for some fish scraps

The real one man band. This guy was amazing

Sunset from Mallory square

Our scoot scoot