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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Miami to Key West

Thursday, 2/14

Back out to South Beach this morning via MacArthur causeway to see what we missed driving through Miami Beach in the dark last night. A few blocks north of Joe's Stone Crab on Collins Avenue we spotted The Big Pink. We stopped in for breakfast and both the food and service were excellent.

After I finished a big cup of coffee, we took a quick walk over to the beach followed by a tour North along Collins past some of the well-preserved art deco buildings. Then we headed back to Miami over the Venetian Causeway to finish our quick tour through the area. It was great to see the vitality of the South Beach area compared to my memories of it in the 1970s and 80s.

We headed next for the Florida Keys. After paying a few $1.00 tolls along Highway 1, we reached Key Largo and the 120 mile-long highway to Key West. This is a brutal drive. Plan on about three hours to cover the route. It is mostly two-lane road, the traffic is heavy in both directions and the speed limit is mostly 45 m.p.h. And, don't forget school buses, cars turning and a few stoplights.

The scenery is great but repetitive. If I ever do this again I will bring some fishing gear and take the time to take advantage of some of the finest fishing piers you'll ever find consisting of abandoned stretches of highway bridges.

We arrived in time to check in at the Garden Hotel, take a quick walk down infamous Duval street and enjoy the Sunset from Mallory square before heading to dinner.

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