Welcome to my backyard--the Florida Keys! I'm a travel writer, blogger and photographer with a passion for all things Florida, especially the Florida Keys. These islands are so much more than Duval Street and Jimmy Buffet. They are rich in history, culture, cuisine, nature and events--all surrounded by pristine waters teeming with wildlife. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Conch Republic has many surprises in store. Let me be your guide.
Anticipation is bubbling like a glass of champagne as tickets go on sale November 1 for the fourth annualKey West Food & Wine Festival, slated for January 24 to 27, 2013. In fact, a fellow blogger, Prissy In Paradise, has even gone so far as to set up a countdown clock! This gastronomic marathon kicks off with a sunset tropical beach party at theSouthernmost Hotel on Thursday and doesn’t slow down until Sunday's wine market sells its last bottle of vino. All my favorite events are back this year, including the strolls through neighborhood restaurants, coconut bowling at Blue Heaven restaurant and the shrimp boil at Hogfish Grill. On Saturday night, Duval Uncorked will once again prove a true test for my taste buds' endurance with the mile-long tasting down Duval Street, Old Town's main drag.
I'm looking forward to seminars like Key West Conch Cuisine, complete with a pig roast, and A World of Honey and Wine, with local honey providing insight into native ingredients. The Grand Tasting, called Bottles and Busts, on Friday night offers a glimpse into Key West’s past at the Mallory Square Historic Sculpture Garden. The garden retells the story of the island through 36 bronze busts of the people who have had the greatest impact on the island. Admit it; you were thinking of a different kind of bust! Enterour sweepstakesfor a chance to score two VIP tickets to the festival, plus a three-night stay for two at the Southernmost Hotel Collection.