Blogs from Key West, Keys, Florida, United States, North America


North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West January 4th 2019

After spending spring at our East Coast home in Florida, we traveled up to Chattanooga for a LaGraff reunion and also to the Midwest for an Atkins family wedding and reunion in Minneapolis. After that it was on to Sausalito to spend several months on our West Coast home, our lovely boat, Mana. Happily this season’s hurricanes bypassed us in Florida and we missed the firestorms that plagued California all summer. We got back to Rotonda in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with sister Roberta and niece Cary. We haven’t been on a ship in eight months, so it seemed time to be looking seaward again. Regent beckoned with a short pre-Christmas Caribbean cruise to Cuba, Central America and Mexico. We drove over to Miami and joined Suzanne, our world cruising friend, for a nice evening before ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West October 24th 2018

In our cabin mailbox arrived a warning notice: our port call at Key West would be during the annual Fantasy Fest. Passengers were cautioned they might see some outrageous things ashore! Carnival Paradise docked at the Key West Naval Pier. It is the pier of the former Key West Naval Station and still remains on Naval property. In the basin, special operations forces were swimming in full combat gear getting ready for their 24-hour endurance swim. Shuttle busses were required to transport passengers from the ship through the Naval installation and to downtown Key West. There are a number of attractions at key West. Of course, I wanted to see the Southernmost Point marker. But there are also the Truman White House and Ernest Hemingway house. The bus left us off at Mallory Square. There we ... read more
Arriving at Key West
Sponge Man
Mallory Square

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West May 23rd 2018

IT’S WHEEL DIP DAY!!! This morning we woke around 5:15 to start getting ready for the day and our wheel dip! We packed up our bags, ate breakfast (apple pie with a side of apple? Why not!), filled the coolers (trying to make you proud on Cooler Crew Tay 😘), and cleaned the host. Since it was our host for leader & rider orientation and 3 stories, we had quite the mess to clean up and make it look better than how we found it. Eventually we got downstairs and had our route meeting and town facts for Marathon. I did our NC2SD14 cheer to get the team fired up and ready for our first official ride! They finally got to experience Rally Aly and why that’s (one of) my nicknames. My crew rolled out and ... read more
So pumped I made it here!
Fun group shot :)
The helmet hair is REAL!!

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West May 22nd 2018

Today we woke up at 6am and got all of our stuff together as if it was a real ride day. We ate a hodgepodge of fixings and then Aiden sat down and thanked me for sharing about why I am on Bike & Build (decided to do it after losing my dad) and we had a great discussion. He lost his mom in March too (cancer) so we were able to chat (and hold back tears!) about this, unfortunately, shared experience. We then had a bike maintence presentation from Ryan. We broke up into small groups and practiced changing a flat (holla for other groups changing my new tires!). After that we got our bikes ready and put them in the trailer so we could shuttle to a larger parking lot to go over safety ... read more
Southern Most Point!
Ride crew for the day
Team values

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West May 21st 2018

Today we had our first build day!! Apparently all the routes now have build days during orientation, which I LOVE, since we didn’t get to do that in the Outerbanks the last time. It’s a really great way to learn more about the city where your trip ends, the affordable housing need there, and get to know the locals. Today after breakfast of a banana and a plain croissant (sorry Tay! though Noah had his dipped in peanut butter and said “get yourself a croissant who can do both”—inside joke with some of the NC2SD14 girls, lol), we eventually got shuttles to the build site on Big Pine Key. On the way I got recruited to be the first operator of the official Bike & Build Snapchat, so I Hagan snapping videos of the beach, interviewing ... read more
Us with Dell (left) and Habitat Manager Dan (right) outside Dell’s home in Big Pine Key
Palm trees and safety triangles

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West May 20th 2018

Hey all! I MADE IT TO KEY WEST!!! First of all—thank you all so much for supporting and encouraging me to do this trip! I feel honored to be here and could not have done it without you! Today’s wake up call was at 3am (after not going to bed until after midnight 😬) since I had a 5:50am flight and still had stuff to get ready. Moving all my belongings into the attic and cleaning was a tiring process in top tying to see everyone and making sure I had everything I needed. Mom picked me up at 4:15 as I was prepping my necklace for Dad. I’m going to ride with a necklace in with some of his ashes in it since he talked about us doing a trip together! Well, now we can! ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West March 23rd 2018

Today we have arrived at Key West, the last stop of our seven day cruise through the Western Caribbean. There are two other ships in port with us, the Carnival Sensation and a Royal Caribbean ship docked at the main harbor in town so we must use the facilities at the adjacent naval station. Although it's just an extension of the commercial pier, it's on an active military base and access is restricted. Once off the ship passengers will be escorted off the base and no photos are allowed while on the facility. Our alarm sounds at 7:30am and minutes later the immigration instructions start. Although we will be docking in Ft Lauderdale tomorrow, Key West is the first US port we are arriving at after visiting foreign ports so that is where immigration officials will ... read more
Bird's Eye View of the Island
Trains & Trolleys Taking Us to Town
Typical Breakfast

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West August 17th 2017

Jeudi dix-sept Août, on se réveille vers huit heures, nous devons être au port de Key West pour neuf heures trente. Ici, le petit déjeuner se prend au bord de la piscine. Il fait très beau ce matin, pas un seul nuage en vue. Il y a déjà des gens dans la piscine, c'est vrai que ça donne bien envie d'un petit plongeon pour se mettre en appétit. Le petit déjeuner est très simple, mais ça tombe plutôt bien parce qu'il faut se dépêcher, nous ne devons pas rater le départ du bateau et il faut remonter tout Duval Street. Key West est calme ce matin, les gens arrivent à leur travail,ouvrent les boutiques. Après une demi-heure de marche, on arrive au port. Il y a déjà du monde qui attend au bord du ponton. Devant ... read more
Le port de Key West
Un bateau de croisière qui quitte Key West
Toute voile dehors

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West June 9th 2017

We are safe and sound but are having technical difficulties. Hopefully this will be figured out soon.... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West June 9th 2017

Hello! For some reason our blog site was blocked as they suspected us to be spammers. After an email back and forth, the site has now been restored. Below are posts from our first two days pasted from Word. --- June 8, 2016 This morning, we began with a pick-up at 5:30 a.m. Though traffic was heavy, we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare and enjoyed a sit down breakfast at an Italian restaurant. Our flight didn’t take off quite on time. When the pilot said we would be taking off within the next two minutes, there were still 20 people in the aisle waiting to get to their seats. After the “flight attendants, please prepare for takeoff” announcement we sat for roughly half an hour listening to a 14 month ... read more

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