As an Australian Key West had always been a bucket place for me...Mainly due to the fact that it's not your typical US big city and i'd always been curious to know what it looked like. A friend of mine who used to work on cruise ships had been and raved about it, So i knew on my latest trip to the US i wasn't missing out!
After tossing up between "Alexanders" and "The Mermaid" i finally decided to stay at The mermaid.
I started dealing with Geri via email and she was a delight from the get go! Very knowledgeable with advice, Had some great suggestions and everything was handled immediately. I booked the "Royal Poinciana" suite and was there for 3 nights from Wed oct 17 to Sat Oct 20.
So after making my way to the States and a few days in NY it was time to go to Key West, I flew in via Tampa and took a cab to the house getting in at 9pm. ($8...so cheap!) i unwittingly ended up at the side door but some fellow guests soon saw me and very kindly let me in,
Paul and Dean were in the Kitchen and immediately made me feel welcome and my first impression was they seemed like really nice guys (I hope they don't mind my saying this but they're a cute couple! :0)
Paul graciously took me upstairs, showed me my room and explained about the house and quietly exited so i could rest up and decide if i wanted to do anything that night.
My first impression of the room? They have done an excellent job! The fittings and touches are very elegant, i loved the fact the room had a Brookstone sound machine (I actually ended up buying one before i came home!) and it was very spacious.....Even little touches like the books in the bookshelf, I was really impressed.
The bathroom was a decent size, The tolietries were high quality (Were they Aveda?) and again they did a great job.
The room was serviced each day.
The next morning i woke up to a thunderstorm with quite a bit of ferociousness and i was concerned it may impact the whole day...Fortunately it was gone by 10am, After getting up, dressed and showered i headed downstairs and finally met Geri, They were using the dining table due to the storm (breakfast is usually outside served at the tables by the pool) and i met my fellow houseguests....They were from Colorado, Texas, New Jersey and were all friendly and welcoming...it really did feel like a extended family environment (Hi to any of them who may read this) Breakfast was buffet however each morning Geri/Paul etc will cook one speciality item and offer it to you, In any event it was delicious!
After breakfast and bidding adieu to my fellow houseguests as they left to do their various activities i sat down with Geri and planned my day, My first full day i took the Hop On, Hop Off Bus and went through various points of the island such as the Southernmost point, The hemingway Museum (I got off and did the tour....very much worth it and fascinating) Duval Street, Mallory Square etc.
I ended up walking back to the B&B from Duval and it's only 4 blocks...it was very handy to be able to walk to Duval and surrounding streets for dinner each night and at the same time be far enough removed that you dont get all the club/bar noises/patrons stumbling around.
Would i recommend any restaurants/Pubs? The best one i found was actually a suggestion from Geri/Dean/Paul called 2 cents on Applerouth Lane just off Duvall (Not far from the Mallory Square end) i had some really nice fish (Grouper i think) from memory, It's also handy to know there is a Haagen Daaz for dessert nearby!
My second full day Geri had booked me onto "Danger Charters" for a snorkelling/kayaking trip, i woke up a little late but Geri very kindly organised me a cab and i got there with time to spare. It was fantastic! Saw lots of wildlife and sea creatures, we even had dolphins come up to the boat, i met people from all over the US and Europe and lounging on the sandbar in the middle of the ocean was a weird but amazing experience, The kayaking was fun (Except the fact we had a lot of jellyfish around that day) and the snorkelling (No jellies in that area fortunately) was definitely a highlight as i spotted a Manta Eel and Stingray.
My last day i was dissapointed to be leaving as Gooberfest and Fantasy Fest had just started to kick off but Paul made a great omelette for breakfast and i was talking to some nice people from Chicago.
Rebecca checked me out and she also seemed really friendly. Geri had pre organised a shuttle to Fort Lauderdale for me and sure enough they picked me up punctually and got me up there safely.
Now for Caya and Havana..... This was another reason i picked this inn as i'm a dog person and it made me feel even more at home having these two around....They really are the "Southern Belles" of this home,
Caya being a little younger seemed a little more playful and loved her stuffed toys and having all these people to play with, Havana was also friendly and i enjoyed patting them in the evenings although they were pretty tired after a long day of playing....What a life!
i never used the pool as truthfully i ran out of time but it looked very inviting!
There was a church across the road, i personally found the bells kind of charming!
Unfortunately Key West is not a short journey for me....However i will say i will be back! (This time with friends) i had such a great time and found it to be the most quaint little town i really did not want to leave!
Thankyou again for everything Paul, Dean, Geri and Rebecca & housekeepers...you really do run a piece of paradise so to speak down there and i can honestly say your Inn was the highlight of my trip.
And on a side note to Paul: You remarked when i first got there how light my suitcases were....Just in case you were interested they were both overweight as i told you they would be by the time i checked in to go home! Haha!
Will definitely be back!