Day #19 - Sights, Songs and Sunsets

We started today with a relaxing breakfast at our hotel - fruit medley and yoghurt for me, eggs and toast for James, plus that staple of American breakfasts, endless coffee!
We then headed out into the early morning heat to the southernmost point of the continental United States, a must-do for any visitor to Key West. It's a popular spot since there was a line of people queuing up to have their picture taken. So we got to know the couple behind us in line so they could take our pics at the iconic buoy and the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. What do you think? Did they do a good job? Of course, we reciprocated the favour.
While we were stood in line for the photo-op, we saw the "famous" Conch Train Tour and that seemed like a good way to explore the island, so we hopped on to learn more about the history and culture of Key West. The tour was informative and entertaining, and we enjoyed seeing all the sights, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Truman Little White House, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. I didn't know that Key West's wealth stems from salvaging shipwrecks and rescuing ships in distress. 
At the halfway point of the tour we saw Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden  located near Mallory square which contains busts of people who were important in the history of Key West. As with other parts of Key West, it has some wild roosters and chickens roaming around.
I've not mentioned the chickens yet have I? The island is home to a rather large population of wild chicken and roosters. Just like some towns have a pigeon problem, Key West has a chicken problem! These are descendants of jungle fowl that originated in Cuba and the Caribbean islands. The first chickens arrived in the 1800s when Cuban and Caribbean settlers brought the large and aggressive Cubalaya breed to the island. The chickens were used as food and for cockfighting.We learnt this on our team tour.
It was a case of burritos for lunch since there was a rather good looking Mexican street food cafe at the tram drop off. After two years with James you would have thought I would have got the hang of Mexican food by now, but no! I am still overwhelmed by all the options and combos!
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to relax and swim in the pool. The pool is located in their beautiful courtyard surrounded by lush tropical plants. It is the perfect place to cool off, have a drink and soak up some sun.
Later in the afternoon, we went for a walk down Duval Street, the main street in Key West. Duval Street is lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars.
We enjoyed browsing the various establishments and couldn't resist one selling 1 and a half pound cookies! You're going to give those a try aren't you?!
Many of the shops and houses are getting ready for Halloween and as many of you know, Americans love Halloween and go all out for it. Check out this place with its Village People tribute!
At the end of Duval Street, you reach the sea and as the sun started to set, we headed to Sunset Pier Bar to enjoy a drink and watch the show. Not surprisingly it's a popular spot for watching the sunset, the boats (including floating bars!) and the views are incredible. Sadly the sunset this evening wasn't as spectacular as we hoped but still memorable nonetheless.
After sunset, we went back to La Te Da for dinner. The restaurant has a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the pool. We enjoyed a delicious meal of pasta, salad and a beautiful charcuterie board as a starter.
After dinner, we headed upstairs in our hotel to their show bar to watch Randy Roberts in his Drag Show. Randy Roberts is a legendary Key West drag queen, and his show is a must-see. He's hilarious, talented, and engaging. He was one of the people that made us feel so welcome on our arrival and so we just had to see his alter-ego in action. We weren't disappointed.  We also were able to share a drink and a few stories after the show with him at another lovely bar.