Category Archives: Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 11

It’s time to say goodbye to Key West Florida.
We thought it wise that we rise early on our departure day and head over to The Southern Most Point In The Continental United States.

(The Southern Most Point in ALL of the United States is, wait for it, HAWAII!)

We had driven past this spot several times, but there was always such a long line of folks waiting to have their picture taken at The Buoy.
We figured that if we went just after the Sun came up, we’d have no problem either with parking or with a crowd.
We were right!



The Sun was just coming up and we parked right in front, no trouble.



How poetic that the Conch Nation bids us farewell by the blowing of the Conch …

A hui hou, until we meet again, Aloha Key West Florida.

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 10

Another day has dawned in Key West Florida and we’ve got places to go and people to see, but let’s have breakfast first.



On my excursions across the street from the hotel to Publix, I found Goldman’s Bagel Deli, oh_my_gawd!
I only wish that I had discovered this small little joint when we first got here!
I haven’t had that good of a bagel in a very, very long time.
We decided to share a Bagel Breakfast Sandwich and a full brekkie plate, MMM! We ate every scrape! 

But like I said, places to go!



Truman’s Little White House.
We found a metered stall were we thought would be pretty close, NOPE!
We must have walked something like 8 blocks in this sweltering heat and humidity.
Poor DH was soaked by the time we got there and wished he had brought an extra shirt to change into.
Anyways, the tour was all indoors and AIR CONDITIONED!!!
That was pretty nifty!



We found our car and headed out in search of lunch.
I had been wanting to go to Eaton Street Seafood Market for Stone Crab Claws… well, we were one day too early.
The nice gal behind the counter said that they’d be getting theirs that evening, if I wanted to come back.
Well, we’re here now, let’s have a Lobster Roll instead.
That was wonderful and the Plantain Chips were something that I had never had before.

It had been a long, hot day, let’s go back to the hotel, cool off and live to fight another day.

We decided to head out early the next day to beat the heat and were off for Hemingway’s Home Tour. I was excited!
I had heard so much about this place and really wanted to see it for myself.



What an interesting home with such history to it.
And the cats, oh, they’re everywhere, even on the roof!

We had skipped breakfast in leu of a huge highlight for both of us:
Duval Street and Margaritaville!



It was early and they had just opened when we got there.
When in Rome … I just had to have a Margarita, The Perfect Margarita!
We decided to share a Club House Sandwich and Fries, mostly because we were going back to get me some Stone Crabs for dinner in the hotel room!!!!



Before we headed back to the hotel, we made our stop into Eaton Street Seafood Market again.
YUM! I was in heaven, let me tell you friends and neighbors!



We got another ready-made meal in the refrigerator section at Publix for DH, and bought a slice of Key Lime Pie from Eaton Street, again different.

What a great end to another wonderful day in Key West Florida.
But alas, this is our last day.

Tomorrow we leave and head back to the mainland.


Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 9

Whenever we travel to a new city, we look for the “Hop-On/Hop-Off” trolley tours.
This is great way to orient ourselves with the area, get some local inside information from the guide/driver, while all the time, I’m taking notes.
We’ll make one circuit, decided where we’d like to go back to and see more. This trip was no different.
It took us all around the island or “key”, where we pasted by the hotel that we WERE going to stay.

Remember I made mention of an email I received just prior to leaving for Florida, that the hotel’s pool would be closed… WELL!
The entire hotel was closed down for a major face-lift and re-branding, to a totally different chain all together. Oh my gosh!

Anyways …



We dis-embarked the trolley for a rest stop and a re-grouping meeting.
DH waited back at the car in the AC and saw this.
What the heck!
I didn’t see it, but as he showed me the photo on his phone,
I squealed “That’s one of those big Iguanas they have here.”
DH confirmed, it was big alright!

Well, by now it’s time for lunch!

We had wondered around Mallory Square and in each shop we went into, I asked “where would YOU eat lunch?”.
One of the proprietors handed me a fistful of coupons for free this or that.
I quickly looked through them and made an executive decision:
Red Fish Blue Fish



This restaurant was on my radar, but best of all, they offered a free Beer AND piece of Key Lime Pie!



DH’s fresh local Oysters on the half shell …



… followed by a Chef Salad … I like the presentation!



… and my lunch of a half pound of the local Pink Shrimp  and a side of Coleslaw, perfect!

I missed a snapshot of the pie, which we did as a take-out for later, but I’ll tell ya, that was good. Each restaurant has their own way of making/serving their slice.
Oh, and did you see the chicken? There everywhere!  Key West is a Wildlife Sanctuary, so there you go.

Well, it’s hot & humid and we needed a dunk in the hotel pool. We’ll end the day here and tackle another one tomorrow …

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 8

Next stop was a check mark off my bucket list … Key West Florida.
Even though I’m from a place with beautiful beaches and the Pacific Ocean surrounding the island, I’ve always wanted to come here.

