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Posts tagged “Florida Keys

Latitudes Restaurant on Sunset Key (Key West)

Latitiudes Restaurant

Latitudes Restaurant

This restaurant is reminiscent of Little Palm Island but not as pretentious. You take the Sunset Key Water Taxi from the Cruise Ship pier. When you make your reservation, they give the Water Taxi your name and so they let you on. We JUST made the Water Taxi (by 5 seconds), so be a little early. The trip to Sunset Key is very short.

Most of the seating is outdoors. There were a lot of thunderstorms around, so they sat us on the patio, under a roof, but outside. Everyone agreed the food (lunch menu) was very good. A little pricey, but not bad.

After lunch we moved around the corner to the outside bar and ordered a bottle of wine.

Restaurant Information:

(305) 292-5300

245 Front Street
Key West, FL 33040

Eagle Ray

Eagle Ray

We see an Eagle Ray.

While out fishing on the flats one day, we spotted an Eagle Ray not too far from the boat.

We manuevered a bit and managed to get near enough to get this close up. You can really see the Eagle Ray’s distinctive spotted pattern.

We were out behind Cudjoe, pretty close to Sawyer Key.

Eagle Ray Close Up

A real good look at the Eagle Ray.

The Deep Blue Good-By (John D. MacDonald)

The Deep Blue Good-By

John D. MacDonald's "The Deep Blue Good-By"

This is the first in John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series of 21 mystery adventures. These are highly entertaining books that are widely read and discussed.

McGee lives on a house boat, the “Busted Flush,” in a marina in Fort Lauderdale. He describes himself a “retriever” who gets things back for people.

McGee spends plenty of time in the Keys, so the territory he covers is very familiar.

The introduction to this edition of the series is by Carl Hiassen. This is actually how I came to read Hiassen.

In The Deep Blue Good-By, McGee unravels the mystery surrounding a treasure brought back by a WW II veteran. His antagonist is an incredibly evil man who is also trying to retrieve this treasure. There are some nasty scenes of rape. McGee triumphs (retrieves the treasure) at a high cost.

Throughout the series, the consistent perishing of any serious McGee love interest is rather disconcerting. If he is attached to her, she is a gonner! John D. maintains McGee’s bachelorhood at a high cost.

John D. MacDonald is a pillar of the South Florida writing club. You must read at least some of these books. It is scary how many people have read and love these books.

The Flats

The Flats

The water out on the flats

Of all the aspects of the Keys, the most striking is the natural splendor of the “flats.”

The varied sea bottoms are visible through the crystal clear waters and the sky is a fitting partner to the land and sea.

Great day out in the flats

Sky, water, bottom, and mangroves

The famous game fish of the keys, sharks, porpoises, rays, crabs, lobsters, sea turtles; can all be seen out in the flats.

The unspoiled nature of the flats is best appreciated in the protected waters of the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. Cudjoe Key is located adjacent to the very center of this refuge.

Eagle Ray

An Eagle Ray next to the boat

Flats boat
Flats boat, fisherman, and guide

Refuge Information:

Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge
28950 Watson Boulevard
Big Pine Key, Florida   33043

Fanci Seafood (Fresh Seafood)


Fresh seafood within walking distance.

Fresh seafood right in the neighborhood!

Up on the highway is the Fanci Seafood market. They have moved from where the picture was taken. They are just about a quarter mile West now. You can still bicycle there on the road behind the store.

Another seafood store got their lease. Who knows?

They have fresh local shrimp, lobster, stone crab, and fish (Grouper, etc., yummy!).

I think they just changed their sign after changing their name a while ago.

They also sell a great shrimp cleaning tool that we have two of at the house.

Prices are not cheap, but the catch is fresh and excellent. They are open seven days a week until 6:00 pm. (Their website says they are not open Sundays, but I swear they are.)

Walk or ride a bike (take a basket) and bring back the makings of a great meal. Take a left at the last street before the highway and go through the open gate to a gravel parking lot.

They also carry bait, chum, and ice.

Store Information:


22.5  Overseas Highway
Cudjoe Key, FL

The Florida Keys (Joy Williams)

Joy Williams

Best guide book ever!

By novelist  Joy Williams. This is the best guide book ever written (with the possible exception of Michener’s Spain and Hawthorne’s Alhambra). It is a hilarious introduction to the insanity that is the Florida Keys.

Even (or especially) if you live in the Keys you should read this. I send a copy to everyone who visits us.

Don’t expect the usual sappy recommendations of every venue. She is merciless.

This book is out of print and has not been updated in a while. It is still worth the price.

Lucky You (Carl Hiaasen)

Lucky You

Best Hiaason novel

The best book he has written. Probably not so much fun if you are someone who sees the image of Christ in burned toast, but other than that, a great book.

If all criminals read Hiaasen novels, especially this one, they’d quit the profession in embarassment.

Targets of his comedic scorn in this book:

  • – Religious hoaxsters and their followers
  • – White supremacists
  • – Criminal low lifes

JoLayne Lucks wins the lottery. Two white supremacist idiots who won on the same number try to get her share too. Assisted by newspaper reporter Tom Krome, she works to foil their plot.

Funny, funny book!!