Middle Keys realtor Bill Wilkinson and his wife Karen have just sold a two-and-a-half million dollar oceanfront property. He discusses the unique market, what opportunities are available to the local workforce, and how exactly buyers end up with their eyes on this island paradise located just before the Seven Mile Bridge, and before the final stretch of US 1 takes travelers to Key West.
Ordering a Starbucks in the Florida Keys is simply sinful. That company is headquartered on another ocean located two time zones away. On the sub-tropical islands south of Miami Cuban and Caribbean cuisine; and, as in this case coffee, reign. At Leigh Ann’s Coffee House on Key Colony Beach the baristas are busy taking orders of cafe con leches and making shots of bucci. We go back behind the counter and start grinding the beans.
There is an island halfway between Miami and Key West called Islamorada. Home to sportfishing, a world-renown arts and cultural district, sandbar Sundays, an Olympic-sized swimming and dive facility, and enough fine dining to keep a foodie occupied for years, the island is a sought-after location to escape, vacation, or move to.
It’s no wonder that home prices have escalated to prices right around half of a million dollars. Moorings Realty has all of the latest on this sellers’ market.
There’s a drink being made and served up to patrons from as far away as Canada at this local Florida Keys establishment in Islamorada. The drink is called the 88 Relaxer and is made with infused-spiced rum, plenty of fruit juices and a host of other
islandy-ingredients. Whether you’re on the property for breakfast, lunch or the world-renown sunset, this cocktail puts the Caribbean in anyone’s Caribbean vacation.
The Islamorada Fine Arts and Cultural District has a new neighbor, Blue Marlin Jewelry. Owner, Armando Gonzalez moved to Mile Marker 81.5 Oceanside with only a courtyard separating him and Art by Pasta.
This Art and Cultural District is now home to some of the county’s, and nation’s, most revered artists and businesses. On this particular Friday in February the crowd witnessed the Pasta art sculpture unveiling for the Florida Keys’ only authorized Rolex dealer.
Chorizo oil, crab and couscous can take the most basic chicken breast and turn the poultry cut from bland to delectable.
Marathon High’s culinary instructor, Carl Stanton and I get crankin’ in the kitchen to show you how to make Chicken Roulade with couscous, chorizo oil, guava, habanero and a rum butter sauce.
These flavors are oh-so Caribbean and oh-so delicious for dinner.
Visitors and tourists alike will mangia bene at Frank’s Grill in Marathon. Located in the Town Center Shopping Plaza the red and white patio umbrellas welcome diners. Frank has logged close to three decades in the kitchen creating Italian cuisine using fresh ingredients from the surrounding Caribbean.
As they say in Italy, “delizioso!”
“He always needs a fishing pole,” states Mario Campos owner of Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters.
Let’s face the facts. Valentine’s Day is about the ladies and the man is undoubtedly expected to wine her, dine her, and give her lavish gifts to show her the love. Or at the very least, present her with a token of affection from the local gift shop.
Women don’t need to go all out for him. A simple presentation of a book, or perhaps something done in love in the name of service will suffice.
According to WKYC Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling’s latest forecast in 2015 at this time ninety- six percent of Lake Erie was frozen. This year, to mark Valentine’s Day 2016 just one percent of the lake in the Upper Western Basin near Canada has turned to tundra.
That means the ice fishing gear is coming off the shelves and going back into the store rooms as retailers prepare for an early Walleye season.
“I’m going to have two shifts beginning in a couple of weeks. One from 6 am to 4 pm and the other from 10 am to 8 pm to cover the crowds,” Campos details his coverage plans and points to a sign on the door reading, “Full Time Temporary HELP WANTED.”
Campos’ store is located just two blocks away from the Maumee River and right now, instead of bracing for record-breaking lows, he’s bracing for two months of fourteen hour days to cater to the crowds that will flood his store for every lure and line they need to score with the Walleye.
So, if you do want to gift your guy a sweet something, Campos is confident any man will swoon over the Saint Croix Eyecon series rod. The item is apparently what every Coastal Ohio fisherman is searching for to conquer the Maumee River March mayhem. According to the Toledo Metro Parks, as in every year, a half of a million Walleye will conduct their reproductive ritual in Lake Erie’s largest flowing river.
The natural event and this piece of gear is so intense, the company’s website says the rod is retailed for the man ready to “Grab life by the hands. Seize the day. Go for it, Amigo.”
There Comes A Time In Every Man’s Life When He has To Say, “Frankly My Dear Boss, I Don’t Give A Damn.”
Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters employee Ryan Smith is quick to point out, “This is one of the most popular fishing rods around here. Saint Croix makes a couple of designs the Avids, Premieres, Triumphs. There are twenty different styles of fishing poles made from Saint Croix.”
To sweeten the deal this February 14 for your man, who has his own intricate love affair with fishing, Smith recommends the Eyecon 6′ to 6’5″ pole. The retail price is a mere $123.95 and the guys at Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters have about three dozen on hand sure to be treasured more than your two dozen red roses which won’t see March.
“These are made technique specific for Walleye. Ninety-percent of fishermen use a Carolina Rig which is a mixer of sinkers, leader lines and lures,” Smith sweetens the sale.
For bigger trout fishermen will should be outfit with a longer pole. For heavy trolling in the lake the pole you purchase will have to be longer.
But, in the end, it’s the Saint Croix Eyecon to set your flame on fire this Saint Valentine holiday.
“The rod is sensitive with a good backbone,” Campos showers on the affection he attaches to the piece. “Guys love the way this is designed specifically for walleye. The fish is the mainstay of the Maumee River.”
Check out the Ohio Department of Natural Resources page for the next Maumee and Sandusky Rivers Report.
Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters is located at 104 West Wayne Street. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Much Love!
Contractors in the Upper Keys are experiencing a flurry of activity. Buyers are entering the Upper Keys real estate market, often with cash in their hands, to buy and remodel entire homes and the accompanying property. As soon as the dust from Pierre’s New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular settled down over the ocean, buying activity turned on like a light switch.
Here’s more with fifteen-year veteran realtor Stephanie Clark.
Coastal Ohio is expected to experience temperatures below the 20 degree fahrenheit mark for Valentine’s Weekend. Forecasters are even predicting lows of negative three degrees.
Which means love birds will need to heat the scene up across the shores of the entire lake. Of course a Caribbean Cruise is the creme da la creme and the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show takes place this weekend at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.
If you can’t reach the South Florida spot for everything nautical and nice and still want to give the gift of love look no further than the Ohio Turnpike. There are red hot items to entice everyone and everyone’s budget. Here’s a glance at gifts to grab for your flame to ensure the mercury for romance really races off the charts. WARNING: There’s a lot of chocolate mentioned and this list is for the ladies.