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Old 03-08-2011, 09:36 AM   #15
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just go to my facebook acct its to hard to put pics up here http://www.facebook.com/davidmanning
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #16
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just go to my facebook acct its to hard to put pics up here http://www.facebook.com/davidmanning
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:57 PM   #17
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Parkerrs,

Sorry for the delay in getting you the “Keys List”, but I been tied up with Church activities this week and playing catch up after being gone for a month in the Keys.

Disclaimer: Any time someone gives me opinions/recommendations I like to know from what biases they are coming from: I am a 57 retired electrical engineer, married with adult children, Christian, conservative, non-smoker, non-drinker and enjoy active outdoor activities. (No I don’t want a date, but my recommendations will be different from someone younger or with different values.)

US 1 officially begins at mile 0 (MM 0) in Key West, Florida and ends 2377 miles later at Fort Kent, Maine. During an extended trip, many years ago, my wife and I drove all 2377 miles.

The Florida Keys officially start at MM 118 south of Homestead. The first 18 miles are mostly uninhabited until you reach Key Largo. Once you get in the real “Keys” don’t plan on making much time. There is always road construction and congestion and the speed limit is 45 MPH for miles at a time.

Sunshine Key is located between Marathon and Big Pine Key @ US1 (MM) 39, about ˝ mile past the 7-mile bridge. The entrance will be on the right (going South) and is marked by a huge American flag that is visible from several miles away. I only state this because the entrance is somewhat hidden and it will be several miles before you can turn around if you miss it.

Before I get to the “List” a word of caution to the Teenage Girls: Due to the southern latitude of the Florida Keys, the sun can be quite intense, even in the Winter/Spring months. The morning sun, before the daily clouds gather, is the most intense. Many an unsuspecting Florida “spring breaker” has had their trip ruined because they got “fried” the first day or two seeking that perfect tan.

Due to the year-round great weather, most restaurants in the Keys have both inside and outside seating. Most are also bars. Don’t let the name “Bar” or Pub” scare you off; any I recommend are family friendly.

Ok, to the list:

Key West (MM 0):
No trip to the Keys would be complete without a day trip to Key West and the mandatory tourist activity called the “Duval Crawl” and the daily “Sunset Celebration“ at Mallory Square. Several cruise lines have stops in Key West. It’s best to pick a day when the cruise ships are NOT scheduled to be port. (The KW chamber of commerce has this info.) Arrive early, park at Mallory Square Parking Lot, walk nearby and buy a ticket for the Conch Train Tour or the Key West Trolley Tour to get a great history and overview of Key West now and then. After the initial tour you can stay on the train or trolley and get off and re-board at any stop throughout the day using your ticket stub. After taking the tour most people choose to walk Duval Street to window shop and check out the 300+ stores. Everything you do and don’t need can be found on Duval Street, along with every conceivable tee shirt. About an hour before sunset make your way back to Mallory Square to watch the street performers at the daily Sunset Celebration.

Other things to do in Key West:
Key West Aquarium
Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum
Earnest Hemingway’s House
Harry S. Truman Little White House
US 1 Mile 0 Monument

Places to Eat:
Sloppy Joe’s – Duval Street
Roof Top Cafe –Front Street, near the beginning of Duval Street
Hog Fish Bar & Grill (“Downtown” Stock Island just north of Key West)

Marathon (MM 50):
The “City” as the locals call it. Home to 50+ restaurants and 100000 lobster and crab traps. All the necessities can be found there. There is a large K-mart (no Wal-Mart’s in the Keys) and many grocery stores, the wife prefers Publix (where you can purchase a killer mango/key lime pie for about the price of one slice in the restaurants). Just north of the 7-mile bridge (MM 47) is Knights Key. At Knights Key there is an old original train car that serves as an information center and museum for Henry Flagler’s railroad operation. (You’ll learn about Flagler on any of the tours you take in Key West.) From there you can walk the old 7-mile bridge or take a boat ferry to Pigeon Key.

FYI - There is also good, quiet campground (Knights Key Campground) at Knights Key.

There is a ton of stuff to do & see in the Marathon area. A great link is here: http://www.fla-keys.com/listing.cfm?id=126

If you or the teenagers have a smartphone there is a great free “app” available for the iPhone or Android platforms, just search for “Florida Keys” on the respective markets.

