We have immediate family in the US and that is one of the earnest driving factors for us. But things never fell in place for a long long time, either the visa’s did not get approved for some silly reason ( The officer alone knows why) or the holidays never collided. Our kids are growing up, so we need to work on our holidays revolving around the school vacations. After every 6 weeks of schooling, we do have a week and 2.5 weeks off alternatively… This break is most sought after by parents here and I am no different. With regular intervals in our system, we often enjoy the routine very much and look forward to it. So our summer holidays are limited to 6 weeks in total which in opposed to anywhere in the world is quite different. My niece’s have a brief holiday period of 3 months from Mid-May to the end of July whilst in UK, it begins after the 20th of July to end of August. It’s just 10 days of overlapping period !!! For the rest of the 10 days, we have got my brother and family with their cute little daughter who has still to begin her schooling.
In the first 10 days lag, we have so much to visit and chill out with them – starting from Disney Florida, visit Niagara Falls, have a chill out with our eldest cousin family in Cincinnati which is customary affair for anyone visiting the States, our dream cruise trip that we have been planning to Miami, visit Florida Keys and what not!!!
I do my bit of groundwork before we actually visit any destination and here’s what I enumerate about KeyWest!
The Florida Keys is home to five districts, each with their own personality and attractions that make visitors feel like they are the world away. Key West is Florida’s subtropical paradise that’s an assemblage of culture, diversity, architecture and nature.
Bringing together a multitude of cultures that have made Key West home during its history, Key West’s food scene has delicious flavors, like African and Cuban, that are difficult to find anywhere else in the US.
Key West has so much to offer to make it a perfect destination for tourists and locals from Diving & Snorkelling, Boating, Dolphin encounters, water sports to Arts/ Culture, Shopping & Spa,Heath & Wellness. Sunset celebrations are held at the Mallory Square, where one could witness the fiery sun settling into the Gulf of Mexico. Watching the color translation is just magical and I can snap my camera a 100 times, seeing things transform.
With the magical view every evening, it’s more like a carnival when tightrope walkers, jugglers and animal acts perform. Drama, musicals and theatre flourish the local stages. Streets fill with Sidewalk cafes, open air bars and world class restaurants with their seafood specialities.
Key West has seafood unlike anywhere in the world and the crucial ingredient is the water. The Gulf of Mexico mixes with the Atlantic ocean making a perfect nursery for a plethora of fish, crab, and lobster. Not to mention, the fishermen of the region have come together to create a sustainable plan for the future of their industry, naturally controlling over-producing populations that threaten to take over the ecosystem.
“Not only are visitors able to jump on the boat for themselves and go fishing in some of the clearest waters, but they are able to sit back and relax, knowing they can find the same fresh fish in local restaurants,” says Paul Menta, professional chef & advocate.
The Stoned Crab restaurant, housed in a resort built in 1956 serves up some of the best of what KeyWest is known for – The freshest seafood right on the dock. The restaurant keeps alive the tradition of the fishermen bringing their catches straight to their dock.
Ibis Bay Resort, has a retro feel offering some fun cocktails and great seafood the restaurant catches themselves. Be ready for some good times ahead!
For the die-hard cooks, go for a ride on a private charter to catch the freshest fish for yourself. Lucky Fleet, chartered by Captain Moe with over 30 years of experience, takes you on this adventure and help guide you in hooking the best seasonable seafood. Whether you are an avid deep sea fisher or this is your first time, Captain Moe will take you on a great adventure not just a boat ride. From sailfish to tuna or grouper, they will lead you to the right spot.
To learn how to prepare the seafood you just caught, take a class at Isle Cook where Paul will teach you how to cook local recipes and healthy meals with seafood. “Being a chef and commercial fisherman I can tell you there is no better teacher of how to use, care for, store, cook and eat a product than a fisherman. They have ideas and techniques that most chefs would die for….but they have to ask…..so we spread the word to them,” says Paul.
Be sure to enjoy the Tropical Dishes, fun cocktails apart most sought after seafood !!!
African Cultural Heritage is celebrated in the historic churches, influenced from the Bahama’s. Annual Festivals along with customary primitive food is held every year in the Bahama Village neighbourhood and it is dated back to 1930’s when Ernest Hemingway visited to see the Boxing Matches.
With so much to offer, Key West is a place recommended to visit, You are sure to lose yourself with the diversity and plenitude of things to do.It is a destination that beckons you to “come as you are”!
Whilst I let you discover more about Key West, here’s my recipe for a Tropical Smoothie.
My blogger buddy Sujatha made some Sunshine Smoothie inspired by KeyWest too. If you are looking for more smoothie recipes, how about trying Blueberry Coconut milk Smoothie, Mixed Berries and Green Tea Detox Smoothie and Mango Lassi
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Florida Keys & Key West, but as always all opinion expressed here are my own.