One last shot of our hotel. It was like living in paradise for three days.
We're back on the mainland now, having taken a side-trip north of Key Largo, through the swamps and bayous to the only building for 20 miles around, Alabama Jack's. A television station in Key West did a story on the five best places to get conch, and this was the second one we tried -- the first was Louie's Backyard. Alabama Jack's is a haven for bikers, and it's a must-stop on the back road from Homestead to Key Largo.
OK, now Barry LOVES conch! We had the fritters here, which are a lot like Maine clam cakes, maybe 6" in diameter, and so sweet and flavorful. Nothing else needed on them. It's too bad that Kroger's doesn't carry conch, or we'd be eating them here at home.
All in all, we tried mahi-mahi, grouper, yellow snapper, and conch. So now I have three new kinds of fish I like -- and CAN GET! Down here in Kentucky, catfish is what most people call "seafood."
By the way, in Cancun in 2005, Barry was offered $10 for the Corona hat by a gal on the ferry to Isla Mujeres!
A true roadside "dive" with fantastic food. Where's Guy Fieri when you REALLY need him? Goes to show that the best food isn't always in the fanciest or most expensive restaurants.
In our quest to drive as much of US-1 as we could, we took the route through downtown Miami. Hardly any traffic, but of course, it was Saturday afternoon by this time.
But we also had our sights set on Miami Beach. There it is, over the causeway, with its hotels lining the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Miami is on the right, and below...
Ah, yes, the ubiquitous cruise ships...
One of the art deco hotels in Miami Beach. The area prospered in the 1920s, when this style of building was brand new. Rounded corners, pastel colors, round port-hole windows, all are typical of art deco. The area was badly blighted by the 1970s, but a restoration effort has renewed the city.
Kelly's Landing, Fort Lauderdale. This was my birthday dinner -- Ipswich Fried Clams. By the time this photo was taken, they were mostly gone though!
On Friday, we explored the Fort Lauderdale area. One of our goals was the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood. We had visited the Hard Rock in Key West, and since we drove right by this one, we stopped. Good thing we bought the tee-shirts BEFORE we lost all our money in the casino!
The Seminole Nation has bought all the Hard Rock franchises, apparently world-wide!
Homes along a canal in Highland Beach, some of the many beautiful, and obviously expensive, residences in this city north of Fort Lauderdale. Because they're all water-side, one could take the boat about anywhere in the city, all the way down to Miami, probably.
Sea turtles nest on the beach from March through October, so the street lights are either turned off, dimmed, or hooded so the light doesn't shine on the beach. This is sort of Florida's answer to Maine's "Moose Crossing" signs.
The water was nice, not as warm as Cancun, but definitely comfortable. I could have stayed in for hours.
Our last day, and wouldn't you know, the rain and clouds had held off all week. You can see here the hoods on the sea side of the street lights to cut down the light for the nesting turtles.
Pompano Beach and north, from the air (we're flying right over I-95 here). The marshland along the coast has been dredged, the land filled, and canals made everywhere.
Couldn't believe we were so close to Merritt Island and Cape Canaveral, maybe 200 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. I could almost see the place where we go to get our oranges and grapefruit...