Have you ever been to Key West? If you have, then you already know that it’s nothing short of sensational. That’s the best word I can find to summarize the unbelievably refreshing and recharging vacation that my friends and I experienced last week.
As much as I love and adore my job, it’s been an insanely busy summer, and year. I really needed a break. And to speak for Kaitlin, Kendall, Christine (but we call her “Chop”), and Hannah…they needed it just as much. There’s something I can’t leave unsaid about our little group of 5 before I get into the glorious details of this trip: we aggressively love life. No other way to say it. We dance like crazy when any good song comes on. We “cheers” with our coffee, our mojitos, even our chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. We chat it up with nice strangers to celebrate how diversely beautiful each “newlie” discovered place is. We take 483279432 pictures to remember how much we fell in love with every moment of our trip. We’re even still talking about how delicious the little airline cookies “Biscoff” were, and are contemplating having a “Biscoff” tea party down the road. Long story short – life is SO worth celebrating: and these girls are my beautiful friends who “get it.” So, now for the highlights. I’m splitting this trip into two posts: Key West: Part I includes the first two days. Part II is the last 3. Are yoouuuu readyyyy?!
We flew into Key West with the biggest smile on our faces…even before getting off the plane:
We completely fell in love with our hotel room/suite at the Sheraton. STAY THERE if you’re ever wondering where to stay. It’s right across from the beach, and only about 2 miles from the main strip of town. The hotel has a free shuttle running every hour to & from Duval Street. We kicked off the first few hours with delicious fish tachos and drinks at Schooner Warf. Then we wandered around Duval Street and fell in love with every classic and brightly colored shop, restaurant and bar that we passed by.
Hopped the shuttle back home to enjoy some pool side relaxation at the hotel. Then we got ready for our first night out. Getting ready with your girls is…well it’s just part of being a girl. Hair dryer in the back ground, someone’s needing exactly 3 bobby pins, someone’s making coffee to get energized for the night, someone’s trying on 4 different outfits before going back to the 1st, someone’s putting on make up, someone’s checking Facebook, someone’s uploading Instagram photos, and we’re all feeling the excitement of Key West that night. And then, in all of our glory of bright Key West colors…we’re ready. We head back into town and kick off the night with Cuban food (El Meson de Pepe) at a lovely little outside table, seated next to some glorious live music. Within minutes, the alley is crowded with passersby as they can’t help but dance along. We’re in love with Key West already. THEN my mojito and our shared plates of melt-in-your-mouth food came:
The rest of the night was spent dancing around town…but sadly also being turned down from bars because I had accidentally lost my drivers license at the BWI Security Check Point. WAY TO GO KATH! True story of a traveler’s problem in effect. Thank goodness it was turned in that day. I adore BWI airport for their lovely call to me the next day, telling me it was found. Bad news? We couldn’t get into a single place without my ID. Now, I’m twenty eight years old…well over the limit, but I’ve gotta give props to Key West for being so strict. Luckily a photo copy of my passport got me through the week. Thank you to Caroline Davis for sending me a copy from home!!! She saved our vacation 🙂
Today was easy, breezy, beautiful. BEACH TIME – Hand stand attempts. Reading (shout out to Beth Kephart Books!!! If you’re looking for a GREAT read, then buy Small Damages). Real fruit smoothies from side street stands. Attempting the stand up paddleboard experience for the first time (LOVED IT!). Watching a gorgeously non-threatening storm come in from miles away. Laying in the sun with a little music in my ears and feeling perfectly content with my life. All of that was our morning:
And the beat kept on as we rolled back over to Duval Street for some lunch. One word: AMIGOS. SOOO GOOD! I ordered the “Skinny burrito” which is essentially just everything but the tortilla, and we also got …not just coke-a-cola…but “Mexicoke” which excludes high fructose corn syrup. Much better for you…and SOOOOO delicious!
Later that evening we got all glamorous for our second night out. Mallory Square was apparently a hot spot for watching the sun go down. It’s a Key West MUST to visit Mallory Square at sunset. As we strolled along the square we saw tons of street performers, side street vendors, and hundreds of happy visitors mulling about. One older man had his microphone all set up with space for background singers behind him. On his mic he gave our little group a shout out, and invited us to sing with him….uhhh YEAAAH!!!! Why the heck not?! Back up singers indeed. We were suddenly rockstar sensations. People were gathering around us, iPhone videos on record, cameras out, and cheering in order. We echoed him as he led us in “Day light come and me wann’go home.”
Poor Kendall was blocked by him in that photo, but all in all, it was a perfect moment that life treated us to. Special thanks to that random, lovely women who took photos of us with my camera. I practically threw it at her as we ran up to sing with him and she knew exactly what to do. I just love people!!! Moving on to the greatest street performer of all time. This dude performed the classics: high standing uni-cycle, juggling knives, then juggling knives with fire, making jokes (but his were actually good!), and keeping the audience on edge the whole time:
Later into the night we went to one of our favorite bars, Sloppy Joe’s, for dancing and drinks…while dancing…and did I mention we love to dance? Live music fills the soul of Key West, and that Thursday night was no exception:
Part II coming soon…stay tuned my friends! Have you booked your flight to Key West yet?!?!