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epicure3

Living in The Florida Keys

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epicure3

I don't think we have any members from the Florida Keys that post here but I was windering what it is like to live in some of the Keys. I have been to K. Largo and K. West before. But what is it like to live in, say, Islamorada, Big Pine, Marathon, etc.....

I know the palm growing is great (so is the fishing). Are they nice places to live with lots to do? Or, are they too slow and seem more like staid retirement communities?

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palmislandRandy

The Florida Keys have a "flavor" all their own. I go to Key West to fish every couple of months. Throw away all your clothes cept shorts, t-shirts & flip flops. Oh yeah with only one way out, prepare to pack & run during hurricaine season! :drool: The pace is VERY slow!

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tjwalters

It must be absolutely horrible to live there. :blink:

(I was just kidding. :) )

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DoomsDave

I went to the keys in 2007, and it was glorious, but . . . .

On the one hand, Caribbean islands with bridges between them. On the other hand, one highway, and if a traffic light flunks out, traffic jam for miles.

Also, it's got all the indicia of a cool place that's gotten very very overpriced, though with the latest, er, situation, I think prices will decline.

It never gets cold there, 40 F is the record, a true zone 11.

If you like boating, it can't be beat.

(They let you rent a boat for cheap!)

In December of 2007, houses were going for 500K on up.

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waykoolplantz

My sis & bro-in-law have a place in Tavernier ...boy can you grow palms !!

HammockHouse066.jpg

HammockHouse042.jpg

HammockHouse028.jpg

You better like fishing...or watching Copernicais grow...bout the most action you'll find

:D

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epicure3
My sis & bro-in-law have a place in Tavernier ...boy can you grow palms !!

HammockHouse066.jpg

HammockHouse042.jpg

HammockHouse028.jpg

You better like fishing...or watching Copernicais grow...bout the most action you'll find

:D

I love fishing. My wife? Not so much. I also love watching Copernicias grow. The wife? Not so much....again.

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bubba

The Keys are a great spot.You can pick whatever pace you desire.When you pass Card Sound,there is a feeling that is hard to describe.You are free.Living down there year round may be tough but I know some Conchs up here who would move back in a second.It is something about that Carribean salt air that you do not get anywhere else.You can make it from our area to Islamorada in about three hours if you hit the right slot and you need not go further than that unless you are a Hemingway purist looking for Sloppy Joe's.

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Jeff Searle

The Florida Keys is certainly a unique place to visit or live. I've been going down to KW for close to 20 years now and still enjoy when I pull into town. The closet thing I can compare it to is, when you go to a circus maybe? There's alot of crazy people and things to see when your down there.

My good friends, Jim and Judy Glock (jglock1) have a second home on Cudjoe Key, which is about 20 miles out from KW. So were always down there visiting them. They have a small yard, but packed with lots of nice palms and an amazing collection of over 100 varities of crotons. And yes, fishing is excellent in this area.

If you have any questions, contact them, I know they would be more than happy to help you out with any other information.

Jeff

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epicure3
The Florida Keys is certainly a unique place to visit or live. I've been going down to KW for close to 20 years now and still enjoy when I pull into town. The closet thing I can compare it to is, when you go to a circus maybe? There's alot of crazy people and things to see when your down there.

My good friends, Jim and Judy Glock (jglock1) have a second home on Cudjoe Key, which is about 20 miles out from KW. So were always down there visiting them. They have a small yard, but packed with lots of nice palms and an amazing collection of over 100 varities of crotons. And yes, fishing is excellent in this area.

If you have any questions, contact them, I know they would be more than happy to help you out with any other information.

Jeff

Thanks, Jeff. Key West is a little too, uhmmm...odd (read, wierd), though beautiful, for me. Maybe one day, I'll slip on down to the keys and do a little house huunting

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gsn

I would characterize the Florida keys as a transition zone between living on the mainland ,and any of the numerous Carribean islands!

That is to say things don't get done at the same pace as the mainland in the keys,but about twice/three times as fast as in the islands. :winkie:

Hey mon it will still be there tomorrow! :lol:

Edited by gsn

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_Keith

I have been to the keys several times. If I could figure out how to make my living there, I would move tomorrow.

