Archive for May 2012

Hello Norwegian Sky!   Leave a comment

Have to get a final blog in before I lose data.

Stayed last night at the South Beach Marriott. Nice hotel. We were given a free upgrade to an ocean view room and access to the concierge lounge. Sweet!  Didn’t like South Beach nearly as much as Key West so stuck to the hotel.

We were happy to be on our way this morning.  As is our habit arrived at the port by 11:00, whizzing through security.  On board by 11:45. Arranged for a clam shell at Great Stirrup Key the moment the Shore Ex desk opened.  Although a tropical storm could thwart those plans. At least we’ve had great weather all week.

Had lunch in the main dining room then began exploring. Never been on the Sky. Although she’s small, her layout will take some getting used to. 

Enjoying our traditional pre-muster champagne now!  Look forward to reporting when we’re back on Monday!

Posted May 25, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Last Day in Wonderful Key West   Leave a comment

One thing that I discovered that I love about Key West was although we didn’t do much on day three, we had a great time.

A lazy morning became a lazy afternoon of hanging out on our balcony, reading and watching the water. Really a “sea day” for those familiar with cruising.

We did rouse ourselves long enough to grab lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish. DH had yet another fish sandwich and I had a shrimp club. Pretty good food and a nice (air-conditioned) atmosphere.

I had made dinner reservations at A&B Lobster House, but DH decided he’d needed a Cuban sandwich for dinner. I narrowed our options down to two; El Meson de Pepe or Havana 1. We chose El Meson for its proximity to Mallory Square only to find that they didn’t serve sandwiches after 3:00 pm. DH didn’t want to go all the way to Truman street (where Havana 1was located) so we searched the menus on display on Duval until we found a Cuban sandwich. A nice place called Caroline’s was the winner.  DH had his Cuban (although he found it lacked flavor) and I had a chef salad. A&B would just have to go on our “next time” list.

After dinner we went to Mallory Square for our final sunset. I got a “green thing” from the drink cart at the Westin. Boy was that good!  Okay, so I never got around to having Key Lime pie while we were there, but I had three Key Lime cocktails (the green thing, a Key Lime margarita and the Key Lime martinis) and a Key Limeade, so I think I covered it.  🙂

After the sunset, we wandered to a bar to watch some playoff basketball, then called it an early night because we had to pack. The Keys Shuttle was picking us up in the morning.

Even though we didn’t do a lot of what was on our “to do” list (Hemingway House, Little White House, snorkeling, etc) we just had a wonderful time. We had gone on this vacation with a “whatever” frame of mind. We would do (or not do) whatever we liked and it was all good. This had to have been one of the most relaxing vacations we’ve had. DH is plotting our return…but by plane next time. We want to have more time in KW and spend less time driving!

Posted May 25, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Scallops at Roof Top Cafe   Leave a comment

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Posted May 25, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Key West, Day Two   Leave a comment

Day two in Key West began with me sitting up and looking through the slider at the sparkling blue water of the harbor. This is the life!

We opted for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, the Harbor View Cafe. The prices are reasonable for a hotel and the food good. The cheddar hash brown that comes with breakfast is scrumptious.

I’d arranged through the concierge to have two bikes delivered that morning. It would have been cheaper to arrange this myself, but after having him look into for me, I’d have felt guilty saying “never mind”. The bikes were delivered a little late…then the seat clamp on one promptly broke necessitating a trip back to the bike shop. No worries. We weren’t in a rush and the delay gave us time to gather our stuff.

Biking around Key West is great. The area is small enough to walk around for the most part, but having the bikes sure makes getting around that much faster. We road over to Fort Zachary Taylor. We were pleasantly surprised to find a bike path circling much of the fort. The beach here is larger than I expected and has a large, wooded picnic area. A very pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

Lunch was at the Half Shell Raw Bar. They had a spicy lobster chowder on special that was simply excellent. I had the crab cake salad, and thought the crab cake also very good with large chunks of crab. We were seated by the water and entertained ourselves by tossing bits of cracker to the fish waiting below. An egret came by and watched the snapping fish with interest, but didn’t bite. 🙂

Later, we made sure to be back at Alonzo’s at 4:00. Yes, for the start of happy hour, but also for the tarpon feeding. These fish are enormous!  I can see why people like to fish for them. Watching them snap up the huge chunks of chum being tossed to them is a sight for sure.  Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Dinner this evening was at the Roof Top Cafe. I’d made reservations just in case, but they weren’t needed.  Looks like we caught Key West at the perfect time if you want to avoid crowds. We didn’t have problems being seated anywhere except for the super tourist destinations like Sloppy Joe’s

The Roof Top Cafe was excellent. We dined outdoors, under the boughs of a Chinese mahogany. The waitress warned us that the tree would be sprinkling us with pods but that didn’t bother us one bit. DH really liked that we were outside in shorts and flip flops at a table covered in white linen. Only in Key West!  Dinner was fantastic. DH had the cold potato leek soup special (without the goat cheese crumbles) and it was just great. I had the lobster gnocchi and was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was Maine lobster. The gnocchi were perfectly cooked little fluffy pillows. Yum!  DH had the scallop special and I the wild mushroom risotto. Both were a tad over-cooked, but still delicious. No room left for dessert, but I would recommend stopping by the Roof Top Cafe if you’re in Key West.

Posted May 25, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Sunset Key West Style   Leave a comment

The sunset at Mallory Square is a ritual not to be missed. It’s not just because the sight of the sun setting over the harbor is beautiful. It is. But I’ve watched the sun set over water countless times. Literally.  The sunset at Mallory Square is an Event with a capital “E”.   What is a lovely, but empty, square by day is chock-full of vendors at night. There are food carts, palm readers, and vendors selling paintings, jewelry, etc.  Then there are the street performers, singing, preaching damnation, or juggling fire; they can make you forget the star of the show, the sunset.
Our sunset wasn’t a spectacular one. Mother Nature wasn’t quite cooperative.  But we had a few good glimpses of the sun peeking around thunderheads as she descended. And we were of course entertained by the good folks putting on a show for our enjoyment (and our dollars of course). 

 

 

Posted May 23, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Key West Harbor   Leave a comment

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Posted May 23, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

Key West, Baby!   Leave a comment

Key West, baby!

Our check-in @ the Pier House was quick and our Harborview room waiting for us. We walked through the lushly gardened grounds to find our building. I was apprehensive when I realized we’d been given a handicapped accessible room, but aside from a lower bed and enormous shower than you could wheel into, the room was fine. Our balcony was small, but over-looking the harbor as promised. Within minutes of our arrival, we received a welcome call asking if there was anything we needed. Nice touch

I chose the Pier House over similarly located hotels mainly due to the price. It was slightly less expensive than its neighbors. It also boasts its own private sand beach, no resort fees, free wi-fi, and an unobstructed view of the harbor even if cruise ships are in town. It’s restaurant and bars also get good remarks

Once settled in we began exploring. Our brief visit to Key West last fall gave us the lay of the land. Or so we thought. I didn’t realize until we walked down to Alonzo’s (one of the best happy hours in KW), that there’s a lovely boardwalk lining the harbor, making it easy to get to several restaurants and shops while enjoying lovely scenery

We partook of happy hour at Alonzo’s where all appetizers and alcoholic drinks are half off. DH had the oyster sampler, proclaiming the Buffalo ones the best. I enjoyed the BBQ peel-n-eat shrimp, but enjoyed my Key Lime Martini more

Next up, sunset at Mallory Square.

Posted May 23, 2012 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

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