I know, I know this blog is supposed to be about Creating Really Awesome Free Things. But, it’s my blog and I do what I want ; ) So, every now and then I throw in a personal post about things like getting engaged, moving cross country, or a cupcake hunt in NYC. Last weekend, Andy and I took a spontaneous road trip to the Keys. It was the 40th annual poker run in Key West (i.e. tens of thousands of bikers come to the Keys and pick up a card at 5 different bars). Getting a hotel proved to be a little trickier than I anticipated (thus, we stayed at a gay and lesbian resort in Key West!). We decided to drive to Key Largo on Friday night. It’s only 1.5 hours from Ft. Lauderdale and we figured it’s closer, hotels are available and cheaper, and we get to check out another key- SOLD! We stayed at the Dove Creek Lodge. For $139 a night we were Impressed (with a capital I)! This was the morning view from the balcony of the Dove Creek Lodge…
Next door to the lodge is a little bar called Snappers. I had a pina colada, Andy a Corona and we enjoyed live music and the ocean breeze. Walking on the piers and fish watching was fun too…
Breakfast at Dove Creek Lodge was surprisingly amazing. I say surprisingly only because typically continental breakfast= apple, banana cereal, and a toaster. We indulged in fruit kabobs, mini key lime tarts, fresh squeezed juice, bagels, and yogurt parfaits.
After breakfast, we wandered the lodge’s grounds, and then headed down US 1, Key West bound. The grounds at the Dove Creek are pretty cute (they have hammocks too!).
It was nice to do the drive US 1 in the daylight. The Key Largo to Key West trip is only about 98 miles, but takes over 2 hours with no traffic. (The speed limit is 45mph) We were entertained by things like this hole in the bridge and how one gets to this private island. I googled while Andy drove to discover that the island is called Pigeon Key and is home to the Pigeon Key Foundation, it’s the last remaining artifact of the Flagler railroad.
In Key West, we stayed the night at the Alexander Guest House. It’s ah-doooor-a-ble. We’d totally stay there again. Did I mention it’s Key West’s “premiere gay and lesbian resort”! Here’s a snippet of my phone conversation with Jeff while booking our room.
- Me: So, hm… are uh, straight couples allowed to stay here?
- Jeff: Of course! We just want to make sure that you are comfortable with the situation.
- Me: We’re comfortable. Do straight couples stay here often? Or is that kind of uh…weird?
- Jeff: We have a few straight couples a week. It’s not weird at all. We’d love to have you and your husband.
And that’s how we ended up at the cutest gay and lesbian resort we’ve ever seen. Not that we’ve been to lots… or any others for that matter! When we arrived at the guest house, Jeff walked right up to me, introduced himself and said, “You must be Jamie”! That’s me, the blunt, obnoxious straight girl.
Jeff arranged to have bikes dropped off at the guesthouse, and we rode away into the sunset. OK, fine… we rode to the boardwalk for lunch at the Raw Bar. We were highly entrained by watching the fish gobble up human food. The food was yummy too.
I was getting antsy to start crossing things off of the Creating Really Awesome Free Trips Key West post written by Beth. So, after lunch we pedaled around town… Andy and I biked to the 0 mile marker, the southern most point, Mallory square, and the Hemingway house. It’s a small island, this only took about an hour!
We pedaled back to the guest house for the complimentary happy hour from 5-6pm. Since there are only 15 rooms, you really get to know your neighbors. Charlie was the bar tender, and we all hung out poolside and chatted. We even met another straight couple staying at Alexander’s! We ate dinner at the Hot Tin Roof in the Ocean Key Resort, it’s right next to Mallory Square. We had no reservation, although I don’t suggest that ; ) Lobster macaroni and cheese is a must.
Ahhh… the sunset.
After dinner, we biked bike to the southern most point. The line was crazy long that afternoon, and I’m impatient : ) This is why the picture above is of the back of the giant buoy. Here’s the tourist shot of the front…
We stayed in room #15 at the guesthouse. It’s just as chic as it looked in the pictures on their website! All 15 rooms are different, you can see them here. The room reminded me of how much I like black and white. It’s classic and can be as funky or as simple as you want it to be…
And the view of the pool from the balcony…
Breakfast Sunday morning was d-leesh. Charlie makes homemade muffins, Cuban coffees, and a tasty version of migas. Fresh flowers, those pendant lights, and that bagel cutter made it all the more fancy. Seriously, though, that bagel cutter is my new favorite kitchen gadget. Look at that thing. It’s a beast. (Here it is on amazon for $19.95!)
Look at this pretty kitty enjoying the morning activity…
After breakfast, Andy and I took a little bike ride… I had a few more things to cross off the ol’ list… including checking out Kermit’s and wondering why the chicken is crossing the road!
We headed back to Ft. Lauderdale refreshed, full, and happy. Happy that we spontaneously ventured out even if it wasn’t in the budget. Happy that we got to see a new part of our Florida backyard, and happy that we’re together. (Remember, we just moved back to the same city in February.) Have you ever been to the Keys? Which Key is your favorite? It seems like everyone has a favorite. Have you ever stayed at a gay and lesbian resort even though you’re straight? I think it was good for us to feel a little out of place (in a very welcoming way)! Do you have anything else to add to the Free Things: Key West post? Happy weekend, friends. Enjoy!