Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2006: 2

  When we saw our first palm tree in Florida on December 30th, Bill had a thought: why not continue to Key West after the Orange Bowl? Having no good reason not to go, we headed down Route 1 from Miami on Wednesday morning, January 4th. It was a beautiful day, so the drive down the Overseas Highway was spectacular. We stopped at the base of the Seven Mile Bridge to walk to Pigeon Key on the old bridge as we had done so often back in 2004 when we camped at Knight's Key. As we we walked, we could see dozens of big, Spotted Eagle Rays swimming. We also saw some huge Tarpon lurking under the bridge. After our walk, we drove down the Boondocks restaurant, where we enjoyed a big bowl of Conch chowder and a Grouper sandwich. We felt like we were in paradise! After lunch we drove to our hotel on Duval Street, the Wicker Guesthouse. After settling in, we wandered on Duval Street for a while and Bill replenished his caffeine level at Starbucks. We saw evidence that Hurricane Wilma wasn't kind back at the end of October. We picked up a pizza at Upper Crust and ate as we watched the Rose Bowl. Bill figured that USC was vulnerable to the power of Texas and he was right. We enjoyed a comfortable night's sleep, out of earshot of drunk students. We slept-in on Thursday morning and then carried our continental breakfast back to our room. We got started around 10:30 AM on our standard Key West circumambulation; counter-clockwise as usual. The day was perfect for a long walk: lots of sun, but not too hot. We saw a lot of Wilma damage as we toured the island. We found a new, great place for lunch in In Kahoots restaurant near where Route 1 turns right as it enters the island. We enjoyed wonderful Mahi-Mahi sandwiches in a cool, clean environment. Our waitress, Arusha, was very friendly. She recounted the amount of damage her home received from Wilma and how FEMA didn't find the 3 feet of water they had in the home or the fact that all of their major appliances were killed to be sufficient cause for aid; it makes one proud to be an American. We left her a good tip, but she won't be fixing up her home with it. Bill enjoyed a 4 shot cappuccino at a "Bad Ass Coffee" shop at the top of Duval street. The last visit to one of those shops was on the Big Island. Cathy had to recover from the walk by some quiet time in our room, while Bill went to the nearby Internet cafe. We had a fabulous dinner at Blue Heaven on Thursday night. On Friday, we did a run/walk with Bill running for 3 miles and walking for 5 miles. It was a cool and windy day due to the passage of a cold front. We ate lunch at the Schooner Wharf Cafe. Bill walked up and down Duval Street after lunch while Cathy took a nap. We met Cathy's cousin Ruth Ann and husband Harry for a great dinner at Cafe Sole. Saturday was even cooler. We walked over to the beach at Fort Taylor where Bill found a few interesting rocks amidst the coral. We ate crepes for lunch at the Banana Cafe and then spent the rest of the afternoon reading in the sun near our hotel's swimming pool. We had a wonderful, but $$$, dinner at Alice's on Duval. On Sunday, we went for our usual fishing trip on Captain John's Greyhound V. Bill caught a nice Red Grouper, but it was just short of legal size. He also caught his usual bunch of grunts. Cathy sat inside or on the sundeck. It was a beautiful day on the water and very enjoyable. Our last dinner was at Mangoes, where we had another great Key West meal. We left for the north after breakfast on Monday morning. We stopped at Knight's Key again for a last 5 mile walk on the old Seven Mile Bridge. Then we stopped at Hobos in Key Largo for a Snapper sandwich and a Mahi Caesar salad. We worked our way up I95 to Ormond Beach, where we spent the night at a Comfort Inn. We ate dinner at Saddle Jack's Bar and Grill, which was almost exactly what you'd imagine except for the banks of TV sets tuned to different sporting events. Tuesday was our heavy driving day. We went from Ormond Beach, FL to Exmore, VA on the DelMarVa peninsula. We found another dinner restaurant with character, Sting Ray's in Cape Charles. We stayed in a very nice Best Western motel in Exmore. After breakfast on Wednesday, we drove up the DelMarVa to Lewes, DE. We missed the 9:15 AM ferry by 5 minutes, so we drove into Lewes for coffee. We stopped by at Don and Bern's home, but no one answered the doorbell. We checked-in at the Ferry and started to take a 90 minute walk when Don came by and drove us to his house. We enjoyed our visit with Don and Bern and returned to the terminal in time for our 12:45 PM ferry home. It's always nice to return home.

        Bill and Cathy