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pogobob

We were in Key West in Oct 07 and were surprised to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of their weeklong "fantasy festival" I am still having bad dreams :huh:

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bubba

Scott, Those crooked docks and bent things in the Bahamas from Wilma will remain for many, many years. Always with the promise,"Tommorow Mon".In the scheme of things,it doesn't really matter.I am starting to understand it's wisdom!

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Jeff Searle
We were in Key West in Oct 07 and were surprised to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of their weeklong "fantasy festival" I am still having bad dreams :huh:

Bob,

Wow, lucky you. What great timing. It's pretty wild down there for Fantasy Fest. So, did you already have your room reserved, or did you get stuck having to sleep in the rental car? Lol!! Did you watch the famous parade down Duval Street?

Jeff

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keysjim

I have been larking for quite some time on this board. The post “Living in the FL. Keys” has brought me out of my shell for my first post. I’ve been living in the lower keys for 40 years and made a modest living as a commercial bee keeper (now retired). I owned and operated Key Bee Apiaries Inc. While I have been growing things most of my life, my interest in palms started about a year and half ago, and I have gleaned a wealth of info from this board. I am grateful.

Yes the weather here is wonderful, the soil highly alkaline, and hurricanes horrible. Although we have only had two bad hurricanes in all the years I have been here, Wilma put 4 feet of salt water in our yard, killing almost everything green. As to what there is to do down here, it has become very tourist oriented. But on the small island where I live we are pretty much free of that influence. We defiantly hear the beat on a slower drummer. Life slows down; you know and talk to your neighbors; Develop lots of friendships; Do a good bit of trading goods and services; And aah! the Caribbean salt air.

If you are looking for a party night there is Key West; whatever you are looking for it’s there. Elegant

dinning, bars nude and other wise, museums, fishing boats, sunset sales and on and on.

If I can figure out how to post this, I will have lots of palm questions later.

Keysjim

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MattyB

Welcome Jim! Thanks for posting! I hope to hear more from you. If you get the hang of posting pics we'd love to see some stuff from around your neck of the keys.

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epicure3
I have been larking for quite some time on this board. The post “Living in the FL. Keys” has brought me out of my shell for my first post. I’ve been living in the lower keys for 40 years and made a modest living as a commercial bee keeper (now retired). I owned and operated Key Bee Apiaries Inc. While I have been growing things most of my life, my interest in palms started about a year and half ago, and I have gleaned a wealth of info from this board. I am grateful.

Yes the weather here is wonderful, the soil highly alkaline, and hurricanes horrible. Although we have only had two bad hurricanes in all the years I have been here, Wilma put 4 feet of salt water in our yard, killing almost everything green. As to what there is to do down here, it has become very tourist oriented. But on the small island where I live we are pretty much free of that influence. We defiantly hear the beat on a slower drummer. Life slows down; you know and talk to your neighbors; Develop lots of friendships; Do a good bit of trading goods and services; And aah! the Caribbean salt air.

If you are looking for a party night there is Key West; whatever you are looking for it’s there. Elegant

dinning, bars nude and other wise, museums, fishing boats, sunset sales and on and on.

If I can figure out how to post this, I will have lots of palm questions later.

Keysjim

Welcome aboard, Jim. It is great to finally have someone from the Keys posting on the site. By the way, someone here owes me $10 for bringing in a quality poster like Jim. ;)

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Jeff Searle

Hello Jim,

Welcome to the family. Living down in the lower Keys for so long, have you ever visited or do you know Nancy Forrester and her Secret Garden off of Simonton Street and One Freeschool Lane ? We were just down there two weeks ago having our palm sale. The #1 private garden down in KW is Peter Whalen's yard. A collection that was started back in the early 70's. An unbelievable collection.

Jeff

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Jeff in St Pete

Welcome Jim! Good to hear from someone in the Keys.

Keep posting - and post some photos when you can. :)

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tjwalters
Hello Jim,

Welcome to the family. Living down in the lower Keys for so long, have you ever visited or do you know Nancy Forrester and her Secret Garden off of Simonton Street and One Freeschool Lane ? We were just down there two weeks ago having our palm sale. The #1 private garden down in KW is Peter Whalen's yard. A collection that was started back in the early 70's. An unbelievable collection.

Jeff

Hmmm.... not so secret, now. :lol:

Jim: Looking forward to pics. There can never be enough pics!

