Parrotheads for a Day – Cheap and Close to Home


So, I know this doesn’t start out very Miami-centric, but wait for it. See, Bennett and I took advantage of the long weekend for a little overnight to Key Largo. We stayed at a lovely, quiet no-tell motel by the side of the road (the Overseas Highway) called the The Hungry Pelican. The great thing about this place is that it’s right on Florida Bay and they have kayaks and a canoe that you can just sign out for free. (We’re into kayaking.) Another good thing is that the drive is under two hours, so you can get out on Saturday morning, do a little afternoon kayak and have a mellow dinner, spend most of Sunday on a hammock or on the water, and be back in Miami by dinnertime.

Which is exactly what we did: Sunday afternoon, we chartered Captain Rick’s sailboat Morning Star for a romantic sunset cruise complete with bubbly supplied by the Capt. It was unbelievable. I almost hate writing about it, because it’s just that good. I want him all to myself.

At $45 bucks a person, I was shocked that it would just be us out on the wide wild ocean, but incredibly enough the Captain only takes out only one group at a time, first come first served, 2-6 people per group. He also does longer snorkeling trips in the morning for $65 per person. Provided the weather is nice, that is: Captain Rick is one of those awesome guys who’re really badasses but always do things by the book, so if he says the day is no good, the day is no good and no sailing for you.

The sun having set, we got in the car, pointed it north and called up some friends to meet us at the Key West Grill at 8 p.m. North, you ask? Well, yes, see – the Key West Grill is in Normandy Isle. It’s right on the water at the back of the International Inn, and it’s perfection. The food is okay. Just food like somebody’s Carribean grandma might make. But it’s cheap and plentiful, and it’s served by a great no-nonsense friendly waitress who has this way about her that’s kind of indescribable. Like maybe she’s just there filling in for the real waitress who didn’t show up that day, and she’s just doing the owners a favor. (The owners are all smiles and warmth, by the way.) She is just the unwaitressiest waitress ever, is all. And yet you still feel completely welcome and taken care of at all times. Oh, and did I mention the wine? Yeah, it’s all Yellowtail all the time, and they charge like $11 a bottle. The hours go by here like, well, like your own personal Margaritaville.

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