KEY WEST EXPRESS......Fort Myers to Key West(The Conch Republic)
Key West Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
Woo hoo!! The KW Express will be departing this morning and heading on down to the Conch Republic. The weather this morning is a little cool, I wish I had brought my jacket. We started boarding at 0700 and the boat left at 0830. The boat can hold up to 400 passengers but only a little over a hundred are on this morning. After we left the port and got into the gulf they kicked it up to 41mph. The boat has turbo diesel engines with jet propulsion. The boat has three decks with seating inside and out. A galley, bar, and plenty of bathrooms. The three and half hour trip started off great with no problems. The closer we got to the keys about the last hour the water was a little rough. We were all feeling a little sick.
As we arrived in the keys we noticed that there were a lot of people standing on the docks and helicopters flying all around.
We ended up on the corner of Caroline St. and Duval St. at Fogarty's. It's a nice outdoor bar and grill. We ordered an order of Conch Fritters to share and we all ate the Shrimp Po Boy sandwiches with fries. Everything was great!! We then headed down the street to famous Sloppy Joe's Bar and took a few pics. The have a live band at night and can get crowded. We then walked to Mel Fisher's Maritime Museum. My Dad wanted to see this because of the Atocha and its gold!! You can actually hold a gold bar!! The next stop was the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States.
Because of Tropical Storm Paloma the Captain let us know that the first few hours of our trip back would be rough because of the pressure gradiant. There was a few good drops and everyone gave out a little scream or yell. Mike and I slept and my parents watched TV.
It was a quick trip and we were a little rushed but we all wanted to this for a long time.
Here is a little history of Key West:
Conch Republc: In 1982 the city of Key West briefly declared its "independence" as the Conch Republic in a protest over a United States Border Patrol blockade.
Key West claims to be the only city in the lower 48 states never to have had a frost. Because of the proximity of the Gulf Stream in the Straits of Florida, about 12 miles (19 km) south and southeast, and the tempering effects of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and north, Key West has a notably mild, tropical climate, (Koppen climate classification Aw, similar to the Caribbean islands), in which the average temperatures during winter are about 14 degrees lower than in summer.
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms while living above the showroom of a Key West Ford dealership at 314 Simonton Street while awaiting delivery of a Ford roadster purchased by the uncle of his wife Pauline in 1928.
Hardware store owner Charles Thompson introduced him to deep-sea fishing. Among the group who went fishing was Joe Russell (also known as Sloppy Joe). Russell was reportedly the model for Freddy in To Have and Have Not. Portions of the original manuscript were found at Sloppy Joe's Bar after his death. The group had nicknames for each other, and Hemingway wound up with "Papa".
Pauline's rich uncle Gus Pfeiffer bought the 907 Whitehead Street house in 1931 as a wedding present. Legend says the Hemingways installed a swimming pool for $20,000 in the late 1930s (equivalent in 2006 to $250,000). It was such a high price that Hemingway is said to have put a penny in the concrete, saying, "Here, take the last penny I've got!" The penny is still there.
During his stay he wrote or worked on Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.
Pauline and Hemingway divorced in 1939, and Hemingway only occasionally visited while returning from Havana until his suicide in 1961.
The six- or seven-toed polydactyl cats descended from Hemingway's original pet 'Snowball' still live on the grounds and are cared for at the Hemingway House, despite complaints by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that they are not kept free from visitor contact, and the Key West City Commission exempted the house from a law prohibiting more than four domestic animals per household.
Tennessee Williams first became a regular visitor to Key West in 1941 and is said to have written the first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire while staying in 1947 at the La Concha Hotel.
Williams had a series of rented homes all over the U.S., but the only home he owned was in Key West.
Even though Hemingway and Williams were in Key West at the same time, they reportedly met only once -- at Hemingway's Cuba home Finca Vigía.