The Florida Keys extend from the southern edge of Florida, southwest into the Gulf of Mexico. At land's end stands the island of Key West, the southern most point of the continental United States of America.
The local atmosphere is decidedly laid back here as the biggest commitment on the island seems to be the almost subconscious daily gathering of people to watch the gorgeous sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
A popular way to see the island is to rent a scooter. The problem is that many of the people that rent scooters have never driven one before and they instantly become an accident waiting to happen.
This group of young woman are about to tour Key West on their rented scooters. They are getting last minute instructions from their highly-trained sales guy. Please wish these girls well as skinned knees (or worse) are somewhat common, especially in busy intersections where they will mix with other vehicles as well as people.
Locals love bright colors, and this porch chair is no exception.
A classic Key West home, complete with window shutters.
As kids we all ate Sloppy Joe's, you know that mixture of hamburger and tomato sauce piled high on a bun. Well, that staple of the American diet was invented right here in Key West.
On this normally hot and sunny island, hats are a real necessity.
The charm of Key West is perfectly represented by the Bagatelle Restaurant.
Roosters roam wild across Key West. You see them everywhere. A local told me that the last count exceeded 3,000. Tourists seem to like them while most of the residents want them gone. For now at least, the birds remain.
If you visit Key West, I would suggest that you get a feel for the island by taking a Conch Train tour. The ride is smooth, the price is right and you quickly see the major highlights.
Colorful umbrellas and tables along the Key West waterfront.
My favorite desert (key lime pie) did not originate here but it's certainly served across the island.
A restaurant courtyard, Key West, Florida.
Another one of the Key West roosters.
Two street merchants on Duval Street, and I like nothing better than my name etched on a sea shell.