I recently went on a little weekend trip. Can you guess where?
If the title of this post and the picture haven’t already given it away, I headed down to Key West, Florida for my cousin Trisha’s wedding.
The flight down was a little “crazy,” let’s just say. There were three bachelorette party groups, two bachelor party groups, and two 40th birthday party groups on board. It was the loudest, most energetic plane I’ve ever been on, and the flight ran out of alcohol halfway through!
Cue a near mutiny, with me wondering whether a flight has ever been hijacked for non-political reasons! The man next to me, who was part of one of the birthday groups, begged the flight attendant to see if she could find more alcohol. She went to the back and returned a few minutes later. “Sir, can you please assist me with something?” she asked in a serious voice, and he followed her to the back of the plane. Then, before I knew it, he had returned with his sweatshirt zipped up to his chin and looking about nine months pregnant. As he unzipped his sweater, mini bottles of alcohol fell out, and he quickly began passing them to his group (and drinking them)!
And that is how flight attendant Debbie (I remember her name because the birthday group was cheering and chanting her name when we landed) saved the day!
It wasn’t a boring flight, that’s for sure. Neither were the views from the plane window.
After I landed (safely – thanks Debbie!), I headed to lunch with my mom and grandma while we waited for the others to arrive.
The concierge recommended Hogfish Bar & Grill for local seafood, and we figured since we were in Florida we should do the expected thing and eat seafood. What we didn’t expect was that we would need to drive through a trailer park to get to the restaurant. We worriedly followed the GPS, wondering whether we were lost or were going to end up at some dump. We were pleasantly surprised (and a bit relieved!) when we arrived at a charming spot right on the water.
As fun as my time in Key West was, if I had one complaint it would be that I didn’t eat any food that blew me away. So throughout this post I’ll mention where we ate and what I would recommend ordering from each restaurant, but just know that each dish was just ok, and not at all extraordinary.
At Hogfish Bar & Grill (which was actually my favorite restaurant in Key West), I recommend selecting the Crab & Royal Red Shrimp Cakes with mango salsa and remoulade sauce.
Or the Hogfish Tacos.
Hogfish is actually a local fish, so you should try it at least once while you’re there!
And my grandma, who does lunch right, just ordered dessert rather than a meal. She liked the restaurant’s Key Lime Pie (another must in Key West).
By that time everyone else had arrived, and it was getting close to the big moment. So we changed and headed down to the lobby of the Casa Marina Key West, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, for the wedding.
I suppose I need to clarify: Trisha and Matt didn’t get married in the lobby! Rather, they said their “I do”s on the white-sand beach as the sun set.
Then the reception continued at the resort.
And there was a lot of food, drinks, and laughter, as always seems to happen whenever I’m with my family!
The next morning we headed out into the sunshine to explore.
Key West certainly has the most unique cars I’ve ever seen, I’ll say that.
And you can actually find out why the chicken crossed the road, because chickens run wild around Key West.
Duval Street is the main drag, where you can find dozens of bars and touristy shops. You can also find Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which apparently is a former haunt of Ernest Hemingway.
But it’s a current haunt of… everyone… so we didn’t stay long. It definitely is the most touristy bar on the island, and that’s saying something!
We needed more Key Lime Pie in our lives (I mean, who doesn’t?!) so we had some for breakfast at Key West Key Lime Pie Company.
Then everyone else went back to the hotel to take naps while Greg and I decided to wander down Duval Street. We stopped in at Rick’s, since it used to be a favorite of Greg’s when he would come down to Key West for his college spring break.
I jokingly asked him if whether, on those college nights out, he sat at Rick’s and dreamed about the day when he would be able to bring his fiancée back there. He didn’t respond, but I’m sure the answer is yes!
We then decided to have a cousins’ lunch at Blue Heaven, an al fresco restaurant that they love.
It was so wonderful spending more time with the bride! And it was fun hearing about the wedding from Trisha’s perspective.
Oh and she loves Blue Heaven’s Shrimp and Grits, so that’s what I’d recommend ordering if you go!
Then that group wanted to go back and nap (everyone was abandoning us to nap!) so Greg and I continued walking until we reached the southernmost point of the U.S.
(I made that sound super dramatic, but really, it was just 10 minutes away from Blue Heaven).
Then we wandered over to the Southernmost Beach Resort to sit on the patio with a few drinks.
And a few coconut shrimp, too!
The restaurant has a map in the back where guests can put pins in the places they’ve traveled. I was excited to be the first to have visited Rwanda!
Then the sun began to set and it was time for my favorite activity of the weekend: a sunset sail! It was so special that it requires its own post that you can read here!
Afterwards, we went to Commodore’s Boathouse Bar and Grill for a light dinner.
But the only thing I’d recommend you order is the Yellowtail Snapper with Keys pink shrimp, mushrooms and lemon butter.
No, I didn’t love the food there. But what I did love is that we sat right by an open window that looked onto the dock. Matt (the groom!) kept walking by, always stopping in to talk with us, joking that he was like a friendly neighbor, always popping up.
When Greg and I first became engaged, he jokingly complained that women always get an engagement gift (i.e. the ring) while men get nothing. He declared that it was only fair that if I got an engagement ring, he’d get something cool, like an engagement jet ski.
I didn’t get him an engagement jet ski, but I did plan a surprise jet ski ride for us the next morning. We did a tour with Sunset Water Sports where we circled the entire island of Key West.
Hope you enjoyed your engagement jet ski, Greg!
Then I wanted to relax, so I met up with my cousin Brittany back at the hotel.
We drank several of the resort’s famous Key Lime Coladas.
And relaxed by the pool, soaking in the sun and warm breeze.
It took everything I had to tear myself away, grab my luggage, and head to the airport. I was so sad to leave!
But at least the flight home didn’t run out of alcohol!
For all of my Florida travel posts, click here.