"The Parents of a "Conch"" Top 5 Page for this destination Key West by grandmaR

Key West Travel Guide: 2,067 reviews and 4,116 photos

One of the REAL Conchs is Mario Sanchez. In his 40s he started doing pictures of Key West as it was in his childhood. He carves the pictures and then paints them. He has signed some of the pictures which are on sale at the East Martello tower. My husband loves these pictures, so I bought him this signed print, and bought each of the children an unsigned print. The original pictures of course would be beyond my pocketbook.

Key West in 2001-2002

In January 2001, when we were living on our sailboat on a mooring, we rented a car and drove down to the lighthouse, and parked, and I took pictures of it.

When we lived in Key West in 1968, I started painting in oils. My first picture was of the Key West lighthouse (which is right in town at 938 Whitehead St.). At the time I painted this picture, I was pregnant with my third child.

[She was later born at the Naval Hospital here on the island. We tell her that that makes her a Conch although Palla has humorlessly pointed out that really you can't be a conch until your family has been here for generations.]

Key West in 1968.

We found a post card of the lighthouse before it was renovated in 1985, and it was cream/tan then just like my picture (inset). Now it is white.I also tracked down the Key West conch houses in the other picture I painted (opposite the park at the east end of Truman) and took pictures of them. You can't see them as well now - the trees have grown.

We returned to Key West in December 2001 for the 2001-2002 winter, but we didn't take a mooring this time but went into a marina at Boca Chica. We left for the

Bahamas in January 2002.

In the winter of 2003-2004, we were in a marina in Marathon and made the trip 'to town' about once a month. Last winter (2005), we come down by car and stayed on the Air Station for two weeks. I even climbed the lighthouse.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:water sports, easy to bike or walk around, lively
  • Cons:crowded from cruise ships
  • In a nutshell:The Conch Republic - a different place
  • Last visit to Key West: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (174)

Comments (32)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    thnx for the insights ;-)))

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Turtle Kraal museum is no longer free.

  • May 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    the retaurant exixts no more, we tryed to find it yesterdy, you can bye the building

  • May 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Hola en junio hay ferry Miami K West..???? Shelborne

  • Aug 3, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Hi there, I realize you said you were never at the Bull so just thought I would mention they don't serve any food at all. Neither does the Whistle or the Garden of Eden. All 3 bars ar liquor only joints. Not sure where Yahoo got that info.

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2008 at 11:44 PM

    Hi Rosalie. I really enjoyed reading your tips! I spent 1 day in Key West many years ago, would love to return. I hope my ratings help you tips receive some of the stars that they deserve! Greetings from Dubai :-) Jess

  • Jul 19, 2006 at 11:18 AM

    That scooter place is out of business there. They have two other locations and they rip you off big time. Use any other but them.

  • Varinia's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2006 at 9:58 AM

    Great pictures and useful info. Thanks. Blessings, Varinia

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2006 at 7:14 PM

    Beautiful picture of sunset.... excelleng page and tips. Great view from the Lighthouse!!

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2006 at 2:15 PM

    Just terrific photos/tips and the home page is just a lovely picture of your life and rewards. I'll return to your pages often. Best wishes, Carol


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