Monday, August 25, 2014

Our take on tke Florida Keys

     After spending three + weeks in the Keys, this is our take on the Florida Keys, known as the “Keys”. First Key West is a young person’s destination. The bar scene is very big with over 150 bars on about 2 miles of one road.  We are  not into the bar scene. Every bar we went into we felt like we were the parents or grandparents of the are not the bar scene. Every bar we went into we felt like we were the parents or grandparents of the folks in the bar. It was all very civilized but loud with younger folks having a great time.  We did find a few quieter places for lunch and dinner. The city itself has some interesting history.   We did tour most of the historic places in Key West when we were here in 2013. See our blog February 2013 for more information, listed under the label Florida at the right.  We just wanted to spend some unhurried time walking around seeing the “sights” again.  One interesting thing we discovered at least for Linda was scrapple sliders in one of Pat Croce’s places. Pat has six bar and grill’s in Key West and a museum in ST Augustine.   I know a lot of you may be saying who is Pat Croce and what is scrapple.  Just a short bit of an explanation, Pat was the Philly 76’s president, writer, physical therapist and the brother of Jim, the singer. Scrapple is a pig byproduct, found mostly in Pennsylvania Dutch country. A lot more information can be found on the internet about scrapple.

    The Key’s are a very big destination for fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.  Cannot believe how many boats we had seen. Even in the RV parks there are many boats. Swimming beaches are a lot less available then we expected. With water on both sides we expected miles and mile of beaches. Not so. Much of the shoreline is private with no public beaches. Public beaches we found were small. Some you could walk out several hundred yards in knee deep water. Many had large amounts of seaweed on them that you had to walk through to get to the water.

The people way out are only in knee deep water.


   Most of the RV parks are expensive, and very tight.  We didn’t try any of the State Parks. They wanted $9.00 just to drive through and check them out.  The parks we stayed in were affiliated with clubs we belong to, cutting the coast considerably. For us the sites were to close and two crowed with “stuff”. An RV, boat on trailer, an easy up, etc.  Some were well kept, but just crowed.  

    All the above being said, would we return?  Well we have a lot more places we want to visit and revisit. The Keys would be down on our list. This is not to say we would never return, just that like I said there are other places further up on our list. If we were with a group doing the “bar scene” and finding places to dine, or do some fishing we might have a better time. We did meet friends from the park we own a home in for about a week and things got a little better. There are a lot of good eating places featuring seafood which we both enjoy. But many were just so so.I love fishing, but that is freshwater fishing.  This is the place you need a boat or a friend with a boat.  Summers are very hot here. I expected a good breeze all the time. Didn’t happen. If we had a light breeze it was a very hot tropical breeze. When we had a good breeze it was accompany by a storm. All this being said I know some RVer’s that love this place. Evident by all the seasonal or permanent RVs.  But remember this is “our take on the Keys”.
     More on the keys to follow. Thanks for following along.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Turtle Hospital

The turtle Hospital
     On Marathon Key we visited a turtle hospital. The hospital is for the rescue of sea turtles.  There are five types of sea turtles found in the Florida Keys. Four are on the endangered list and one is on the threatened list.  It is a very popular tour. If you want to go on the educational tour, make a reservation. The day we went all tours filled. They offer seven tours a day.  You can see a lot more at their web site, , this way  I won’t bore you with a lot of details some of which I probably will miss.  This is the second turtle hospital we had visited. The other was in South Carolina.  Hopefully they are making a good impact to help the turtles survive for future generations.
Some missing flippers, etc. Some will be released, other that can't be released go to a zoo.

Hatchlings about a week old.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sunshine Key

      Down route US 1 to Ohio Key which is a Encore park called Sunshine Key. I believe Encore owns the whole key which is about 70 acres. At least this is what we were told.  It is very full and a lot tighter then we like. Although we had a good size corner lot,  the park is way to crowded.   The park is made up of about 90% Cuban's . They are mostly from the Miami area. At least this is what one person that talked to us, told us. The cooking aroma all day long is enough to wet the appetite  of even those on a  strict  diet. I talked to a few of our neighbors hoping for a invite to lunch or dinner, either one would do. But sadly failed. We arrived on a Saturday, which is usually a no-no for seasoned RVer's like ourselves. We wanted to get on the road, and it just worked out that way. 90% of the RV sites are yearly's or seasonal.   Most sites were well maintained. Many had one or two easy-ups and outdoor kitchens. Many sites had either a large boat on a trailer or a empty trailer meaning they had a slip at the marina. The RV park also has a marina. The park is just over crowed with "stuff"
      To many kids for our liking. Unattended at the pool. Kids, young kids wildly driving golf carts. The park staff does nothing about them. Dog walking is very very  limited. Load music till midnight. People talking out side till 2-3 in the morning. We were at the pool one da\, before the crowd, and one woman took off her bathing suit top to sun bathe. She was very discrete about it. But come on, this is not a nudist park.

Our site

Looking down the front and back of or site

A very nice site, but crowed

Nice pool, but small for the size of the park. Weekends its hard to see the water.

A great sunset from the Rv park
Never say never, but I doubt we would ever come back to this park.

    Part two  one of the neighbors gave us some fish and  also ceviche. She enjoyed talking to us gringo's, was her comment. Talked to us for about an hour. She kept referring to her husband as a "rafter". At first we didn't know what she meant, thinking it was some political party, but then she said her husband escaped Cuba via a raft in the 60's. That is what she meant by "rafter".
     Would we stay here again. NEVER, but I learned to never say never.

Thanks for following along, more blogs about the Keys coming soon.