Saturday, November 23, 2013


I am now sitting peacefully at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. Awaiting my transport back to Toronto. It was a much better experience. Getting checked in for my Sunwing flight today. As I did arrive extra early today. Still there is no good excuse for the poor treatment the Sunwing customers received at Toronto Pearson. The day I left for this holiday. I may skip flying with Sunwing ever again.

My day yesterday was superb. After an enjoyable night sleep at the Spanish Gardens Motel located in Key West. I had a chance to do a walk about. To find Jimmy Buffett's original home in Key West. When Jimmy moved into the Florida Keys as a down and out musician, in 1971. Jimmy Buffett residence was at 704 Wadell Street. Located right next door. To one of Jimmy's all time favorite restaurant & bars located in Key West. Which is "Louie's Backyard". This popular place is still going strong. I enjoyed my breakfast on this fine Key West morning. Very close to the exact place many years ago. A very talented an hung over Jimmy Buffett. Stumbled into Louie's and ordered a "Bloody Mary" as his hangover fix. Then he proceeded to sit down on his home beach. In a state of reflection wrote the words. To one of my all time favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes. Which would be "Tryin' To Reason, With Hurricane Season"

Then I set out and found the "South Beach Cafe". Where I enjoyed my breakfast! All this deep thinking. Had given me a massive appetite. I didn't have far to walk. As where Duvall Street comes to an end. You will find the "South Beach Cafe". Which includes a pretty nice view of Jimmy Buffett's home beach, in his glory days. I was given a nice table. I enjoyed a delicious omelette. Also the service from my server Denise was friendly and enjoyed. It was nice to meet you Denise. You made the meal even taste even better. This is the positive effect friendly good service has.

Then it was back to my motel to pack my stuff. It was now time to say goodbye to Key West. My GPS quickly got me back to U.S. 1 heading north. I was heading to a great beach that I had located in the Florida Keys. The beach in named Sombreo, and is located on the island of Marathon. After I enjoyed a nice swim and now completed getting into a very relaxed and euphoric state. I then finished the rest of my drive on the "Over Seas Highway" to get back to the hostel located in Florida City. I drove through some very hard rain at times. Making the drive, a little more difficult. That this drive already presents.

Very happy that I got this trip recorded into my blog. The way this year has gone. I wasn't quite sure if this trip was ever going to happen.

Lots of emotion was pouring through my head constantly during my travels, on this holiday. It was a struggle to stay focused at times.

As always. Feeling very thankful and rewarded. That I had the opportunity to complete this journey.

I would like to thank. For this trip to take place and to become quality time. The friendly staff at the Everglades Hotel. You run a great place to call home. While travelling on the road. Fellow travelers take note!

I would like to thank all of the friendly people I met in Key West. Who made sure I enjoyed a great stay in the "Couch Republic".

I would like to thank Jimmy Buffett. For being a mentor and my guide. During all my many journeys. That I have had the pleasure to be on! "A Change In Latitude". Will give you a "Change In Attitude".

To "Mother Nature". You have always been there for me. You fine lady! Ever time I go away to explore this beautiful planet. That We get to call our home. You have made sure that I am very well treated!!! I enjoyed lots of blue skies and ultraviolet rays on this trip!

Also I would like to thank my now deceased parents. Charlotte and Sheldon Wolfe. For giving me the gift of life. The spirit you have passed onto me. Runs deep! I will continue to enjoy the rest of my journey through life. My life has been a blast!!! I dedicate this trip to my mom and dad!

Floridays the title of this post. Is the title of another one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes. It is Jimmy's song of reflection and eternal hope. You just to have to keep hopping for better days! I will always look forward to the next adventure!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Special Beach!

Another special pleasure of being at Fort Jefferson was the swim that I enjoyed there. After we arrived. Michael our tour guide. Gave us all and excellent guided tour of the Fort. For there is nothing that our tour guide Michael doesn't know about the Dry Tortugas or Fort Jefferson. After the tour. We were provided with a nice lunch back on our boat. The Yankee Freedom III. After we enjoyed our lunch. It was now our free time. To relax, swim, snorkel, or explore the island. I swam on South Beach. Which is an outstanding reason for visiting Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas. The water was crystal clear. Very sandy and the water teperture was warm. The backdrop was the historic Fort Jefferson. Also missing were any commercialism. No resorts, tacky souvenir stands or condos. Just sheer beauty, surrounded by history! Not very many people will ever venture out to enjoy this wonderful place. Very happy that I did!

Fort Jefferson

An amazing part of this trip was making out to visit Fort Jefferson. This historic structure is the largest masonry structure located in the Americas. It is made of 16 million bricks. Construction began in 1846. It took many years to build, and was never completely finished. In 1888 the fort was abandoned as a military instillation. Due to the cost to maintain. Also the hardship of dealing with the military personal to operate in tropical climate. The fort was used a medical quarantine station after the U.S. military had left.
The fort is located 70 west of Key West in the Dry Tortugas, on Garden Key. In 1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt designated Fort Jefferson a National Monument. In 1970 is was put on the list of American Historical Places. In 1992 the Tortugas Islands were made into a National Park.
It was a big thrill for the Travel Wolfe to finally make it there!

Some of the video. I shot of our guide Michael from the tour of Fort Jefferson.

By Boat or By Airplane?

When this trip was in the planing stages. The day trip to visit the remote and interesting Fort Jefferson was included in the itinerary. There are 3 ways to get there. As Fort Jefferson is located on a small remote island named "Garden Key". That is located 70 miles due west of Key West. The 3 ways are by seaplane, by boat, or if you own your own boat or seaplane.
I have yet to do a water takeoff and landing before. So I was going in that direction, to fly. When I left on the trip. The airplane costs $280 and your time to visit the fort is short, only a couple of hours. The boat is an all day affair. Travel time on the boat is over 2 hours each way. They feed you breakfast and lunch. Also you are provided with a skilled tour guide when you reach the island. The cost for this trip is $165.
The decision was a tough one. I have to admit. As the chances of getting seasick on the boat ride was possible. But I did go with the boat. It was a great deal and a amazing boat ride. The whole trip was enjoyed, as the weather conditions came up perfect. My seaplane ride will have to be another day.

Pepe's Since 1909

One of the advantages for staying in Key West. Is all of the good choices for eating out. There is still a classic place to eat in Key West that is popular with the locals and tourists alike. It is called Pepe's Cafe and has been a delicious place to eat since 1909. When you get to Key West Pepe's can be found at 806 Caroline Street. The Travel Wolfe may be going crazy on Caroline Street. But at least I got to enjoy my Cheeseburger in Paradise there!