Monday, September 7, 2015

Island Vacation - Key West II

Labor Day weekend is coming to a close and it was wonderful having three days to be as productive or as lazy as I wanted to be! As we say goodbye to summer, I wanted to relish those summer memories of Key West with this part 2 post!

One day we took the shuttle to town and took a walk through homes, modest and elaborate, including the Patterson-Baldwin House -- also known as "The Oldest Schoolhouse."
We also passed many chickens and roosters - originally brought 200 years ago by the pioneers as a source of meat and eggs, chickens are now protected in Key West and allowed to wander wherever they wish. (This has caused a lot of debate by the locals, both for health and noise reasons).
 Soon we came to a gated area and arrived at our destination:
 Truman's Little White House!
(Click on the link -- you'll want to learn more about it!)

The Little White House was interesting. It is a museum, as well as a retreat and place for government business to be conducted. Presidents who have visited include Presidents Taft, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton.

One of the things that surprised me was how modest the furnishings were -- sort of a time warp from the 1950's, the type of furniture your parents might have had in a lake house. Somehow that made it feel cozier, more down to earth and relaxed. You could envision the First Lady getting ready for her day in the bedroom, then moseying into the adjoining sun room porch for a breakfast tray. The guide had an impressive array of stories to share! We were not allowed to take photos inside, but they had a lovely gift shop and education room:

Another day we went to Mallory Square so we could shop and take pictures....
Then we boarded a glass bottom boat for a trip out to the reef -- the only living coral reef in the continental United States, the third largest in the world. Beautiful fish, but if I had to do over, I would have spent more time out on the deck as others told us fish jumped out of the water and you could actually see them better than through the blurry, greenish glass on the bottom of the boat.
 Key West and Hard Rock Cafe!
 So ended the colors, vibrancy, and sandals-only days of Key West!
Happy End of the Summer!

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