The music is back at The salty angler but much mellower, for now, so I am hopeful. We had a really fun day riding rental bikes all over town, along the beach, in and out of various neighborhoods, past beautiful cottages and southern porches and shady tropical palms, bourganvia, hibiscus. Great way to see everything. We stopped at the cemetery, checked out the Jewish section, which my aunt Janet had told us a large monument would make us chuckle. We looked at various Jewish gravestone inscriptions figuring the jokester would turn up but turned out to be a gentile grave nearby with the inscription “I told you I was sick.”
We rode over to the touristy harbor and walked our bikes along a narrow wood deck winding past the glistening water and fancy white boats, stopped at a window for Cuban coffee, had a late lunch at Pepe’s (excellent oysters ,cooked 3 ways, famous keys pink shrimp, superb blackened yellowish sandwich and delicious coconut cream pie. Pepe’s claim to fame is as the oldest restaurant here. We enjoyed sitting on the shady brick patio.
In the afternoon, we peddled through the classy Truman Annex neighborhood to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, which has one of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve been on – small, sandy coves with dark blue water and birds perched atop rock outcroppings, a soft sandy pristine beach lined with shady pine trees, cool but not cold water, calm water with no real waves, a small crowd.
For dinner, we at beachside at Salute, sitting on the open air back patio under a full moon, in a festive casual open air space, with neighborhood kids occasionally walking their bikes by on the dark trail through the sand, past a volleyball net.
More delicious seafood plucked from the ocean nearby cold stone crab claws, grilled yellowtail snapper atop spinach with a light lemon cream sauce, grilled grouper with a light red pepper sauce, key lime pie topped by several inches of airy merengue. Riding back through town on our bikes (small bike lights flashing) was such a treat, breezing along quiet residential streets and much rowdier com
commercial drags, a slight wind at our backs, soaking it all in.
Back at The Speakeasy Inn, we tried some complimentary rum and fruit juice drinks. Not my thing ( I have stuck primarily to lemonade and limeade here, unlike most visitors, many of whom appeared drunk or buzzed as they walked by as as we sat on the front porch in white wicker chairs. EXcellent people watching, as promised.