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Upper Keys Rendezvous

A few weekends ago I met some girlfriends in Key Largo to celebrate my best friend getting married (Cinco de Mayo in the Sunshine) and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.  Living in Key West means that I am usually the friend that has to travel the farthest to participate in life events of my friends and family (it’s just one of the sacrifices you make to live on an island and I wouldn’t have it any other way.) but this time I got to have 7 ladies in my backyard and show off The Florida Keys.  Although I’ve lived in Key West for quite some time the Upper Keys have typically been a place to stop and grab lunch, perhaps a cocktail or two between trips from Key West to the Mainland, but I’ve never spent a weekend there so I started researching and planned the most ultimate bachelorette partay. 

If anyone is thinking about taking an Upper Keys Rendezvous here’s a quick recap of our weekend with recommendations… 

The Accommodations:

We stayed at Keys Breeze, a privately owned condo at The Mariner’s Club in Key Largo managed by Star Properties.  The property was perfect for our group, 3 bedrooms with a great kitchen, private balcony overlooking the water, and plenty of room for everyone.  The property itself had resort style amenities with a walk-in pool, private beach, and an adult only pool and hot tub. 

View from the balcony
Resort style pool with private beach

The Itinerary:

Friday: 

The girls arrived on Friday afternoon and after a day of traveling I knew that everyone would likely want to have a cocktail, bite to eat and freshen up before heading out to a local restaurant. 

One Love food truck located at the Chevron Station on Stock Island provided the welcome platters for the ladies.  Since I was driving up I placed the order 2 weeks ahead of time and they were ready for pick up on my trip up The Keys.

We had fresh guac & house made plantain chips, jerk rubbed tuna w/ wasabi crema, ceviche & chips, and a tropical fruit & meat charcuterie board.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Fresh Keys cuisine ready for pick up!
Everything was fresh, delicious, and a total hit with the ladies!

^^side-note:  these platters would be perfect for happy hour, a potluck, boat day, welcome gifts, anything! 

Once the girls were ready we grabbed a cab to Lorelei, one of the most popular dock bars in Islamorada. They had live entertainment and most importantly cold cocktails and good food.

Friday night sunset @ Lorelei

Saturday:

Saturday we took advantage of the resort and played by the pool for the day.  The condo had a handy cooler in it so we filled it up with White Claws and headed to the sunshine armed with sunscreen and sombreros.

After getting sunkissed we freshened up for a photo session with Costa Vida Photography.  Michaelynn was recommended to me from Jaclyn, the owner of Star Properties and Michaelynn was great, she bearing a bottle of sparkling rose and made all of the girls feel super comfortable and beautiful.

For dinner I hired a private chef to come to the condo and cook dinner for the ladies.  I cannot say enough good things about Chef Wes and his assistant Penny.  From start to finish they were wonderful to work with.  Penny was responsive to all of my emails and questions throughout the process.  The food was excellent and they take care of the clean up too! 

Fresh grouper ceviche
Filet Mignon with Florida Lobster, mashed potatoes, broccoli and Key Lime bernaise
Chef Wes with homemade Key Lime Pie for dessert

Sunday:

Helloooo Sandbar Sunday! We headed out to the Islamorada Sandbar via the Tiki Tiki and we had an amazing time!  The Tiki Tiki is an all-inclusive boat charter that comes complete with rafts, drinks, food, and music of your choice.  The captain fileted fresh grouper and shrimp on a paddleboard in front of us and cooked it on the grill for lunch.  But the best part of the day was that they took photos of the whole day so no one was glued to their phone and everyone got to enjoy the day. 

Cheers to the Bride
Fresh fruit appetizer
Paddleboarding like a pro
Fresh grouper and shrimp for lunch courtesy of Captain Charlie

Whether you’re staying the weekend or just passing through I hope my upper keys hit list helps you enjoy the sunshine and all of the amazing things that The Florida Keys have to offer! 

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in the Florida Keys contact me, I’m a full time resident and Realtor in The Florida Keys and ready to help you live where you vacation!

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Sunset Celebration

One of my favorite sayings is “Celebrate Everything”.  That’s also one of the unofficial mottos of the City of Key West because we sure do like to celebrate the heck out of holidays! This week is Capture the Sunset Week and in it’s honor I’ve got my top 5 places to catch the sunset in Key West.

 

My Top 5 Favorite Places to Watch the Sunset

 

The Galleon (617 Front Street) – The quintessential tiki bar tucked away inside of the Galleon Resort.  Cocktails, beer, wine, and live music on the open water, you just can’t beat it (if you can find it!)

