Hello everybody!  I am writing today's guest post in Key West, Florida, where my girlfriend Lara and myself have been staying since this past Thursday.  We flew into Miami, Florida, and headed straight to Miami Beach so Lara could find a bathing suit.  Lara is more concerned about fashion than myself, see; I bought swim trunks for $20 at a place where I could have bought a second pair for only $35.  Lara, however, wants a bit more out of a bathing suit, and as of now she is still looking for one.

Before beginning the four hour drive from Miami to Key West, we decided to get dinner while in Miami Beach.  We could have eaten at many places on the way to Key West that all sounded fairly amazing, but Lara and I wanted Cuban food and could not wait any longer.

More specifically, I wanted to try a Cuban sandwich made by Cubans in an American city as close to Cuba as you can get without flying through Canada to Havana and fibbing upon returning to the U.S.  My mother's Cubanos are one of my favorite things in the world, and I just couldn't imagine how any Cubano could be better!  I had to try one and see.

The Cuban restaurant was fantastic.  But how did the Cubano compare to my mother's?  I'm afraid you'll have to wait for that answer!  In a little over a day here, we've had enough good food that I'll be dedicating a separate post just to our culinary adventures here.  Stay tuned!

And so, onward to Key West.

 We arrived at our rented condo late Thursday evening and went right to sleep, eager to get an early start next morning.  And sure enough, not so many hours later, we were on Duval Street, the central hub of activity in Key West.  The forecast called for rain, which displeased Lara a bit, but for the most part Friday was merely overcast save for a brief afternoon downpour.

 We saw this little lizard along Duval Street.  There are many more like it around here.  Lara calls them 'Wee Ones'.

 Lara standing at the end of a pier with the ocean in the background.

One of the many chickens that live around here.  You can just make out her babies behind the garden hose, though they are very well camouflaged against the gravel and leaves.

A very funny sign we saw along Duval Street.

 Warning: Bad Dog!
 A rooster shouting on top of a car.
 An extremely cute puppy remaining oblivious to the attention she received from many onlookers on the sidewalk.
 Chicken butts!
 One of the many great old churches around here.

 A dog taking a nap in front of a fan.
 An interesting example of local artwork.

 I didn't mind the weather, personally.  The vague gloom accentuated the character of this place.  And although I rarely use the word 'funky', that is the most appropriate adjective that comes to mind.  Although there are some tourist traps here, there is no denying the casual weirdness of this place.

 A cat taking a nap in a parking lot.
 The outside of the art museum.
 After an afternoon of walking around Duval Street, Lara and I went to a kind of indoor mall, at the top floor of which we found a small aviary.

 An African Grey Parrot named BRD.  He's about Thirty-Seven years old.

 The aviary also featured this giant anaconda.  Shudder.

 We took photos of each other with parrots perched on our shoulders.  Lara was joined by Peaches.

 I had my photo taken with Sir Jack, who surprised me quite a bit, as you can see.

After this, we went to a local marine and got to see a multitude of sharks and turtles, but as this entry is already running very long, that will have to wait for another day.  Thanks so much for reading, everyone!

-The Blog Tech


Thanks Blog Tech, for pinch-hitting for your Mom, for a couple of days.

Cool photos all! But what I want to know is.... How does Lara eat all that food, and still stay in such purrrrrrfect shape? No fair! No fair! No fair! -chuckle-

Happy Harvest Home,
greekwitch said…
I loved the parrot! Lara is sooo pretty! I love the colour of her eyes!
Have a wonderful time you two!
Happy Mabon jaz!
Robin Larkspur said…
A lot of animal life in your post, BT. Leave it to you to showcase Chicken Butts, lol! Great photos of a unique place. Looking forward to your next post. I am sure authentic Cuban-made cubanos are quite tasty, but I bet your Mom's are better!!
Patty Woodland said…
Key West is interesting to say the least
What an interesting place and great photos.I love seeing places through other peoples eyes when I know I will never get to visit them myself. Diane
Key West is a great town. What kind of tournist are you, you haven't been to Sloppy Joe's yet! haha Find someone that's lived there at least 15 years, they will show you the places to go.
Barbara F. said…
I would love to visit Key West. I love Cuban food, margaritas, and Key lime pie....and, of course, I love birds. Enjoy your vacay and be safe. xo
Jello shots at Two for a dollar?
Is there rum involved, do tell.
It looks like fun there, the birds are so beautiful. Did you see the ghost of Hemingway?
Looks like fun! Love the parrots and the chicken butts!

Just FYI, that little dodge about flying to Cuba from Canada and then fibbing when going back to the US won't work anymore. Canada has recently agreed to provide to US Homeland Security the passenger list of any Canadian airplane flying through American airspace, even if the flight doesn't land in the States. So if you go to Cuba from Canada, THEY WILL KNOW. You don't want to get caught lying at the border, no siree bob.
Love the "chicken butts" LOL!!! My cousin is in Key West too!!! Have a blast!
Man... I really miss Florida.
AutumnRose said…
I enjoyed your candid shots more than any I've ever seen of Key West. The picture of Lara and Peaches was especially awesome. And you two are a very nice looking pair. I also enjoyed the parrots, as I have a half dozen myself, including a couple of greys. Thanks for sharing.
Ellen in Oregon said…
I enjoyed all of your pictures, but especially loved "Chicken Butts" which for some reason cracks me up everytime I think of it. You should be cautious when getting your portrait taken with exotic birds. I did the same thing on a trip to Hawaii and came away with a lot of poop on my shirt. The parrots owner said it was a sign he liked me - yah right!
You should copyright your "Chicken Butts" pic and sell the print. I would buy it for the crack-up effect alone.
Birgit said…
Sir Jack rules! :)
Rue said…
Key West is definitely on my list of places to go now! Love the architecture there - great old buildings.

You two look like you're having a great time. I think you'll have to get used to the idea that girls are always going to take a bit longer to find clothes than you - lol. It's in our genes!

Fabulous post from FL! -I can see the lovely temperature you have there, enjoy for us in England too:)
Kelly said…
Nothing in this world like Key West. The Aquarium is a wonderful visit. It was almost wiped out in Andrew. Did you see the giant Jew Fish? The size of a VW. I'm so glad you got to eat Cuban food. Take a kayak tour of the Mangroves. Hope for some sunny weather. Aw, I do miss the Keys.
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