And we did nothing. Really, nothing. There was some booze and lots of long walks, a nap or two, more food than is advised but that’s pretty much it. So instead of a play-by-play I’ll give some summary thoughts.
1. Lodging: We really like Almond Tree Inn but might be ready to stay elsewhere. The rooms are large and very well kept, the service is excellent, the pool and hot tub relaxing, but…We go out for these meandering walks and find ourselves intrigued by other inns, B&Bs, and rental properties. So maybe the Gardens next year. Or not.
2. Things we won’t do again: Roof Top Cafe has lost us. I wonder if we just happened to have a great meal last year and mediocre is their standard. We went for a bar snack/light meal around 8:30 on a Sunday and had both poor service and food. The place was empty and still the bartender took FOREVER to serve us, recommended a wine that was really not very good, and then served us cold food. That also didn’t taste that great. Very disappointed. We had a similar experience at the bar last year, but figured since our dinner was so good it was an anomaly. I think the good dinner was the anomaly. We also are over Hog’s Breath Saloon. I like the music but it smells like college in there. And the bathrooms are icky. There is a shit ton of live music in Key West and I’m not sure why we stayed attached to this place. Anyway, next time, these two are out. And why, oh why, do people like Half Shell Raw Bar or Turtle Kraals? Cheap food, that tastes like cheap food, the most poorly schucked oysters of all time, conch fritters that had no discernable conch in them, and drunken tourists (I resemble that remark) but not the good kind. I’m being judgy, I don’t care, I didn’t like either of these places at all. Maybe I missed something by going during happy hour.
3. New (to us) places we loved: Square One is really good. We ate there twice, partly out of convenience, partly because Devils on Horseback are amazing!! I would only eat there once next time and stick to tapas rather than entrees. Nothing wrong with the entrees, just we enjoyed the tapas more. Off the Hook was great too; they had me at duck bacon. We both had fish tacos and loved them and will return for more. The service was great, the food was great, they deserve some love. The place is really really small though, like I can’t believe they run a full kitchen out of that building small. And how did we not go to Santiago’s Bodega before? I don’t know, but we’ll go back. I liked the happy hour sangria, Jake was not as enthused, but the wine list is big, the tapas delicious and it’s off the beaten path a bit meaning everyone is there because they made the effort to go there. We stopped by 2 Cents for happy hour and free bacon, left to go to Half Shell Raw Bar (see above) and ended up going back later that night for sliders, met a guy who put Jake to shame in both height and liver, had a billion moscow mules and then gin and tonics and regretted it only a little the next day. The food I had (apps) was good, the drinks were great, the bacon a bonus.
4. Old faithfuls: Grand Vin is still great. Love the porch, the people, Donna and Greg. Mainstay for us. Think daily. La Creperie also nails it again. We ate three of four breakfasts there. Mmmm, brie.
5. Prana Spa. Its a good massage, priced like resorts are. I recommend it, but in the end it was similar to every massage I’ve ever had. It’s a nice perk on vacation, but I can get them at home pretty easily, just as enjoyably, and for less money. I’m biased as I have Eve Buckley as a SIL and she has magic hands.
So, we shall return and maybe we’ll even go on a boat, or swim, or something other than sleep, eat and drink.