Key West!

(If you’d like to skip my commentary and just see the pictures, here’s a link to the slideshow. It should be noted that we had 4 different photo-taking devices with us, so the pictures aren’t in any sort of order, and I haven’t captioned/described any of them. But if you just need some tropical beauty in your day, click on through.)

Last week at this time I was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a short swim, because we didn’t want to get any more sunburnt, but it was very, very warm out. And this morning I woke up to snow. Sometimes Mother Nature is cruel.

We were in Key West for 4 nights and Miami for 2. Most of the pictures are from Key West. You can tell the Miami ones mostly because they’re skyline shots. Key West doesn’t have any buildings taller than 5 or 6 floors (OK, there might be a hotel with 10, I’m not sure).

I’ll try to post pictures I didn’t already Instagram. And I’ll try to get them in chronological order, at least roughly.

We did a lot of walking in Key West, especially to the beach.


The water was shallow pretty far out in many places. It was great for wading in, and particularly refreshing after the hot walk.


Need a tropical water pic?


As expected, we saw strange-to-us plant life, like this bush where the “flower” petals were actually leaves. There were red and pink varieties of this all over, and they were beautiful.


Unexpectedly, we also saw a lot of chickens.  Seriously. They were all over Key West. Some in people’s yards, some just wandering the streets. If you view the slideshow you’ll see a few pictures of a mama chicken with half a dozen chicks. They were everywhere.


If you go to Key West, you have to eat at Sandy’s Café. Wonderful Cuban sandwiches. It happened to be on our way back from the beach.
This was the view from our second hotel. Seriously. Touted as a “pool view.” True. Just… the view from the pool is the ocean, so…. It was awesome. There’s a daily sunset celebration just to the left of this photo on the pier. We skipped it both nights we stayed nearby, but got to see a little of the crazy from our hotel room (I believe there was a unicyclist one night, and a flame-blower another).


Our second hotel was right on Duval Street, which is the place to be a tourist in Key West. Tons of shops, restaurants, and bars, including this one. The bars were busy just about 24/7.


This was our second hotel. Our room is hiding on the left behind those umbrellas (we were on the second floor). This was a really nice place (though we loved our first lodgings too, for very different reasons).


We took a sunset cruise, which was really nice. The staff was excellent and offered to take pictures, replenish drinks, etc.


We could have chosen to experience the sunset as pirates, but we chose not to. This is the Jolly Rover, and every time it sailed by, it would set off cannonball sounds. Much fun.


Sunset on the Gulf, anyone? As a side note, this is where we’d like to retire. It’s an island off of Key West, and home prices start around $2.5M. So, you know, once I get that teaching job, we’ll start saving away. Right….


This was taken from the pier where we swam in the ocean. This is totally the wallpaper on my dual monitors at work right now. Go ahead and be jealous.


On the trip back to Miami, we stopped to take pictures of Old Seven Mile Bridge. The pictures didn’t capture the awesomeness of this engineering feat.


We had lots of fun taking panoramas with my new iPhone. This was also at Old Seven Mile Bridge.


We also stopped for a picture with the giant lobster statue. For reals. We were pretty sure that this was the cause of the accident that delayed our travel down to Key West. Side note: this was taken on Thursday, and you can barely see my sunburn, and you can see that I obviously didn’t really tan while in Florida. But it was warm and I definitely got my share of Vitamin D.


Miami was nothing special. But, one our way back to the hotel from Walgreens, we happened by this one-story house where there was an honest-to-goodness peacock walking around on the roof. It’s very hard to get a picture of a peacock on a roof; this was the best we can do. But you can imagine the awesomeness/absurdity of the scene.


And, so I don’t leave you with that peacock picture, here’s one of us. I made that dress, by the way. It’s super comfy and I want to make a dozen more. But that’s for another day.

I’m missing so many details, but that’s what I can do for now. My arms and legs (below the elbows/knees) are peeling and I no longer itch. That sun allergy on my legs is nearly gone; it’s lingering on my right leg a bit but it looks much better. Lots of shaving and exfoliating and moisturizing going on.

If you ever plan on going to Key West, ask me for restaurant recommendations and places to stay. I’d recommend doing just about everything that we did. It was a wonderful trip. I really wish the forecast wasn’t for 5-10″ of snow tonight. I’d much rather be swimming / hanging out near the pool and eating fresh seafood. Oh, the fresh seafood…. Don’t get me started on the gloriousness of that. Poor land-locked Minnesota doesn’t have a chance for competing in that regard.

Life is pretty much back to normal now. We’ve unpacked and done all our laundry and loved up on the kitties. And now I’ve blogged the trip, so it’s truly over now. Sad. But wonderful. Great memories.

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

Here's another project we're working on. What do you think about layout? And imagine it with guacamole-colored walls (though Prince Charming says we can't start that project until we finish some others).

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

Almost done! Working on raglan sleeves and neckline shaping. I am so in love with these cables and this yarn, and need to finish it while it's still weather-appropriate to wear.

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

Unfortunately, I now have this awkward and dark corner where my monitors used to be. Should I mention it's the only corner? The desks in our cubes are L shaped, so this is the middle of my desk. And I scooted as far back as I could to get this shot, but since are cubes are only 5.5' x 6.5', that didn't give my much room.

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

I rearranged my cubicle yesterday, as much as I could at least. My double monitors are now actually side by dude, instead of in a V formation in the corner. It's taking some getting used to, but I think in the end it will be good.

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

Did I mention that I decorated my office when I cleaned it? OK, I'm not finished, and I really need to change the color of the walls, but doesn't my cutting area look… inspiring now?

Today on instagram…

Today on instagram...

These two went in my office / craft room. Major improvement over the one handmade curtain set and the one empty window. Now I can try on clothes to check for fitting without having to leave the room! One more project done!