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keysjim

Thanks to all for the warm welcome. Jeff I have visited Nancy Forrester and her Secret Garden years ago. At that time it was called Peggy Mills Secret Garden. Thanks for the reminder I will have to revisit.

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www.dadluvsu.com

Hi Jim, glad to see you speak up finally! Welcome to the party! B)

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palmmermaid

Jim,

Welcome to the post.

I have visited the Keys many times through the years. We spent part of our honeymoon in the Keys. Many people can't ake the laid back lifestyle. We found the same thing to be true in the Caribbean. Many folks from up north only stay a couple of days and then go home. It is too slow! I love it.

There is much to do besides fishing. Diving is good in the Keys. Kayaking/canoeing though the mangroves. Shelling. Napping in the shade of alone palm on the beach. Several museums. Exploring the isolated and uninhabited keys.

But you must have something to occupy your time otherwise you succumb to the dark side of life on any island - drinking the days and nights away. "Wasting Away in Margaritaville" is close to the truth.

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DoomsDave

KJ!

Welcome to our family!

Lurk no more!

Show us pictures, and listen to us scream, cry, and scream and cry some more.

If you need tech help with posting pics, etc., we live to help . . . . .

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pogobob
We were in Key West in Oct 07 and were surprised to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of their weeklong "fantasy festival" I am still having bad dreams :huh:

Bob,

Wow, lucky you. What great timing. It's pretty wild down there for Fantasy Fest. So, did you already have your room reserved, or did you get stuck having to sleep in the rental car? Lol!! Did you watch the famous parade down Duval Street?

Jeff

Yeah we had our room booked well in advance and the hotel manager told us that we would be there during a small local parade :blink: Don't worry, I won't tell everyone how you were dressed! (or undressed0000eeee :lol: )

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palmislandRandy

Welcome Jim, What Key do you live on? I go to Key West every couple of months. By the way, do you recognize this mass of Pheonix. It's on Sugarloaf Key, although I forget the mile marker. Every time I go I expect it to be massacared due to the powerlines. Living on borowed time! How bout some pics of your place???

post-1035-1235072130_thumb.jpg

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Guest LeftCoastAngler

Greetings KeysJim! :yay:

OMG. I love my trips down to Islamorada. Usually go for the opening of mini season... :)

Lotsa 'afternoon showers' in the summer. :badday:

:)

Not alot of folks down there with lawns though! :D Too salty. Lotsa xeroscapin' eh.

Are you on the OceanSide or BaySide?

~LCA.

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epicure3
Greetings KeysJim! :yay:

OMG. I love my trips down to Islamorada. Usually go for the opening of mini season... :)

Lotsa 'afternoon showers' in the summer. :badday:

:)

Not alot of folks down there with lawns though! :D Too salty. Lotsa xeroscapin' eh.

Are you on the OceanSide or BaySide?

~LCA.

I had to look that up. I assume that you mean mini lobster season? How does that taste compared to a Maine lobster?

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Guest LeftCoastAngler

YesSir. Two days of lobsterin' before the season starts in August.

I prefer the FL lobster, I guess mainly because I've been eating 'em for a long time...

More readily available to me vs. a Maine claw'd lobster...

Spiny Lobsters have no claws like your MaineLobster.

We grub on them fat tails! ...to each, their own; I reckon...

I've seen 'em as big as a '80' SCUBA tank! :)

~LCA.

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sur4z

Welcome Jim...took this in Key Largo a month ago...

CIMG0711.jpg

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bubba

Epic, I suggest you read Tom McGuane's novels "Ninety-Two in the Shade" and "Panama" to get a feel for Key West.These two bullets paint the ugly beauty that is Key West.I read them again after your Post.There is no place quite as dismal and trancendant that I know about.Interestingly,McGuane married Jimmy Buffet's sister and they now live in Montana.She was the main protagonist in "Panama".(Catherine) Certainly a safe distance from Duval Street.

Key West is a place unto it's own. Probably a little bit like Casablanca during WWII.It all flows South in our country and it is the last place on Earth in some ways unless you include the Dry Tortugas,which is only a Fort with one drinking fountain.

