Swing Set

Sep 5, 201309:56 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Coconut Grove

(page 2 of 2)

On Tuesday night, we went to Cocowalk and went to the movie theatre. The Paragon 13 is the anchor to a very nice retail and restaurant mall right in the heart of Coconut Grove. We walked around "The Grove" after the show and was impressed. The area is very clean, and the people seem to be nice, although learning how to speak Spanish will prove to be a challenge.

There is an area in St. Louis called the Central West End, and Coconut Grove reminds us of that place. We lived there for a while and liked it. We are liking Coconut Grove, too, and we don't think there are as many purse snatchings here.

Mark and Debbie (yes, that is their real names), the couple we had met in the Exumas, live in the area and looked us up and invited us to dinner on Wednesday night.

We went for cocktails for happy hour and then to an eclectic burger bar called LOKAL, for a casual dinner. They gave us a short tour of the area before dinner and  overloaded us on local knowledge until I finally had to ask them to stop making any more suggestions. I couldn't retain the stuff they had already told us. The tour and dinner wound up being a delightful evening. The time flew by, and before we knew it, it was nearly 10 o'clock.

I have everything I need to clean the heat exchangers on the main engines, but I called Celeste at Key West Engines for some advice. After she told me I was on the right track with the method I had planned to use for acid cleaning the heat exchangers with Barnacle Buster, she told me about a new marina in Key West called Stock Island Marine Village. I checked the website and showed Rosie. The facility is opening on October 1. It is actually on Stock Island, on the "eastern" end of Key West, at mile marker 4.5. The marina will have floating concrete docks, a fitness center, and plans include a hotel and restaurant.

We liked what we saw on the website, plus we liked the dockage rates, so we called the harbormaster, Rob. He was very nice, and since we will be in Key West until December 1 anyway, we decided to get on the ground floor and reserve a slip at Stock Island Marine Village for the month of December to see if we'd like to stay there for the winter.

But we don't have to be in Key West until October 1, and we want to save some bucks, so we're leaving Grove Harbor Marina and going on a mooring ball at the Dinner Key Mooring Facility when we leave here on Saturday. Some other folks we met in Georgetown have their sailboat moored there and they like it. Their "home base" is here.

We're meeting another old friend and his wife on Friday night for dinner at Scotty's Landing. John Ziegler is the editor and publisher of The Waterfront Times in Fort Lauderdale. I've known him since first grade, and we keep in touch. We look forward to seeing him and his wife, Jen. They picked Scotty's because they knew Holly could come along. It's practically right next door to where we are, so we're happy to go there.

We ran some more errands in The Grove this morning and keep getting impressed with the area. We're actually torn between Key West and here, but we aren't making any long-term commitments. Most likely though, we'll either stay in Stock Island Marine Village longer than a month and then return here to Coconut Grove, or not return at all for a while.

This is not a bad predicament to be in.

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