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Thursday, 26 November 2015

KEY WEST, Florida

film box above, film link below for you to use and paste.

From the moment I stepped off the ship at Key West I knew I would absolutely love it. The sky was an amazing blue, the air so fresh and the people so friendly!

The Florida Keys are a necklace of sub tropical and coral islands that stretch for 150 miles. Key West is closer to Havana than Miami . It is only 4 miles from east to west and two miles wide. There are many ways to explore. You can simply wander, or hire a bike and helmet or a scooter.  I chose the Conch train. It was the most delightful trip. It really is Disneyland without the rides. The streets are spotlessly clean.

Many of the houses are restored to their original 19th century condition. Most of these houses were constructed by ships' carpenters with gingerbread railings and white verandas.  The roofs are made of tin. This was for two reasons to stop fire spreading as all the houses were made of wood, and in the early days there was no water system so water was collected in a cistern under the house. The Conch houses have arrays of shutters, cisterns and scuttles to let hot air out through the roof. The conch is the symbol of the Keys and the nickname of the native born people.

The driver of the Conch train was interesting, entertaining and informative. As it was hop on hop off, we got off at the beach. It did not disappoint. The sea was amazingly calm. The driver explained to us that this was due to a system of buoys. The sand has to be imported as there are no waves to break up the coral.. If we had had time I would have gone snorkelling. It is easy to hire equipment.

My next stop was to see Ernest  Hemmingway's house in Whitehead Street. It was where he lived with his second wife Pauline from 1931 to 1940. The house was in excellent condition and the guide was one of the most well informed I have ever listened to. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Next stop was lunch. We sat upstairs in a restaurant overlooking the Main Street and had the wonderful coconut shrimp. Absolutely delicious! Also try the Key West Key lime pie which deserves its international reputation. We wandered down the street to Sloppy Joes but were drawn into another bar across the road because the singer there was so talented. There is live music everywhere. Interesting and original shops, beautiful houses . All in all one of my favourite places I have visited. I said to the official as I went back to the ship that I would love to stay. He laughed and told me everyone says that! I totally understand why!

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If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.

A LIST OF LOCAL CONTACTS - also check in the comments sections here and of the films on YouTube for locals bars, restaurants, tours and amenities who have connected.

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