The Florida Keys is certainly not limited to Key West.From Card Sound to Key West is easily one of the most beautiful 3 or 4 hour drives you can take.Every place has it's distinct feel and personalty.One great attraction is that it is easily possible to live happily on a diet of Yellow Tail or Hogfish,Key Lime Pie and home grown veggies with strong liquor brewing potential in coconuts and other tropical fruits.May not be a bad place to hunker down over the next few years.

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Rusty on Pine Is.
Epic, I suggest you read Tom McGuane's novels "Ninety-Two in the Shade" and "Panama" to get a feel for Key West.These two bullets paint the ugly beauty that is Key West.I read them again after your Post.There is no place quite as dismal and trancendant that I know about.Interestingly,McGuane married Jimmy Buffet's sister and they now live in Montana.She was the main protagonist in "Panama".(Catherine) Certainly a safe distance from Duval Street.

Key West is a place unto it's own. Probably a little bit like Casablanca during WWII.It all flows South in our country and it is the last place on Earth in some ways unless you include the Dry Tortugas,which is only a Fort with one drinking fountain.

The Florida Keys is certainly not limited to Key West.From Card Sound to Key West is easily one of the most beautiful 3 or 4 hour drives you can take.Every place has it's distinct feel and personalty.One great attraction is that it is easily possible to live happily on a diet of Yellow Tail or Hogfish,Key Lime Pie and home grown veggies with strong liquor brewing potential in coconuts and other tropical fruits.May not be a bad place to hunker down over the next few years.

Sometimes the clearest view of paradise resides in our imagination.......

I remember Key West from when i was a kid, and would probably be disappointed seeing it today......but my oh my, those langouste were sweet tasting back then.

Rusty

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epicure3

Sounds like paradise with a few flaws thrown in there just to remind you that there is really no such place as paradise.

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amazondk

I guess paradise is a state of mind anyway. Life where ever you are has a lot of rough edges. I always enjoyed going down to the keys when I lived in Florida.

dk

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Sandy Loam

I don't live in the Florida Keys, but I drive down there whenever I get the chance and some free time. I finally added a photo to my PalmTalk profile (look to the left) and it is a beach from the Middle Keys. It is Moorings Beach ---- nothing like where I live in way up in northern Florida, but a pleasant place to visit.

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Sandy Loam

....and about a 4 minute walk away is this lunch spot with all tables right on the beach:

http://www.moradabay.com/the-beach-cafe/

(waterfront view of little islands from your table - click on link)

It's a must-stop place for a beer and lunch in the Middle Keys when you're on your way down to Key West. Any typical 26-degree celcius, sunny winter day in the Florida Keys will do.

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Al in Kona

While I've only visited the Florida Keys 2-times (last time was May 2014), I probably wouldn't have too hard a time adjusting to living there as I enjoyed what all I saw. However real concerns for me would be the danger from hurricanes and the possible difficulty to escape with thousands trying to leave on a 2-lane road much of it over bridges. Yeah I'd miss the varied elevations, mountains, etc. that I've been used to living in both California and now Hawaii (24 years), but every area has their pluses and minuses. Anyway those are some of my thoughts.

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DoomsDave

While I've only visited the Florida Keys 2-times (last time was May 2014), I probably wouldn't have too hard a time adjusting to living there as I enjoyed what all I saw. However real concerns for me would be the danger from hurricanes and the possible difficulty to escape with thousands trying to leave on a 2-lane road much of it over bridges. Yeah I'd miss the varied elevations, mountains, etc. that I've been used to living in both California and now Hawaii (24 years), but every area has their pluses and minuses. Anyway those are some of my thoughts.

Boats

Yes

Love boats, not Love Boats . . . .

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Sandy Loam

Maybe we'll finally have "The Love Boat" when the ferry starts operating between Havana and Key West again, hopefully in 2016 when Cuba-US travel opens up again. I would be thrilled even if it doesn't have an Acapulco Lounge -- or Captain Stubing, Gopher or Julie. (Did I forget anyone?)

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DoomsDave

The Keys are cool, but living there is best if you don't have to be in a hurry.

If there's a mishap on that highway, it can take a long while to get past it, if you're driving. Boats are the way to go, there. The high price of homes there makes it impractical for people to work and live there.

Hmm. If the Love Boat leaves Key West, the rest of the Keys may also change.

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