Good gosh do I love Key West.
I first went to Key West in February of 2020. A friend & I drove down from Miami, spent a day, & then headed off to another island. We vowed to return as soon as we could. Then, you know, March of 2020 came.
Fast-forward through all those crazy months to June of 2021 & we made it back, & we've already said we'll be back again soon. Key West has just the right vibe for people looking to enjoy good food, good drinks, independent shops, history, live music everywhere, & water views at every turn (it's a pretty small island).
This time, we got a great flight deal from Jet Blue & flew straight into Key West. If you can, I highly, highly suggest it. First of all, the drive from Miami is about 3 hours. Second of all, the Key West Airport is a small airport that's a real throwback, & you're immersed in the island immediately (you can grab a drink the second you enter the airport :) ).
If you want to get right into the island vibe, grab that drink & start walking. If you stay at Hampton Inn, you can WALK to your hotel from the airport-- it's .4 miles away, & you can walk along the water the whole way. The hotel itself has a nice pool, a great poolside bar/restaurant, & VIEWS. The breakfast was better when Covid wasn't a thing, but it's still ok, & you can always get coffee in the lobby (#1 reason why I love Hampton Inn :) ). They also offer a free shuttle to the Duval St area, so you don't have to worry about getting a car or Ubering.
After checking in & having a relaxing drink by the pool, I'd suggest heading to Duval Street for shopping, entertainment, & dining. Without question, our favorite dinner spot is Fogerty's. It's popular & right in the middle of everything, but we've never had to wait to eat. The food is wonderful. We got the bruschetta the first night & it was SO GOOD (& a smart idea if you're also having one of their alcoholic drinks). The salads were fantastic, too.
For brunch, I suggest Blue Heaven. Get there early... or at least don't get there too hungry. It's busy, but worth the wait for yummy food & the coolest atmosphere. We listened to live music while chickens wandered around. It's not gross like it sounds (I may have made a TikTok there if you don't believe me :)-- I"m @BeyondMomJeans). It just feels chill because that's how Key West is. Chickens are all over the place, & even though I'm not a big bird fan, I found myself cheering on little chicks as they crossed the street. Everyone's kind to everyone here.
I think that's the main reason why I love Key West so much. I've spent time in tons of beach communities on the East & West Coast. They tend to fall into two categories: honky tonk or snobby. Either they're selling you American flag string bikinis (not the look for me) & bongs or they're selling you $50 lobster rolls & making you feel like you may not be worthy of that lobster roll.
Key West is neither of these things. Yes, I'm sure I could have found a bong & an overpriced lobster roll somewhere on the island (don't buy Maine lobster in Florida, btw- that's just weird). That's not Key West's thing, though. Key West's official motto is "One Human Family," & they live that motto. The vibe is relaxed & friendly. There's good food, good drinks, good music, ocean air... pretty much everything you need to unwind & reset.
My favorite sale of the year has arrived! If you have a Nordstrom card, you can start shopping on the 16th; if you don't have one, you can start on the 28th. I have a card, so my big day is almost here! For more details on the logistics of the sale, click here (my blog post over on Coupons, Codes, & Killer Deals).
This post is about THE GOODS. What do I recommend, & what do I want to try? The answer is: LOTS.
I always buy:
1. A Barefoot Dreams cardigan-- the softest, & they never pill or get less soft. I live in these.
2. Bliss Plush Throw-- these also hold up well to washing. They make a great gift, too.
3. Zella leggings-- they don't sag on me even during a good workout (or a bunch of hanging out on the couch :) )
Those are my tried & trues... & here are the things I've added to my wish list to try out this year.
1. Free People Leo Henley Tee. a pretty, casual long sleeve for fall~
2. Sperry boots. really unique colors this year!
3. Bomba socks!! I have one pair & they really are next-level comfy
4. Sorel boots- Save $70!- I have one pair... but I love them so much that maybe I need two...
Please let us know what you snag!!
#Nordstrom #Nordstromanniversarysale #barefootdreams #sorel #freepeople #bomba #sprerryboots
I went on my first girls' trip (post kids) a few years ago. My oldest friend & I went to Washington DC for three days. We stayed at a beautiful old hotel on Embassy Row, wandered around the embassies, visited museums, ate sushi, checked out the remodeled Watergate, read, talked about our kids, talked about things other than our kids, and checked out an amazing bakery/coffee shop that a student of mine had recommended. It was the perfect escape, & we're brainstorming for our next one.
Since that trip, I've gone on three trips with another girlfriend. We hit up Epcot's Food and Wine Festival for my 40th, & while we were there, I mentioned that Key West was on my bucket list because I was afraid it wouldn't be there forever (darn you global warming). We decided we'd have to check it out, & went back to Florida a few months later. We did one day in Key West, 1 in Marathon, & a couple where she had a home in Palm Bay. From that trip, we learned that Key West deserved more than one day, & vowed to go back.
A year & a half later, post-quarantine, we gave Key West its due & spent three days there (I highly recommend this affordable hotel, btw). The food, the music, the relaxed atmosphere...I am madly in love with that town (it'll get its own post at some point).
I'm also madly in love with girls' trips. Here's what I've observed about girls' trips that make them uniquely rejuvenating:
Now I don't mean to sell men short, & obviously there are exceptions, but this is my ode to girl trips, so of course I'm going to highlight what's awesome about women as travel companions. We rock, & if you haven't traveled with your gals yet, get to it!
Anyone else feel like this as they emerged from quarantine?? I feel like I "get" this doll.
I'm so grateful to have you here with me. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm trying to still be "me" while being a mom, & this blog has been a tool for me to figure that out. Hopefully it's that for you, as well. I look forward to hearing from you so that I can make this blog meaningful for you. Thanks for being here!