Thursday, July 31, 2014

Visit to historic Pigeon Key

On Marathon Key we took a boat trip to Historic Pigeon Key. The trip was a short 15 minute boat ride. 
Our boat, going under the new and old bridge.

We didn’t have a reservation and didn’t need one. There was only another couple the tour guide and crew. 
Make reservation here

The other couple were from Texas. They were from the Hill country, our favorite part of Texas. Turns out they were married at a small chapel about one mile from our favorite RV Park, at least in Texas. Talk about a small world.

Back to Pigeon Key. The Key is historic in that it was a place that housed up  to 4,000 workers building the overseas highway and seven mile bride.  You can see more here  
Some of the original buildings. The long building was a dormitory for the workers 

Of special interest to Bob were the old cachet stamp covers .

 This coconut fell while we were wanting for the boat for our return trip

This is a very interesting bit of history.

Thanks for following along.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Key Deer

We went in  search of the Endangered Key Deer on Pine Key.  We found them on both Big Pine Key and No Name Key.  The Key Deer is a smaller sub species of the white tail deer.  Since being put on the endangered list their totals have increase. In the 50’s there were an estimated  25 deer. Now there is a estimate of between 6 and 700.  See 

Hey, were you going

I'm out of here

Mom and baby

Nice rack

This guy was not afraid of cars or people. Rack still in velvet

This is why they are not afraid. Signs all over saying "do feed the deer". I pulled up aside of them and told them it was a $1000. fine for feeding the deer and you should have seen them take off. Deer are wild, keep them wild.

The end to a perfect day. We got to see many key deer, including many fawns.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Foodie stops along the Keys

      We did find a couple of different foodie places here on the Keys. One was on Non Name Key. It was the Non Name Pub.  An interesting name. We found it while seeking some endangered Key Deer. We had a pizza which on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, we gave it a 1. We don’t usually rate things by numbers, just good or bad etc. But this time we use a number to show our disapproval of the meal. This is our opinion. We sure disagree with the Zagat rating, wonder when that was done. It was not at all to our liking.  Other things may have been a better choice. Interesting history of No Name. At one time it was a brothel, then general store. See their web site  The positive thing about the place was we “found it”, see the picture of the sign.
Inside, every spot on the walls and ceiling  are covered with dollar bills


     Our next foodie place was Key Fisheries, Market and Marina. Linda wanted to try the lobster Reuben. Saw it advertised on a billboard claiming they sold over 200,000. Linda really liked it, for me it was just ok. I had Conch chowder and fried Conch. Both were very good. All the tables are water front. We will be back to try a few other items on the menu.  While there we saw a number of great catches  from sport fishermen come into the marina. See more at their web site  Disappointed in the fact that no conch is harvested in the Florida Keys. Told by the owner it is illegal to harvest conch in the Keys. So much for the Conch Republic. He said most  the conch comes from the Caribbean  area. So why do we not see conch all over the US.? I can't confirm this. I checked the internet and found varying stories.  

The lobster Reuben

the restaurant

Now that's horsepower

a lot of fish, back of truck is full of large cans of fish going to a restaurant

       We also learned  about  lobster fishing here in the Keys.  Next to the restaurant was a commercial lobster business. We talked to several of the lobstermen and the owner of the restaurant about all the lobster traps we saw.  They have 10,000 traps. This is just one of many lobster businesses. They pay a state fee of $135. per tag for each trap. That’s a whooping sum of money. I didn’t do the math. According to the owner of the restaurant  they did over a billion dollars of business last year. They have an assembly line each day to pack “live” lobsters for shipment to China. They load them into tractor trailers that go to Detroit and are flown to Beijing China.  Don’t know why Detroit, but that’s what I was told. They use to get 5 to 7 dollars a pound but are now getting 24-25 dollars a pound. Wonder why the price of lobster is getting so high.

Making lobster traps, buoys, part of the fleet, piles of traps with buoys inside each one.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Traveling US 1

     We left the casino and headed for Ohio Key and Sunshine Key RV Resort. Started the RV and turned on the rear monitor and this is what I saw.

    Then I noticed it was breathing. I exited the RV and took a look. It was the largest beetle  bug I ever saw. Luckily we had a yard stick and I helped him fly away.

    So off we went.

     A short trip.  Along the way we passed many many nurseries. The silver palm in one of our favorites. There were 100's.

Downtown Homestead Florida

Along US 1 we saw 100's of lobster traps. I guess its not the season for lobster.

The destination at the checkered flag.

The views along US 1

Almost there

Check back, more to come. Thanks for following along.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Maiden voyage and ON THE ROAD AGAIN

     Our first road trip was a short 68 miles one way. We traveled to the Orlando/Clermont Thousand Trails. It was a short six day trip to check out all the systems on the RV. No problems we didn't know about. The park was about 1/10 full.  The last time we were here the 800+ sites were all taken. What a difference when the snow birds head north. I hope all the Florida residences realize the impact the snowbirds make on their economy. 

    We finally got on the road after many delays. This is one of them, a new dock.

      We thought  about going to Maine, but we want to be back in Florida in August. To short a time period to go that far. So our original plan was put back into play. We headed to the Florida Keys. Even though its 3-400 miles farther south, depending where we are staying, we are hoping for a breeze from either the Gulf or the Atlantic. We wanted to get off  I 95and travel some of the back roads south. We headed to the Lake Okeechobee  area to get to route 27 south, to 997 south then to route US 1 south. On the way we traveled through some of Florida's farm land.

Sugar cane fields.

Domino sugar processing plant.
Not your average garden tractor
Why is that guy following so close? Actually its our car in the rear view camera  
Your from where?

Our first stop was a Indian Casino for a overnight.

Even though there is no fee to stay in their lot, the $42.+ seafood buffet, plus some gambling makes up for the "no fee" stay.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why are these folks gathering in our yard?

      What are these people doing in our yard. Looking for a rocket launch? Looking for an eclipse?
No they are having a happy hour that started at 8 PM., waiting for the flowers to start blooming.

       I heard of night blooming flowers, but have never seen  any. We had seen a few bloom for the passed couple of nights. Then we  saw about 30 to 40 buds ready to open, on our live oak tree and the palm tree next to the oak. We found out about the tree blooming on the garden and pond tour we had taken the week before. We have this snake like vine climbing on our live oak and palm with what looked like tiny cotton balls all over the branches. At first the buds were smaller, but can't find any pictures with them when there were tiny. You can see them breaking out of their "cotton" like bud.


 We asked a gardener at one of the tour house that had a vine like ours and asked what they were.
We  where told about the vine. They seem to go by many differ names, the preferred one is barbed wire cactus, also sword pear, triangle cactus and night blooming cereus. We are not positive of the name. Below are some of the buds ready to open.

      Told a few neighbors, and they told a few and so on. Many people came and went. Even when we went to bed we saw someone out in our yard taking pictures. The flowers only last for one night.

It was like watching a time elapse movie . Your could see them opening, and it almost was like you could hear them opening. Some were about the size of a dinner plate.  Every night for the passed two weeks we have been treated to this wonderful show of nature. . What a thrill. Folks down here will do anything for a happy hour. no matter what time it starts or ends, which was about 11 pm.