Monday, 2 July 2018

Key West May 2018 - Part 3

Day 11: Tuesday 22nd May
At this point in the holiday I tried to relax a bit and spend more time by the pool or at the beach and less time 'doing things'.

Today after working on my tan for a bit I went to get a burrito in the new Sinz burrito. It was ok. The ordering process was a but complex and the guy taking my order wasn't really helpful at all. But the finished product was good, my burrito bowl came in a massive mixing bowl. I had a Bud light with my lunch and I sat at a bar looking out onto Truval Square which was nice.

 In Sinz I noticed a poster for a ChihuaHua race! Running of the Chihuahuas! I made sure to note down the date and would definitely go check it out on the 26th.

For dinner Enid and I went to Taco Tuesdays at Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar. On taco Tuesdays the have $1 tacos and $2 tacitos. They were tasty but small. Our vodka diet cokes weren't discounted: But you can get $1 Coronas if you're in the mood for a beer instead.

Day 12: Wednesday 23rd May
I spent the morning by the pool and then got the bus to the airport to pick up Tuna from the airport at 4.10pm. The public bus in Key West is great value: $2 a ride. It doesn't come that often but it does always come on time so you just need to consult the timetable carefully before you go to the bus stop for it.

In the airport I spotted this cocktail challenge, I didn't get to do it, but I'd love to complete this challenge!

Tuna arrived on the same flight that I didn't, at 4.30pm. We got a taxi back to the house were out to Blue Macaw in time for happy hour! Afterwards we had a drink in Sloppy Joes (Enid, Mam and the aunts met us here for one also) . Funny story, my vodka diet coke was very strong, so I asked the barn mand could I have some more diet coke, it's very strong and he shouted "Of course it's strong, Welcome to Sloppy Joes!!!". 
Tuna and I had a few rounds in Irish Kevin's also. Then it was time for home.

Day 13: Thursday 24th May
We were up early and went to The Breakfast Club, Too for brekkie. I wasn't impressed at all. It didn't have a Key West feel at all, and was quite expensive compared to other breakfast joints on the island. Probably won't be back.

Today it was overcast, but not raining. Tuna and I took two beach chairs to the Southernmost beach. I don't normally like the beach, but with the chairs actually, it was great! Definitely next time I'm back I'll be purchasing beach chairs if we don't have any  - Pack a cooler with some diet cokes and some beers and you're good to go!

After the beach we go the Duval Loop up to the bight for Alonzo's happy hour.

Tuna waiting for the Duval Loop

We ordered buffalo shrimp, conch fritters and calamari. With fries and veg on the side. Everything was lovely, although very deep dried! 

Our waiter was a russian girl and she kept trying to get us to buy the oysters. Even though we stated numerous times that we don't like oysters! She said these were baked and tasted different. We didn't buy them, I hate oysters!

There was a guy at the bight filleting the fish when it came in from the boats. I was very proud of myself to be able to indentify the Mahi Mahi from the wheelbarrow :) Although I thought they were much bigger than this!

After dinner we went for drinks in Irish Kevins. I love the live link to Temple Bar! 

We had coupons which I picked up at the airport for 2-4-1 drinks in Irish Kevins. It was supposed to be one per person per night, but the bartender let us keep using them for every round we ordered. We tipped a dollar a drink, and everyone who served us seemed really appreciative of this. I wonder do the usual patrons in Irish Kevins not top well? After we ran out of coupons the bartender kept giving us 2-4-1 drinks. At one point I came back from the bathroom while Tuna was in the smoking area and the bartender just handed me a drink as apparently we were due a free one? 

Day 14: Friday 25th May
I'm not gonna lie. I was very hungover today. It rained all day anyway. Tuna went to the gym and I stayed in bed!
For dinner we went to Jack Flatts for a burger. We love this because we don't have these sports bar style pubs at home. So good to have a burger and a beer while watching the basketball. My burger was great, I ordered it rare. However, afterwards I realized that actually, burgers taste better when not rare. I always order my steak rare but I think from now on I'll order my burgers well done. It's a nicer texture, mince meat feels funny when it's not cooked fully.

Day 15: Saturday 26th May
I woke up to a weather warning: Storm Alberto, the first tropical storm of the season would be arriving in Key West. Of course it is. I checked online and the Running of the Chihuahuas had been postponed until June because of the weather. 

We walked down to Schooner Wharf for breakfast. It was nice and calm, but the rain soon started to drizzle down.

By this point I was so annoyed at the bad weather that I sat out by the pool in the drizzle rain. Meh,

The result from the referendum back home was then to be announced so I watched it live online. What a great day for Ireland!

Liverpool were playing in the Champions League so we watched that in the house and had a few beers. 
We then decided to hit Duval street. I was hungry so we went to Smokin' Tuna to have a bite. However, when we arrived they were closing up due to the storm. I asked the bartender and she said only bars with no outdoor areas would be open and she recommended going to the Sandbar and Grill, so we did!

I had the taco burger which was really tasty!
I ordered the burger to be cooked well done, as I had gotten it rare in Jack Flatts and it wasn't too good. The well done burger was much better. 

After my burger I wasn't ready to go home and we passed the Tiki House which I had on my list of bars to try. So we went in and looked at the cocktail menu: I was a bit disappointed as I didn't like the sound of any of them. There were no vodka cocktails. They do come in seriously cute receptacles though!!

Storm Alberto was definitely coming in by this point. Everyone on the street was wearing ponchos so we decided to just head home. 

