Key West 2017 {Day Four}

June 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

{If you have been following along, you can scroll down to where this days adventures begin}

My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage earlier this month. For several years now, we have been planning a trip to Key West for a romantic getaway and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Our cousin Jenn lives in Key West and it was so nice having a local resident to show us around the island.

We flew directly into Key West and arrived on Saturday afternoon. After a quick ride through town, we unloaded our luggage at our home for the week. We can not say enough nice things about the house where we stayed -- The Fleming-O. It is located on one-way Fleming Street in a quite neighborhood in the Heart of Old Town. The location is perfect because it is only a few blocks from restaurants, art galleries, shopping and nightlife on Duval Street and also near the Historic Seaport area with more authentic restaurants with gorgeous water views, marinas, and Mallory Square. We loved being able to walk everywhere we wanted to go! I highly recommend the Fleming-O to anyone interested in visiting Key West! It truly is a "little pink house in Paradise"!!

{for more pictures and booking info click on the photo below}

We started the fourth day of our Key West vacation bright and early! We had to be at the terminal to board the Yankee Freedom at 6:45am. Ouch, haha! Our plans that day were to take a 2.5 hour ferry ride to Dry Tortugas National Park. This place was on several "must-do in Key West" lists that I had read so we were anxious to go even though the captain anticipated a rough ride that day.

It was a good thing we came prepared with Dramamine -- we were thankful to have it after we left the dock.

Breakfast and lunch were included with the trip. Even though we didn't want to eat in fear of getting sea sick, we knew we would be starving later so we forced ourselves down to the lower cabin to grab a snack. The line was ridiculously long but moved fast.

After breakfast, most everyone who wasn't sea sick was sleeping. I stayed awake the entire time and luckily never got sick. I did take an extra Dramamine though ... the ride was rough!

First sight of Fort Jefferson --- and LAND!!! YAY!!!

I was happy to be back on solid ground for a while!

You can also travel to Dry Tortugas by sea plane ... I think if we ever go back, that would be a fun experience.

Fort Jefferson is a six-sided building on Garden Key about 70 miles west of Key West. It is constructed of 16-million handmade bricks and is the third largest fort in the United States. Since the mid 1800's it has served as a lighthouse, national military reserve, coastal fortress, prison and quarantine station.

You can tour the fort on your own time, but we opted to follow the guided tour. 

Here is our guide gathering up the group for the tour.

The guided tour lasts a little over an hour and we toured about half of the fort.

Since it was our first time there and audio tours were not available, I am glad we did the guided tour. However, I do think we could have made better use of our time and made it around the entire fort if we did not take the tour. Overall I am glad we did the tour because it was very informative and our tour guide was great.

 

The parade ground inside the fort is 13 acres. Its design included storage for additional ammunition, a hospital, and three large barracks. 

Granite spiral staircases are in each corner bastion.

Snorkeling is included with the trip on Yankee Freedom (gear included). You can see snorkelers in the photo below.

The large black cannon-looking artillery seen below is known as a 15-inch, 25-ton  Rodman gun. Three of these can be seen atop Fort Jefferson. It is the largest collection of Rodman guns to be seen in the world.

A view of the 13-acre parade ground from the top of Fort Jefferson.

It was so interesting to see all the different shades of color in the ocean. Beautiful!

You can walk the entire parameter of the fort.

Stalagmites and stalactites can be seen throughout the fort.

Spiral granite staircase:

After we finished the tour, we went back to the boat for lunch and then went snorkeling for about an hour.

The boat ride back to Key West wasn't as bad as the early morning ride. The crew on board the Yankee Freedom was very nice and accommodating. After spending all day in the heat, we were all exhausted. We ordered in pizza and was in bed by 8 pm, ha!

 

 

To read more about our other days in Key West, follow the links below:

{Days One & Two}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-days-one-and-two

 

{Day Three}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-day-three

 

{Day Four}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-day-four

 

{Day Five}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-day-five

 

{Day Six}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-day-six

 

{Day Seven}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-day-seven

 

{Days Eight & Nine}   http://www.heatherreeder.com/blog/2017/6/key-west-2017-days-eight-and-nine

 

 

 

 


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