We lucked out and there were only 4 people total booked for the snorkeling tour - woo hoo! We got some great individual attention as well as an informative lesson on snorkeling techniques. The Captain and First Mate were wonderfully friendly and cheerful.
We went to 2 different locations for snorkeling on the reefs and it was amazing. I can't begin to tell you the wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of the fish we saw. We saw parrot fish, barracuda, grouper, a nurse shark and my favorite - a lot of sea turtles.
The water was warm and very calm. We couldn't have asked for a nicer morning.
Afterwards we walked around the docks and watched the pelicans, as well as people feeding the tarpon.
We spied 2 manatees....
The tarpon would jump out of the water to grab the food that people held in the air. It was quite fun. Then we walked over to their restaurant and had a quick lunch - I had a turkey club and Chablis had a Cuban sandwich. Both were good, but just your basic sandwiches, nothing special.
We still had quite a ways to drive so we headed out, stopping on Marathon to do a quick geocache - Come Grow with Us.
Can you see the cache?
Nicely hidden and it was a good chance to stop and stretch our legs for 5 minutes.
Since we had a little time to kill before reaching our hotel on Key West, we decided to stop and check out Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key.
We enjoyed driving from island to island and we really liked it when we were on a bridge with water on both sides. I expected it to be more like one long bridge the entire way, but you spend so much time on the individual islands that you don't really feel like you're out in the middle of the ocean.
Part of Bahia Honda Park was where a section of Henry Flagler's railroad to Key West was located. This was an important railroad in it's day and a big part of Key West history.
To read more about Henry Flagler and his contributions to Florida and Key West, visit here.
Since we were there I wanted to do a geocache Henry Flagler's View 2. It was a lovely walk down this trail....
Check out the view - love all the colors. We walked down to the beach and took a swim. The water was perfect and super clear.
Afterwards we went up to the concession stand and got some ice cream cones before hitting the car and driving the rest of the way to Key West. We checked into our hotel - The Best Western Hibiscus and got ready for dinner. We were excited to walk down Duval street and check out the sights. The Hibiscus was very nice. The room was clean and spacious. They had a continental breakfast each morning and it did get crowded. They also have a really nice pool which was usually pretty empty. There is also on site parking.
There were people everywhere and so much to look at...
Cold air blasts from open doorways, salespeople hand out free samples of their wares trying to entice you into their shops, rock and country music pounds out of the open bars, and delicious smells waft from every restaurant. There just isn't enough time to look at everything.
There are wild rooster's everywhere! They walk and strut all over town, where ever they please. You always heard them cock-a-doodle-doing in the background.
World famous "Sloppy Joe's Bar...."
Chablis spotted a place to get her hair braided, so she got a gypsy braid.
I liked it! It's kind of hard to see, but a gypsy braid is when they take a lock of hair and then braid and wrap it with 6 different strands of string. Hers has a lot of pink in it, so it sort of blends in with her shirt. Look closely and you can see it.
We walked all the way to the wharf and decided on Hog's Breath Saloon for dinner.
All I can say is "EXCELLENT" choice! You know how it is when you walk into a place and you immediately like it? Well, that's how it was here. Live music, great crowd, good decor and fantastic food.
I have always wanted to try a Shrimp Po-Boy and I heard they were good here - Can I just say "My new favorite sandwich??"
And of course I had to grab a cache while we were there - Cache Your Breath Here. It was a web cam cache, which means you have to stand in front of their webcam and have somebody you know go online and snap your photo for you while you're there. I called my mom and dad and had them do it for me.
Let's just say I'd drive all the way back to Key West to spend another evening at Hog's Breath Saloon. I liked it there that much and it was easily my favorite place on our whole trip. They get 2 thumbs up!
Ok, everyone have a safe and fun Memorial Day. I'll be back on Tuesday with more trip report.
Link to Day 3 Morning here.