Key West, Conch Town

I was really hoping for sunny, hot, blue sky Key West weather, unfortunately Mother Nature had something else in mind! We rented a Jeep Wrangler, hoping to make the 3.5 hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale down a fun, open air scenic kind of drive, however due to the cold weather we were forced to leave the top up and just enjoy the view from inside. I have gone to Key West before as part of a cruise, …

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Key West chickens

KEY WEST, Florida – He strutted down the street like he was cock of the walk. “He’s beautiful. And he knows it,” a woman said, watching me try to take a photo of the confident rooster. I think she was right. Perhaps this preening critter knew that he was a popular sight on cruise ship stops and that he could come and go as he pleased – protected by the laws of Key West. Where else do …

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Carnival Magic visits the Conch Republic (aka Key West)

Key West – It might have been the shortest naval battle in history. “We declared war on the United States and threw stale Cuban bread at a Navy officer,” guide Robert said. “It lasted for about a minute. Then we surrendered and asked for $1 billion in foreign aid to rebuild. We’re still waiting for that $1 billion.” When the Carnival Magic docked for the day in Key West, many of us climbed aboard a Conch Train …

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Whimsical sculptures a popular photo stop for Key West cruise

KEY WEST – The gigantic man and woman seem to be twirling to some unseen music. Located in front of Key West’s Customs House Art and History Museum, the sculpture is a work of art to some, a travesty to others. But it is undeniably one of the most photographed sights in this colorful Florida community. I’m sure not the only person standing here with my camera clicking away to capture the dancing image. And there are …

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Six-toed Hemingway cats an intriguing part of Key West

KEY WEST – Rita Hayworth lounges on a bed. Tony Bennett curls up on a chair. Harry Truman suns himself on the front porch. Howard Hughes snoozes by a bench. And Dorian Gray hangs out somewhere around the bushes. These cats are free to go wherever their want in the Hemingway House because it is their home. They are special cats and as many people probably come to see them as come to view the Key West …

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Chickens, roosters a colorful part of Key West cruise stop

KEY WEST – He strutted down the street like he was cock of the walk. “He’s beautiful. And he knows it,” a woman said, watching me try to take a photo of the confident rooster. I think she was right. Perhaps this preening critter knew that he was a popular sight and that he could come and go as he pleased – protected by the laws of Key West. Where else do chickens have such legal jurisdiction? …

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White House Oranments are a collectable passengers buy when stopping in Key West

KEY WEST – Now her Christmas tree is complete, the woman at the Harry S. Truman Little White House told me. “I’ve been buying these ornaments every year for the past 10 years,” Katherine Mitchell said, paying for her purchase. “When I heard that our cruise ship was stopping here, I knew that I could get my 2013 White House ornament in Key West.” When the Carnival Magic made her first stop on our cruise to the …

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Eating in hog (fish) heaven, Key West, Florida

On any coast, I’m a sucker for fresh fish and a casual attitude. Give me a picnic table, a roll of paper towels, today’s catch, local beer on tap, and I’ve got all the atmosphere I want. Locals in Key West sent me to the Hogfish Bar & Grill, a great restaurant, they said, if you can find it. Hogfish is a trip. It’s not walking distance from downtown. It’s not even on the same land mass, but …

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Exploring Key West, a most decorated sandbar

I never tire of Key West. I’ve lolled around the city at the bottom of Florida maybe a dozen times, each occasion too short. When I leave, I know I will be back. Lobster Trap Christmas Tree at Key West’s Historic Seaport (Photo by Rob O’Neal ) It’s no secret that Key West is a part of America that moves to its own beat, one of those rare communities that seem out of country. The so-called Conch …

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