Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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The Bahamas, USA (East Coast), Canada 2013
(20 Sep 2013 - 15 Oct 2013)

 

Day 6

Marathon-Big Pine Keys-Key West, Florida Keys (25 Sep 2013)

 

 




Good Morning Marathon!

Vance: Its gonna be a day with lots of Sun, Sand and the Sea.. not the usual "Beach Resort" Holiday! Read on to find out!

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  Breakfast is included with our stay (Typical Holiday Inn Express fare]. The complimentary breakfast which was simple and fuss free, including our favourite activity which is to DIY the pancakes.

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Vance: This one has some automation here actually, which is kinda cool. Select the number of pancakes you want via the yellow button on the aluminum panel, each press for one pancake and watch the simple dot matrix display running your pancake through the machine! That green dot matrix display reminds me of the happy days during my Undergrad, programming the microcontrollers in assembly language. Ten of lines of code just to print a character out to the display! :)

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Daytime views of The Holiday Inn Express (HIE) & Suites Marathon. The pool was small but nice and clean. Watch out for the friendly iguanas peeping at you near the gates.

Vance: (To Fiona) I didn't know you find iguanas friendly?!?! Did you bring one of these back to the hotel that day? (In place of your Hamsters @Roro & @FiFi!??!)

Vance: HIE @ Marathon is actually a very nicely located hotel in the Keys area. The waters and facilities surrounding the hotel is very accessible too. Fishing, diving, boating etc... tons of activities to do around!


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A major aspect of a long trip - We need to plan and factor for laundry since we're not prepared to bring 20+ set of clothes. As mentioned in Day 5, there are no laundry service onsite at HIE Marathon. Hotel counter recommended Coyne's Laundry (Located at 11201 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050, Tel: 305-942-9635) for wash and fold service. Reasonable price ($2 per pound) and friendly service. Don't be fool by the exterior of Coyne's Laundry (which looks more like a Surf Shop)

Vance: Staff at Coyne's Laundry are really friendly. I suspect that pretty chick there had a (tiny) crush on me *wink*. Ahem... back to the blog, Oh, of course, I am sure there are chaps that go for month long vacations on 3-4 sets of clothes AND NEVER visited the Laundromat during their trip.... Yikes! Oh back to that pretty chick at Coyne's Laundry.. maybe she's eyeing that yellow Camaro I was driving. Too bad Fiona is occupying my left passenger seat!!

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On our way to Key West now. We're on the Overseas Highway, which is a charming 110 mile highway running the length of the Keys. The drive from Miami to Key West on the Overseas Highway is really scenic, put it on your bucket list as it's definitely worth the time and effort to do so. Cross bridges that connecting the islands, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other side. Sometimes the water is right up to the edge of the road on both sides! However, traffic can be quite slow with speed limits of 35mph – 45mph (56 - 72km/hr). Traffic can be heavy at times, but just relax and take your time to enjoy the magnificent views. 

Vance: I really enjoyed the drives here. I second Fiona on the sections of roads that is on the same level as the sea level! Its almost like driving on water. Excellent! If I could quote from http://www.coolthingsworld.com/top-15-most-beautiful-roads-in-the-world/

The Overseas Highway leaps from island to island across 42 bridges southwest through Florida Keys and it was built in 1938 along the course of an old railroad that has been destroyed by a hurricane. The highway is mostly over water and in about four hours you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and the ocean and of course, the incredible sunrises and sunsets if you come here at the right time. During holidays the traffic will make journeys through this highway a bit longer but I’m sure everyone would love to stay on this road as long as possible.

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Credits: http://justtakemethere.tumblr.com/post/36805119449/seven-mile-bridge-florida-united-states



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Before reaching Key West, we dropped by Bahia Honda State Park and Beach (located in Big Pine Key). A token admission fee applies (US$9 for 2 people as at Sep 2013).

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The beautiful mile long Sandspur Beach, located just north of the park entrance. We were taking photos and a Caucasian lady dropped by (purposely) and she took this picture of us. How sweet of her!
Vance: Friendly souls we met on our trip! God bless them! :)

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Bahia Honda is truly a jewel in the crown of Florida Key. The beach is one of the nicest one that we came across in Florida Keys. There were hardly any people, plenty of parking and lots of clean white sand to lie on. The water is crystal clear and the white sand really soft. If you are heading to Key West, this is definitely a great place to stop by.

Vance: And bring Travelling Pooh for a Swim too! :)

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Vance: (Reference to the jump), kids, don't try this at home! :P

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   The Calusa Beach (adjacent to the Bahia Honda Bridge). Absolutely picture perfect!

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Next, we visited Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (Or better known as Fort Taylor) located in Key West. A small entrance fee applies (US$7 for 2 persons vehicle).

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Fort Taylor was constructed in 1845 to prevent sea attack from the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. It held 140 cannons and was home to almost 450 soldiers. It ended it’s mission in 1945 and since has been listed as a National Historic Landmark.

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These cannonballs look like TCM (濟公的老泥丸)! Haha!  
One can explore the small fort first followed by the beach area. The fort is in pretty good shape compared to Fort Fincastle that we visited in Bahamas. Part of the fort was remodelled with steel beams supporting the ceilings. I guess it’s a constant battle to keep these historic old forts in good condition.

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In the meantime, Vance took more snapshots of the Camaro at the beach area of Fort Taylor.

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There is a list of extreme points of the United States and yes, we have reached the "Southernmost Point" of USA! Farewell Key West!

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Returning to Marathon and guess what Vance saw...

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Back to the Hotel and we explored the Tarpon Creek Marina located behind HIE.


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Waited for sunset so that Vance can take more pictures of his favourite Camaro...


Looking forward to tomorrow where we will leave Florida Keys for "The Theme Park Capital of the World" - Orlando! :)


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Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!