Key West: sun, food, and animals

Oh, the fruit. Fresh squeezed orange juice. Mangoes. Papayas. Key limes (well, pie made from key limes). I tried fruit I have never heard of before: cherimoya and sapote. So delicious. Fish is on the menu everywhere. We had snapper for brunch, shrimp and hogfish for dinner. Mahi mahi tacos were on the menu at The Cafe, a wonderful vegetarian restaurant where our kids found lots of choices. I’m not a rum drinker, but Tim enjoyed the offerings at the Key West Rum Distillery.

The chickens and roosters are everywhere. I read that they were brought with Cubans moving to Key West. When cock fighting was outlawed the chickens were left to roam free creating the “gypsy roosters.” I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this story.

We woke up to pouring rain one morning. A perfect day to visit the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservancy.

About an hour north of Key West is the Turtle Hospital. On the site of the old Hidden Harbor Motel, the non-profit hospital rehabiltates injured sea turtles. Some are released and some who cannot return to the wild become permanent residents.

Turtles that have been injured by boats can suffer from bubble-butt syndrome. Air gets trapped under their shells and they cannot dive. Weights are attached to the shell to help the turtle dive, but they cannot be released to the wild and will spend their lives at the hospital. Considering green sea turtles can live 80-100 years, that is a big responsibility!

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