postcard from america

Mallory Square – Key West

It was a long drive down to Key West from Fort Lauderdale, but I was thankful that I managed to grab a seat on this trip as it was not guaranteed. I had taken a trip to Miami and South Beach the day before and learned about this one. The guide said he’d pick me up at my hotel if there was a cancellation. So I waited in the early dawn light and luck was with me. The drive takes you along Highway 1 Overseas Highway and passes through some 40+ islands before reaching Key West. Journey time from Miami to Key West is approximately 4 hours. We had a coffee break in Key Largo and stopped to view the African Queen. The restored steamboat—made famous in the 1951 classic movie of the same name—is docked at Marina Del Mar (Mile Marker 100). We drove over The Seven Mile Bridge and the most incredibly turquoise-coloured water ever seen between the ‘islands’ that make up the Florida Keys. 

After a wonderful afternoon exploring the town I made my way to Mallory Square where we were all to meet up for the Sunset Celebration before heading back north. The square was busy with buskers of all sorts and sunset cruise boats were encircling the bay. Disappointingly there was no vibrant sky that night only a dull haze on the horizon. But the day wasn’t a failure. I had discovered Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (and bought the T-shirt), learned about ‘Shotgun’ houses, seen Hemingway’s home, but not the six-toed (polydactyl) cats, stood next to the  Mile Marker 0 in Key West, ridden on the Old Town trolley through the town and taken a photo of the Southernmost Point Buoy, marking the southern tip of the continental United States.

This has to be one of the ultimate American road trips and one I had long dreamed of doing. And although I’d have loved to have driven this myself and lingered longer on the way, I am glad that I have been to Key West.

~wander.essence~  the call to place

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

26 thoughts on “postcard from america”

  1. Nice memories of a great trip. I doubt I will ever get to America now, so it is always good to see and hear your recollections.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. America never called to me in the way other places did, though there were a few places I wanted to see. When the OH traveled there for business I was happy to tag along. I don’t think we will be back again though.

  2. An interesting story, Jude. We almost went to Florida one year, a long time ago, but moved house instead so it’s still on my list of unvisited states. The US is off the agenda for the foreseeable future though.

  3. I love it when you become expansive. Thank you Cathy! A great encapsulation of all the pleasures of the journey. I don’t tend to have those “something I’ve always wanted to do” ideas.

    1. There were only a few places to which I was drawn. India being the main one after Australia. In the US it was Key West and New England. Must get writing…

    1. The ‘one of these days’ list has become the ‘those I missed’ list. Travelling doesn’t seem so important at the moment.

      1. We can’t do everything, and actually I’m not sure we should try as otherwise we risk simply ticking things off a list rather than exploring in depth. So enjoy staying at home xx

        1. Never been one of those ‘tick boxes’ people, though I do have a lot of lists!!
          Things happen for a reason. We just don’t always know what that reason is at the time.

  4. I love this memory of your road trip to Key West, Jude. I wonder if this would be better linked to On Journey or Call to Place. Let me know which you’d prefer. I think On Journey is better because you talk more about the trip itself rather than why you were called there. I went to Key West on my first honeymoon in 1979; we stayed in Islamorada and then went down to Key West. I’ve never been much of a fan of Florida because of the heat and unbearable humidity. I fell in love with the west on this recent road trip because of the dry air! 🙂

    1. I wasn’t sure which to link it to Cathy, so I’ll let you decide. I can alter the link if you like. Like you I prefer dry heat to humid heat, humidity makes me bloat and sweat and feel totally miserable. It is very humid here (not hot though) and my joints are not liking it.

      1. I’ve already linked it to the journey post on June 20, Jude. You don’t need to alter the link; just leave it as is. When I post, it will link back to your post. 🙂

        I hate humidity and so I fell in love with that air out west. It was so fresh and invigorating. I came home to really damp, wet and humid weather. And warm. Ugh. Not my favorite.

        1. Thanks Cathy! I have a few ideas to write about, just need to get the garden sorted first and then I shall be out there, notebook in hand 🙂

  5. You snuck this one in and I almost missed it! A drive I always wanted to do but it never will happen now, Jude. Do you have more photos you could share? Feeling wistful. 🙂 🙂 Reminds me that I meant to link today’s walk to Cathy’s photographic challenge but I forgot. too late now. And about the sepia one previous, I think I might prefer that. It has a nice atmosphere (and isn’t OH 🙂 )

    1. I have published some photos I think, on other challenges, but never written about Key West. Wish I could have captured the colour of the water as we drove over those bridges, it was so clear and so aquamarine.

  6. I enjoyed your post, Jude. I am not a fan of America. Some places make you feel good and want to delve into them more, America was not one of them for us.

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