We passed some ghost towns along the way from Texas to Santa Fe on route 285.
We made it back to Santa Fe on Sunday. The weather was sunny, but windy. Actually we only had two days of cold rainy weather during the whole two months of our journey. We were blessed with good fortune and many caring people along the road. Thank you to y’all, we couldn’t have done it without you!
The sacred mountains around Santa Fe greeted us in the late afternoon sun. One of the many joys of traveling is coming home!
A little Southern moss wanted to come back with us, sticking to Paradox
The best road service for the jeep was provided at Rite A Way auto service in Junction, Texas. Tim gave the jeep an oil change including a thorough check up and then he elegantly backed the jeep with the boat out of there for us.
The best jeep ever: our Grand Cherokee Jeep, year 1999, that made 6380.7 trip miles without any trouble.
The best sailboat ever: our Catalina 22, s/v Paradox, year 1982
Best sail: our last day on the Spanish Channel, Big Pine Key
Best tool: Ross’ iPad with GPS and maps – we never got really lost!
Best driver: Ross
2. best driver: Hanne
Best navigator: Hanne
2. best navigator: Ross
The best boat service was provided at The Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, Florida. Thanks guys!
Best launching marina: Old Wooden Bridge, Big Pine Key, Florida. Our friends Mary and Ken came down for a week and stayed in one of their cottages right on the waterfront:
Best beach: Sombrero Beach, Marathon Key, Florida
Best community swimming pool: Key Largo, Florida
Best library: Key Largo, Florida
Best bed for the night: the carved wooden antique bed in Jug Creek Cottages, Bokeelia, Florida, reminding me of my grandma’s bed in the attic
Best motel breakfast: Sleep Inn, Dripping Springs, Texas. I have to add, that they charged us $140 for one night, due to a big music festival and an interactive conference in nearby Austin. Way out of our price range! But staying at the Sleep Inn allowed us to spend time with Ross’ life long friend Marvin Niebuhr:
Best guest laundry: Comfort Inn, Marrero near New Orleans, Louisiana. Nice, clean and cheap!
Best homemade meal: our shrimp and grouper dinners at our friends Gerald and Loretta Hausman’s house in Bokeelia, Florida
Best restaurant meal: seared tuna and steamed clams in garlic/wine sauce at the Cafe, Key West, Florida
Best key lime pie: Coco’s Kitchen, Big Pine Key, Florida. Creamy, flavorful and no funky whipped cream on top!
Best margarita (Hanne’s pick – Ross does not drink alcohol): pink guava margarita at the Wharf, Summerland Key
Best breakfast: Mrs. Mac’s, Key Largo, Florida
Best coffee (Hanne’s pick – Ross does not drink coffee): D.J.Diner’s cuban coffee in Key Largo. Plus my very own boat coffee!
Best oriental food: Num Thai restaurant., Key Largo, Florida
Best Cuban food : El Siboney, Key West, Florida – don’t miss the fried plantanos
Best seafood place: King Seafood Market and Restaurant, Marathon, Florida, Caribbean and Cuban cuisine – and the best mural too:
Best value meals for your money: Coco’s Kitchen, Big Pine Key, Florida – don’t miss her avocado salad! Coco’s daughter Rose was the most dynamic personality we met on our journey.
Best deli: the Health Food Store, Big Pine Key, Florida
Best farmer’s market: @ Help Yourself in Key West, Florida
Best ice cream: Michelle’s handmade ice cream store Meltdown in New Orleans, Louisiana – I had one with salted caramel, delicious!
Best crawfish etouffee: The Gumbo Shop, New Orleans, Louisiana
Unique places: No Name Pub, Big Pine Key, Florida
Worst place to buy seafood: Winn Dixie – no local fish there
Most inspiring visit: seeing Hemingway’s house and museum in Key West, Florida – a great catalyst for more reading and talking about his books, life, boats, women and cats!
Sweetheart dentist: Dr. Cuhna in Key Largo, Florida who fixed Ross’ gold crown
Best music: street brass band in New Orleans, Lousiana
Best galleries: Rene’s Red Door Gallery in Key West, Florida, National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center on Big Pine Key, Florida and Kouchy Gallery in Bokeelia, Florida – look out for Ross’ paintings in these three galleries!
Ross’ favorite painting on the journey: his Mango Dive
Places we would like to go back to: Key West, Florida, Matlacha, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana