Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Mind of Matt: Key West

Posted on Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 9:00 AM

Matt Smith, while missing out on seeing some big crowds at his Market Street Cinema over the weekend for "The Last King of Scotland," "Pan's Labyrinth" and more, has been in Florida, and reports in:

Key West Florida and the Everglades is a great place to be this time of the year. The weather is warm and nice; around 75 degrees and you don’t have
the humidity that is around in the summer. Pensacola, Fort Walton, Panama
City is just not Florida to me. Yes, they have a beach – but really, that’s just south Alabama. It’s not really a true Floridian experience. Having visited all of them, I can see why people around Miami call the panhandle the “ Red Neck Rivera”.

We flew into Miami, which is always easy.

click to enlarge unknown.jpg
Of course you have the clubs and nightlife of South Beach, which is a good time. There isn’t a great amount of shopping here – since the styles trend toward loud colors, pastels, floral designs, and summer/beach wear. It’s not like hitting Scottsdale where a person can buy just about anything they might ever consider wearing. I did enjoy the art deco tour. It contains some great stops, with historical information. Vince Neil checked this out – which was a shock – but his wife had talked him in to looking around at the homes and buildings. You could tell he was bored.

After a couple days in Miami, we headed down to the keys. This is a great drive. You can just roll along on the Florida turnpike thru Coral Gables all the way down to Homestead until you hit Hwy 1. This slows things down, as you begin to travel an old two-lane road. The highway continues this way until Key West. It is slow going with the speed limit @ 45 or less most of the time. The state has a massive construction project that is set to widen the highway. They need it as the traffic flow continues to grow.
Still, this is a worthwhile drive. How many times are you going to get a chance to drive thru the “Gator Crossing” area? All the beach type tours
are available on just about every island from Key Largo to Key West. Jet
skis, parasailing, glass bottom boats, - the usual- is in abundance.
However, the best tour is the Everglades tour. You can see the ‘glades anywhere but here. You can take an airboat out into the wilderness area and see all of the wild life and natural vegetation. It is amazing. The alligators are everyone’s favorite, but there is also plenty to see for a bird watcher. The airboats are quite a ride. Options include a boat just for you, which can hit about 80 miles and hour with just two passengers. That’s a rush!

The very end of the journey brings you to Key West and its big beaches, now your just 90 miles from Cuba.

Take a look here @ www.fla-keys.com or www.key-west.com -- Matt Smith

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