If we were planning on going to see Key West, then our best bet would be to go from the Bahia Honda campground since it is much closer than the other two state parks we also have reservations at over the next few weeks. It still feels a little weird to go to cities we already explored during our 2010 cross country trip so we are going to make a conscious effort on not repeating anything we saw last time around. Challenge… accepted!


We parked near the main street in town, Duvall Street, busted out the stroller to minimize whining and paid the two bucks an hour that was required. As we see all these amazing places places around the country, we leave each city wondering if we will ever be back. And then when we do return, it is like no time has passed at all. So strange. I guess I can cross off “have one deep thought” off of my to-do list today.


Before we hit the town, we had some Christmas cards to mail off. I wonder if anyone will notice that their card came all the way from Key West. From a post office with wild hens and roosters on their front lawn, cock-a-doodling as we walked passed them.


Today’s excursion of the day was Key West Audubon House and Gardens. The house was built in the early 1800s and by 1958 it was it such disrepair that it was scheduled to be demolished. Thankfully the house was saved by a local foundation and was the first restoration project in Key West. The tour cost $12 an adult (which Dan complained about the whole time) and the kids were free (which he conveniently forgot about).


I can not stop laughing at the faces of my kids in these pictures. Ava appears to be whining  before we even got on the tour. Yes there was some whining on the tour but overall they do well. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Plus, she was on the look out for a Florida Keys bird guide that will help us identify the local birds flocking right next to our Airstream.


Usually on these tours of old homes, we have to be careful with Mila because she has the “gift“. We obviously never know when a spirit will be visiting her but we are always prepared. I guess she knows the drill and decided to take things into her own hands today. Haha. That’s my baby ostrich!


While we were walking through a bedroom on the 2nd floor, one of the large wardrobes shook over and over again, like someone was trying to get out. Ava freaked. We tried to tell her that it shaking because of our footsteps on these old wooden floors but she didn’t buy it. Mila wasn’t scared at all, probably because she didn’t “see” anyone there.


I have been brainwashing teaching Ava about birds and how to identify them. This was the perfect place to continue her education. The house has 28 first edition works of John James Audubon, world renown ornithologist. In 1832, Audubon visited the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas left Key West having sighted and drawn 18 new birds for his “Birds of America” folio. They think a good portion of those drawings were conceived in the Audubon House garden. There was an amazing proof print at the house too that Audubon personally approved for his book. It was of the white-crowned pigeon, which actually has the Geiger tree found in the front yard in it. I wish I could have shown you a picture of it but the reflection from the spot lights ruined most of my close-ups. But you are probably thanking the spot lights right now because birds are boooring. You, meanies!


Our tour guide was super happy that the kids didn’t destroy the pages from Audubon original book, which nowadays could fetch anywhere up to 10 million dollars, so she gave them some koi fish food. Sounds like a fair trade.


Before we left the Audubon House and Gardens, the kind lady at the gift shop noticed the girls admiring some bird toys. And just before we opened the door to leave, she walks over and hands each of the girls a gift!


Look at their faces. They couldn’t believe what just happened. They experienced kindness from a complete stranger. I love that they got to experience that, and they actually still mention the event days later.


Post office? Check. Bird nerd-out? Check. Now let’s get back to Duvall Street and eat.


One of our Instagram friends suggested a good place to eat in Key West a couple days ago so we thought we would give it a try. The place is called Caroline’s and it was pretty darn good. Dan ordered the Macon Bacon salad which Luka was totally eying.


I ordered their famous burger and oh my was it delicious. And yes Luka was trying to steal my fries.


They also had a “pet” rooster there, named Abby, that watches you as you eat your food.


I’m sure glad that I didn’t order the chicken!


The rest of the day, Luka was busy making this face accompanied by some “fart sounds”. The girls and I thought it was super embarrassing…


…until we get back to the Airstream and Dan decided to go out into public with a Bounce dryer sheet sticking out of his pants to protect him from the skeeters. Haha. You win, Dan. You win!

the end,


Erin · December 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I LOVE Key West, love Caroline’s, and love the Macon and Bacon chicken salad! Really enjoying your blog!

Frank · December 19, 2012 at 1:46 am

Nice post. Our first trip to Key West 25 years ago was during Freak Week. Hundreds of half naked or naked men and women with painted on costumes for Halloween. We loved it but it might be a bit much for your girls.

marlene · December 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

@Erin: Thank you 🙂

@Frank: Yeah, not sure I am ready to cover anatomy in homeschool yet. Haha.

carrie · February 19, 2013 at 7:33 am

I realized I missed a post here and there and was catching up. I love this one and I don’t need to explain why. So cool to see some original Audubon prints!!

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