Monday, July 02, 2007


Key West lies…at least when it comes to the weather. I am far from a meteorologist but how is it that the high temp in June can be 87 degrees during the day and the low that night 82? What do they do, take the daytime temp under the chair under a shady tree? Every day the forecast is pretty much the same…high in the upper 80’s, lows in the lower 80’s, chance of afternoon thundershowers.

Did they have to go to meteorological school for that?

No way is it just 87 for a high – not when I was there.

Regardless, it wouldn’t change the way I’m drawn to the place. It was hot here in June too so where would you rather be?

Speaking of the heat, Lucky Lund went along with me to Key West this trip and he spotted a Ravens fan in a McNair jersey. Now I’ve got to tell you, wearing a jersey in those tropical conditions while walking Duval Street is a gamey proposition. Kudos to that Ravens fan! Kudos to his wife!

We didn’t see another fan of any other team wearing a replica jersey. Bleed purple!

We did do some parasailing and the guy who hooked us up was a former Navy Seal from Buffalo. I had a 24x7 t-shirt on (I always like to wear tees from home to spark conversation) and the Navy Seal (John Michael) commented that he took it pretty hard when the Ravens lost to the Colts and that he thought the Ravens were going to win it all. He compared it to the feeling he had when the Bills blew that one Super Bowl against the Cowboys.

Whether near or far, the consensus is that McNair picked a bad time to have his worst game of the year. I’m here to tell you though that that loss will bring value to the team in ’07. And that loss didn’t stop that Ravens’ fan from wearing his McNair jersey in the heat of America’s southernmost point.

Now about that trip….

First I need to give a shout out to Al Brown who hooked me up with a Conch Republic castaway named Bob Chaney. Both are local firefighters who frequent the Keys and I’m not sure how he pulled it off (actually I do know but I’m not telling) but Bob Chaney owns a home in Key West situated in a perfect spot nearby all the Duval Street and Old Town Key West action but still far enough away to serve as a retreat – an oasis of sorts. The house was very reasonably priced as well so if you want a hook up, give me a shout.

I’ve detailed many things on my previous trips to the Keys and my loosely assembled travel guide remains a work in progress. Here’s what I’ve provided in the past along with some feedback from others. Today, I’ll add to it.

Some things that we tried this time around…

1. That new spray on sunscreen is great. Just don’t spray it on while driving a convertible. It only ends up sunscreening the sun glasses of the person in the back seat.

2. If you drive down from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, stop at Mile Marker 85 on the left and take a pit stop at Hog Heaven. No hogs when we were there but the scenery out back was Heavenly.

3. Do try Louie’s Backyard on the Atlantic side of the island (Key West).

4. Roger that for Blue Heaven on Petronia. (Notice a lot of heaven here?) Terrific breakfast with great ambience. I hear the lunch and dinner menus are excellent as well. Baltimore is represented well there…you just have to look a bit. The chickens rule at Blue Heaven and they aren’t very bashful. Unless of course a 3 year old is hell bent on catching one which was the case during our visit.

5. Down in Old Town there is a place called Dante’s which is a big pool that allows guests in for free provided they eat and/or drink there. No worries there. Nice place to kick back and enjoy the scenery. Kids are welcomed.

6. The Southernmost Hotel offers a great pool as well up on the Atlantic side. It overlooks the ocean and the cover is $5.00 which is offset with a drink coupon. Where I come from we call that a no-brainer. Over the course of our 3 hour stay we met a couple from York, PA, 2 couples from Lancaster, PA and 2 couples from Annapolis. Most were Ravens fans except one guy from Annapolis who was a transplant from…yep, you guessed it…Pittsburgh.

7. Looking for a nice adventure? Check out the Danger tour down at the Gulf side near Mallory Square (adjacent from the Hyatt timeshares). It was an 11-5 tour and it included a sail on a schooner plus snorkeling, a crash course in the history, geography and ecology of Key West plus some kayaking, a great lunch and of course adult libations served up after the snorkeling. Well worth the $99 tariff.

8. Meteor Smokehouse was recommended to me and as I made my way towards it I realized I had been there before after an afternoon on Duval. I have no idea why I didn’t recall having been there ;-)~

9. I wanted to recommend this great little internet café…I can’t seem to remember the name but I do believe I have a card from there so when I sort through my stuff (still not completely unpacked) I’ll post it on here.

More on the Keys to come…I think