Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Key West turned out to be, not surprisingly I suppose, somewhat tourist-y, although off the beaten track, amongst the rundown, island-mixed-with-Victorian architecture, we found a delicious French creperie that we had to visit twice. We visited a few of the must-sees like Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War-era fort, and then the Southernmost point in the U.S., where we drank coconut water from a fresh coconut before having it chopped open so that we could eat the flesh. We also visited Earnest Hemingway's house where the forty-four descendents of his sixty-five, six-toed cats live and where we learned about his accident-prone, can't-believe-he survived-that-many-concussions, plane-wrecks-and-wives life. He was officially a wild and crazy guy. Our final stop within Key West was the butterfly house where butterflies magically flitted, weightlessly through the air and oh-so-adorable Chinese Quails ran around at our feet.
While there, we stayed at the tiny, quiet, Geiger Key campground about ten miles outside of town where we had a campsite that backed up to water dotted with mangrove islands. We spent hours watching tarpon, sargent fish, hound fish, iguanas, and Portuguese men of war swim by, and brown pelicans, white ibis, and egrets at home in the mangroves. One day we took tandem kayaks out to explore the waters. We paddled through the clear aquamarine channels to the brown tannin soaked stillness of the mangroves forests where we ducked our way under branches crawling with crabs and over roots crawling with fish through the tight paths that wound into the islands that so many fish and birds call home.
After spending five nights at Geiger Key, we spent a day on a sailboat sailing in the beautiful waters outside of Marathon. We enjoyed a nice breeze on a twenty-four foot, GPS-free, J-boat where the boys dangled their feet off the side and lounged about in the sun watching the bottom pass by as Jason and I continually tried to figure out where the heck we were.