Monday, June 20, 2016

The Tropic Cinema in Downtown Key West Florida

The Tropic Cinema has got to be one of the most iconic spots in downtown Key West, and if you check out much local Key West art you are likely to see the Tropic and the iconic Marilyn Monroe statue pop up quite a bit. The Tropic is right in the heart of downtown on Eaton just off Duval. Even if you aren't headed to a show, look for the people taking pictures with the life-size Marilyn Monroe statue out front. The Tropic might look historic, but it is actually a retro designed cinema that went in around 2004 and is actually in an old factory space. The Tropic is the perfect place to chill on a hot day and they tend to show a pretty good variety of films. On your next visit to Key West consider taking in a show at the Tropic, and be sure to wave if you see Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Georgetown Fair Queen Contestant Tea coming up on July 10

Summer is here and that means its almost time for the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant, and things kick off this year with the Georgetown Fair Queen Contestant Tea to be held on July 10th at the Georgetown fairgrounds. The contestant tea is the annual kickoff for the search to find the next Georgetown Fair Queen, and it is a chance for contestants to get all the info about the pageant from directors Karen Thornsbrough and Jill Pope. Contestants will hear firsthand from Miss Georgetown Fair 2015 Sierra Dicken about her year of service and her trip to the state pageant where she finished as a finalist.

Miss Georgetown Fair spends the week at the fair in August making appearances with her court, and she goes on to compete at the Illinois state county fair queen pageant held in January. Miss Georgetown is active in her community making appearances all year long, and since we are the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen, you'll see lots of pictures right here at Josh and Joe Travels.

Think you've got what it takes to do Queen Sierra's job? Look for the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant on Facebook and get in touch with directors Karen and Jill. Or get in touch with us and we'll connect you with the directors. We've been working with Karen and Jill for years, so we can tell you that the lucky winner will spend the next year with two of the hardest working directors in Illinois.

This summer is sure to be lots of fun, but it can fly by before you know it, so be sure to check back often to see what the Georgetown Fair Queen is up to as we head toward August and the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant. Count on seeing pictures here first at Josh and Joe Travels!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Blue Heaven and Bahama Village in Key West

Blue Heaven is one of the most popular places to eat in Key West, and Bahama Village is one of the coolest and most historic places on the island. People love Blue Heaven for the jerk chicken and fresh seafood dinners, and they also serve a great breakfast.

Blue Heaven is all outdoor seating, so keep this in mind depending when you visit. During the cooler months just about any time of day is a great time to be outdoors at a place like Blue Heaven, but in warmer months you might like breakfast when it is still reasonably cool, or waiting until after dark for what Blue Heaven calls "dinner under the stars." If there is rain in the forecast, though, this place might be best saved for another day.

We enjoyed our recent breakfast at Blue Heaven. We got there around 8:30am and didn't have to wait for a table, but the place filled up quick while we were eating. We saw a few big parties having a great time, so if you are in town with a small group keep this place in mind for breakfast or brunch. Our blueberry pancakes were tasty, and they even offer real maple syrup for a little extra. If you really love Blue Heaven they have a pretty big gift shop so you can take home something for your friends.

Parking in Bahama Village can be hard to come by so we walked a few blocks from the parking lot at the downtown fire station which took about 10 minutes, and after breakfast we hit a few of our favorite art galleries on Duval to make the most of what we paid to park. If you have a bicycle your totally in business - just be sure to lock up your bike securely anytime you leave it.

If you've already been to Blue Heaven for breakfast we also like Two Friends on Front Street which has similar patio dining and puts you in a great spot to start your day on Duval or even around the historic seaport district. So the next time you are in town be sure to visit Blue Heaven and check out Bahama Village, and be sure to stop and say hi if you see Josh and Joe Travels!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Key West Custom House at Mallory Square

The historic Key West Custom House is one of the first buildings you see in Key West if you come in to port on a cruise, and it is the centerpiece of the seaport at Mallory Square. The Custom House was put up in the late 1800's and today it is one of the most popular historic sites on the island. Currently home to the Key West Art and Historical Society, you can tour the museum just about any day but Christmas for a small fee. The Custom House is one of Joe's favorite buildings in Key West and he has some pretty wild stories about his adventures there as a young Conch. One of the new additions to the Custom House is Robert the doll peaking out the window. If you've watched many shows about haunted places or follow any ghost hunters you might have heard about Robert the doll, but if you haven't just hook up with one of the haunted history tours in Key West on your next visit. So take a look at these pictures and the next time you are in the Keys try to find the same angles of the building by standing right in the same spot as Josh and Joe Travels!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Old Bahia Honda Bridge in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are connected to the mainland by a series of bridges, and the original bridges were part of Flagler's railway project in the early 1900's. You can find references to the old railway all over the Keys, especially when driving on Flagler in Key West, or anytime you see one of the Conch tour trains roll by in old town.

Old Bahia Honda bridge still stands today, and you might notice it's the old Bahia Honda bridge in the masthead photo at the top of our blog. The current modern bridge was built around 1980, but the old bridge was put up 100 years ago when Henry Flagler brought rails down the Keys from Miami. Old Bahia Honda is probably one of the most iconic pieces of the overseas highway, so you'll see it in lots of photographs. You can walk out on a short section of the bridge if you visit Bahia Honda State Park on the north end of the bridge, or you an get a look at the disconnected span from the south end where there is a pathway and sidewalk that takes you down to the base of the modern bridge.

We often stop at the south end of the Bahia Honda bridge where Joe likes to hunt for shells and other things that wash up on the shore, but if you don't stop and walk down to the shoreline you might never see the old restroom building and exposed water pipes from the days of old route 1 before the modern bridges. If the old bridges peak your curiosity we suggest stopping at Old Seven and at Old Bahia Honda, where you'll see a few things in common from the old overseas highway. And be sure to wave if you happen to see Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stay Calm and Shop McDonough

In between Florida and the midwest we find ourselves driving through Georgia a lot, and one of the places we tend to like to spend some extra time is McDonough. If you don't know you're way around Georgia, McDonough is just a few minutes south of Atlanta, and it's home to a quaint downtown square full of shops and restaurants. Downtown McDonough is a great place to walk around a stretch your legs after a day on the road, and while we love eating at O.B.'s BBQ just off interstate 75, you're sure to find a great place to eat on the square. We even found a great slice of apple pie for dessert, and we regularly happen upon special events and a lively crowd. We like McDonough a lot, and if you need extra directions when you stop just look for the downtown visitors center which is in an old classic filling station. And don't forget to wave if you happen to see Josh and Joe Travels!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Key West Sunset from Mallory Square in May

Most of our friends know how much we love watching sunset from White Street Pier in Key West, but you can't see the sun from White Street in the spring and summer. If you are visiting Key West for the first time, or if you just love to see all the people and street performers, a good spot to see sunset from in May is Mallory Square. To actually see the sunset you'll need to go down the pier one way or another from where most of the performers are set up, but with a little looking around you should be able to find a good spot like us. One of our tips for getting great pictures at sunset is to grab a few shots of the buildings and boats as they light up in the golden hour sun. We also suggest using the manual settings on your camera to help capture some great color by underexposing just a little, and be sure to use flash if you are taking pictures of friends and family with the sun setting in the background. We go to watch sunset just about every night, so if you happen to see us at Mallory or anywhere else on the island, be sure wave when you see Josh and Joe Travels!