Florida Days Six And Seven. Key West, Back In Paradise
On Sunday, during my recent visit to South Florida, after my hike on Big Pine Key I drove the 30 miles to Key West. I arrived at my lodging for the next four days, the Havana Cabana, mid-afternoon. And I found it just as wonderful as it was advertised. I had the opportunity to visit Cuba a few years ago and I immediately felt I was back in Havana again.
The mint condition Chevy automobiles parked in front of the resort reminded me of these classic cars seen all over the streets of Havana.
The lobby was beautifully decorated with murals,
and paintings by local South Florida artists. I was greeted by a friendly staff, and quickly checked in to my room.
I was soon getting unpacked in my comfortable room. I didn’t get too comfortable for too long. I was anxious to explore some more of Key West and was out the door.
The Havana Cabana is located on Roosevelt Blvd across from the Florida Bay. I decided to hike to the nearby Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Gardens. to look for migratory song birds.
Well it was only a mile from my hotel but it was mid-afternoon and the South Florida sun was intense. Temperatures were in the mid-80’s. It was hot as I walked along the scenic Florida Bay.
It was a noisy walk with all of the traffic on busy Roosevelt Blvd,
but I still saw some wildlife, there were many laughing gulls perched on the rocks and small islands in the bay.
And, of course, even out here along this main highway I saw roosters. There were a number of them hanging out under the shade of palm trees in front of the Hyatt and Marriot hotels.
I crossed a bridge over to Stock Island ,
and walked to the Botanical Gardens. I was disappointed to find it closed at 4 p.m. It was an uncomfortable hike back in the afternoon heat and I was glad to return to my air conditioned room.
After editing some photos I explored the grounds of the hotel, it had a beautiful pool, they say the largest in Key West,
and many interesting painting,
everywhere around the hotel. It was an interesting place I would and I enjoyed my stay here. It was now early evening and I didn’t want to dive downtown so I decided to eat at the hotel and the famous Floridita Food Truck.
I had a delicious mahi mahi Caesar salad with salsa and chips. It was already a great stay in Key West. I was looking forward to hopefully find those migrating birds in the parks in Key West. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my afternoon hike . Florida Day Six Key West Havana Cabana April 2 2023.
I awoke early on Monday morning and drove in the twilight to the Edward P Knight pier to watch the sunrise.
Cumulus clouds floated in the sky as a strong breeze blew in off the ocean.
There was a small crowd of people watching the sunrise,
which was obscured by the clouds. It was still a beautiful sunrise.
After watching the sunrise I left the pier,
walked though the streets of Key West, taking in the sights,
I walked one of the two nature preserves along the beach.
I again hoped to see the migrating birds that were supposed to be here but there were none in the trees in the preserve. I walked the boardwalk to the beach,
and enjoyed a scenic walk on the beach.
There were few shore birds on the beach , a willet wading the the wrack line,
some laughing gulls ,feeding on some crabs.
I left the beach and walked to the second nature preserve and found it still closed from the damage from the hurricane last Fall. I walked back to the pier, seeing some local Florida birds on the way, including a mourning dove,
I wanted to visit the Key West Wildlife Center, reported to be a great place to observe migratory birds and found it closed too.
So I walked around the beach and found some local history , an African burial ground , the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach.
The remains of 247 African refugees are buried here. They were some of the 1500 African refugees captured in the slave trade but freed by the United States navy. The refugees were taken to Key West were some died from the harsh treatment they received on the slave ships. The graves were discovered in 2002 and this monument created.
It was a beautiful tribute to a sad part of history. I love learning about the local history of the places I visit. One learns so much.
After visiting the burial grounds I decided to finish my 4 mile hike walking under the coconut and
manila palms that line the roads near the beach. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my morning hike Florida Day Seven Key West. morning hike April 3 2023.
After my hike I took the advice of a local who told me one of the best breakfasts in Key West was at Goldman’s Deli on N. Roosevelt Blvd. I t gave it a try and had a wonderful breakfast. It’s a great place with great people. I headed back to my hotel looking forward to my next Florida adventure. It has been on my bucket list for a long time . Stay tuned to the next blog.
*“I want to get to Key West and get away from it all.” – Ernest Hemingway