Day 16: Sunday 27th May
The next morning we woke up to an actual nice morning! No sign of the storm, it seemed to have completely cleared! So I rang Bistro 245 to see if we could get in for brunch, we got a reservation for 12.30pm. 

So in the meantime we headed to the Southernmost beach.

 The water was too rough to get into though.

We headed back to get ready for Brunch and then got the Duval Loop up to Margaritaville. The brunch was lovely as usual and the weather was perfect. 

Unfortunately the Minimal Regatta which we had planned to attend had also been postponed until June because of Storm Alberto. We were very unfortunate with the weather!

Day 17: Monday 28th May
We skipped breakfast and had lunch in Two Friends. It was fine. We both ordered burgers - They didn't come with fries, you have to order fries separately if you want them. 

We had dinner in Caroline's. It was lovely. I had a really tasty, creamy pasta. And two margaritas. This is another margarita which made my top three list! It was so good! We will definitely be back to eat at Carolines, I can't believe I've never eaten there before actually.

Day 18: Tuesday 29th May

After a morning on the beach (overcast) we went for a walk down Duval Street in the evening. We went to Margaritaville so I could get a green drink from Jimmy's truck. Tuna got a pina colada from him also but he instantly regretted it as soon as he tasted my green drink! It's so good!

We walked by the Boathouse on our walk and happened to see their happy hour menu. It seemed similar to Alonzo's, except that there were a lot more non-fish options! i had actually read on TripAdvisor that this was one of the best happy hours on the island so we decided to come back here for food during happy hour.

The Boathouse Bread

This was definitely one our of nicest meals here, although some items came in tiny portions. The filet mignon kabops for example. The other items were big enough to share, the boathouse bread was amazing (drizzled in olive oil and spices) and Tuna really loved the calamari in particular.

Day 19: Wednesday 30th May
We got up early, packed and after saying our goodbyes, we got the bus to the airport. 
We picked up our convertible Mustang and hit the road to Florida city!

We had been debating whether or not it would be worth it for us to still rent the convertible, considering how rain was forecast. But luckily for us actually the clouds parted, the sun came out and we were able to make our way to Miami with the top down!

Unfortunately I had lost my license during this trip so Tuna got to drive instead of me :(

We stopped in Florida City to eat at Cracker Barrel and do some shopping at the outlets. Tuna bought a pair of Vans which he had had his eye on and other than that we just picked up some bits and pieces from Nike, Under Armour and Ralph Lauren. The Coach factory store here had a much larger selection than in Key West - Including a range which was all flamingo themed! It was definitely more expensive though, and I was glad I made my purchases on Duval Street instead of here.

After this we were on the road to Miami! We dropped the car at Miami airport and then got a taxi to Hotel La Flora in Miami Beach. We stayed at this hotel in 2014 and it suited us perfectly. It's small but cute and in a fun Art Deco building,

We went to eat in 11th Street Diner for dinner which basically looks like a food truck stuck onto a building. This place was recommended to us on TripAdvisor and it didn't disappoint. Tuna had the special Argentinean steak dish which was extra tasty.

After dinner we had a long island in the bar at the Waldorf hotel 

At this point we were tired so we headed home to the hotel and went to bed.

Day 20: Thursday 31st May

We got up and went for breakfast in Big Pink. This was a fun diner-style restaurant. It was a bit of a walk, out of the usual 'happening' area of South Beach but there was a constant flow of tourists walking up and entering while we were there.

After breakfast we went straight to the beach. The beach in Miami is amazing! And, it wasn't raining!

At 6pm every night at the hotel bar we were given two free cocktails so we always stopped in for my margarita and Tuna had Long Islands.

We had dinner in a restaurant by the beach, I can't remember the name. But we had a nice meal and some beers with live music - It was very overpriced though. I think we paid well over $100 for two main course and a few beers each. Everywhere in Miami was like this though so we had budgeted according ling.

Day 21: Friday 1st June

This morning we went straight to the beach as we weren't hungry for breakfast. It was slightly overcast but the sun was peeking out every now and then. 

We had paninis from a little shop for lunch on our way out to go shopping. We browsed the shops on Lincoln Road, but everything here was more expensive than Key West so we didn't buy anything.

I stopped in CVS to get Hershey's Kisses, Reece's Cup's and Sour Patch Kids to bring home for my work colleagues. 

In the other direction we walked to Zara to see if they had anything nice in. I ended up buying a pair of jeans and a top here, it was about the same price as Dublin.

For dinner we went to Naked Taco for fajitas. These were really good!

Day 22: Saturday 2nd June

The day we're to leave, I wake up and see the first proper blue sky of the whole trip. Typical!

Our flight from Miami to New York was very delayed, we thought we wouldn't make our connecting flight. So we queued at the rebooking agent just in case. He said that he thought we would still make our flight but he would make a reservation for us a on a later (Aer Lingus) flight just in case. 
When we landed in New York there was a woman at the gate with a clipboard shouting gate numbers at people. I asked "Dublin"? And straight away she said "Gate 9! That way! Go!".
On our way to the gate our names were called out over the PA, our gate was closing in 3 minutes. 
But we got there anyway, last people onto the plane. It was very annoying, when we got to the gate and scanned our boarding passes we were assigned new seats: Since we were booked on separate tickets they didn't know we were one party so had separated us, even though I had selected seats together. 
No bother though, after takeoff the woman sitting beside me agreed to swap with Tuna - Not that we spoke throughout the whole flight anyway!!

We arrived in Dublin the next morning and got a bus to Galway. 

What a trip - Three weeks wasn't long enough!!

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