Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Conch Republic

Saturday we arrived in Key West the southernmost tip of the U.S. While I had been here before on a quick cruise stop with my family several years ago, this was Brett's first visit.

For those of you that have been you know what a cool vibe this city has.Their motto of "One Human Family" rings true as you see no separation of low and high brow - across this gorgeous 4x2 mile island mixed between watercolor pastille homes, turquoise water and palm trees you will see expensive art galleries, Caribbean villas, literary festivals...

mixed in with t-shirt shops with sayings on their merch I'm embarrassed to repeat, clothing optional bars, and drag shows galore. This provided for a confusing experience when we adventured to a highly recommended Mexican spot from our travel guide book. The entrance was down an alley with out indoor seating (the 40 degree weather didn't make that appealing) but the owner assured us they are working with another establishment to use their indoor facilities so grab a seat there. Needless to say we enjoyed amazing Mexican inside a Country Bar that half way through dinner started showing a topless bull riding competition. I kid you not. Watching the folks our parents and grandparents age make this realizing as we did was entertaining to say the least.

More pics of Key West...

Sunset Time on one of the piers of our resort:

Looking back at the resort:
The town's infamous hypocondriac got in the last word on his headstone found in the famous Key West Cemetary:

Ernest Hemingway's home... saw a wedding taking place there when we were exploring

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Babymoon (n.) – A vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the many sleepless nights that accompany a newborn baby.

When planning our “babymoon” we thought about several factors:

1. A fun spot for a young couple like us that may not be on the list of family vacations in years to come.

2. Somewhere we haven’t been together.

3. Good food (meal time is always a highlight in a pregnant woman’s day)

4. Somewhere we could speak the language and has “safe” healthcare, just in case

5. Nice hot weather.

Our first couple days in gorgeous South Beach Miami proved to hit all our “musts”, except maybe the language barrier, but hey, as we all know, Brett is 1/16th Mexican and was Spanish Speaking Student of the Year his senior year of high school so the Spanglish found in South Florida has proved no problems.

We enjoyed a plush direct flight down to Miami and a nice relaxing day scoping out the Art Deco architecture, relaxing on the beach, great food and taking in the trendy, flamboyant vibe of South Beach.

We woke up on Day 3 to rainy day and 50 degree weather. This is 25 degrees below average for January in South Florida and the locals are in shock. Brett and I threw on our REI raincoats and took to the streets like the proud Seattlites we are where a little chill and wet weather never hold anyone inside in the winter.

After an amazing breakfast off of A1A on Ocean Avenue we hopped in the convertible (dang) and headed out for the stretch of drive on the Overseas Highway down the keys.

Despite the rain and chill in the air the drive was still breathtaking, and the frosty beverages (virgin for me of course) that welcomed us at the Casa Marina Resort were still just as refreshing!

This evening we enjoyed some local Cuban cuisine at a famous neighborhood spot then capped off the evening hovering in the hotel bar that overlooks the Mayors Ball going on at our resort.

This time together has been such a luxury after the busy last couple months at work and around the house. It is such a treat to get this alone time together to relax just the 2 ½ of us before the family starts growing (and not just my belly).

6 more days – and sunshine in the forecast – more blog posts to come!!