... by Linda Y. Walters
When it comes to having a great time, Key West, a city founded back in 1822, is an incredible mixture of excitement, sea faring exploration and most of all, one's own imagination. There's no shortage of local bars and legendary haunts to "drop in on" on any given day. Just don't try to do them all at once!
Duval Street, a hub of activity, has long been the center of Key West night life. You might want to visit The Bull, Sloppy Joe's Bar, or The Whistle Bar which has a clothing optional mantra. Captain Tony's (known for its bar stools which hang upside down from the ceiling) was also reportedly the favorite afternoon haunt of the Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway. Many world reknowned persons including Tennessee Williams, former President Harry Truman and the legendary ocean treasure hunter, Mel Fisher, have contributed to the undeniable lure and history of this tiny island just 90 miles off the coast of Cuba.
Prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, ferries and trade between Key West and Havana were a common daily occurrence. Visit Zachary Taylor Fort for an exciting look at Key West's historical past.
With local haunts like Blue Heaven, Smokin Tuna, and a liquor store named "The Lost Weekend," Key West's significant cultural allure remains in place. Even John F Kennedy is said to have visited Captain Tony's, still known for the distinction of offering its visitors the opportunity to flip coins into the mouths of groupers. Recently renovated, this undeniable landmark reopened in early November of 2016.
Mallory Square, located just a short walk off Duval Street, offers a popular stretch of beach which comes alive daily with a celebration of entertaining street performers and crafts vendors. There's also the undeniable allure of the amazing daily sunset. Thousands gather nightly to witness the splendor of watching as the sun seems to meld with the vastness of the ocean. Cameras poised, its a nightly celebration aptly named "the Sunset Walk".
"Hyatt Centric", which is a branded subdivision of Hyatt Hotels, focuses on and utilizes the specifics of its locatIon and all its inherent components," stated Braedan Quigley, Hyatt Sales & Marketing Director at Hyatts of the Caribbean.
He continued, "In Key West, for example, we focused on Cuban coffee, Ernest Hemingway's influences, and Tenessee Williams' drink specialties, in giving this location its higher demand and visibility".
The Hyatt Centric Key West offers extremely spacious bedrooms, each with a water view from your own private balcony. A sumptuous bathroom, with a generous sized shower, and the added luxury of your choice of operation including rain shower or hand held, in many ways is mindful of a spa experience minus the massage. Add the fragrant lotions and scents, and, of course, the relaxing effects of simply letting your thoughts slow down, and firmly reconnect with your inner calm.
Couples massages, called "duets", are available as well and can include full body signature massage, hot oil scalp massage , or the extremely rejuvenating footscrub.
Jala, which means "water" in Sanskrit, is really all about getting you in touch with your essential life. Explore the delightful experience of relaxation. You owe it to yourself to slow down even if it's only for one hour.
There's no shortage of imagination or deliciousness on the menu. Frozen drinks are also available and you can order from the Mojiti poolside menu which includes a great selection of salads and finger foods.
For breakfast, lunch or dinner, Shor American Seafood Grill is on property and does an amazing job of delivering five star cuisine.
The eclectic menu offers a wide array of internationally represented flavors with several choices of fresh catch, local favorites and delicately prepared side dishes you won't soon forget.
Breakfast offerings include delicious smoked salmon served on pumpernickel break with egg white, cream cheese and capers which took the dish to another level in its delivery of flavor. The Cajun Omelet was amazing and included Andouille sausage, bacon, peppers, Monterey Jack Cheese as well as several requisite Cajun spices. The menu also included the ever popular Fried Chicken and Waffles, an Island Breakfast Ceviche, Eggs Benedict and even a healthy Warm Tropical Fruit Quinoa. Freshly squeezed orange juice, good, strong Cuban coffee and an assortment of teas are also available. Lunch is available as well and includes great soups, salads sandwiches with a local flare and seafood choices as well.
The dinner menu at SHOR is nothing short of spectacular. Appetizers include everything from Charred Baby Octopus, Key West Seafood Hot Pot, Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly and/or Calamari Fries. Or choose from the Angus Prime Steak, Orange Mojo Gulf Stream Mahi Mahi, Key West Ale Braised Short Ribs, or Pan Seared Local Catch of the Day. Much of the seafood served at this distinctive dining establishment has been caught locally and is done so on a daily basis. The freshness is evident.
With an idyllic location in Old Town Key West, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa offers access to prime sites for relaxation and rejuvenation. Get out on the water, lounge on the beach, or meander through the streets of Old Town as you marvel at the historical architecture. Whether your passion is golf, snorkeling, or spa treatments, you’ll find that you can experience it all from our Key West resort, leaving you refreshed when the time comes to journey home.
