Aug 12, 2008





The sightseeing tour that was great fun, CATS and climbing up to the top of a lighthouse!


Since we finally needed the alarm to go off to wake up, we knew we had “fully” arrived in the US and were now set on US time. The hotel offered free continental breakfast, but it did not appeal to us so we went the 1 ˝ blocks to the southernmost Denny’s for breakfast. Breakfast was wonderful as always.

I don’t need a menu there any more, I always have the French Toast Slam, two thick slices of their Fabulous French Toast with two eggs which I prefer scrambled, two bacon strips and two sausage links, tea and some orange juice. Tom had the All American Slam, three scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, two bacon strips and two sausage links, plus hash browns and white toast, coffee and some orange juice.

After we had finished our breakfast, we crossed the street and went to the pick-up point of the Trolley Tour. We had pre-purchased tickets for this tour as well and this tour actually picked us up. We got onto one of the trolleys and off we went. The driver was good fun and we stayed on board for a few stops. We got off at Mallory Square. Mallory Square has lots of shops and exhibitions to explore and needless to say we even found something we had to buy on the spot – a catnip filled cat toy for our kitty Pixie! After about an hour of exploring we picked up some Key Limonade and a Key Limonade Float. The Key Limonade was a bit tart, but the Key Limonade Float was really nice.

Refreshed we got on the next trolley and enjoyed some more of the tour and the fun anecdotes of the drivers. We left this trolley at the Hemingway House, something we had been so looking forward to. 9 years ago, during our first visit to Key West we had visited it before and fell in love with all the cats that lived there. Being cat lovers, the Hemingway House was a must do! We paid the entrance fee and explored the house, which really is interesting, as are the grounds.

What a wonderful place to live. No wonder that man wrote such great novels! Then there were the cats, they were everywhere, in the house, in the garden, on the trees, on the chairs, on the tables, in the cellar, in front of the back door.

Where ever you looked there were cats, some so shy you could not get close to them, some so used to the constant petting, they would not even flinch. We spent over an hour exploring the house and watching the cats. Next stop Key West Lighthouse, right opposite the Hemingway House. You can climb up the 88 cast iron steps to the top and enjoy the view. That was exactly what we intended to do.

But first we needed to get hydrated and got some water before we were to attack the stairs. Getting up the stairs is easy, but I am really afraid of heights if I can see straight down, so I was NOT looking forward to this part.

So we climbed up the stairs – 88 stairs in 100°F is not much fun. It was hard work, but the view from the top was a gorgeous reward for it. We both had to stay close to the wall, as we both don’t like heights, but enjoy the view, so go figure! We stayed up there for some time before we HAD TO go back down again. Now that was another story.

It took ages for me to walk down, holding on to the wall with one hand and the middle pillar with the other. Thankfully there were no people coming up the stairs while we were going down since they would have had to crawl around me!

When we finally were on solid ground again we headed over the Lighthouse Keeper’s quarters, another small museum which we visited. We then went back to the trolley stop just to find out that we had just missed a trolley. There was a small shop, so we got something to drink and I tried a Key Lime Pie on a stick. Frozen, delicious Key Lime Pie, covered with chocolate on a stick. What an out of this world treat. And I so deserved it after climbing up to the top of that lighthouse.

Soon after I had finished my Key Lime treat the next trolley arrived and we got on board. This time we had the funniest trolley driver ever. The stories he told made us laugh out loud while being shown the “outskirts” of Key West.

We finally arrived at the Southernmost Point, where we got off the trolley, since this was very close to our hotel. We took a few photos of the Southernmost Point, the Southernmost House and the Southernmost Southernmost House in the USA. From there we just walked the two blocks back to the hotel. It was now mid afternoon and we took some time to relax before we went back to Mallory Square again to pick up a few souvenirs. Finally a chance to really enjoy the convertible while driving down Duval to Mallory Square.

We parked the car and explored the last bit of Duval Street that we hadn’t seen the day before and we came across a wonderful old church which we decided to visit. On the way back we had some ice-cream, very nice cookie dough ice-cream and rather tasteless coconut ice-cream.