Seven months into this pregnancy and I’m feeling the need to get away. As much as I love my hometown, it’s oh so dreary and cold in March. While the rest of the United States seems to warm up and embrace to onset of Spring, Pittsburgh lags behind stubbornly holding onto winter all the way through mid-April. A trip to the sunny Florida Keys for some prenatal rest and relaxation are at the top of the order!
This is not my first time down here, of course. I was married in Key West three years ago. Since then, my parents have rented a house on the beautiful island of Sunset Key every February and March – smartly avoiding the cold, wet decent into spring. This year, for a whole three weeks (!) I will be joining them for mocktails by the pool, warm sunshine on my face and of course some long naps in the shade with my (swollen!) feet up on a chaise.
Sunset Key is something of a curiosity to me. Located just 500 yards west of Key West, the private tropical island has an interesting history. Originally operated by the US Navy as a submarine fueling station during the Cold War (Key West is only 90 miles away from Cuba), the island was dubbed “Tank Island.” Although fuel lines were run to the island, only two of the twelve fuel tanks were ever constructed and the island saw little military action.
So, in the mid 1980s the 27 acre island was sold off to developers from New England. I don’t know the purchase price of the island at the time, but I’m pretty sure it ended up being a good deal! Today the beautiful island is occupied by private homeowners with the Westin of Key West operating a small number of pricy guest cottages, a fine dining restaurant on the beach, and an upscale spa. The private island is only accessible via boat pass for a shuttle that runs every half hour from the Westin Marina on Key West.
My parents have had the lucky opportunity to rent one of the stunning beachfront homes on Sunset Key for the past three years. In that time they have made countless friends on Key West and Sunset Key and have, in turn, fallen in love with the islands. Visiting them is always a joy and I know this year will be no different.
During a beautiful sunny afternoon earlier this week, my mom and I walked around Sunset Key taking pictures of the houses. As this is a renovation/home decor blog, I felt it fitting to share them.
Check out my next blog post (up shortly, I promise!) for more pictures of the lovely homes on Sunset Key and more about the architecture and design of the islands.