“I want to get to Key West and away from it all.” – Ernest Hemingway
I will never forget that nearly endless bridge, the water of teal kissing the bluest sky. My friend was dating a guy who lived on Big Pine Key, which is about 45 minutes north of Key West. We came with her and got to explore and stayed with him for free! Bonus! The first night we were there, after a 10 hour drive from Jacksonville, we went for dinner at the Square Grouper on Summerland Key. The place is amazing! Food was delicious and fresh.
The next day we went went to Bahia Honda State Park and got to explore the gorgeous beach. Sand as white as paper, refreshing cold water and best of all there were manatees! We laid out in the sun and got burnt. We tried to snorkel but there was a storm churning and the water was too cloudy to really see anything. After a day of beaching it up, we went to Boondocks Mini Golf at Ramrod Key. It is a cheesy, mosquito filled mini golf course but they have a fantastic bar and you can drink while you play. It was fun, until the weather took a turn for the worse. Unfortunate the storm wasn’t done and we had to head back home because the bridges were going to close. So we watched scary movies and listened to the rain come down.
In the morning my husband and I explored the neighborhood of Big Pine Key while our friends spent a little time alone. We walked along the neighborhood and I found it so strange that most of the islands do not have a beach. It’s just grass and dirt all the way up to the water. We saw some tiny key deer in a wooded area and several massive iguanas. One iguana was about 4 ft long and we fed it some picnic sandwiches we brought with us. Along the middle of his neighborhood was a canal that lead to the ocean. Several people had docks with boats nearby. We decided to go for a dip and jumped in the canal. The water was clear and we could tell it was deep so we didn’t go far. After a quick cool down we got out to eat our sandwiches. We noticed that some fishes had swam up so we fed them a tiny bit of the sandwiches. Suddenly a large barracuda swam up and ate one of the fish! We could see the teeth of the barracuda. We realized maybe swimming in the canal was not a good idea.Later in the day we finally ventured down to Key West! We stopped by a Wendy’s and were blown away by the gorgeous view from the Wendy’s.
We went all the iconic spots, saw Mile Marker 0, the Southernmost Point, Hemingway House all such. We saw the aquarium and walked down Duval St. There were musicians playing in the streets. One more note, the wild chickens! The island is full of chickens and roosters. It was so wild! We only stayed for the day and then headed home the next morning. It was a short but sweet visit and not our last.