 

Fort Zachary Taylor (601 Howard England Way) – Take a bike ride down to the Truman Waterfront and follow the signs that point you to the beach.  Fort Zach, A Florida State Park, is home to lush pines, sandy-esque beaches, and one heck of a sunset view.

 

Latitudes (Sunset Key) – Treat yo’ self.  For the special occasion sunsets hop on the ferry and head over to Sunset Key.  You can pick your seating, inside or out, but I’d recommend requesting a table outside on the beach if you really want the full experience.

 

Mallory Square (400 Wall Street) – More of a tourist favorite than a locals favorite but you can’t talk about Key West sunsets without mentioning this spot, home of the famous Sunset Celebration.  Every night local artisans and performers head to Mallory Square to celebrate the sunshine.

 

From a boat (Middle of the Ocean) – If you’re coming to Key West I always tell people to really make it a point to get out on the water.  I’d venture to say that having the crystal blue ocean as our backyard is one of the main reasons us locals choose to live here.

 

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Pets & Key West

I recently had a phone call from a potential buyer who was staying in Key West for the weekend and was interested in discussing Key West real estate.  After the ultimate game of phone tag I received a message from him that said he and his wife were expanding their search for a retirement house to different areas of Florida.  He went on to say that they “were on a walk the night before and they saw a dog in a little fenced in yard and he looked so sad and that’s when my wife and I decided Key West was not the right place.”

I was a little taken aback because in my mind Key West is the ultimate destination for pets!  We are such a pet friendly community and while the actual yard space might be limited in some cases there are certainly homes in Key West with a substantial yard for your doggies to run amuck and if you aren’t lucky enough to have a large fenced yard there are many other options such as the pocket parks around Old Town, Dog Beach or the dog park, and of course the new Truman Waterfront that is always peppered with dogs and their owners on walks no matter the time of day.

We also have a plethora of bars and restaurants that are pet friendly.  If you’re pup is into shopping I just saw one at TJ Maxx this afternoon so I guess we can go ahead and ad TJ’s to my list of pet friendly island spots!

Here are a few of my favorite pet friendly places on the island that never seem to disappoint:

Bar/ Restaurants

Pepe’s Café – Pepe’s Café, the oldest eating house in the Florida Keys, fought for their right to have the pups pony up to the bar back in the day.

Hurricane Hole – Located on Stock Island this laid back bar on the water loves the pups.  If you’re feeling squirrelly holler at the Lazy Dog crew and take your pup for a paddle!

Blue Macaw – An oasis in Bahama Village, this local watering hole always has water dishes out for the pups!

Tipsy Rooster – Located in Old Town this funky little bar also doubles as a package store.  Stop by and have a drink, leave with a bottle!

 

Shopping:

Coco’s Monkey – Rescued is My Favorite Breed is their motto, this super cute boutique is located on Simonton Street and Molly, the stores inspiration is usually at the store for meet & greets.

 

Playing:

Grinnell Street Pocket Park  – located on the corner of Grinnell & Angela Streets this charming pocket park is my old stomping grounds and great little spot for the pups in Old Town.

Truman Waterfront – Recently redone the Truman Waterfront has become an attraction for both people and pets!  Lots of green space, open fields, and a pretty great view to boot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Southernmost Boys & Girls Club: Help Our Youth!

One of the things that I love the most about my job is the flexibility and freedom I have to make my own schedule.  I’ve always been a philanthropic person and my real estate career has really allowed me to get involved with organizations that are meaningful to me.

One of the organizations I decided to reach out to was the Boys & Girls Club here in Key West.  I am currently the director of programing for the Rotary Club of Key West and asked the executive director of the B&G Club to present to our Rotary Club last year.  Next thing I knew I was joining the board of directors.

The Boys & Girls Club has always played a very important role in our community and Since hurricane Irma the B&GC has played an instrumental role in helping our community rebound in many ways, a few of them being offering extended hours & waiving fees of our students through out the rest of the school year.

This weekend we will be hosting our Particular Harbour Party at Margaritaville Café.  This our biggest fundraiser of the year and helps us to provide the care and programs benefit our youth and community.  There will be a silent & live auction, 50/ 50 raffle as well as appetizers, buffet dinner and beer, wine & margaritas!

Our board has been working very hard to make this event a success, we’ve been cranking out ticket sales and have some fantastic auction items up for bid.  I’m looking forward to celebrating the successes of not only our upcoming fundraiser but our club as a whole as well!

If you are interested in making a donation to the Southernmost Boys & Girls Club please contact me at 305.394.4073.  If you would like to purchase a ticket to the event please visit www.keystix.com.

Listen to the latest radio ad here!