When I was in college, we used to run up the road to Clemson to visit KLA’s then boyfriend, now husband, Dr. Ryan. It always throws people off that Clemson is my second favorite team. Dr. Ryan and his buddies lived on the lake, had epic parties with bands & kegs, insane tailgates, and a boat. That was all pretty much the way to my 18 year old heart.
Anyways, KLA brought me as a tag along once to a graduation party. I chatted up a guy who was telling me about his boat, maybe I could see it from here? It was called “The Lost Shaker.”
Coming from Danville, Kentucky I knew a bunch about Shakers! Did he know they invented the zipper?! Yeah….not that kind of shaker.
Trist’s Travels took us down 905A instead of Hwy 1 for me to get the scenic route. It may take a little longer, but it’s about the experience!
Completely worth it.
Being great hostesses and guides, I had free range of activities. They had some local flair for me other than that, whatever I wanted. Mostly, I wanted to continue being an uber goober and take my picture next to every giant thing I saw. THERE ARE A LOT OF GIANT THINGS TO TAKE YOUR PICTURE WITH. So many things that eventually my insanely polite hostess put their foot down telling me to put my selfie stick down.
First stop was a tourist classic: The Rain Barrel. The tacky tourist went into overdrive. You’re welcome for the selfies with random flamingos, pirates, and mermaids showing off my “oh em gee face.” Pure excitement.
Beyond the delightfully tacky everything, The Rain Barrel is home to the Artisan’s Village (where pictures are not allowed). It embraces all of the glorious eclectic nature of living in The Keys. I wandered around desperately searching for some craft I could hone into a skill allowing me to move on down and set up shop.
I’ve saved the best for last. The Rain Barrel is home to a giant lobster! Hello selfie stick! The lobster, I believe, was previously across the street and made it way to her current home drawing in the tourists.
Fun Fact: The Rain Barrel’s giant lobster has a name! Betty! Betty the Giant Lobster!
On the hunt for food, we made our way to Lorelei’s Cabana, an Islamorada favorite. How could it not? IT HAD A GIANT MERMAID OUT FRONT!
There have been some phenomenal stops along this ever evolving adventure, but Lorelei’s really made it hit home for me. I will always choose the beach over snow, hands down. Here I was relishing the sunshine on the beach of Islamorada Key sipping a cliche fruity drink, awaiting my fresh catch sandwich. This is what I had been craving. Y’all, as if it could not be more of what my dreams are made of, a manatee swam right up to the dock and was like “what up Muffy! Welcome and enjoy your adventure!” Okay, so he didn’t say that, but you could totally see it in his eyes.
Hoping islands we made our way to the Yellow House on Marathon Key. One of two properties of my wonderful hostesses, the house is the embodiment of what you envision. The view, the decor, the porches, ring games, and my favorite part, the walls weren’t shiplap they were old driftwood!
Each of us had our own room. Our hostesses grew up coming to the Yellow House and choose her childhood bedroom favorite. I can see why, three bunk beds are stacked against the wall with a rope to climb up and down between them. Trist’s Travels and I took the upstairs rooms, sharing the balcony and an outdoor shower. For someone who didn’t have indoor plumbing for months, I have became incredibly attached to the outdoor shower.
The Yellow House overlooks Sea Bird Key, our hostess’ other property in The Keys. Yes, you read that right. It’s a whole island. We took the dock out to get a better view. Only accessible by boat, we would have to wait until the next day to explore. Sea Bird Key was in the throes of preparing for a wedding that weekend. Opting to the house with air conditioning, we stayed at The Yellow House.
Settling in, we took to the porch to open our bottle of champ sent with us by the glorious Nance. Popping bottles, we laid out our plan for the evening. To Key West we go! All that and more in the next post!
If you missed Miami or the introduction of Trist’s Travel, Nance, or my embarassing first impression of my Sea Bird Key Hostess make sure to catch up in Where I’ve Been Wednesday: Miami, More Golden Girls Than Will Smith.
Next up: Key West and how we drank our way through all the tourist attractions! Check out Part 2 of our Key West Adventures!