Posts Tagged ‘ocean’

Looking Down at Paradise: The Florida Keys

May 12, 2008

To really understand Key West and the Florida Keys, you have to start by looking down at them.  It’s a view that never gets old.

Fortunately most guests and visitors do start out their vacations with this view.  Commercial airlines fly from Miami and Fort Lauderdale to Key West in less than an hour.

The islands extend out over a hundred miles from South Florida into the sea. Only 90 miles from Cuba, Key West is closer to Havana than it is to Miami. And the islands brings vacationers some of the greatest diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sight-seeing possible in the United States. The Florida Keys are home to North America’s only living reef.

Although you can get to Key West by driving (its connected to mainland Florida by over forty bridges) its awesome when viewed from an airplane!

See more at 123FloridaKeys.com

Looking Down at Paradise – The Florida Keys, originally uploaded by Key West Baseball.

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The Florida Keys

April 7, 2008

If you can’t live in the Florida Keys, the next best thing is to visit.

If you can’t visit the Keys, the next best thing is to watch it on YouTube.

Here are a few I enjoyed:

The Florida Keys – Diving the Reef

Florida Keys Scuba Diving

Florida Keys Diving Picture Montage (with music)

Florida Keys & Key West: Big Pine Key & The Lower Keys

Florida Keys a journey of Dreams

Find more here.

Florida Keys, Old Railroad Bridge

April 4, 2008

The drive from Key West to the Miami airport is about 3 1/2 hours if you obey the speed limit.  If you drive recklessly, as fast as you can, you’ll get there, on average, about 20 minutes faster.  Really, they’ve done studies: you can risk your life and everyone around you, and arrive about 20 minutes earlier.  It’s hardly worth it. In fact I tell people to slow down and leave some extra time.  You’ll want to stop and take some photos, and that will add a little time to your trip.

Every turn along the Overseas Highway (aka Route 1) is a scenic picture spot. But if you stop at all of them, you’ll never get to your destination.  So that’s the other risk.

I took this picture near Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.  I like it, because it shows the Keys today, the same as it might have been in the 1920’s.  This was the Florida Keys that Hemingway and later President Truman enjoyed, and it’s quickly disappearing.

Now I’ll confess, I took this photo while driving by last weekend at 50 mph!    I didn’t heed my own advice and stop and enjoy the view.  And I know if you make it a habit of snapping photos while driving, you probably won’t make it to your destination either!

So next time I’ll pull over to take the shot.  Maybe I’ll even eat lunch there.  Heck I carry a fishing pole in the trunk – I might as well get it out!

Now where was it I was trying to go?  That’s a problem in the Keys.  It’s easy to forget where you were going…

More at: http://123FloridaKeys.com

Florida Keys, Old Railroad Bridge, originally uploaded by Key West Baseball.

"Are you near the beach?"

April 2, 2008

 
                                                                

When someone asks me “Are you near the beach?” I always respond “Is this your first time visiting the Keys?”  Usually people are taken back by my observation.  Stunned silence follows.  Then they sometimes try to cover with “No, we’ve been to Key West a couple times.”  But a little exploring reveals it was just a short stopover on a cruise ship.  And no, they haven’t really seen the Keys.

 
It’s easy to see, because most people who haven’t explored the Keys, will freely substitute “beach” and “ocean”, assuming one implies the other.  But in the Keys, we have lots of ocean – not as much beach. 
 
Oh sure, there are a few natural sandy beaches: Bahia Honda Key and Marvin Key are gorgeous examples.  But most – including all the Key West beaches – are man-made with sand shipped in from the Bahamas.  Where the islands are left in their natural state, the mangroves protect the shoreline as well as the abundant wild-life and sea life that gives birth around it.
 
The shorelines of the 600 or so islands that make up the Keys is really more beautiful and diverse than any beach in the world!  But it’s not a beach.

 

Key Largo- Sunset, originally uploaded by dbullens.