Marker 88 was not on the original agenda, but when I was googling "mile marker 8" to see why that was significant to me and Scott on the way down to Florida, Marker 88 came up as a highly recommended restaurant, so we decided to check it out for lunch on the way back to Riverview.
The first stop was Long Key State Park (mile marker 67.5) where John and Danny talk about life in the early morn. Along the way we saw what appeared to be a blimp, but it was stationary. A little on the road research confirmed our thoughts - it was a blimp! Interesting.
|Fat Albert Blimp|
When we arrived at Long Key, we asked the park ranger for the location where a particular scene was shot and she gave us directions for hiking to or driving to and then taking a quick walk to the location. We opted for the latter as we felt we were losing time. We parked near the kayaks and set off on the trail. Soon we saw the nasty beach where we think scenes from episode 12 occurred. Do not click that link unless you want a recap (spoiler) of that episode.
|We think they cleaned the beach up a little before filming...|
We followed the Mosquito Control guy down the path for a bit.
The trail was kinda creeping me out. I was wearing flip flops and while I was dodging spider webs, I was wondering 'What in the world dug all of those holes? And are they currently in them?'
And then we were on the boardwalk portion of the trail so I thought we could relax, but no, look at this guy!
|We almost stepped on this Black Racer trying to get further down the trail...|
The second stop was Anne's Beach at mile marker 73.5, a few miles north. This is where Robert Rayburn kayaked daily. We walked the boardwalk and snapped some pictures but we didn't stay long.
The next stop was Robbie's Islamorada. Interestingly enough, my brother tried to talk us into stopping here to feed the tarpon. He showed me a picture of him with his left arm halfway down a tarpon's throat from when he was there 4 years ago. His right arm was bloody from feeding the fish already and his wife conveniently missed that shot so Michael had to sacrifice his other arm for the photo.
Danny and Eric spent some time here. Next time maybe we'll feed the tarpon....
The next stops were just bars that Danny liked to frequent - Green Turtle Inn and The Ocean View Inn and Pub but we just drove on past because we spent too much time at the first 3 stops. We hadn't planned to do so much "hiking" during those stops.
|We did get a quick picture of the Ocean View Inn though...|
And to think it was dumb luck (Divine Intervention) that we even ended up at Marker 88...
|Us after lunch in our swing booth - before we had ANY idea!|
|Danny and his dad discussing the future of the Rayburns|
Beautiful views, a nice breeze, very friendly staff who immediately knew we weren't locals because we made a reservation (in the off season, for lunch, at 11am opening time) and delicious food and drink.
We had the lobster and mango guacamole (not pictured) and our new favorite fish (pictured below). We discussed getting a Hogfish sandwich, but the server (Penelope!) convinced us to try this dish instead and I cannot remember what she called it. It was one of the specials with Hogfish topped with a crab cake and smothered in a delectable lemon beurre sauce. It. Was. So. Good!
|Hogfish and Crab Cake Special with Thai Green Beans|
Penelope educated us on Hogfish - they often get trapped in the lobster traps with lobster and crabs because they dine on both delicacies. Hogfish is described as sweeter than grouper and as rich as scallops. We were in Food Heaven.
After the meal, Penelope instructed us to scrape our plates into the ocean to feed the locals.
|Too Perfect, Fish and Chips|
|Key Lime Baked Alaska|
It was very refreshing and scrumptious. I would have it again!
With our bellies full, we decided to enjoy some A/C and make tracks back to the family in Riverview. What a lovely adventure we had!