April, 2005

Beach at Key Largo Key Largo & Key West with Hooveys

04/09/2005. Our first motorhome trip with four people, our destination was Ft. Lauderdale airport to pickup Patty & Roger Hooverson (arriving at 12:15), the on to Key Largo. We left home at 6:00 am and headed straight for the Pilot weigh station to see if we were under/over on our weight. We were excited to find that we were under by close to 700 pounds. That would give us allowance for the remainder of articles that we needed to take with us full timing.

The cell phone rang at approximately 10:30, it was a call from Patty & Roger saying they were inadvertently taken to Orlando/Sanford airport and would not get to Fort Lauderdale until 4:30. We pulled into a service area, took a nap, had some lunch, read our books, and waited until 2:30. After circling the airport 3 times, we picked them up and headed on our way, south on Interstate 95 as far as south Miami, where we got on US 1. The traffic was intense.

Our campsite for the next two nights was at the America Outdoors campground on the Gulf side. The site that we chose was across from a group of young folks who partied into the night, providing entertainment for Mike & Rog.

A young couple from near Woodstock, New York, Eileen & Fred, were camped in their Rialta behind us. We had a nice conversation with them and met their cute little Jack Russell terrier named Ruby.

04/10/2005. Spent the day hanging out on the beach, had a nice breakfast & dinner & spent time catching up with the Hoovey's.

4/11/2005. Headed on to Key West. Stopped at the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key for lunch. This is a local restaurant that was established back in 1931 as a general store and bait shop. The eating establishment was added 5 years later. They added a brothel for a short time, but it failed because reportedly, "the fishermen were better looking than the ladies". They closed the general store and bait shop in the 50's and became exclusively a bar and restaurant. It became a rowdy, roughneck establishment with lots of gamblin, cussin, fightin and fartin. Today, its much tamer. Although its still popular with the locals, the No Name Pubs target clientele appears to be tourists. They have carefully preserved, cultivated and perhaps embellished their rough, lawless image for the sake of marketing, but really... at least during the day... its quite tame. The walls and ceilings are papered with $$$ bills that have been autographed and decorated.

After checking into the Southernmost on the Beach Motel, we walked the length of Duval Street and had a bite to eat at Sloppy Joe's. While sitting there, we ran into John & Marion Schuepback, Marion's Mom & friend Christopher from Wisconsin. What a surprise! After that, we kept having encounters with them as we walked along Duval.

4/12/2005. A relaxing day spent at the beach, the pool, dinner at Billie's Bar & Restaurant.

4/13/2005. Had breakfast at Camille's. Took the trolley tour around Key West and toured Mel Fisher's Museum, the marina area, relaxed at the pool and had dinner at Duffy's Steak & Lobster House.

4/14/2005. After breakfast, we hit the road and travelled to Hollywood where we stayed at the T.Y.(Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park.

4/15/2005. Dropped the Hoovey's at the airport and headed back home. Arrived back in Oak Run around 9:30 pm.