I recently had the opportunity to travel to Key West, Florida and photograph the power boat races. I had a couple of days to get settled and get my bearings before the real work started. Mr. Ville and I stayed at the Casa Marina which is off the beaten path but is one of the few places that has a beach. Unfortunately, I didn't get to dip my toes in any sand or pool the entire time I was there. I'm sure it was lovely.
The first night, dinner was at Salute on the Beach, an Italian place close the the hotel.
The scallop starter was divine.
As was the fall salad.
I had the special of the night, grouper.
But the star was the Shrimp and Basil Marinara on Linguini.
We had one of the many Key Lime Pies of our stay. This one looked impressive but didn't score at the top.
The next day after a morning of scouting we headed to a bar we kept hearing about over and over - The Schooner Wharf Bar. This place is in every guide to Key West for a reason. Bonus: they have a happy hour that starts at 7 AM!
There is always music. Michael McCloud famously sued Toby Keith for copyright infringement. He didn't win but he's a great entertainer and like many of the people in Key West, a little saucy.
This place is laid back and old school. Our waitress met my eye across the room and held up two fingers to ask if we wanted "two more" drinks. I felt like she could have been an auctioneer. I was afraid with one wrong gesture I could end up ordering rounds for the entire bar!
You would think the food here would be nothing but greasy burger and fries but you would be wrong.
The mahi sandwich was grilled to perfection.
And the Tuna Nachos were to die for.
This is a great place to while away an afternoon. If you aren't careful, you could end up sitting here till the next Happy Hour which has the more conventional start of 5:00 PM.
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay because we booked a sunset cruise with Sebago. The sunsets in Key West are said to be breathtaking. It was a particularly cloudy evening so it could have been better. Still, can't beat an open bar and a sail.
The crew was wonderful and so were our fellow booze cruisers.
After an afternoon at the Schooner Wharf and an evening sail, our latitude was definitely changed and we needed to get some food in us so we went to the closest place on the wharf, The Conch Republic. It's pretty big and touristy but it was near all the action and the food wasn't at all bad.
Not that we needed another drink, but we ordered a round of mojitos in the interest of research.
The oysters hit the spot.
As did the St Kitts, crab ravioli with seared shrimp , spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Sesame crusted tuna steak.
And, of course, another installment in our quest for the best Key Lime Pie.
The entertainment of the night was provided by all the boats at the docks.
Everyone was displaying theirs wares.
Along with the fans.
Next up: Part 2 - Where the boats get louder, the booze gets boozier, and the boobs get bigger.