So, how many times have you heard about a place that sounds special or interesting and you have said, “I want to go there”, but you never have? That is what I thought about Cedar Key. I wanted to go there, heard about it a million times from women and never got up there til last weekend.
Well, I’m at the Monday mingle at Cody’s sitting with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages and she says, “I have a condo in Cedar Key for this next weekend – How about if the 4 of us go.” Oh my God!!! I’d love to, I just have to see if Maggie can come down a night earlier, she was able and so at least three of us made it to Cedar Key for the weekend.
Maggie and I left about 8:00am on Friday and we stopped to pick up our ride in Lutz and then off to Cedar Key with a breakfast stop at Emily’s Family Restaurant in Homosassa. Now talk about a fun place to visit and eat. Quirky, filled with memorabilia, no pretense, down-home food, friendly and fun. You might think you landed back in the 50’s complete with scratchy FM reception, pictures of Marilyn on the wall, lots of big names. We are taken back to the days of Elvis, James Dean, Beatles and JFK days here.
After another couple hours drive we were on Cedar Key. Got to the condo, picked up the golf cart and headed out to see the island with a tour on the golf cart. We drove toward the Airport, really a landing strip and then took a few back roads and other roads along the water before we stopped at Tony’s for a cup of the WORLD’S Best Clam Chowder. They were the Champions for the past 3 years. This was the best chowder I have ever tasted. What a treat!
Saturday morning we had a super breakfast at a 60’s joint on the pier – fresh, homemade food that tasted like it. Then off for an airboat ride. Since the winds were a little strong and the waters rough we opted to go Sunday at Noon. What a difference a day would make. So we spent the afternoon at several art galleries. One image that always showed up everywhere was of the “Honeymoon Cottage.” We heard many stories about this but I found this one. “In 1959, Margaret and Philip Thomas, who owned the Thomas Hotel (now known as the Thomas Center) in Gainesville Florida, built the famous stilt house (sometimes nicknamed the Honeymoon Cottage). The stilt house is out in the gulf a short ways from land, but was connected by a wooden walkway. In 1985, Hurricane Elena destroyed the walkway and did much damage to the wooden house, but it has become the most-photographed building in town and once graced the side patches of the local police department uniforms.”
— excerpt courtesy of Cedar Key Florida, A History by Kevin McCarthy
We were all fascinated with the work of Ann Kamzelski. Ann also had several photographs where she used images of the Honeymoon Cottage. Ann developed a new art form for herself where she blends 2 to over 500 of her individual photos to make a finished piece of art. This technique requires an extensive knowledge of photography, computer skills, art elements, composition and principles; and in her case a sense of humor. Check Ann’s art out www.photoartbyann.com Then off to some antique and thrift shops in town. Even stopped in the convenient store for a bottle of water and noticed the little glasses of wine, about 4 inches tall sitting in a case up front. The clerk was anxious to tell us the story of how those were backed by the Shark Tank TV show. We commented how the glasses reminded us of the small jelly jars our moms bought back when, that we used as glasses for our morning juice.
Also stopped at a local outdoor furniture makers and talked to the man and admired his work, Herman Wells. He’s been making furniture here since 1995. There were two others from the Tampa area purchasing some furniture while we were there. A little about the building he is in: it served the community as a Pentecostal church up until the 1970s, when it was sold to a builder of small fishing boats. It later became Wells Wood [Outdoor] Furniture, a facility for building wooden furniture. In 2007, the Cedar Key City Commission placed the building on the local register of historic places.”
We spent some time in the pool and dinner was at the Island Room Restaurant – fresh grouper and shrimp, vegetables and potatoes to die for, and don’t forget the sour dough rolls. The desserts all sounded marvelous but none of us finished our meals so passed up on those calories and took our to-go-boxes home to enjoy at another time. Sunday morning we went to Annie’s Café for breakfast, finished packing and then took our 2 hour airboat ride. Captain Brian from Flying Fish Airboat Adventures took us around to see the nesting of the spoonbills and the White Pelican Island. Gave us some history on the area and about the Farm Raised Clams. It was great just being out in the fresh air and waters of the Gulf. Check out their web site www.CedarKeyAirboat.com
After the ride and quick stop for a bowl of Clam chowder at Tony’s, we were off to Homosassa where we stopped to see where our girls, Karmic Tattoo, play once a month. It’s at The Shed at Macrae’s, 5290 S Cherokee Way, Homosassa, FL, 34448. What a great place right on the water and it is very “Happening” all around there. They are playing this weekend here Saturday August 24th at 6:00pm and then again the 25th Sunday at 2:00pm.
If you have the chance to get to Cedar Key, go. We loved it. Watch out for the big festival weekends, I hear it is fun but crazy then. Glad we were up on a slow calm weekend, no crowds and the friendliest of people.
We stayed at the Natures Landing Condos 352-543-9900 if you need a starting point.