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Brief description of the term "Conch Republic"

The famous Sloppy Joe's Bar, one of Ernest Hemingways favourite haunts

Even the pets are characters in Key West

Sucker for a man with a beard and Captain's uniform

Beautiful Key West landmark



one of numerous well known bars along Duval street

Bicycle Joanie riding the bus



Crowds gather every night in Mallory Square to toast the sun set...

The bus driver asked if anyone minded if this guy played his...

Hangin out with the gang at Mallory Square


The Conch train provides a tour of KW for the tourists

Chillin at the Hog's Head Saloon

Inside Captain Tony's Saloon, the oldest bar in Florida

A stop in the Florida Keys wouldn't be complete without at least one trip down U.S. Highway #1 to the nations' southernmost point, Key West, also known as the Conch Republic. Picture #1 gives a brief description of the origin of the name for this entertaining, open minded, and always FUN city.

We were fortunate to be here during the week long celebration commencing April 23rd held in honour of this historical event. Events include numerous parades, the Drag Queen race held on Duval St., a reenactment of the succession held in Mallory Square, fashion shows, a poker run, and bed races.

The protection in the anchorages in KW is poor and marinas are expensive so the Captain and I normally take the bus down. This is where the fun begins. How much fun can a bus ride be, you ask? Well down here in the Keys a LOT of fun! It isn't at all like other places where people sit and stare out the windows quiety. Most of the seats face towards each other. People get on and introduce themselves, if they don't already know each other which most of them do. The conversation continues for the entire hour and ten mintues of the ride.

Sometimes you pay to ride the bus and sometimes you don't. Yesterday on the way down we asked for a day pass and the drive didn't have any so we rode free of charge. On the way home the driver asked before leaving Key West where everyone was going. She remembered and stopped along the way at each place, not necessarily a designated bus stop but wherever the passengers wanted off.

The woman in the pic wearing bags on her shoes is Bicycle Joanie, who last year ran for town council. She had the bags on her shoes to keep them clean for work, since it was the only pair that survived Hurricane Wilma. She called a member of town council as we rode the bus, passing her cell phone to each passenger, including us Canadians to voice our opinion on a particular bus stop that she wanted changed to a more convenient location. Talk about a direct line to your member of council.

We always enjoy our visits to KW and yesterday was no exception. We picked up a new Conch Republic Flag for the front of Diamond Lil, had some lunch at one of many fine eateries on Duval St., watching the entertaining characters walk by, walked the streets and stopped for a cold brew. We arrived back in our cozy little home around 11:30, way past our usual bed time.

The Captain has gone up to Home Depot for grinding disks. We plan to upgrade our 50 lb CQR anchor to a 66 lb. Bruce after our bout of anchor dragging experiences this year but he needs to grind down the end of the new anchor so our swivel will fit. We are waiting for two new batteries to be delivered and fuel and oil filters so we have extras on board for next time. He finished the oil change on the generator and in doing so noticed that the zinc anode on it needed to be replaced so that was done as well. We found a slip for DL at a private residence just about a mile from here at a decent price and finally booked our flight home on Tues May 1st, a mere 4 days from now. Can't wait!

As they say down here See Y'all soon.

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