Other things to do in Marathon:
Sombrero Beach (Turn at MM 50 and follow the signs) -Free
Capt Hooks Marina – a nice salt water fish pond, tarpon, parrot fish, barracuda up close) (MM 53) - Free
˝ day fishing trip on Marathon Lady charter boat (MM 53)
Sightseeing plane or helicopter ride @ Marathon Airport (worth the money)

Places to eat:
“World Famous” 7 Mile Grill (MM 47.5, just north of 7-mile bridge)
Castaway Waterfront Restaurant (turn at MM 48)
Butterfly Café (turn @ 26th ave)


Big Pine Key (MM 33)
Home to the endangered miniature Key Deer. Only 10% of Big Pine Key is developed, the rest of the island is part of the Key Deer Preserve and Refuge. The deer freely roam everywhere on Big Pine Key, much to the delight of tourists and the dilemma of the residents. Over the years the deer have become very tame and are not afraid of people. It is illegal to feed the deer, but so many people have done so over the years, that the deer will freely approach you on foot or in your vehicle looking for a handout. Sadly this also accounts for many of them being run over, as they have no fear of cars. The speed limit in Big Pine Key is 45 MPH during the day and 30 at night and is STRICLKY enforced. The best time to view the Key Deer is about an hour before sunset. The best place to see them is No Name Key and some of the residential areas just before No Name Key Bridge. A good plan is to eat early at No Name Key Pub (hard to find, but worth the effort) and then ride around looking for the deer. It is not uncommon to see between 20 & 35 deer within one mile on any given afternoon. Most every Big Pine Key resident has a fence to keep out the deer, without the fence the deer will devour everything in your yard. While looking for the Key Deer, keep a watchful eye out for the many iguanas and free roaming peacocks that inhabit Big Pine Key.

Things to do:
Big Pine Key Flea Market – Open on Weekends, year-round, plenty of free parking, at the only stop light. (Get your Key West tee shirts at reduced price)
National Key Deer Refuge (follow signs at only stop light – Big Pine Key Blvd) - Free
Blue Hole (old quarry pit, now occupied by white Herons, alligators, iguanas – hit or miss depending on the weather and the wildlife) - Free

Places to eat:
No Name Pub @ No Name Key
Big Pine Key Restaurant
The Cracked Egg – Great Breakfast

Bahia Honda State Park (MM 37)
$5.00 per car, Best Beach in Lower Keys (In My Opinion)
Snorkel locally or take boat to snorkel to Looe Key
Great RV Campground there, but booked up 11 months in advance even in the off-season.

There are other great things to do in the upper keys, such as:
Theater by the Sea (MM 84.5)
Dolphin Research Center (MM 59) just north of Marathon
Key Largo, Islamorada and the list never ends…
You could spend months and not see it all.

Just Google the places I mentioned to get additional info and directions.

If you need RV parts while at Sunshine, Spindrift RV Supply and Service, located at MM 22.5 at Cudjoe Key is a small, but well equipped store with friendly, knowledgeable owner/operator. There are also two good hardware stores in Big Pine Key and several more in Marathon.

Parkerrs, I hope this info will be useful.

Maybe others will add to my list.

Have a great trip and a wonderful time.

David Kanoy
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:24 PM   #18
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sunshine key rv resort

The park has gone to crap, there is no store to get milk or bread, you have to drive 15 miles round trip to get milk . The laundry is a dump and half the machines dont work.The staff that did help you were snowbirds, as of march 2011 they have all quit and are gone, all thats left is cuban employees.The maintenance dept speaks no english. The marina workers had there tv taken away so they get paid to do nothing, they just stand around and look at boats. The docks are so bad you can barley walk on them, but no one will pound down the nails sticking up and repair them. You pay high price to park your boat and you get a dock that is so wobbely you can barley walk on it. The sewer system didnt work on the water front sites so they had to be pumped out every day. One day the pumper tanker was full so they took it up front to empty the tank.The employees ended up dumping 500 gallons of sewage on the parking lot.The park is full of cuban compounds with full size refridgerators outside, full size house furnature, four picnic tables, four gas powered golf carts per sites, and they dont have to follow rules of the park that the snowbirds have to follow. Snowbirds cant have boats in there site they have to go in the rack, or in the slips cubans are aloud to park them in there sites and on the shoreline, and they dont pay for slips.The cubans clean ther fish at there site and not at the fish cleaning station, because they dont have a fishing licence and they dont want to get cought by FWC cleaning fish with no licence. FWC came to the park one day and they stoped a boat in the marina with three cubans,only one had a fishing license they went over to the marina wall,and there was two cubans fishing in the marina witch is aginst park rules, FWC checked the two no fishing license and a pale full of illeagel fish. FWC stayed in the park the rest of the night at 2:53 am a boat pulled in the marina FWC pulled them over there was five cubans non of them had a fishing license and other violations including over limit of fish. FWC Officer from marithon said this is a big problem all summer at this park.After 5pm people like to go for a walk and its dark outside, and the cubans are driving around in there gas powered high speed golf carts with no lights and drivers under 21, even park empoyees do it . Theres one that works in the marina that flys after dark with no lights and dosnt stop for park stop signs.One of the cuban ladys that work in the front office her husband fishes out of his boat in the marina with one of the employees from the marina ,theres signs posted all over no fishing in marina,the rules are for snowbirds, and the cubans dont have to follow any rules and they like it like that.Walked over to the fishing peer one day and looked in the mangros and there was about a dozen, six to eight year old cuban girls sitting in the mangros drinking beer,they see there mom and dad drink red bull and beer all night long,One old guy told me when he woke up his picnic table was gone and his stuff was on the ground ,i said did you go to the office and tell them he said no,it happened last year and when he went to the office and they didnt do anything.How sad the snowbird is paying $1,800.00 a month and cant have a picnic table but the cuban pays $400.00 a month and has 30 pepole at there site, and they have four to five picnic tables.The theift on the weekends out of control one guy told me he lost two brandnew fishing pole at $250.00 a peice,a other guy told me lost a hand painted ceramic manatee,one guy lost a brand new blender and lot guys said they lost bait ot of there boat.I was told that in the summer the park hires offduty police officers and the sheriffs dept runs thru the park all the time,i was told last summer there was a stabing in the park.An annual customer told me a cuban family was driving there golf cart to fast ,and there kid fell out of the cart and beat there kid for not hanging on good enough.One saturday night walked in the rest room and cuban kids were having sex on the counter. The cuban employees are rude and dont follow any park rules,no srcurity . It wont be long and this park will have the crime of miami. PS The DEA is watching the park you geuss why there watching the park for.Three years ago the park lost about 100 snowbirds after 2010-2011 the park will lose another 100 snowbirds ,can encore afford it. Ten years ago it was a nice park.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #19
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Hi camper421,
Welcome to iRV2. The items in your post are quite serious. Did you personally stay at this resort this winter? Did you personally witness the items mentioned in your post?

I ask because I host a very large rally at this resort, every two years. I have never had the items, mentioned in your post, become apparent during the time I have been at this resort (usually, the first part of December).
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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Very diverse comments here...surely there are others !!! We are looking at a late April short trip down to either Key West NAS or, lord forbid, Sunshine Key, having second thoughts now... definately NOT Cuban/Hispanic and I do not suffer fools or thieves without incident.

