Did we just get Zika? (Key West Day 5)
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Did we just get Zika? (Key West Day 5)

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I was most excited about this day. I mean kayaking in the clear waters in the Keys sounds amazing, right? RIGHT?

In this video, we get up close and personal with Florida wildlife and have a lot of fun traipsing around Key West.

Where We Camped:

Check out this post for full details on Sunshine Key Resort, the most luxurious RV park I’ve visited in three years of RVing.

Where We…Drank

As part of our press trip in the Keys, we were given VIP press passes for Key West. These passes could get us into any number of museums and attractions on the island, but after a week of adventures we used their power to create our own happy hour.

Drink #1: Margaritaville 🍹

When in the Keys, am I right? We went with the classic house frozen margarita here and ordered a massive plate of nachos. Everything was gone in about five minutes.

Drink #2: Bistro 245, inside Margaritaville Resort & Marina 🍹

When we were looking for this Bistro, we really had no idea we were seeking out the second Margaritaville on the island 😂 We must have a nose for these things. (Side note: there is basically no security at this chill hotel and they have an awesome pool!)

At this bar we were still looking for something frozen, so I ordered a pina colada and Heath tried the Key Lime Kolada. These drinks were pure frozen sugary decadence. Sheesh I could really use one right now, that sounds amazing.

Where We Ate

We had breakfast and lunch in the RV, so nothing spectacular there, except I was still eating leftovers from Lazy Days from Day 3. Man another crab cake sounds so good right now.

Dinner: El Meson De Pepe

My first ever Cuban food experience was filling, to say the least. I have been CRAVING this food ever since we left town!

Appetizers:

Garlic Chicken Wings, Conch Fritters, Croquettes, Papa Rellena (Picadillo & Pork stuffed fried potato balls), and Yuca Frita

Of course they brought us a basket of cuban bread as well, which is like a loaf of French bread that has been flattened and stuffed with butter.

Vaca Frita: Simmered and pulled beef marinated overnight in lime, garlic, and onions then sautéed until crispy

Heath couldn’t pick one single dinner, so he chose the combo with three cuban classics: Picadillo Habanero (Savory ground beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, olives, capers, and raisins), Ropa Vieja (“OLD CLOTHES” Marinated shredded skirt steak with red & green peppers, fresh tomatoes, onions, and red wine), Lechon Asada (Traditional Cuban roasted pork marinated in cumin-mojo sauce).

We both tried Cuban coffee for the first time. Heath ordered The Boat Lift, a frozen cocktail with Bacardi 8, cuban coffee, and cream. Basically an adult frappuccino.

After dinner, I ordered Café con Leche to go. According to their website, “it’s a blend of Cuban espresso that is stirred into a cup of steamed milk. Once mixed, the traditional morning beverage is similar to a latte.” I loved it!

We snagged a couple bites of Key Lime pie before we rushed off to catch the Sunset Celebration (read more on that below) and it was delicious, of course. You can literally get key lime pie everywhere in the Keys. It’s magical.

What We Did!

Big Pine Kayak Adventures

love kayaking, so I was really excited about this adventure. But what I didn’t know is that we were booked for backcountry kayaking, which meant we weren’t in the pristine blue waters of the Keys, but instead we were back in the dark green water in the mangroves. This was a bit of a bummer for me, mostly because of the intensity of the mosquitos! I grew up in Texas and I’ve spent summer in Alaska. I thought I knew mosquitos. This was more intense! I wouldn’t recommend this type of kayaking adventure, for this reason. The bugs were just too bad.

We really enjoyed the guide and the actual kayaking, but the mosquitos really tainted the experience. If you want to go kayaking, opt for open waters!

Hemingway House

I was less than thrilled to visit the Hemingway House because it meant I was spending an hour away from the beach. But I was SO impressed by this place. Our guide new everything about Hemingway, from the order in which he wrote and published his books to where all of his six-toed cats are buried. He even knew why there’s a penny in the cement around the pool and that is quite the story!

Hemingway wrote 70% of his books from this giant house in the Keys. As writers, it was humbling to see where this master of literature sat and typed his novels every day. If I could hear and see the ocean from my window, I don’t think I could ever have that discipline.

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

This guy makes National Treasure look weak. (Of course no video or photography is allowed inside, so the above picture of the sign will have to entice you to visit.)

Mel Fisher spent 15 years searching for a shipwreck from the 1600s. That’s over 400 years ago! People died searching for this ship. And then one day, they actually found it…a treasure worth half a BILLION dollars. I can’t even believe it.

$20 million worth of the treasure is on display in this museum, and it is 100% worth the visit. We took the audio tour and were amazed at all of the Spanish history that was preserved in this shipwreck.

This is definitely a must visit!

key west mallory square

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

Every night at sunset, this unassuming stretch of pavement along the water lights up with vendors, street performers, and music. It’s a great place to watch the sun go down over Sunset Island while taking in the sights and sounds of the locals (including a teenage girl playing Taylor Swift covers which was adorable).


Look back at Day 1: Arriving in Miami Beach!

Look back at Day 2: Renting from Cruise America

Look back at Day 3: Snorkeling! Until we crashed our drone in the ocean.

Look back at Day 4, Part 1: Feeding sharks!!!!

Look back at Day 4, Part 2: Releasing a Sea Turtle

Follow Alyssa Padgett:

Travel blogger

Second half of Team Padgett and full-time traveler in our Winnebago Brave. I blog about our travels, how I run our production company from the road, and the ridiculous things Heath does on a daily basis. My husband thinks I'm funny.

  • Bridgette

    Well those drinks and that food are making me want some of both right now. Glad y’all had a good time.

    • Oh man they were amazing! I can’t look at this post without my stomach growling.