Key West Pub Crawl

Last week, Barb and I were on vacation. To escape the August heat in Texas, we took a 1 week cruise from Galveston, TX to the Bahamas and back. We got on the ship in Galveston about noon on Sunday, August 11th, spent that afternoon and the entire day on Monday at sea. On Tuesday morning, we docked in Key West, Florida. We got off of the ship about 10:25 AM.

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This was our 3rd time to be on a cruise ship that docked in Key West. The previous two times, we took a romantic sailboat ride out to enjoy the sunset, and the other time to take the Conch Train and do the typical touristy sightseeing stuff. This time, we signed up for something rather silly for a couple of old folks our age…

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Even though I had already walked 4 miles earlier that morning on the walking path aboard the ship, we were going to be vigilant and get our physical exercise in…. ;-)

Our excursion was supposed to start at 11:00 AM, but we stood around on the stark concrete dock until 11:20 (50 minutes) waiting for everyone to show up.

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Our tour guide led us across the pier to land, where we had a pretty nice view looking back at our ship, the Carnival Magic. Here’s a photo of the front half of our ship.

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About a block later our tour guide, Robert, stopped the group of about 25 people (we had split into 3 groups), and told us what we needed to know to have a fun time on this shore excursion.

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That’s not his real hair. He’s as bald as Kojack was, but he’s wearing this very funny Guy Fieri visor & wig thingy. (Guy has a show called “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on The Food Network). Robert said it would make it easier for us “pub crawlers” to not lose him after we had been to a few bars…

I had my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera with my “usual” Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens mounted onto it.

Our first stop was Rick’s Tree Bar, where I had a drink called Caribbean Breeze.

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I rarely drink fruity, sweet alcoholic drinks, but this was very yummy. Besides, did I mention that I was on vacation? :-)

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We had about 20 minutes to spend at Rick’s Tree Bar, so I walked out to the street and took several photos of all sorts of goofy stuff. Here’s a photos of our bartender hamming it up for me.

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Pretty soon, it’s time to leave. Robert gathers us all up and leads us into an alley, where he was giving us some information about the next place that we were headed.

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Our next stop was Fogarty’s Flying Monkeys Saloon.

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I don’t remember what I ordered there, but it was what Robert recommended and it was delicious!

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Here are about 1/3 of the frozen drink dispensers that this bar had.

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I guess if you tried one of each flavor, that you certainly could see flying monkeys!

While we spent our 20 minutes here, I popped my little Olympus FL-600R flash onto my camera and played around with using the flash in daylight, including this photo of our tour guide.

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Head ‘em up and move ‘em out! We made our way to the end of William Street, which is at the water.

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It was a very short walk to the Schooner Wharf Bar, where the bartender was ready with jugs of pre-made rum-based drinks.

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The cup didn’t have the establishment’s name on it, so I just propped this coaster up to it for my photo.

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We were in an outdoor patio area, and there was a musician playing in a shelter at one edge of the patio. I walked over, put $5 in his tip jar, pointed to my camera, and he gave me a friendly, positive nod. I took 4 photos of this guy. I wish I knew his name, as he was very entertaining.

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Shortly after this, Robert gathered us all up and herded us over to the Lazy Gecko, back on Duval Street.

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This was the only bar that would serve a Margarita, so that’s what I had.

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After about 15 minutes, Robert had us all go into an air conditioned room in the back, where we had a conch blowing contest! I blew it for a pretty long time, but never really got it to resonate in a melodic tone.

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Now that photo was severely underexposed as I took it. I tried bouncing my flash off of the ceiling, but it was just too far away for my little FL-600R flash. I was amazed at how much detail came back by adding +2.75 stops of exposure using Lightroom 5 (and I didn’t do anything for “noise reduction”).

Our next, and last, stop was right across the street. Rick’s Bar.

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While I was waiting for the bartender to serve everyone else, I wandered over and tipped the musician, and he hammed it up long enough for me to get 3 pretty decent photos of him.

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Although I had already had 4 drinks in the previous 2 hours, I certainly wanted to say that I had survived the Key West Pub Crawl… I wasn’t going to be the sissy who couldn’t go the entire distance!

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If that cup looks familiar, it should! Remember our first stop? That was Rick’s Tree Bar. This was Rick’s Bar, which was right next door. Rick seems to have 8 bars in Key West…. (I thought Austin had a lot of bars… but Key West must have more bars per capita than any place on earth.)

OK, that concluded our official Key West Pub Crawl shore excursion. Barb needed a safety pin for a broken strap on one of her dresses, and I needed some AAA batteries for our alarm clock. Robert told us where the nearest CVS drugstore was, and we headed over there to get the items that we needed.

After purchasing our needed items, we had to walk about 5 or 6 blocks to get back to our ship. Just a couple of blocks into our walk, we came upon the “Smallest Bar in Key West”.

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Here’s a photo of the entire interior of this “saloon”.

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All of their drinks are served in your choice of either a coconut or a pineapple. Barb just had to have one. What the hey? Didn’t you just have 4 drinks already? OK… just let me take a photo of it. Besides, we weren’t driving anywhere, and did I mention that we were on vacation?

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You can walk down the streets of Key West with a drink in your hand, but we thought it best that we take a few sips first… we really didn’t want to spill any of it. :-)

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We took at least 45 minutes to make it those 5 blocks back to the ship. Not because we were incapacitated, but I kept stopping to take photos. When you are on vacation, everything is new and interesting, and must be photographed!

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Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog!

5 thoughts on “Key West Pub Crawl”

    1. Well, thank you so much, Jana! No, I won’t be showing all of our cruise photos here on my blog…. but I’m sure that I’ll get 2 or 3 more little stories and photos to show from that cruise. It’s always great to get completely away from your normal routine every now and then!

  1. Seems like a heck of a lot of drinking and a heck of a lot of fun! Lucky you made it back to the ship in one piece ;-).

    tropical paradise, fruity drinks and photography, can’t beat that!

    1. Andy, well, it was 5 small plastic cups of fruity alcoholic drinks spread out over 2 and 1/2 hours. I definitely felt a relaxing buzz, and was glad that I wasn’t driving, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be drunk. At the end, I was more beaten down by being out in the bright mid-day summer sun. Getting back onto the ship, grabbing a light lunch and a quick shower and we were ready to go to dinner.

      It was a LOT of fun just walking around taking photos. Everything is new and different when you are travelling on vacation!

Good or bad, I'd love to hear what you thought!