Let's hear more folks !!! PLEASE
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #21
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And what is the rest of the story here. SK resort looked ok last month when I stopped. Never stayed there. I was at Jolly Roger in Grassy Key and it was nice.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by camper421 View Post
The park has gone to crap, there is no store to get milk or bread, you have to drive 15 miles round trip to get milk . The laundry is a dump and half the machines dont work.The staff that did help you were snowbirds, as of march 2011 they have all quit and are gone, all thats left is cuban employees.The maintenance dept speaks no english. The marina workers had there tv taken away so they get paid to do nothing, they just stand around and look at boats. The docks are so bad you can barley walk on them, but no one will pound down the nails sticking up and repair them. You pay high price to park your boat and you get a dock that is so wobbely you can barley walk on it. The sewer system didnt work on the water front sites so they had to be pumped out every day. One day the pumper tanker was full so they took it up front to empty the tank.The employees ended up dumping 500 gallons of sewage on the parking lot.The park is full of cuban compounds with full size refridgerators outside, full size house furnature, four picnic tables, four gas powered golf carts per sites, and they dont have to follow rules of the park that the snowbirds have to follow. Snowbirds cant have boats in there site they have to go in the rack, or in the slips cubans are aloud to park them in there sites and on the shoreline, and they dont pay for slips.The cubans clean ther fish at there site and not at the fish cleaning station, because they dont have a fishing licence and they dont want to get cought by FWC cleaning fish with no licence. FWC came to the park one day and they stoped a boat in the marina with three cubans,only one had a fishing license they went over to the marina wall,and there was two cubans fishing in the marina witch is aginst park rules, FWC checked the two no fishing license and a pale full of illeagel fish. FWC stayed in the park the rest of the night at 2:53 am a boat pulled in the marina FWC pulled them over there was five cubans non of them had a fishing license and other violations including over limit of fish. FWC Officer from marithon said this is a big problem all summer at this park.After 5pm people like to go for a walk and its dark outside, and the cubans are driving around in there gas powered high speed golf carts with no lights and drivers under 21, even park empoyees do it . Theres one that works in the marina that flys after dark with no lights and dosnt stop for park stop signs.One of the cuban ladys that work in the front office her husband fishes out of his boat in the marina with one of the employees from the marina ,theres signs posted all over no fishing in marina,the rules are for snowbirds, and the cubans dont have to follow any rules and they like it like that.Walked over to the fishing peer one day and looked in the mangros and there was about a dozen, six to eight year old cuban girls sitting in the mangros drinking beer,they see there mom and dad drink red bull and beer all night long,One old guy told me when he woke up his picnic table was gone and his stuff was on the ground ,i said did you go to the office and tell them he said no,it happened last year and when he went to the office and they didnt do anything.How sad the snowbird is paying $1,800.00 a month and cant have a picnic table but the cuban pays $400.00 a month and has 30 pepole at there site, and they have four to five picnic tables.The theift on the weekends out of control one guy told me he lost two brandnew fishing pole at $250.00 a peice,a other guy told me lost a hand painted ceramic manatee,one guy lost a brand new blender and lot guys said they lost bait ot of there boat.I was told that in the summer the park hires offduty police officers and the sheriffs dept runs thru the park all the time,i was told last summer there was a stabing in the park.An annual customer told me a cuban family was driving there golf cart to fast ,and there kid fell out of the cart and beat there kid for not hanging on good enough.One saturday night walked in the rest room and cuban kids were having sex on the counter. The cuban employees are rude and dont follow any park rules,no srcurity . It wont be long and this park will have the crime of miami. PS The DEA is watching the park you geuss why there watching the park for.Three years ago the park lost about 100 snowbirds after 2010-2011 the park will lose another 100 snowbirds ,can encore afford it. Ten years ago it was a nice park.

Why hold back, why don't you just tell us how you feel about Cubans!
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:05 PM   #23
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Sunshine Key, having second thoughts now. Let's hear more folks !!! PLEASE
We are as well...hoping that Bluewater Key RV resort calls to confirm us soon. Has anyone stayed here Grassy Key RV Park ?
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:14 AM   #24
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I stayed very close at Jolly Roger and checked out GK RV Resort. It is well run and very clean and well maintained. The sites are very tight, with no plants or grass. All areas are gravel or stone. It is close to some good pubs, and shopping.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:54 AM   #25
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We stayed there a year ago last January. It is nice unless it rains then it gets a little muddy.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:12 AM   #26
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we were just there ! it was great ! im going again
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:31 PM   #27
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Hi camper421,
Welcome to iRV2. The items in your post are quite serious. Did you personally stay at this resort this winter? Did you personally witness the items mentioned in your post?

I ask because I host a very large rally at this resort, every two years. I have never had the items, mentioned in your post, become apparent during the time I have been at this resort (usually, the first part ofDecember).
Yes its all true, and yes i seen every thing except the theft of the blender,manitee.Sad but true to the rest
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #28
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Gary Yes its true, i didnt see the theft of the blender or the manitee but was told of them. The rest is 100% real
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