05 January 2013

1/5/2013 - Flaming Buoy

Key West (Day 3)

THE STATS: Unknown miles covered by foot. Temp range 71-78 degrees. Felt cooler. Not so much humidity.

THE HAPS:
No birthday hangover. Yay! But not a surprise. With age comes SOME moderation.

Casual get up, casual day. Today was another day of walking. First we tracked down the restaurant (Flaming Buoy) that we were supposed to go to last night. We renewed our reservation for tonight and did not want to miss it again.

On our walk we saw many fossilized coral embedded into fencing around the conch houses. Very cool. Saw another cat. Used to be a LOT more but we heard the Humane Society catches, cuts, and lets them go again, so not many kittens. Lots of roosters ambling about. We never felt threatened by them like with some in Michigan we've come across. Spied two huge (I guess they are all huge) St. Bernards in a yard. We were talking to them and the owner came out and invited us in to see the 11 puppies she had inside. We declined but she brought two out for us to see. Precious.

Our destination today was the Key West Cemetery. It was established in 1847, with some interesting headstones and statuary. It is a small version of the cemeteries you see in New Orleans and newer graves are put in above the ground vaults or in ornate family mausoleums. In 1898, 24 sailors were buried here after the USS Maine incident during the Spanish-American War. They are in a special section cordoned off with ornate fencing and American Flags at each grave.

There are many angel statues, lambs, military recognitions, Masonic symbols, and other interesting designations on grave stones. There is also a Jewish section, where stones are placed on the graves as a sign of respect for the dead. There is a map pointing out interesting headstones, grave architecture and graves of "famous" locals. But we saw that on our way out, so we missed some of these details. It is a very peaceful place, and I'm saying that very respectfully and sincerely.

We also discovered the little house that we wanted to buy so badly on our first trip to Key West at 628 Simonton Street. I remember it being $90,000 and it was brand new built in the style of the neighboring conch houses. However, it is the only salt box style we ever noticed there.

Lunch time was at A & B Lobster on the marina -- another pound of shrimp for me, this time chilled instead of steamed. Mike had only half dozen Connecticut blue point oysters, but added a half pound of the chilled shrimp to replace the second half dozen. We both had mojitos to quench our thirst and Mike had key lime pie to top off the meal. A lot of food but it so rare that we have this opportunity. We just have to take advantage.

Strolled back to the motel, a little reading for Mike and computing for me, glass of wine for happy hour by the pool, and off to a late dinner. I know... Where can we find the room in our tum-tums. The Flaming Buoy is a little gingerbread house with a wrap around porch about eight blocks from the hotel. We got a seat on the porch and the breezy atmosphere was wonderful.

Next to us, a 165-pound Great Dane sprawled while his owner dined with friends. The waitress said the place was dog friendly as long as the dog behaves. This gentle giant was named Reykjavik (named after the capital of Iceland) and was merle colored (a mix between brindle and harlequin). Couldn't get a good shot of him with the "romantic" lighting and couldn't bear to use the flash.

We really wanted to try the mac-n-cheese-lobster appetizer, but knew we did not have room for pasta tonight. I ordered a small spinach salad with some wonderful warm bacon dressing (not the sweet kind) and shaved aged cheddars. Mike ordered bacon wrapped scallops, huge and so tender and tasty. For my entrĂ©e, I ordered lobster thermidor. It was tasty except maybe a little heavy on the breadcrumb topping. I have to say I like Kalamazoo's Beacon Club version better. For a beverage, I had a sparkling New Age Trincho and Mike had a Belgium Blonde Affligem beer. Both new to us and both excellent choices. Dessert was a huge homemade scoop of Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

We waddled back to the hotel and crashed mightily and happily.

Best Restaurant Atmosphere: Flaming Buoy in Key West

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