The road back and some highlights on our adventure

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 over priced and over rated meals: The Square Grouper, Big Pine Key, Florida and Reds, Bokeelia, Florida

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

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 04:25:09

    I’ve been following your posts since before your sailing journey began.. Personally, I’m quite envious.. A few quick questions, if I may.. Paradox is a great size for scooting thru and amongst the Fla. Keys.. Shallow draft, can easily be anchored pretty much anywhere close to shore.. Did you ever find that she was “a bit too small” for close in, off shore cruising / exploring, snorkeling the reefs that lie within 3 to 5 miles of the coasts of so many of the Keys..?? It goes without saying that quarters were tight for the both of you but, I was wondering if either of you wished for a larger vessel, in order to go “farther”..??

    Finally, what’s next for the both of you and Paradox..?? Perhaps Baja and the Sea of Cortez..??!!

    Reply

    • s/v Paradox
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 19:44:34

      Thanks for your comment and questions Richard, and thanks for staying with us on the blog. Ross might give you a different answer, but personally I was fine with Paradox and its size. I have my headquarters up in the v-berth. It is real cozy and a great place for reading and sleeping – once you get in there, crawling like a lizard. We went out to see the reefs in the glass bottom boat from John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo – and I got real seasick! It can be very windy out there. I didn’t have any desire to go that far out again, but sailing around the small keys in the Spanish Harbor by Big Pine Key was just great.

      Next adventure – ¿Quién sabe? I do wish Mexico would become more peaceful…..

      All the best to you Richard,

      Hanne

      Reply

    • Ross
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 20:29:11

      Larger vessel… I felt Paradox was just fine for the Key sailing we did. If I were to make longer Key sails like key Largo to Key West you might want a larger boat. You do need to check weather. We had some blows for several day with high seas. No one was going out and it might not have been fun at anchor somewhere.
      Next year… I will be checking through out the year about the Sea of Cortez. I was on it years back and found it a cool body of water to be moving on. Did experience a mega storm though.
      Stay in touch… Oon@nets.com

      Reply

  2. Jana LaLannne
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 08:01:30

    Just love your journal! So wish we could meet in the Keys! Hugs to you both!

    Reply

  3. Alison
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 14:48:10

    Lots of great memories. So glad you had a good journey. Love all the photos and “best of’s”. So happy that you shared with us. Love all the photos, but it’s the Santa Fe ones that tug the most at my heart! Love to you both,

    Reply

  4. Ellen Bradley Mills
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 07:54:49

    Greetings Hanne and Ross! It has been just a splendid treat to follow your journey to, and back home to your beautiful Santa Fe and that glorious air and those magical mountains. Thank you for giving us Rocky Mtn land-locked ones such a glorious adventure by proxy. As I was deep in enjoyment with your pictures and words of the world around you, the thought kept popping in about the vehicles of today that have tv’s, etc., in them, to “make the trip more enjoyable??”. I feel a deep sadness, because what about ALL that world outside those vehicle windows? My father was a deeply curious man, who carted me and my bro around all over this country, as he traveled for his job. Those were the best, most fun days ever….not only was he a great teacher, but I can still put my self in the car with him & brother, and smell and see the landscape and the banter and singing of those road trips, especially the first time in Arizona and Calif., pestering & pestering to stop & get a “DATE SHAKE”. It was so delicious! Early in your postings you have a really fun pic of Ross and his pancake w/all the trimmings. Brought back such a fun memory of a road trip w/dad…….he was very simple eater, and when my brother & I ordered the pancake w/all the fine goodies on it, he was speechless, never seen anything like it. That was in Arizona, too! Anyway………thank you forever, for such magnificent sharing.

    Reply

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