Our drive South from Key Largo to Key West was spectacular! We had been told that the Seven Mile Bridge would be spooky, but we didn’t find that to be so. DH had driven down here with his buddy’s back when we were all young adults, but that was on the “old bridge” As we passed it along side the new one, I couldn’t imagine it being sturdy and yes probably scary back then.



What I did see as odd was something in the air, off in the distance… IT’S A BLIMP! DH thought that it was most likely a weather blimp, as we were close to an Air Station. So I looked that up and yup, he’s correct! That was kinda cool.



We got ourselves checked in to our hotel, and boy-howdy-dowdy let me tell you guys, THIS  is a real nice place!



This is out our back door!



Not a bad place at all!

I am SO glad that the hotel that we had booked to begin with had their pool closed and we decided to find a different hotel, FOR SURE!!!



We sat in the chaise lounge chairs after a dip in the pool, and watched the sunset, gorgeous.



And what did I spy across the street from the hotel but another Publix.
Dinner, done!






Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 7

One More Day In Key Largo Florida …



After a hardy FREE breakfast at our hotel, we took a ride around the area and went over to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
We soooo wanted to get in the water, but can you see the vegetation? I can’t recall what they called it, but we were told that it typically happens in early October, boo hiss! The water was so murky from all that rain, that the Glass Bottom Boat tours were cancelled. Oh well, it was a nice Park.



Our last night’s dinner in Key Largo was at The Fish House.
THAT, was spectacular!
DH started with the Smoked Fish Chunks, he absolutely loved it.
Then he moved on to Mussels Marinara, which he also loved.
I had the house specialty Snapper “Matecumbe” topped with fresh tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, capers, olive oil and lemon juice, then baked.
This Fish House favorite has been featured on the Food Network with Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
We ended our meal by sharing a slice of Key Lime Pie. I was told that when in The Keys, have a piece at each place that you eat, they’re all different … we’ll see.



Our last night. We sat out back of our hotel and watched the sun go down once more.

Next stop … KEY WEST FLORIDA!!!!

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 6


From PCB we motored South to spend a few days with our Nephew and his family, outside of Tampa Florida.



Our first night with them was High School Football night, so it was a quick supper and off to the game.



This is why we wanted to stop here, not just to see family, but to watch our Grand-Nephew play football, YAY 



While here, our Niece-In-Law took me on my first adventure in a Publix Supermarket, WOW! What a fabulous place. I just wish we had these where we live. As she shopped, I just looked around and found this, something I had heard about but had never seen. Pre-sliced Taylor’s Ham or Pork Roll. 
We didn’t stay long, `cuz we wanted to get to

Key Largo, FL

On our way down, we hit a bit a weather. A Hurricane (I forget which one, they have so many) skirted by Southern portion of Florida, but hit PCB right where we had been! But we made it to our hotel, just a little shaken and wet.



What the heck is that right outside our hotel room? Dunno, but they stayed over there in all of the water, it got pretty flooded, so …



It cleared up enough that we went out back to the waters edge and what did I find, but a Tiki Bar, and they were serving, CHEERS y’all!




That was a long and tedious drive South, so we called it a night in our room with a warm cup-o-Ramen. I keep these sorts of easy-microwavable meals in my traveling kitchen just for this type of night 



Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 5

Panama City Beach Florida was, interesting. It wasn’t what I had expected it would be, but all the same, it was great. Very low key, nothing fancy about it. Folks get around mostly in souped up golf cars! FUN! It seems like a very nice family orientated town, loads of stuff to do for the kids, besides the beach.



Even for big kids like us! We love miniature golf, or what we call Putt Putt Golf. Even though it was oppressively hot and humid out, we had a blast. We started to keep score, but DH had a terrible time with the three water hazards. So we just called it even and had a good laugh along the way.



I even left this adorable Painted Rock that I made.



Oh, and speaking of Painted Rocks, this is the group that I brought along with us to “hide” at each stop.

Our hotel was a small place, beach front and we were lucky enough to get a ground floor room. We had a nice sized room with a `fridge and micro, charcoal grill and picnic table right outside our door; since we wanted to spend most of our time on the beach, we brought supplies with us. It was mostly picnics and microwaved dinners, that worked.



On our last day in town we went over to Jesse’s Place for a big breakfast, YUM! 

I totally forgot to say, that was my very first time in the Gulf of Mexico!
The water was so nice, especially with it being so hot & humid there at the time. We thought that we had timed our visit to Florida for the “cooler season” but this year it came late  Thank goodness for paper folding fans and washcloths to mop ones brow 


So it’s time to move on again …

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 4

Next up …



PCB as the locals say or Panama City Beach, I say, BEACH!!!

