Trip Start Apr 15, 2012
6Trip End Apr 21, 2012
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We actually started our day at The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. This delightful place on Duval Street, neat the Southernmost Buoy, lets you walk in a mini tropical forest where butterflies fly all around and even rest on your head, back or arm. Tanagers and Finches chirp and flit about looking for fruit flies and friendly Chinese Quail come over and cross your path. In an environment kept at 82 degrees with a humidity of 80%, 50 varieties of butterflies and over 20 species of exotic birds keep you company. The butterflies live an average of 5 days. New butterflies come from breeding farms. Keith had one rather bedraggled butterfly hitch a ride on his shirt for awhile. If you are ever in Key West, take the time to go. One admission lets you come and go for the whole day, so you can see different butterflies depending on when they are active.
Out next stop was lunch. We had mahi-mahi tacos at Bagatelle and they were terrific. We then went over to the Shipwreck Museum where we heard all about the Wreck of the Isaac Allerton and the wrecking industry before climbing the Observation Tower for a fantastic 360 degree view of Key West.
We had to leave Key West to go back to Fort Lauderdale so started our return drive. We again crossed over the Seven Mile Bridge, which is actually a little less than 7 miles, is believed to be the world's longest segmental bridge. The old bridge, resting on 546 concrete, pillars runs parallel to it. If you have time, stop and walk out on the Old Bridge to get a great view. We didn't have time, but enjoyed the view as we drove over.
In Islamorada, take a few minutes to stop at Robbie's. One day over 15 years ago, a Tarpon, named Scarface, showed up at the dock with the side of its face all torn up. The marina owners actually called a vet and the vet stitched him up. He was fed by hand and after 6 months, was healed and released back into the water by the deck. He would frequent the dock and sometimes bring a friend. Soon it was a party. You can go and feed them. We just watched others. Some of them are huge and the brown pelicans who hang around hoping to get a fish snack that the tarpon miss are rarely satisfied
We ended our evening with dinner at Michy's, Michele Bernstein's restaurant in Miami. We had the tasting menu (just get the 3 course one. It will be more than enough to eat). The appetizers were squash blossoms filled with cheese over cheesy shrimp grits (fantastic), Sashimi grade tuna tartare (delicious and I'm not a fan of raw fish) and a beet salad that Keith ate since I can't stand beets. (I did try it, but I can't eat something that tastes like dirt.) The main course was Michy's famous short rib, halibut over celery puree (yummy) and Butternut Squash Risotto.. We barely had room for dessert which was a baked Alaska and bread pudding. We barely touched the bread pudding. There was nothing wrong with it; we were just too full. If you are ever in Miami, treat yourself and go.