Eating, Everything Else, Traveling

A Few of My Favorite Things: Key West

August 6, 2014

It’s that time of year when the market closes for two weeks and we flee Plant City. ūüėČ ¬†This year, we decided to stay semi-local by driving to the east coast for a few days. ¬†First stop, Key West! ¬†Living in South Florida, driving to the Keys was an easy get away for us. ¬†But after having kids, it had been a while since we visited one of our favorite places: Key West.

We figured by now, the girls were old enough to be in the car for so long without it being to much of an ordeal. ¬†They were really good troopers. ¬†We made a pit stop in Fort Drum and Coral Springs before reaching Hawk’s Key, where we stayed. ¬†The pit stop in Coral Springs was really so I could finally try Giraffas. ¬†I’ve seen them come up on my twitter feed and their food look yummy every time.


Giraffas is kinda like a Pollo Tropical but it’s Brazilian and they bring the food to your table after you order it. ¬†It’s what I would call fancy fast food. ¬†The prices are a little more than your typical fast food restaurant, and it shows in the quality of food you get. My husband ordered a small steak and I ordered the chicken salad, both were excellent. ¬†If you go by, make sure to check in with yelp and you’ll get a free peanut butter chocolate dessert with ice cream. ¬†ūüôā

At Hawk’s Cay Key resort we were fortunate enough to score a water view with a balcony. ¬†I suggest you call directly to make a reservation instead of going online. ¬†It saved us quite a few dollars by calling. ¬†There are some not so happy reviews on Yelp about the resort, but the resort met our expectations. ¬†The room itself was a nice size with a huge bathroom. ¬†There was a small refrigerator we used which was unexpected. ¬†I enjoyed the on-site dining options, but while you are here there are so many cool little places to try just down the road in Marathon or Islamorada. ¬†The girls’ really enjoyed the kid camp, the opportunity to learn how to kayak and seeing the dolphins. ¬†This is definitively a family friendly resort, and the water views are just priceless.

hawks cay key


Key West

So, on to Key West. ¬†As I said before, we’ve been to Key West a few times before. ¬†We were only spending the day there, so we tried to hit all of our favorite spots. ¬†We arrived in Key West around 11 am and headed straight for Grand Vin. ¬†This is my favorite wine bar anywhere. ¬†It’s super tiny inside, but they have an amazing variety of wines to offer. ¬†They have almost everything open, so you can really try it before you buy it. This place is dear to me because this is where I tried Sancerre for the first time. ¬†Sancerre is my favorite white wine. ¬†It’s become our grown up version of where’s waldo to look for it when reading a wine list at a restaurant.

Key West

Once I had my wine secured, we headed down the street to La Te Da. ¬†This place is amazing. ¬†It’s a hotel, bar, restaurant and show. It’s just a fun and beautiful place all around. ¬†Most interestingly, is the fact that it has kept it’s original name for over 100 years.

key west

There we grabbed lunch: a delicious crab cake salad with a light dressing and sprinkled fresh goat cheese.  After our tummies were full, we ventured down memory lane while walking down Duval Street to the other end.

Key West


I love visiting Key West because although some things have changed, new stores are in, old stores are gone, it really still feels just like I left it last time we were here.  Being from Puerto Rico, the Keys will always feel like home to me without having to get on an airplane.

Have you ever been to the Keys?

Do you have a favorite spot to visit which always feels like you’ve never been away?

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  • Reply Calley August 7, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Oh have fun! I haven’t been in Key West in several years. It’s beautiful! Take some time and go on a boat ride or two.
    Calley recently posted…Angelic Baby Shower Gifts for Mom & BabyMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you! That’s definitively on my list of things to do. I’ve always wanted to take one of those sunset cruises. Maybe next time.

  • Reply Angie @ Newton's Travels August 7, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Looks like a fun trip!

    I have been to the Keys. When they were living my uncle and grandfather lived there, in Key Largo. I loved going to visit. My uncle had a cigar and pontoon business. I went to Key West once but would love to go back someday.
    Angie @ Newton’s Travels recently posted…Club Med Vacation: Start DreamingMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      A cigar and pontoon business? How awesome is that! I hope you get to visit soon.

  • Reply Jenny August 7, 2014 at 12:48 am

    My husband and I were married in Key West and took our first “babymoon” on Islamorada! The Keys hold a very near and dear place in my heart. I’ve been many other times as well, including a 128 kayak/cycle trip in November 2012 where we went from Key Largo to Key West. It was amazing.

    Hawks Cay is on my list! Good to know about calling for a reservation. Looks like you all had a great time!!
    Jenny recently posted…5 hour energy Yummification contest and giveawayMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      How sweet! I bet you have wonderful wedding pictures.

  • Reply Tonya August 7, 2014 at 1:09 am

    My family has vacationed in Florida several times but we’ve not been to Key West yet. Hoping that will change soon.
    Tonya recently posted…Step into the Past at D. Picking & Co. in Bucyrus, OhioMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      I hope you get to visit soon! We’ve been here at different times of the year. I think our favorite was during lobster fest. Duval street closes for cars and you get to try different versions of lobster dishes all the way down the street! It’s a feast.

  • Reply Sarah August 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I never been to the keys, I’ve always fancied visiting. Those crab cakes look lovely as well ūüôā
    Sarah recently posted…Baked Onions with Grilled SalmonMy Profile

  • Reply Suzanne Michele August 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    These pictures are beautiful! Sounds like you have a great time and the food looks yummy!
    Suzanne Michele recently posted…Innovative #Babywearing {HIPSTER‚ĄĘ Baby Carrier Review}My Profile

  • Reply Lindsay August 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I have never been to Key West! I would love to go. You make me wish I was on vacation!

  • Reply Sharon | What The Fork Food Blog August 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    The Keys are on my bucket list of places to travel. Your pictures are beautiful!
    Sharon | What The Fork Food Blog recently posted…Fresh Peach DaiquirisMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 12, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Thank you! Can you believe I took those pictures with my iphone 4s?!?!

  • Reply kareenliez August 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Oh! Nice place! It seems like you really had a great time here. Food is great too. If your asking me if I’ve been there, no. It is so far far away from my place!
    kareenliez recently posted…Two New Lalaloopsy Episodes on Nick Jr. + Lalaloopsy Color Me DollsMy Profile

  • Reply Alysia August 12, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Wow, that looks gorgeous. I’ve never been myself, although I wouldn’t be opposed to visiting La Te Da. The name in itself is so fun! Love it.
    Alysia recently posted…My Gratitude ListMy Profile

  • Reply Desiree August 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I have never been to Key West, but I really want to now!
    Desiree recently posted…Blog Photography 101 Part Two ‚Äď How to shoot amazing photos with your smartphoneMy Profile

  • Reply Get to Adventure Island - Tampa - xiomeeksxiomeeks September 12, 2014 at 5:53 am

    […] you read my blog, then you know I really like Key West. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the park and saw […]

  • Reply 2014 Recap - it was a fun year! - xiomeeksxiomeeks January 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    […] Growing up in Puerto Rico, I spent many weekends at the beaches in the southeastern region of the Island. Blue, crystal clear, calm waters is what I remember most. This year’s summer vacation took us to the Hawk Key Resort in Duck Key, just before Marathon Key. If I could go back tomorrow, I’d ask you why wait. Let’s go back now! You can read more about our stay here. […]

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