Kicking Back in the Keys

Making the most of a long weekend

Comfort “Keys” style

My husband and I have reached the stage where our children all have homes of their own. This past Christmas we gave our daughter a choice of three beach destinations for a long weekend with mom and dad. As you can tell by the fact this was a Christmas gift and the trip took place in June, meshing our schedules was a bit of a challenge. One of the great things about the Keys is that it is a hour flight from Tampa, but you feel like you are in a different world. There is such a relaxing, carefree atmosphere in Key West. Work and responsibilities seem light years away.

 

We chose The Reach, a Waldorf resort, as our accommodations for the trip. My husband and I had a king studio suite. This gave us not only a comfortable, spacious sleeping area, but also seating so that we could sit and chat. The room had a small refrigerator, a coffee machine and a pub table. It also had one of my favorite features, a balcony. We are able to sit outside in the  morning and drink our coffee, and ease into the day. Our daughters room was a more typical hotel room. She had a king bed, an nice bathroom and a balcony. It fit our needs very well.

We arrived just after 8pm on Thursday night. We opted to fly in on Thursday so that we could enjoy a full day Friday. The hotel restaurant, Spenser’s was open for a late dinner and obligatory “welcome to Key West” beverage. The bartender was friendly and offered numerous suggestions for places to eat and things to do. After a delicious dinner of fresh fish we decided to share a dessert. A very rare occasion for us. We ordered the Key Lime Parfait and were very pleasantly surprised. Not only was the parfait delicious but it was topped with a decadent fruit topping. It set the stage perfectly for our upcoming weekend.

We enjoyed eating breakfast on the porch at Spenser’s so much that we didn’t try anywhere else. They had delicious champagne cocktails along with Bloody Mary’s and other adult beverage choices. Their menu changes frequently and my favorite dish seems to have been replaced. I had the chilaquiles with pulled pork. It was HUGE!!! I am not usually a person who enjoys pulled pork on Mexican dishes but this was the exception that proved the rule. They now have Huevos Benedicto, which is poached eggs on corn arepa with pulled pork and cilantro hollandaise. Even though I have not tried it, it sounds delicious.

The Reach is one of the few hotels in Key West with a sand beach. We had come to the Keys in hopes of snorkeling, but found the water cloudy and grassy. We didn’t want to take a snorkeling expedition as it was our daughter’s first trip and we didn’t want to commit to a full excursion. We did enjoy relaxing on the beach. The attendants were quite accommodating and set up lounge chairs and umbrellas for us.

Probably our favorite things was the Butterfly Conservatory, yes it wasn’t a bar, it was a conservatory. I have to admit that when my husband suggested we go there, my immediate reaction was NO! but I am so glad we did.  To be honest, we went in because we were HOT, I  mean sweat dripping hot, and the prospect of some AC was very appealing. I could have spent all day there and actually you can. You pay a fee and can come back as many times as you want to on that day. There   were so many butterflies and the conservatory was full of beautiful plants and water features. They even had two flamingos, Rhett and Scarlett. Sadly, I had to explain the reference to our daughter. Note to self, classic movie night in the near future.  What a hidden treasure this place is!  If you aren’t headed to the Keys in the near future, you can check it out online. I know you will be as enchanted as we were.

 

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