Preparing for a Trip to the Dry Tortugas from Key West

elizabeth and turtle kraals

Elizabeth Weintraub goofing off at Key West Harbor

Scratching no-see-um bites is pretty much fruitless because they take much longer to go away when you do that, yet I continue to scratch. We bought plenty of bug spray and “after bite” if the bug spray didn’t work. Doesn’t stop insects from munching on my yummy skin. I’ve tried pulverizing the bites in my jetted tub. (Note to self, don’t use body wash in a jetted tub because the bubbles will crawl out to the balcony.) But bugs aren’t the big problem in Key West, really, it’s more like scorpions, so that’s why they let the chickens and roosters run loose. The chickens help to control the scorpion population. I wish I didn’t know that fact.

Conch house, Caroline Street, Key West, Fl

Conch house, Caroline Street, Key West

We wandered down Caroline Street yesterday morning to admire the Conch homes. These stunning structures are a mixture of Plantation Colonial, Victorian and New Orleans style homes, all rolled into one delightful piece of architecture. It’s pleasing to the eye. I adore the ornamental detail and railed-in porches, both on the first floor as well as the second. Many were originally built in the 1800s. Some listings say the homes are CSB, and I’m not sure what it means. Cement structure basement? Chicken side of bacon?

Later I checked prices on a few, because being a Sacramento real estate agent I can’t help myself, and the renovated larger homes start at about $1.5 million. You can add another million or two or four to that sales price if you want to buy a conch home on the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

Marina with boats and dock

Key West Harbor Walk

The reason we ended up on Caroline Street is because #1) we meant to tour that street and #2) it runs parallel to the Old Town Harborwalk of Key West. Since we’ve got reservations for the boat to Dry Tortugas National Park this morning, we thought it might be a good idea to track down exactly where we boarded. Good thing we did so because it’s hard to find, and nobody seems to know exactly where it is or, if they do know, they were not telling us. The boarding spot is from the Ferry Terminal, second floor check-in, way at the end of the marina. We need to be onboard at 7:15 A.M. for the two-hour journey, 70 miles off the coast of Key West and maybe 110 miles from Cuba. We will tour Fort Jefferson, built during the Civil War, and probably go snorkeling, searching for turtles, and colorful saltwater fish, maybe a bit of birding.

Sailing ship key west

Sailing vessel anchored in Harbor Walk, Key West

I will write more tomorrow about our trip to Dry Tortugas, providing we don’t drown. The winds are kicking up something awful, and the waves are probably cresting at 2- to 3-feet. I won’t think about that as we make our way in the early morning hours to the harbor.

Perhaps, instead, I shall ponder how yesterday had been a fairly inactive day, as far as crawling down Duval Street goes. I plan to start my exercise program and diet next week. Calories burned walking to the Harbor Marina: 225. Calories consumed (not counting the Margarita nor the Hemingway Daiquiri): 3,750. Number of tattoos received: zero. Number of cigars smoked: zero.

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