Dreaming of the Keys

Last year I visited the Florida Keys and was supposed to write about it for an outlet in Europe but as things go in the editorial world sometimes, the project was scrapped, and my photos have sat on my hard drive and in my phone ever since. I shared some on Instagram but I’ve looked for ways to use them on a grander scale many times and nothing seems to do any justice to how WONDERFUL the trip was. I’d love to splash them across the front page of the New York Times! (Hey, pipe dreams!)

Anyway, I was just reminded of the Keys again today and since I haven’t been to the beach yet this summer and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon (insert very sad face), I figure I might as well reminisce here and let me photos take me back. Let’s look at the Keys together and dream, shall we?

I have been a few times now and it’s my fierce belief that the Florida Keys are one of the most special parts of the continental USA. It’s so special, they know it, and in Key West itself at least, they like to call themselves The Conch Republic. As if it were its own country separate and apart.

The sunset is such an important part of life in Key West, it's celebrated every night at Mallory Square.

The sunset is such an important part of life in Key West, it’s celebrated every night at Mallory Square.

Mallory Square brings all types out for the nightly celebration. This busker was entertaining a visiting child and his family.

Mallory Square brings all types out for the nightly celebration. This busker was entertaining a visiting child and his family.

Vespas are a common site in Key West

Vespas are a common site in Key West

The color of this antique car reminded me of the water off the coast of Florida on a cloudy day.

The color of this antique car reminded me of the water off the coast of Florida on a cloudy day.

floridakeysarchitecturebykirstenalana

The sunsets are just dynamite no matter where you are in the Keys. This was closer to Marathon.

The sunsets are just dynamite no matter where you are in the Keys. This was closer to Marathon.

We visited the Turtle Hospital on Marathon and it was so wonderful seeing these rehabilitated turtles up close!

We visited the Turtle Hospital on Marathon and it was so wonderful seeing these rehabilitated turtles up close!

Biking Old Seven Mile Bridge

Biking Old Seven Mile Bridge

Biking Old Seven Mile Bridge is a lot of fun and a great workout!

Biking Old Seven Mile Bridge is a lot of fun and a great workout!

Looking out from Old Seven Mile Bridge at the gorgeous turquoise water. Trying to spot sharks!

Looking out from Old Seven Mile Bridge at the gorgeous turquoise water. Trying to spot sharks!

A Tiger Fish on Pigeon Key which is now a research and teaching facility for school children.

A Tiger Fish on Pigeon Key which is now a research and teaching facility for school children.

Inside one of the school's buildings on Pigeon Key

Inside one of the school’s buildings on Pigeon Key

Looking out from Pigeon Key

Looking out from Pigeon Key

I love the architecture of buildings in the Keys. Like this porch where I could picture growing old while sipping lemonade every night as the sun set.

What do you think? Have you been? Do you want to go now that you’ve seen these photos?

I myself wish desperately that I could just hop a plane and return there tomorrow… Follow their account on Instagram to see more beautiful photos, or check out the photos I took while there with the hashtag #KAinTheKeys

While these photos are from a trip that was sponsored by Florida Keys Tourism, I loved the Keys before I traveled there with them and it’s why I said yes to going in the first place. All opinions are, as always, my own.

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