A few things all midwesterners (like myself growing up) should know about Key West:
1) There are more than a few Keys. There are hundreds. I used to think there was about, eh, four.
2) Key West is a long way from Miami. An hour? More like 3.5 hours.
3) Something I learned on this trip because I took my kayaks - the water South of mainland Florida and around the Keys is really shallow. When I finally got my hands on a chart (I planned a lot of the trip from maps) I realized that despite deeper channels, you can navigate all around the area and always see the bottom (and you might even get stuck and have to get out of the kayak to pull yourself into deeper water).
4) Don't expect a lot of sandy beaches. It may look like a nice little small island but really it is a mangrove...a group of trees that can tolerate the salt water that they grow out of. They actually have pretty cool ways of getting rid of the salt. The picture below are young mangroves, I took the pic with my new Canon waterproof camera!
5) Key West is the coolest city in Florida.
Stay tuned for part two of six!