Last time I filled you in on Key Largo. Now, the drive. Many travel sites call the Overseas Highway one of the "must do" drives in America. Parts of it were very beautiful...but overall I wasn't blown away. It took a few hours to get out of the areas that felt kind of industrial. Once you reach the Lower Keys, it's beautiful. The Seven Mile Bridge is an experience in and of itself, but shortly thereafter I found myself ready to be at our final destination. There are plenty of places you can stop along the way for beautiful photo ops or to visit interesting shops, but at this point we drove on through.
We drove straight to the Casa Marina where we would spend the next two
nights, dropped off our luggage to be stored until the room was ready and then
headed to return the rental car. After that we took a taxi into downtown Key
West and wandered around. Our first stop was the Ernest Hemingway house. We
paid the admission and wandered the grounds until a guided tour began.
After our tour, and my many failed attempts to pet the polydactyl cats, we
walked in search of lunch, ending up at the Southernmost Beach Cafe. There was
a wait, but we pulled up to the bar and got a few drinks to pass the time. We arrived on the last day of the annual Key West Songwriters Festival, so there was a huge crowd and live music going on at the Southernmost beach that day.
After lunch we were exhausted, so we made our way to the hotel to check in and cool off.
We had checked in and picked our room the day before with a new-ish (or new to me) Hilton feature that allows you to check in 24 hours beforehand. We picked a room with a balcony overlooking the ocean, and were really pleased with our choice when we arrived. After a few minutes blasting the air conditioning, we headed down to the beach for a bit. Like Key Largo, the beach was rocky, with big pieces of sand (not fine like lots of other tropical destinations)