Key West is about 130 miles from Miami. According to a New York Times article, 400 islands make up this 150-mile-long chain of the Keys. Years ago traveling down the 18 mile stretch from Florida City to Key Largo meant driving down a long deadly two lane road with lots of large trucks, campers and boats for company. Not much to see out there but the wetlands at a distance and a few eagles perched high in their nests on top of large wooden posts.
A few years ago Monroe County DOT began a road expansion project costing the county over 400 million dollars which includes additional lanes and one very large bridge between islands. This bridge eliminates the need for the older much smaller draw bridge which only delayed traffic as large motorboats and sailboats brought traffic to a stand still. The most important addition for me has been the barriers between the northbound and southbound lanes. I really believe it will save many lives. Some of the roads have been completed. Soon, we will fully enjoy the option of two lanes on our drive south and two lanes on our drive north, and we really enjoy that extra lane, for it keeps traffic moving at a smooth pace. Once the county completes this bridge you see above and it is fully operational, I am sure the drive will be a breeze...no pun intended.
In the meantime, my family and I will continue our two hour drives in the stop and go traffic in order to enjoy a little piece of paradise. We believe the ocean breeze, sunshine, crystal clear blue waters and easy going attitude of the natives are all worth it.
This is just one of the many colorful buildings in Key Largo as we drive through the island on the way to Islamorada.
I am not sure what it is but as soon as we drive into Key Largo, we are in another world. Maybe it is because my husband and I share a history here. It was right here off Key Largo's shore that I experienced my first coral reef dive, and my husband spent years snorkeling and scuba diving off the Keys, exploring sunken ships and massive coral reefs. Still today he has an incredible love for the sea and everything in it. Whether up high in the mountains or floating on a blue sea, we are home in God's world.
I found these two links: great virtual tour and awesome video.
Key Largo Virtual Tour
ABC NEWS KEY LARGO VIDEO (see underwater footage)