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We were so excited to check in to the fabulous Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West (www.OceanKey.com).  Nestled between Key West Harbor and Mallory Square is the resort, which captures the essence of island resort living with oceanfront hotel accommodations.  I love sunbathing here...with the resort pool on one side and the tranquil waters (where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean) on the other side.  We were excited to wake up Saturday morning to see Kenny Chesney's tour bus outside our balcony.  Looks like Kenny loves Key West too!
Cathy and I had an amazing dinner at the resort's fine dining restaurant, Hot Tin Roof (HTR). Described as "conch fusion" the resort's waterfront dining restaurant provides great cuisine in a casual yet elegant setting with beautiful sunset views. We loved our Pan Seared Mahi Mahi and the Broiled Local Yellowtail Snapper, as well as the glowing plates that the Shrimp Cocktail was served on. The resort's spa, SpaTerre, is the signature spa of Noble House Hotels & Resorts. This boutique spa and fitness center is designed to replicate a Florida beach house with treatments that span from across the globe. Although very nice, Cathy and I agreed that watching the people in the fitness center made us tired and we headed straight to the pool to find a cabana.
The property has experience some upgrades since I was here last, including the new tiki bar in the Liquid Lounge area of the pool deck, 42" plasma TVs, I-Home units and the new covered bridge that allows you access to the entire property. In addition, they have a really nice gift shop that has some great take home items for you, as well as family and friends.
Many thanks to the entire staff for making us feel so welcome, especially Prince who checked on us often to make sure we were well taken care of.

Key West Express
After waking up at 4:00 a.m. and driving to Ft. Myers, we boarded the Key West Express (www.SeaKeyWestExpress.com) in route to our getaway destination.  This 170' catamaran was awesome, complete with plasma TVs, a full lounge/bar area, indoor and outdoor seating and a terrific captain and crew.  The three-hour trip was so much fun.  We met with Captains Eric and Robert in the Wheel Room (that has no wheel; the boat is controlled with a joystick), made new friends (Mike and Amy on the trip there; Scott and Alex on the way home), and played cards to pass the time.  The boat sails daily from Ft. Myers and Marco Island, and it is a great way to get to Key West.  Some people even go for just the day.  So, next time you are wondering how to get to Key West, just jump aboard the Key West Express.

Delish Dishes in Key West
We received several recommendations for Sarabeth's (www.SarabethsKeyWest.com) so we checked it out Saturday for lunch and loved it!  This quaint little restaurant opened in 2005 as the only Florida location for this popular New York restaurant.  In 1981, Sarabeth and Bill Levine opened a tiny bakery-kitchen in NYC to make and sell her preserves and baked goods. A few tables and chairs were soon added, first for breakfast and then for lunch. The little store, with its unique charm and wholesomely delicious products became an instant success with discriminating New Yorkers. Located on Simonton Street and managed by David, the Key West location is fabulous!  We split the Griddled Smoked Mozzarella Sandwich and the Open Face Tuna Salad Sandwich, and I loved my Bloody Sara and Cathy enjoyed her Antioxidant Intoxicant.  This place is a must stop!

We also had lunch at Bagatelle (www.BagatelleKeyWest.com) on Sunday.  A great place to watch people on Duval Street, this lovely Victorian home with a wraparound porch provides a casual and relaxing atmosphere.  We were starving, so we ordered big.  I devoured my Cheeseburger and Cathy ate all of her Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.  We loved our Expresso Martinis, which were just what we needed on a Sunday morning.

Where We Shopped
Key West Art Bar (www.KeyWestArtBar.com) I love this place! This is my favorite place to shop on the island. Owner Barb Grob has a great eye for super cool things, including gifts, art and more. Cathy found some great gifts here.
Besame Mucho (www.BesameMucho.net) Located on Petronia Street, this cozy store offers unique goods such as Mexican jewelry, artwork and Kiehl's products in a shabby chic environment.
Ocean Key Resort Gift Store (www.OCeanKey.com) Better than your average gift shop, Ocean Key offers some great gifts, clothing and Key West souvenirs. Even if you don't stay here, it is worth a trip to the gift store.
Key West Mad Hatter (www.KeyWestMadHatter.com) Thank you so much to Dorcas Robertson for inviting us to her terrific hat store next to the Westin.  Cathy and I had a blast trying on hats...from Kentucky Derby hats to St. Patrick's Day gear, the Key West Mad Hatter has it all.  They even do custom hats from your fabric sample.  Dorcas gave us great advice and told us you should buy your hat first, and then find the outfit to wear with the hat.  Good to know for my trip (one day) to the Kentucky Derby.



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