Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, Feb 26 or 27 (lost track!), Key West

Well, we've been having so much fun, and have been so busy for the past few days, that I didn't have time to add anything to the blog!  Our friends Dennie and Denise, who live in Orlando, arrived late Friday.  We've hit all our favorite places:  Blue Heaven, strolling downtown, Turtle Kraals, Hogfish (on Stock Island), and Hurricane Hole.  Today (Monday) we spent all afternoon at Boca Chica Naval Station, just up the road from Key West, getting our laundry done and hanging out on the beach.  We put our chairs in the edge of the water, and just sat there all afternoon telling stories and relaxing. 
At Hurricane Hole, we had a delightful waiter, Elvin, from Bangladesh.  He said his grandmother named him - she loved Elvis, but someone had recently named their newborn Elvis....soooooo, he became Elvin.  I had fallen and skinned my knee earlier.  He saw me using some ice from my water glass and a napkin - he brought me a grocery bag with lots of ice to use.  What a sweetie!
I do have just a few pictures:
Hogfish, a great place if you can find it (that's what it says on the t-shirt!)

Hurricane Hole at sundown

Denise, Dennie, and Dan, chilling at Hurricane Hole...

Hurricane Hole


Birthday boy, Dennie, chilling in the water at Boca Chica

from the beach at Boca Chica, mangroves...

sunset from Boca Chica (looking at bridge on US-1)

pretty sailboats at Boca Chica marina at sunset

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday, Feb 22, 2012 Key West

Another beautiful day - wind was perfect for sailing!  I think I am finally getting it!  The rules for sailing are so contrary to everything I've ever experienced - it's just taken me longer to start catching on than I thought.  For example, I had an 'AHA' moment today - as many times as I've been told, I finally more experientially that you (often) canNOT steer directly to where you're going - depending on the wind direction, you have to tack back and forth and plan ahead to get there!  I came away today in dry clothes, but two of my classmates went in - one of them three times!
Our laundry facilities at the campground have been out of commission due to an electrical problem for a week now.   I managed to get one wash load done, but today, I bundled up our sheets, towels, and various other things.  One bundle bungie-corded on the back of my bike, one in my backpack.  I sat outside the laundromat reading my book and giving directions to newly arrived tourists!
Dan will be back tomorrow - I've really missed him!  Tonight, I think I'll walk downtown with Meg, and hopefully meet up with our neighbors here in the campground.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 Key West

Had the second of four sailing lessons this morning.  He put us each into a Sunfish (small) sailboat with a small sail.  We were to just sail out and back, first in a circle in the little bay, then in figure eights.  I did ok, had a little problem where the mainsail sheet (control rope) was caught on cleat and kept me from being able to control it.  Once I figured that out, I did much better.  Then, with the instructor's help, I managed to get to the dock.  I had one foot on the dock and one in the boat, trying to remove the center board....well, you shouldn't do that!   The boat, of course, started moving away, I did a slow splits until I realized that I had to go in the water.   Two pieces of good news from the dipping:  one, the water actually felt great after three hours of sailing; two, there was no one around with a video camera (that was the first thing Dan asked me after his guffawing stopped!)!  I was fine, just swam (with my Mae West-type life preserver) to the sand.
Later, after shower and rest, I went on my bike to a little Cuban market, Fausto's.  Turns out they are right across the street from the best ice cream place on Key West - homemade ice cream!  So, I had my dessert around 4:00.  Returned 'home' around 5:00 to Happy Hour with my neighbors - about 10 of us sitting around.  They were mostly comparing insurance plans for their big rigs or talking about camping places they frequent.  I was happy to be included though - nice people.
typical Key West bike (with cup holder...)

probably the best ice cream on Key West....

another KW bike - note cup holder on the right handlebar...!

the garden area of a lovely home....

lovely home on Southard...

back of sculpture at the Customs House

Customs House, near where the cruise ships come in

sun setting at the dock where the cruise ships come in

after sunset - beautiful three-masted schooner going by..

sculpture at the Customs House

more of sunset at the docks...

the front of the sculpture - the 'guy' laying on his back is dreaming...part of sculpture

this 'couple' (another sculpture) looking at the sunset

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 (Fat Tuesday)

Had my first of 4 sailing lessons today.  There are 5 in the class - very good learning experience.  We went out in a small boat, just sailed around the basin, touched back at the dock, out again - everyone took a turn several times at the tiller.  Tomorrow, he's going to put us each in a small sailboat with him in a kayak.  Should be interesting!
Heard from Dan - he's safely in San Diego.
This evening, I'm going downtown to see what's what on Fat Tuesday in Key West. 
Took a couple of pictures of the sailing center.  Enjoy!
good place to hang out, even if you're not sailing!

This is the boat we took out today

another view of the building

the dock - the boats on the right are the ones for tomorrow!

another view of today's boat....

a good wind today - out of the northeast...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, Feb 20, 2012

Dan and I ran some errands this morning, took Meg for her usual walk, had some lunch, then Dan had to leave to drive to Miami.  Made me cry!  Silly, I know, but I already miss him!
Decided to take Meg downtown - we've always ridden our bikes, left her at home.  So, off we went - people just love her.  This is really a dog-loving town - there's almost no where that you can't take your dog.  Home after a walk-around.  Took two pictures of a lovely home on Southard.  Enjoy!
lovely home on Southard

Just a peek of their patio - I can imagine spending hours on that hammock!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday, 2/18, Key West

Another beautiful day - took Meggie for a walk through the lovely Navy housing, right on the water here on Trumbo point.  Hung out for a while at the sailing club, but not much wind when we were there.  A gentleman donated a BEAUtiful sailboat to the sailing club - about $45,000 worth.  It's much much too nice to keep there, needs someone to pamper it, take very good care of her.  So, it will be sold, and the money used to buy more sailboats.  Had to retrieve a specially made dolly from the man's house, so we offered to do that with the truck.  Cool to see the house, with a priceless view.
We walked Meggie over to the Coast Guard docks to watch the sunset.  Enjoy the pictures!  It's cool to be on a military base at sunset - with the trumpet playing whatever it is they play.  Today, we watched the guys take down the colors at sunset.

carrying her favorite toy...

cool boat at the dock

BIGGER cool boat at the dock


you can move a BIG boat into and out of the water with this thing...





removing the colors...

waiting for the signal...


down with the colors...

after the sun....

so pretty!

where we are...

couldn't resist....


the group of campers near us.....

our home away from home.....