bahia honda bridge

Old Bahia Honda Bridge was constructed as part of the the Old East Coast Railway which was built by oil mogul Henry Flagler. Sometimes called Flagler's Folly, the railway was started in 1905 and completed in 1912.  For many years, the railway was the only way to get down to Key West. 

key deer encounter

Key deer are a fiercely protected species on the keys.  They're only found on a few of the islands and are about the size of a large dog.  While on our day trip back up the keys on the Overseas Highway, we made a pit-stop on No Name Key in search of these little fellas and found one who was pretty fearless.

turtle hospital

The Turtle Hospital on the island of Marathon in the Florida Keys is home to about fifty rescued turtles.   Many are victims of boating accidents and are missing limbs or have severe damage to their shells.  Most of them will recover and be released back into the wild, but there are seven or eight permanent residents that wouldn't be able to fend for themselves if released.   

Drawing blood from a new patient

Oftentimes, propeller damage to shells causes gas to build up underneath the turtle's shell and makes it impossible for the turtle to dive.  Most of the permanent residents suffered from this condition, accurately dubbed "bubble butt" by volunteers at the hospital.

When tourists visit, the permanent residents know they'll get treats and beeline for the crowd.

Baby turtle!

bahia honda

zachary taylor beach

house of hemingway

While in Key West, we were able to visit Ernest Hemingway's home and hang with the 50 or so cats that now reside there as descendants from his six-toed cat, Snowball (about half sport the extra toe).  Hemingway lived here from 1931-1939 and wrote The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and To Have and Have Not.

Francis - she rules the roost and was born during a hurricane

So hot and humid that the cats were panting

Portraits of Hemingway

Where Hemingway wrote while residing in Key West