Driving down to the Florida Keys from Sanibel is pretty easy; you go south on I75 until it becomes the Florida Turnpike then follow the turnpike until it turns into US1. Then you stop at the 7-Mile Grill for burgers and a Key Lime Pie to go. All of that takes around four hours but essentially it is one road all the way from Miami to Key West.
We stopped over for some essential shopping at the Miramar outlets. Essential, that is, for Mission Control – I waited outside Chico’s and picked up my first sunburn of the holiday. On the top of my head – was the sun that strong or did the shopping take a long time? Well, the shop was busy after all………
We were more prepared for the remainder of the trip as we ‘lubed up’ and drove with the top down all the way. There are 42 bridges between the Key Largo and Key West on US1; the Caribbean colours of the sea, the palm trees and pelicans coasting along beside you makes cruising from island to island a three-dimensional experience that’s second to none. This route is often described as the best in the world and it’s certainly special. It’s just been declared an All-American Highway but I have no clue what that means.
The weather held, the local radio – KeyZee FM – played all the right music and before we knew it we were at the 7-Mile Grill. This is one of our favourite stopovers; an open bar at the roadside [just ahead of the longest of the 42 bridges, the seven mile bridge] that provides cold drinks, American food and the National Dish of the Conch Republic, Key Lime Pie. In fact, the Key Lime Pie is consistently the best we’ve ever had so we always collect one here to take it on with us. Burgers and sweet potato fries, a cold beer; it was good to be back and just in time for sunset, too.