We have holed up in Islamorada for a few days at a fun marina/restaurant/fishing guide haven called Lorelei’s Marina and Cabana Bar https://www.loreleicabanabar.com/marina-and-fishing/ . We have driven by this place for years and never knew it should be stopped at!!! It is right across from what used to be the Islander (which is being renovated and now is only inhabited by Iguanas who love the iconic old sign!)
and a block north of Cheeca Lodge. They have a beach, great food and local Islamorada beer on tap! We have had great live music each night and even a surprisingly good magician. They shut all of this down by 9 PM so you all know that works for us! Our marina neighbors have lived here since May, evacuating for Irma but otherwise are happy to be here for the foreseeable future.
We are now far enough south to see the damage from Hurricane Irma. The people here are very optimistic about the rebuilding and growth that is going on and it is amazing to see many brand new homes and businesses that have sprung up since we were here in June of last year. Lots of new paint and upgrades have been made to existing structures as well. It looks clean and well maintained and we are so happy to see this resilience in our beloved Keys.
The flora has not fared nearly as well. Many large trees were lost and new ones have been planted and staked to take their places. As we came south through mangrove areas, we could see that the leaves had been stripped from most of the bushes and trees (other than the palms) and were just starting to come back. The mangrove rookeries were desolate looking, just bare sticks and branches with a very few leaves that have managed to come back.
We will be here through tomorrow and then will head south. Not sure if we will even see the Super Bowl – no real loss.
Plan to spend 3 weeks or so at Stock Island Marina Village, possibly a trip to Marquesas and Dry Tortuga if the wind will ever lay down and lots of walks and bicycle trips into Key West. We are looking forward to seeing friends who will be down in our area during the month of February and catch up on what’s been happening at home.