A Love Letter to Key West

Key West, oh how I love to get lost in your winding streets and imagine a life of warm breezes and afternoon cocktails.  You have just the right amount of grit and charm to make me appreciate the beauty of imperfection.  Not to mention, the crystal blue waters of your shores.  You are a city who appreciates painted porches and flickering torches.

 

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You understand the beauty of living with nature instead of fighting it.  And, appreciation for travel on two wheels instead of four.
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Lush landscaping seems accidental yet perfectly planned to compliment a house like a little black dress and a pair of dangly earrings.  Orchids grow on trees in paradise.

 

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Key West, you aren’t afraid of real wood even though the humidity is not your friend.  And, an oversized, real working shutter is both functional and fashionable.  Welcome shade and cool breezes.

 

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Oh, how I love how you embrace beauty even though it isn’t low-maintenace, weather proof or even weather-friendly.  

 

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You hide surprising architectural details that make me stop in my tracks to smile and marvel at the ingenuity.  Tucked under the roofline, these windows are help circulate cool breezes in this “eyebrow house”.

 

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Not one house looks the same because originality rules.

 

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And, thank you for not putting the garage front and center.  It’s disguised so I can enjoy the aesthetic of a welcoming front porch.

 

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Fans are a must on front porches and they are not just for show.  They encourage me to linger a while and enjoy a mojito or two.

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 Until next time but, for now I will be dreaming of wood shutters, double-front porches and a side of key lime pie.

Well, those are the highlights of our kid-free weekend with my sister and friends.  If you get a chance to head down without the little ones, stop what you are doing and go.  There are actually plenty of kid-friendly things to do but, it’s also a great place to reminisce about life pre-kids (and possibly be thankful for your life post-kids.  Some things you just can’t unsee).

There are so many wonderful restaurants in Key West, it’s hard to know what to choose.  Many times it’s the closest place you stumble but, we recommend making a few reservations so you can enjoy some of the best food that Key West has to offer. – think fresh fish and key lime pie.  These are some of our favorite suggestions from our friends Milissa and Landis, fellow Key West lovers.  Thanks ladies!

Breakfast

Housed in a historic building, this quaint restaurant is great for breakfast, even though they serve lunch and dinner too.  We recommend the mimosa and flower juice champagne cocktail
Enjoy the easy, breezy indoor-outdoor vibe!  Grab a Bloody Mary while you wait.  Killer omelets

Lunch/Dinner

If you are looking for something in the middle of the action, check out Roof Top Cafe.  It’s right near Mallory Square, a major tourist stop and close to the water.  The food is excellent and the views are great.  Be careful, the temptation of the nearby $5 t-shirt shops is real.

Come for the food but stay for the view.  Louis is worth the trip just to sit outside on the deck and soak in the views of the water.  The food’s pretty amazing too.  It’s not cheap and is a little dressier than most Key West restaurants so bring a sundress and call for reservations.

Think al fresco dining with shady palm trees and rustic decor, maybe a band playing and free-range chickens.  Blue Heaven invites you to stay a while and kick back to enjoy island life.  Everyone in our party cleaned our plates of various seafood dishes, not to mention the key lime meringue for dessert.  But, our table voted the banana heaven dessert as the best order of the night.  Stay for a lively game of ping pong and a drink at the bar.  Reservations suggested.
It’s not really a restaurant but more of a food truck in a cool atmosphere.  They have excellent fish tacos and Korean beef tacos.  Sit outside and sip a soda while you wait or grab a beer from the nearby bar.

By far the most amazing dining experience we’ve had in a long time.   It’s located on Sunset Key, a small island operated by the Westin, only a quick 15-min boat ride from Key West port but it feels like it is miles away from the hustle and bustle of Key West.  Enjoy a drink at the swanky bar and pinch yourself because you are dining on a private island for dinner.  Every morsel of dinner was delicious and the service was top notch.  Sip on champagne and watch the sunset from your table.  This place is worth every penny.  Reservations are a must.

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We found these handsome fellas hanging at the bar.  Lucky us!