Key West - Final Days

, Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 7
Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah, the rest of the Key West trip. Friday was the last day of the conference. In the afternoon we walked back downtown and ate lunch at Blue Heaven Restaurant. We had to wait a half-hour, but that was fine. The restaurant felt like it was built right into the woods. Existing trees were used to hold up some of the structures and lights were strung amongst the branches. Roosters and cats were scratching around for scraps under the tables. I felt like I should order some moonshine.

Margaret had a headache and went back to the hotel while the rest of us walked to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park to swim at the beach. It felt like a pretty long walk into the middle of nowhere. Key West doesn't have any natural sand beaches, so sand was hauled in for the sunbathers at this park. That's fine for soaking up the rays, but isn't so great when you want to get in for a swim. We wished we had reef shoes because the sand ended at the water's edge, leaving painful gravel and stone.

We walked back into town when we were finished at the beach and picked up some pizza that Margaret pre-ordered. She also called a cab to bring us back to the hotel.

Day 8
Saturday was the day we scheduled our "Ultimate Adventure" with Fury Water Adventures. I had come to think of this activities as our Ultimate ADD Adventure because they pack so many activities into 6 hours; snorkeling, jetskiing, parasailing, kayaking and swimming with water toys like a giant inflatable iceberg that gets carried away in storms. The water temperature hadn't warmed up too much so early in the year and we were nervous about being comfortable after swimming in cold water the day before. But the day was sunny and fun. The highlight was watching a shark patrol the reef 20 feet below us while we were snorkeling.

Heading Home
We rented another car one-way to get back to Miami. Going one-way from Miami to Key West costs about $150/day. Going back from Key West to Miami is only $40. Hertz doesn't like people to leave cars in Key West, I guess. When we got to Miami I wanted to take a tour of the Art Deco district in Miami Beach, but the crowds were so huge for a Latin American festival that all we could do was drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic and watch out the windows.

On Monday we took an early flight to Chicago, where we were supposed to connect for a flight to Rochester, MN. Our flight out of Chicago was canceled, though and they rebooked us for a morning flight. That didn't work for us, so we rented another car and drove home from Chicago. This time we rented from Budget, who must not want cars to go one-way to Rochester, because again we had to pay $150/day. Luckily American Airlines reimbursed us $400 for our canceled tickets, even though weather was the reason for delay.

All-in-all, it was a great trip!


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