Key West has been one of the Florida hotspots that I wanted to visit for a long time. We lived in Florida for fifteen years so you would think that we would have already made it to Key West but we lived in the Panhandle. We could get to Virginia in the same amount of time that it took us to get to Key West. When we were invited to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, just north of Miami, we decided to tack on Key West.
I have to admit that Key West in real life was a bit lackluster compared to the images that I had painted in my head from books, movies and friends’ tales. I don’t know if it was because it didn’t entertain my kids like I wish it had or if it was because everything was overpriced. I had a hard time reconciling what I imagined with the Bourbon Street-like atmosphere that I was seeing in Key West. Don’t get me wrong. I love New Orleans and visit often with my family. We just stay away from Bourbon Street.
Even the drive to Key West left a lot to be desired. The drive to Key West is very pretty and each causeway over the water was interrupted by fun little towns but everywhere we stopped was either closed or too expensive. Part of this was poor planning on my part but it was also only about halfway through our week-long trip around the coast of Florida. We felt like we had already spent a lot of money and didn’t want to keep spending it.
We arrived at our hotel and got checked in. The hotel was about the only redeeming quality. And it was a Comfort Inn.
We used the next two days to tick through the list of things I had planned. We spent a ridiculous amount of money for entrance into a shipwreck museum and an aquarium where we spent only an hour or so.
We spent most of our time in Key West going from shuttle stop to shuttle stop while dodging thunderstorms and listening to our kids whine about how darn hot it was.
Am I glad that we went? Yes. Key West was somewhere I wanted to visit and chances are slim that I would get to go now that we don’t live in Florida anymore. Would I go back? Maybe, but I think I would plan a mom and dad only trip. There are things that my husband and I wanted to do but we just couldn’t justify the cost of four people, like taking a boat to the Dry Tortugas National Park. Only time…and budgets…will tell.
Have you ever visited something that you planned and planned for and then were disappointed when you finally got there?