Occasionally I have the chance to “piggy back” on someone else’s work travel. This trip was an extension of work in Steamy Miami, with a long weekend with that “glow” (Okay, I was drenched in sweat) in Key West.
Stripping Down – Not only is there a nude beach with public access in Miami, but “Sex on the Beach” was buy 1, get 1 at the Carlyle. $25+ for the first one, but the second one was FREE! Open container laws allow you to take the 2nd drink for a walk, but maybe you should decline. Ok, maybe I should have declined. Since that was the start of a long weekend, on the heels of work commitments, it only seemed logical that a visit to the World Erotic Arts Museum was in order, to finish off the trip. If you have any interest (who doesn’t?), go. Very . . . educational!
Bike Culture – Down in Key West, there was unusual heat and humidity, caused by the impending Hurricane Ericka (which was downgraded to a Tropical Storm). Regardless, I had to spend some time on a bike while I was there. Opportunities to rent bikes are everywhere, and I settled on Eaton Bikes, for a cruiser that took me from shops to restaurants, to the backyard of a Key West local, to share a few beers before heading off to a bike workshop. The workshop was led by fellow Chicago native Dave Harris, from Mercury Bicycle Fit, who reminisced with me about turning bikes upside-down as kids, to spin the back wheel and “make ice cream” for our neighborhood friends. That must be an Illinois or Chicago thing, because even my Ohio friends don’t know what I’m talking about.
Lazy Dog Kayak – Although there wasn’t time to fit in a kayak journey, I did visit Lazy Dog to meet lazy dog Bonnie Lass, who is 14 years old, and seems to have the run of the place. Workers are encouraged to bring their dogs to work, and 30+ dogs graced the front of the T-shirt available for purchase. The shirt was illustrated by Dave Richard to celebrate the dogs that Lazy Dog is known for, including the reclining canine on the company logo, Camillo.
The Café – Not just for carrot lovers, this Vegetarian / Vegan / Pescetarian friendly spot offers amazingly flavorful food, including offering Brunch on Sundays. The Frittata of the day, complete with zucchini, beets and loads of goat cheese, came with a hearty brown bread that reminded me of the staple that accompanied almost every meal during my Ireland trip 2 yrs. Ago. Featuring local artists on their walls, and with slogans like “Rock the Vege” and “Full of Beets”, the café is a place to gather and hear music as well. Beer, wine, and Brunch-inspired mimosas and Bloody Marys are available.
Marrero’s Guest Mansion – It was my first time there, but I’d definitely return. Quaint breakfast on the porch, Happy Hour drinks by the pool every evening, bikes delivered to the hotel, and rumors that the house is haunted make for an interesting stay. I was fortunate to stay in a room that used to be a veranda; enclosed years after the ghost made its first appearance, my room was “off limits” to the ghost. October will be here before long, so plan a stay if you can.
Special Treat: For those who’ve read this far, I’ll end with an image of one of the 6 toed cats wandering the grounds of the Ernest Hemingway’s former estate in Key West, where he did much of his writing. These special cats stole his heart.
The Carlyle – http://www.carlyleoceandrive.com/
World Erotic Arts Museum – http://weam.com/
Eaton Bikes – https://www.eatonbikes.com/
Mercury Bicycle Fit / Dave Harris – http://www.slowtwitch.com/fitters/individual.php?fitter_id=633
Lazy Dog Kayak – http://lazydog.com/
The Café – http://www.thecafekw.com/
Marrero’s Guest Mansion – http://www.marreros.com/
Ernest Hemingway – http://www.hemingwayhome.com/cats/