My last trip down to Key West, about ten years ago, I found a dusty old copy of A Halloween Love Story wayyyy in the back of a cobwebby book/magazine stand. It contained a reprint of the personal history Tanzler wrote for the pulp magazine Fantastic Adventures, plus some more objective reports, plus a bunch of groovy photos of waxy corpses and desecrated tombs.
What a great story. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it. That picture of the corpse is too much.
I’ve only spent any amount of time in Key West, which is off the hook weird. I love it there. I drove the highway but stupidly didn’t allow enough time to explore any of the other keys. I was there during Hurricane Dennis and barely made it pass 7 mile bridge before it shut down. The locals kept on telling me not to worry and I took the whole thing a bit too casually. It was pretty cool seeing a hurricane though.
My judgement is probably skewed because I live here, but I do love Key Largo the best. Fantastic fishing, amazing snorkeling, wonderful restaurants, fun entertainment, and nice locals. It may not look like a lot driving through, but it really is one heck of a fun place to be.
Islamorada IS fantastic for fishing, but I have to say- I fished 4 times last week off of Key Largo and had great catches- snapper, mackerel, grouper, porgies- tons of good fish. We’ve also had great luck with dolphin fish, tuna and others. This was caught a few days ago (not by me, but that’s me with it).
A 30lb grouper. 3 miles from the coast of KL. I think all of the keys are fantastic for fishing and all have great charters to take out if you’re here on vacation.
Well, growing up in Gainesville, our favorite key was Cedar Key. It’s not down south in “The Keys”; it’s actually just to the west of Gainesville. It’s a tiny, laid back town where you can get good seafood and just hang out.
My very favorite key is Snake Key which is south of Cedaqr Key (here is a map of the keys). It’s part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and when I visited it with a nature group, you had to have special permission to visit (looking for it now, it looks like you’re allowed to kayak over). There are no mammals on the key, just lots of birds and snakes. But there’s tons of really cool wildlife, we spent the day coconutting in the water, getting close to the brown (endanged) pelicans (one actually bit me!) and playing with sea cucumbers and horseshoe crabs.
Oh, I don’t know if it’s a real term or not but that’s what we called it. At calm beaches (like on Snake Key) you just kinda hang out in the water with just your head above the surface. If you don’t make a lot of fast movements or loud noises, the wildlife will supposedly think your heads are coconuts floating on the surface and ignore you. It seems to work, we always had birds come right up next to us and fishes swimming around our feet. Just make sure you wear lots of sunscreen…
Sigh, it’s 40 degrees and overcast here. Sure’d be nice to be on a hot, sunny beach right now…