“Pic of the Week”, September 25, 2020: Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West

Basilica of St. Mary’s, Key West 00

As we walked down Truman Avenue on our way to Duvall Street — around which you’ll find the main sites of interest in Key West — we came across this pretty church.  It’s the Basilica of St Mary Star of the Sea, one of the oldest parishes in Florida.
The first Catholic Church in Key West was constructed in 1851 and was dedicated as “Saint Mary Star of the Sea”.  That church was destroyed by fire in 1901.  Construction of the present church began in 1904 and was completed the following year.
The church is built directly onto the island’s coral limestone and is made of concrete blocks containing crushed limestone and sand.  It’s exterior design is considered “American Victorian”.  The church …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 21, 2020: Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden

Key West, Florida (446) – Copy

Late one afternoon while we were heading towards Mallory Square to enjoy Key West’s nightly celebration of the setting sun, my brother and I came upon this Memorial Sculpture Garden, which remembers and pays tribute to some of Key West’s most famous residents.
The Sculpture Garden opened in September 1997 and there are nicely made busts of 36 men and woman who lives impacted the history of Key West.  Most of these are of local people unknown to most of us, but there are several that are easily recognized.  These include Ernest Hemingway, President Harry S. Truman, and Tennessee Williams.
All of these busts were crafted by artist James Mastin.  The Sculpture Garden was privately funded (Friends of Mallory Square, Inc), and …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 12, 2020: Key West homes after dark

Key West, Florida (503)

We were walking the streets of Key West after dinner — a beautiful warm winter night — and I was impressed with how nicely lite many of the older homes were.  Admittedly it was December and this may have been something special for the Holidays, but I suspect it is part of the normal ambience of the city.
Yet another thing I enjoyed about our visit to Key West.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Driving the Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

00 Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

A highlight of my last visit to Florida was a trip to its Keys.  It’s a road trip I’d wanted to do for some time and wish I’d done sooner.  The drive is a journey to a place that’s unlike any other in America.  Looking at it on a map, it seems like you’d be floating across water, rather than driving a well-engineered roadway.

Map overview of the Overseas Highway

Map overview of the Overseas Highway


A trip down the Overseas Highway (US-1), the only road connecting Miami with the Florida Keys, covers only 113 miles and can be driven in as little as 4 hours.  But the point of the journey is to stop when possible, linger, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ambience of the Keys.   The drive takes you across numerous …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 3, 2020: Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Key West

Key West, Florida (500)

Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street.  The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended.  It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West.  The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.

Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 28, 2020: The Hurricane Monument, Florida Keys

01 Hurricane monument

A quick stop worth your time when driving along the Overseas Highway (Highway 1) is to see the Hurricane Monument in the small island town of Islamorada, at mile marker 81.5.

The monument commemorates the more than 400 people killed in the severe hurricane which swept through the area on September 2, 1935.  The number of deceased is an estimate as an exactly count was not possible as many bodies had been washed out to sea.  Many of the perished were World War I veterans who had been working on the construction of the Overseas Highway as part of a Great Depression work project.

The Hurricane that hit the island was a Category Five storm and one of the strongest hurricanes ever …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Some Signs from Key West

03 Signs of Key West

It’s often said of cities people visit that there’s no other place quite like it.  Well, that’s definitely true of Key West, the most southern point in Florida.

Many cities have unique qualities — Vancouver BC and it’s beautiful harbor, New Orleans with its fascinating French Quarter, San Francisco and its Golden Gate — you get the idea.

I’ve often visited Florida, but this past trip marked my first visit to Key West.  I was delighted with what I found.  It’s an eclectic mix of history, the sea, grown up hippies, people who respect the military, partying, and a positive attitude about life.  The place is a lot of fun!

Regular readers of this website know that I like to collect photos of the …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

A Few Photos of Life in the Everglades

07 Shark Valley 12-2018 (47)

The slowly flowing, warm, River of Grass is teaming with life, although at times it’s hard to see it.  A recommended place to spot wildlife within Everglades National Park is in Shark Valley.  There is a lengthy elevated bike path in the area, which is shared by a tram.  You can rent a bike and cycle around, stopping to see the alligators and birds, or you can sit back in the tram and let a biologist/guide educate you about what you’re seeing.  Both options are very rewarding.  There is no better place to immerse yourself in this UNESCO World Heritage ecosystem.

We visited Shark Valley a few months ago and had a wonderful experience.  I previously published a …

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