… keep your radio dial tuned here for more … 

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 3

Next Overnight Stop …

Slidell Louisiana

We figured out that it took us a total of 13 driving hours JUST  to get across the State of Texas, WOW!

Believe it or not, we wanted to avoid New Orleans, yup. We’re not really big city type of folks, we don’t party on, anymore, so we took a wide turn off the path.

We found our hotel, which was a feat in itself, and went looking for some dinner.
I had a restaurant all picked out, but trying to get to it on the other side of the Interstate was going to be a bit more tricky than we cared for after a long days drive.
I spy …
Fuji Yama Hibachi & Sushi
AH, that’s the ticket! Our sort of comfort food, let’s try this.



must  have beer with Japanese food.



Both of us ordered dinner specials, which included Miso Soup and a Salad,
I love that dressing! A chef-y friend of mine gave me the recipe for it.



DH was pretty hungry, so we also ordered some Sushi. One Cucumber and One Asparagus Maki Roll, meh.



DH’s Chicken Katsu, not so good. I’m not too sure what they used for the coating, but I’ll tell ya, it wasn’t Panko.



My Beef Teriyaki, ack!

We’ve learned that when eating out and you do not care for your food, ask for a take-away box. Once you find the appropriate receptacle, deposit there. We don’t send it back, you have no idea what they’ll do to your food, just sayin’.

Tomorrow is another day …

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 2

Florida Here We Come! …

We like to plot out our Road Trips long before we leave.
We map out the roads we’ll take, the hotels we’ll stay at and look for attractions as well as places to eat.

Well, there was a small hic-cup the night before we started to head East towards Florida.

I got an email from the hotel we’d booked in Key West Florida, right across the street from the Atlantic Ocean. It seems that they were closing their pool and were so sorry for any inconveniences this may cause.
I thought, oh well, that’s okay, there’s the beach, right?
My husband thought otherwise…

“Nope! You need a pool when you’re in Florida, it’s just too hot and humid. Call them up and cancel our reservation, we’ll look for something else.”
It’s a good thing this happened actually, because I found an even better place that was cheaper! A fairly new hotel/resort, so there you go. But we’ll talk about this more once we get there…

So off we go …

Our first overnight stop was in Ft. Stockton Texas.
I had thought ahead and made us one of our favorite meals prior to leaving that lovely apartment with a gas grill: Teriyaki Chicken, Steamed White Rice and my Quick Cucumber KimChee.


(file photo-I forgot to take a snapshot, I was too tired)


This made the long day of driving easier, let me tell you.
We’ve learned that it’s better to have a pre-made meal that can be microwaved once we set-up camp in our hotel for the night.
Sitting in a restaurant sometimes can be unpleasant at times like these.
It was a fast continental free breakfast the next morning and we were off to …

San Antonio Texas.

My husband booked us into a wonderful historic hotel just a coupla blocks from The RiverWalk and The Alamo.



I think this was one of the nicest places we’ve stayed yet! 



The included breakfast at our hotel was a full hot meal with the coolest Waffle Iron!
Can you see the selection of syrups? Man!
I didn’t take a picture, but I had THE BEST Grits that I smothered in Sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage on the side.



After breakfast, we wandered down to The RiverWalk, and really just walked around, beautiful!

But man howdy dowdy let me tell you it was sooooo humid! 
I had some forethought though and brought along my paper folding fan that I had bought at Marukai back sometime ago… do you know how many folks remarked “smart gal!” YUP! I also stashed a washcloth from the hotel into my bag so that DH could mop his brow. 



It was so hot and humid that we were in search of any sort of air conditioning we could find!
Landry’s Seafood Restaurant on The RiverWalk had just opened, so we scooted on in. We were the first guests for the day and got a fabulous table, inside, overlooking the water.
As we looked over the menu both my husband and I agreed that when possible on this Road Trip, we would eat fresh seafood as much as we could; we were in the right place!



We also decided that we would each order a starter and than share an entrée, if we were still hungry there’s always dessert.
DH ordered a dozen Oysters; I had a Caesar Salad and we shared the Snapper, marvelous!

The following day, we walked over to The Alamo, WOW!



This was so worth the short walk in the humidity, but now we needed AC!!! 



Schilo’s, what a find!
This was not on my radar but so glad that we found it.
Homemade Root Beer, Soft Pretzels with yummy Hot Mustard and the biggest Chef Salad I’ve ever seen in my life, which we shared by the way.
Our waitress was so nice, she brought us an extra bowl and two different salad dressings.
Didn’t know that you get refills on the Root Beer, so dessert was out of the question. What a fantastic lunch! 



We waddled back to our hotel and decided that since this was our last night in San Antonio, we’d stay in. In the lobby were many different frozen meals and dessert items, 💡 DING!  Dinner’s covered.

Tomorrow we ride at dawn …