Overseas Highway

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We flew into Miami a little late last night. We were delayed just a bit in Detroit, then had to wait around for a while for our luggage. (I really hate checking luggage--sucks when it really can't be avoided.) By the time we got our rental car and were on our way, we were both tired and didn't really want to go out to eat anywhere. We decided to do some kind of takeout and bring it with us to our hotel in Coral Gables.

We decided that pizza sounded good, but had no idea where to get it from. I called our hotel's front desk and asked, but his two suggestions were Papa Johns and Dominos. Um, no thanks. I googled "University of Miami pizza" and up popped a restaurant called "Miami's Best Pizza." If you're going to call yourself the best, well, I suppose you're worth trying, right? We called and ordered a pizza and went to pick it up.

It was good stuff! We were pleased. The pizza had really good sauce, which is half the battle. We enjoyed our pizza and went to bed.

This morning, we woke up early and were both so ready to get up and get our vacation started that we couldn't get back to sleep. We went with it, deciding to get up and go! We showered, checked out of our hotel, packed up and hit the road to the Overseas Highway!

It was exciting to get onto US-1. We stopped at a Walgreens to get some cold water, and noticed that it was looking pretty cloudy in Miami. Bummer, since we rented a convertible for the ride. Still, it wasn't raining so we were enjoying it while we could. At Walgreens, a guy in the parking lot said to Michael, "You heading South?" Michael told him yes, and he said, "You might want to put the top up" and pointed to the sky. We were a little worried, but soon found out that the Walgreens guy was certainly NOT a meterologist.

As we drove, heavy clouds soon turned to lighter clouds and then to full-blown, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sunshine. Hell yes. Exactly what we had been hoping for.

The ride was thoroughly enjoyable, with frequent views of beautiful, aqua-colored water. Isn't it always the case that when you snap pics from the road, a sign always gets in the way? FIGURES.

We pulled over to ensure we would have at least one decent photo of the water we were seeing!

Soon, we had reached Marathon, where we planned to stop for lunch. Someone I was chatting with on Trip Advisor had recommended a little place right on the water, called Sparky's Landing.

By this time, we were really hot from the sun beating down on us in the convertible, but the restaurant was all open air--so no air conditioning! Thankfully, the temperature felt really comfortable in the shade. Plus, we were able to sit outside, at a table on the deck, right above the water. We were happy campers.

My view from the lunch table.

Michael's view from the lunch table. Ahhhh. True relaxation.

Michael picked a beer from the Bahamas. Oh, how I wanted one! All I could do was smell it. :)

These really loud birds kept landing on the posts right next to our table. I attempted to take a photo of him sitting there, but he flew off just as I hit the shutter button. It actually resulted in a pretty cool pic of him flying, though!

For lunch, I had a turkey BLT wrap and Michael had a wrap that had fried grouper in it (it was the day's special). Yum!

We continued on the road again, cruising with the top up for a little while to give ourselves a break from the heat and sun. We crossed Seven Mile Bridge, which was very cool, and eventually found ourselves in Key West.

After a quick stop at the grocery store to stock up on a few things for our hotel room, we went and checked in. When we stepped foot in our room at Southernmost on the Beach, we were extremely happy. It is beautiful! I'll post at some point with a bunch of hotel photos as an official "review."

At the store, we picked up a six-pack (for Michael, obviously) of a local Key West beer. Again, I sooo wanted one. Sacrifices, people! :)

After we unloaded all of our things and got ourselves situated in the hotel room, we decided to head out again right away to return the convertible at the Key West airport. Because we knew that we wouldn't need a car while in Key West, we decided to book one-way rentals to get ourselves from Miami to Key West today, and back on Thursday. No sense in holding onto and paying for a rental car for four days that we aren't going to use!

When we stopped to gas up, we realized that we hadn't yet taken any photos of our ride. Had to snap a few pics of the convertible that got us down to Key West!

Once the tank was full of gas, it was off to the airport.

Not a bad view on the way to the airport, right? It was a very quick ride... maybe 5 minutes, but definitely less than 10.

Goodbye, Mustang!

We took a taxi back to our hotel. By that time, we were both feeling pretty disgusting from spending the day in the heat, so we decided to get cleaned up and relax a little before going out to explore the hotel grounds and get some dinner somewhere in town.

The way the hotel is set up, it's a bunch of different buildings situated all over the property, and there are lovely little nooks and crannies throughout with nice landscaping, hammocks, etc. We decided to walk around and get acquainted.

View of some of the hotel grounds from the dock.

The dock. They put a bunch of beach chairs out there so you can actually go out and relax. There is also a set of stairs at the side of the dock that you can walk down and right into the ocean to swim. Nice!

Feeling very pregnant in my t-shirts! I had to try on all of my clothes when packing on Friday night. I didn't know which summer clothes would work and which ones wouldn't! It was an adventure, for sure. It took me twice as long to pack as it usually does. Anyway, a lot of my regular t-shirts totally accentuate the belly! :)

After walking around for a bit, we asked our concierge to recommend a place for dinner. We walked all the way down Duval Street to get to Conch Republic. Duval Street is fun--lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. Our end, where our hotel is located, is really quiet and peaceful, but if you walk up several blocks, things start to pick up.

Conch Republic was down on the water, but since it was dark (we had a late dinner), we couldn't see much anyway. We had to wait a little bit for a table, so we took seats at the bar and used a "buy one get one" coupon our concierge had given us.
Since I had been wanting a beer so badly, I decided to give a non-alcoholic one a chance. I ordered an O'Douls. And honestly, I don't know when I'll ever have another one. It just was NOT the same.

After dinner, we took our time walking back to the hotel. We are going to bed pretty early, as we are tired from all of the sun and fresh sea air today!


Vanessa May 3, 2010 at 3:24 AM  

WOW,Heather, your belly has GROWN! :) Lovely pics, hope you're having a lovely time!

Heather May 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

LOL, thanks Vanessa. The size of the belly depends on so many things these days--what I'm wearing, what I've eaten, time of day. It's hilarious. :) But yes, it has certainly been growing... baby is the size of a cantaloupe now (20 weeks pregnant!) so it's gotta pop out at some point, right?

When are you getting married? Has that happened already?

Vanessa May 3, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

Thanks for the reply, Heather, and for remembering that I'm getting married - so sweet of you! Wow, 20 weeks! You look beautiful! Nope, the wedding hasn't happened yet but it's so soon! May 30th, in Israel! Maybe it will inspire me to blog again - I'm just not feeling like it these days. But I can't wait for the wedding and the honeymoon (in San Francisco and Maui - totally checked out your travel tips for both!). I'll be sure to email you some photos even if I don't blog about it! Enjoy the rest of your vacation and I can't wait to follow you through your pregnancy and beyond! :)
Take care,
Vanessa xxx

Elise May 4, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

You are so brilliant to fly into Miami, rent a car and drop it off in Key West. Seriously, I never thought of doing it that way. I love driving the Overseas Highway but you're right, it's a waste to hold onto a rental when you're not going to use it!

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