Marathon (Florida Keys)
Mar 4, 2008
|Key Observations....by Diane
We finally made it as far from home as we could get. After all that cold weather and rain, we should be welcoming the heat. But, not the humidity. It is hard to get used to the 99% or 400% (as Larry thinks) humidity here. Now, I feel the temperature is nice, 86 is about my ideal temperature, but Larry and some of the others are really suffering. It doesn't even cool off at night. I think for the 4 nights we have been here, it hasn't gotten any cooler than about 72. At least we know our air conditioner still works.
Some of the things I found different here in the keys, are the bridges. I was under the impression that the islands were much farther apart and hence the bridges would be longer. There are certainly lots of them, but the longest one is only 7 miles long and you can see land while you are on it.
All of the keys are named different and they all have a flavor all to their own. Marathon, the town we are staying in is on Grassy Key and it is more oriented to families. I think, besides Key West, it may be one of the largest in the chain.
There are endless Scuba and Snorkel shops here and probably a million T-shirt shops. There are also some really cute Mom and Pop type places. We didn't see any Wal-Marts and not many "chain" restaurants.
There is a real mix of millionaire homes with attached docks and some shabbier type of homes. I can't imagine that it is cheap to live down here. Gas and Diesel and the grocery prices are certainly higher than we have experienced along the way. Tourism and fishing must be their chief business. We saw a number of fishing boats, but far more yachts and pleasure boats.
Key West was somewhat of a disappointment, at least to me. I was expecting a small charming quaint town with little shops and nice beaches. It was almost worse than Disney World. There were tons of people everywhere and tourist shops lined the streets. We think we are here in the middle of spring breaks, so the bars were packed, not that we went in any of them, we just looked. There were also two cruise ships docked here so that probably accounts for the number of tourists also. We did have a slice of Key Lime pie and it was very good. Of course we paid $5 per slice for it. It would have cost us $25 for a whole pie. Larry and I shared a piece. Parking could be had for $4 per hour, with a maximum of $40 per day. What a deal!
We did see the Mel Fischer museum and all that Gold and Silver he brought up from the depths of the ocean. We went into the shop to see if we could purchase any, and it came down to a choice of a gold coin or having enough money to get us home. We don't have any gold coins. We did see some treasures for sale there for in excess of $220,000! The nice sales lady there said they are still bringing up treasures and they found several gold bars just last weekend. With the price of gold these days, I might just take up treasure hunting too.
The sunset here is a big deal. Most folks stop what they are doing and head for the water to watch the sun come down. I think it is a nice tradition and what a great way to end the day.
Dick and Gail, and Larry and I did get a chance to swim in the Atlantic as you can see from the pictures. Larry and I are paying for that as we got pretty burned. Dick and Gail fared much better than we did.
We never did see any of the infamous Key Deer. They are supposed to be a small deer about 24 inches tall. We really looked for them, but only saw the signs warning us not to run them over. We think the signs are to keep the tourists happy on the drive down the Key West.
I think we are all glad we made the trip down here and got to experience it, but we also are glad to finally be headed out of Florida.