Road trip around Florida Key West – Day 3
We WERE going to leave Key West early.
BUT – we couldn’t leave without a visit to the marker for the mainland USA southern most part of USA.
All fine, but seeing there had been a big running marathon on this weekend, the line-up for the teams was about an hour long, so we jumped in front for a 2 second photo and drove on!
Amongst the things to visit in Key West really has to be Ripley’s Believe it or Not Shop.
You can wander through the front part to see a motorbike made of bones.
There is also a talking shark that gets a silhouette inside the tummy; a picture made from soda bottle tops; and this area is all n charge.
For a small fee you can get a foot massage too.
On week days you can head toward the fort and there is more to see for free, but it isn’t open Sundays.
But we have been side tracked and are not leaving early.
When we went to Burger King to use the wi-fi this morning, we met a man dressed in a top hat and discovered the Fort Zachary Taylor was only open today (the only weekend of the year) and there were a lot of live exhibitions to see.
The entry is all of $5, so we walked in. It is a little more if you are lazy and want to drive in, but the 5-10 minute walk is not difficult.
First off we go and see the view from the top of the Fort.
Next we go and learn how to make gun power.
This was just great. A chemistry lesson with a man in his 80’s.
He had Explorason learning so much. Well I learnt a lot too!
Next you would think the craft area is a bit girly. Not so. Both boys and girls were making sheep from the spun wool. The girls learned to weave and spin, and the boys learn to strangle sheep!
Then we had a music lesson.
We both ended up learning a few cords and the Dulcimers were quite easy to play.
Might have to invest in one of them – we both enjoyed out time.
Next came a couple showing how the “birth” candle was made.
Next thing Explorason is making his future birthday candles on the fire.
The bees wax was a slow process, but they were very lovely. People ask how we have world education, and it might be a Sunday, but this is educational. The home made flavoured licorices were pretty nice to eat as he worked as well.
Next came the rifle stands and learning about some American history.
I realise he probably knows more about North and South American history than he does Australian history at this point in life.
We are about to leave, when we ask if they will be firing the cannon. Finding out Explorason is from Australia means they definitely will.
They pass around some different shells to feel the weight.
We then have the drill. Then my son is called up to give the command.
This is great, until some really silly tourists drive up in a 6 seater golf buggy, right where they are about to shoot towards. Everything comes to a halt, and a quick discussion takes place. I do wonder at time what people do or don’t think!
Time for my son to have another go at giving the command.
His ears a blocked and there is a loud bang.
He races back to me and our ears are ringing for a long, long time.
We give them thanks, and really appreciate all they did to allow this display for us.
We finally leave well after lunch. We actually had enjoyed a really good beef stew over mash potato with grated cheddar topping at Fort Zachary Taylor too – gee it was yummy!
So we drive off leaving Key West behind us.
As we drive back over the Seven Mile bridge we try to find several mile markers for things we want to see. Regrettably we miss most of them. We really felt tourist attractions like the African Queen boat, Robbies for fish feeding and other places we wanted to see were just hidden, and we missed them all.
We did find a beach we had read up about.
It was about 2 miles off the main road, and we wanted to stop there, as we knew they had good picnic facilities, white sand, and showers! Someone came up and gave my son a bucket and digger and so he didn’t want to leave.
It was 4 p.m.and the day just seemed to go too fast.
I enjoyed a great time lazing in the warm water, and I really don;t get into the sea often, as I hate cold water.
As we went to leave my son wanted to play together, so we just stayed on for another half hour.
Oh dear the day really was going too fast!
This is when sleeping in a cargo van takes it’s toll.
It was time to wash clothes (we had an elastic line hung inside the van to dry the clothes.
It was also time to wash us, and our hair, and so we made a game out of it.
We tried several places to sleep. We found quiet deserted fields and neighbours would spring from no-where. We found empty park lots, and suddenly there seemed to be a load of traffic.
We went and had some dinner, and found a MacDonald’s.
We drove on and it became later and later, and we just didn’t feel comfortable anywhere.
Finally opposite the Safari I remembered a little park we had found in a cove with a small pier.
We arrived at about 10:30 p.m.
In actual fact, in reflection, this was the best night’s sleep I had the whole road trip!
We woke to peace, quiet and the most stunning view across the water.
It was just what I needed.