#KeyWest #Hyatt #LindaWalters
TWA's Inside Scoop on your Favorite Viral Videos
After driving for about 2-3 hours, with no spottings, we decided to turn around and ...Boom! There he was, this beautiful bull, standing still and staring at us out of the woods on the side of the road.
There were two other vehicles pulled over as they were out "back country skiing," and he started licking the other pulled over truck (Moose have learned they can get salt from licking vehicles). We decided to watch from a distance. He was so unbothered and the road we were on was totally quiet and very wide. If had it been anything different we wouldn’t have stuck around, for the safety of the moose.
After a couple of minutes we were able to roll in a little closer and he knew we were there and watching him, still not caring, and more so looking at us as his next snack and very appreciative.
He then made his way over to us and I was a tad bit apprehensive because, with each step closer he took, the larger he became and it was overwhelming. Yet, he was incredibly gentle and amusing as he made his way around our car, gently bumping his dish (antlers) against our car.
About 10-15 min into his snack on our car the skiers returned to their vehicle behind us and they couldn’t believe what they were witnessing. They were about 20 meters away from us and the moose even knew they were there, taking off all their equipment and loading up their car, and the moose couldn’t care less. He was so infatuated with the salt he was getting for his diet from our car.
Had there been any aggression shown or uncomfortable nature the back country skiers would have gotten into their car for safety…as with us (we never got out of the car or unrolled the windows). Had there been any danger or aggression we wouldn’t have stuck around. We are very very respectful of the animals we live around and advocate for safe and conservation focused wildlife viewing. We are always very responsible and respectful.
We DO see a lot of disrespectful behavior from national park visitors causing “Bear Jams” which is essentially a traffic jam caused by a bear on the side of the road, and by people causing a very disruptive stir either by stopping or by getting out of their car for photos (which is SO not cool).
So yea……I’d say we were very lucky to have this moment but had the roads been busy, packed, narrow, or anything of that nature, we would have left straight away.
If you are ever in Banff, please keep your safety, and the safety of our wildlife in mind and, please, stop in to see me at the Gallery! I'd love to meet you and we are located right downtown at 201 Bear Street, Banff, Alberta, Canada. I'll give you some recommendations on some great places to eat and things to do!
UPDATE: The video and story are making their way around the globe. Scroll down to see some of our favorite ones... including in Russian and Japanese!
by Joe Mack
Thinking about the Caribbean Island of St Martin, for me, there is only one side, the French Side. I had heard about St Martin. I knew half of the island was French. I like all things French. I go regularly to Quebec City, Canada, and I have toured the South of France. Nice, St Tropez, Cannes. But that’s another story. HERE I deal with the Caribbean.
I did research before coming to the island. My wife Jaci and I are “foodies" and I discovered the town of Grand Case is considered the “Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.” There is a good reason why. Main Street in Grand Case is called Grand Case Blvd. Here you will find some hotels and B&B’s lining the beach side of the street but, the first thing you will notice, are the number of restaurants. They adorn both sides of the street. On the ocean side, you will get the extra benefit of an ocean view while you dine. Anything in Grand Case that is along the beach is RIGHT ON THE BEACH. It is not a walk to the beach, you are right on the beach. In St Martin, as in most Caribbean islands, no beach is private, they belong to everyone.
It didn’t take long for me to stop dwelling on these buildings. And they are not the norm. As of this date, places like this are few and far between. Renovations are booming. And now, at least on the ocean side, it’s hard to find a vacant building. The rest of the town is wonderful. And the people really are friendly as the name implies, The Friendly Island.
Grand Case Blvd is narrow. Cars park on both sides. Lucky for you, on most of Grand Case Blvd there is only one way traffic, including the main part. You learn to weave in and out of parked cars as you maneuver down the street. You see people walking, in cars and in their houses. You wave, they wave. You learn the rhythm of the island very fast.
The beach is a small one. The water is shallow, warm as you might expect. There is a sandy bottom. Not really much of a surf. If you want surf, got to Orient Beach.
Oh, this was about food wasn’t it? You have your choice. French, Sea Food, Thai, Italian, Creole, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Tapas and, of course, Caribbean. There is an Island Barbeque type place with traditional island food called “a Lolo”. There is one in Grand Case.
At the end of your stay. Before you pack your bags and head for the airport, you have go to “Tijon Perfumeries & Boutique”. Here you will get a lesson in making perfume. The owner is very knowledgeable about scents, and guides you thru the process of making YOUR own personal scent. You take one of these scents, one of those, one of the other. He mixes it for you. Catalogs it in his data base. YOU give it a name and the formula is saved. If and when you come back, you can have more made, the same fragrance. Or you can contact him thru a web site and re order your own special scent that NO ONE else in the world has but YOU.