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Friday, June 8, 2012

Key West FL - 2004

This is a re-print of an original post to the ThompsonFamilyWeb site about a trip I took with my family to Key West in February 2004. It is completely unaltered from my original post.



Kirk Intro

2001 Part 1
2001 Part 2
2001 Part 3

2002 Part 1
2002 Part 2
2002 Part 3
2002 Part 4

2004

2005 Catch-up
Key West, Florida - February 2004
My wife Andie and I had been talking about going to Key West FL for quite some time. We finally decided to go in February of 2004. As of this writing it has been more than a year since our trip - I'm afraid I have been very remiss in keeping this website up-to-date - so I'm afraid I don't recall many of the details of the trip. Instead I will provide some general impressions as I recall them and a few pictures from our trip.
In general, we loved Key West. I found it to be a great cross between Provincetown MA, New Orleans LA and the Caribbean. When we arrived the weather was not great - warm but cloudy and drizzly - and the forecast was for this pattern to continue for the first half of our trip. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we spent this time exploring the island rather than lazing about the resort all day - something we are wont to do. It was also an interesting experience for our kids - especially Natalie (10) the older of our 2 girls. Let's just say that the "free and easy" spirit of the people, the diversity of the culture and even the rather interesting slogans found on some of the T-shirts in the shop windows proved to be somewhat eye-opening for her.
Besides visiting the downtown area and sampling many of the restaurants, we also went kayaking (pictures below) and whale-watching. Although Key West is mostly considered to be an adult destination, there were plenty of family-oriented pastimes as well.
We stayed at the Hyatt Beach House, part of the Hyatt Vacation Club. Since purchasing our interest in Disney Vacation Club in 1998 we have twice used it to "trade out" to non-Disney Timeshare properties. The first time was in the summer of 2002 when we went to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This was our second time. I actually requested a 1-bedroom, and discovered that if a 2-bedroom becomes available you will get it and be charged the 1-bedroom rate. So, we got one week at the Hyatt in a 2-bedroom villa for 172 points. Conventional wisdom among DVC members is that using your points within the DVC resorts provides the most "bang for the buck". Well, with this trip I discovered that this isn't true - that the best deal is to request a 1-bedroom and get a 2-bedroom. Of course this will not always be a sure bet - and maybe it's rare that it happens - but it is a great deal. (By comparison, 5 nights (Sunday - Thursday) at Disney's Hilton Head in a 2-bedroom villa was 140 points. And the point rate for non-weekend stays at DVC are particularly good)
We really enjoyed the resort itself - the property was beautiful and the room was nice and spacious. The kids enjoyed the pool, but complained of it being "boring" after a few days - I guess they are used to the Disney pools. Also, the so-called "beach" was all but unusable - see pictures below. But, with all that Key West has to offer these quibbles are minor.
Here are some pictures from our stay:

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