Listen to the Local’s

I’m back from The Keys…and not so happy about it. Although I have missed you all 🙂 We went from this:

To this:

Whomp. Whomp. Whomp.

I’m not going to complain anymore though because we had a great time, ate delicious food, even better desserts and soaked up every ray of sunshine possible.

We rented bikes as our mode of transportation, so i used the excuse that since I was riding at least 12 miles a day I was “earning” my desserts. Yeahh…I’m ridiculous.

Every restaurant we ate at was recommended by a local – Here is the recap aka an insane amount of Food Porn

Day 1

First stop: Flamingo Crossing – Homemade Ice Cream

Ordered: Mint Chocolate Chip & Cookies n Cream in a waffle cone

Grade: A+ – Perfect way to kick off the trip!

Day 1

Dinner: Ibis Bay Lighthouse

Ordered: Old Bay (lie, only MD serves Old bay apparently) Shrimp – Special of the Day: Blackened Yellow tail snapper with black beans and yellow rice – Seared sesame tuna with spanish rice

Grade: A+

Day 1: After dinner treat

Ordered: “Serendipity’s” Frozen Hot Chocolate

Grade: F for FAILURE. Hands down, the WORST dessert I’ve ever had. They claimed they follow serendipity’s recipe to the tee – but it’s a lie. This was basically icy water made to look like chocolate. Huge disappointment is an understatement.

Day 2:

Dinner: Conch Republic – huge restaurant on the water w/ great service and zero disappointments

Ordered: Appetizer: Cracked Conch (SEA SNAIL!?!?!?!) Dinner: Grilled Shrimp w/ Yellow Rice and Chef’s Veggies (which were the best veggies I’ve ever had at a restaurant) and Blackened Swordfish w/ yellow rice & veggies.

Grade: A+ – still can’t believe I ate a slithering sea-snail.

Day 2:

After Dinner Treat: Tempura fried strawberries rolled in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with dark chocolate in a white chocolate cream sauce with a side of vanilla bean ice cream.

Grade: I. die. for. this. A++++++

Day 3:

Breakfast: Blue Heaven – Heaven on a fork and Sin in a glass.

Ordered: Eggs over easy with homemade wheat bread, bacon, potatoes, 1 blueberry pancake and 1 strawberry pancake with real maple syrup and a glass of chocolate milk.

Grade: If there was a grade higher than an A, this would take it. If you are ever in Key West – GO HERE. There will be a wait, but it’s worth it.

Day 3

Linner: Sloppy Joe’s

Ordered: Pulled pork sandwich, Sloppy Joe sandwich, Bacon cheese fries

Grade: C+ – service..horrible, fries…cold, pulled pork was better than the famous sloppy joe. Wasn’t expecting gourmet food but still expected to enjoy my time there.

Day 3

Post Sunrise Cruise Treat: Better than Sex Desserts

Ordered: Peanut Butter Perversion & Between the Red Velvet sheets Cheesecake

Grade: A. I loved the atmosphere – it was pitch black and they hand you a flashlight to review the menu, the waitresses are actresses and there are fun games at the table – The cheesecake was SO red and velvety it was a true treat. It takes their chef 9 hours to make and it just won a crazy amount of awards. Of course i loved the peanut butter pie as well because we all know peanut butter + chocolate = amazeballs.

Day 4

Lunch: Green Republic – Regular, Vegetarian and Vegan Meals

Ordered: Mango Green Monster, Berry Good Smoothie, Vegan Avocado and swiss burger and steak and goat cheese sub

Grade: B – I thought everything was delicious but overpriced. It was $40 for the 2 sandwiches and 2 drinks. They also didn’t have any tables and you ate over your tray… I think they just opened so I’m sure they will pull it together!


Day 4

Cold dessert after spicy thai food: Mattheessen’s Eats, Sweets and Treats

Ordered: 1/2 pound chocolate chip cookie w/ Cookie Dough and Cookies n cream ice cream with pretty sprinkles (mine), 1/2 pound chocolate chip cookie w/ cake batter ice cream (Adam’s)

Grade: A+ – this was the FIRST dessert to ever defeat me. I’ve never not been able to finish a dessert….ever. No lie that I laid down in a booth for at least 10 minutes before my boyfriend had to pull me out of the restaurant because it was time to go. We should’ve shared one fo sho.


Dessert Coma


Day 5

What I love most: Ice Cream – Polar Bear Homemade Ice Cream

Ordered: Strawberry Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone

Grade: A+ – Key West clearly makes the best ice cream. I’m never going to be able to have ice cream anywhere ever again because it will never live up to this! I was so excited to eat this that my glasses became crooked.

We also had Key Lime Pie, various breakfasts/lunches we made from our grocery store visit, pizza and managed to polish off this baby:

Who wants to start placing bets on how much weight I gained during the trip? I did manage to get three 4.5 mile runs in, some weight lifting and all of the bike riding/swimming we did added into my daily routine but I’m still counting our eats as overindulging. As i sit here in the biggest pair of sweatpants I own, promising to get back to being healthy tomorrow, I’ve decided to start lent a week late. I’m giving up sweets… I know this isn’t going to be easy but that’s the point (in my mind). This means no ice cream, no cheesecake, no brownies/cookies/cupcakes/cake, fro-yo, etc. I can still have yogurt, granola bars, fruit, peanut butter etc (whew) but I haven’t decided if my frozen banana should be counted as dessert?? This is going to be a HUGE challenge for me but an extremely fulfilling one if I succeed. So, wish me luck!

It may be hard to believe but we did other things besides eat on our trip!

Laid out

Went on a Sunset Cruise

Went Snorkeling

Saw Dolphins!

Watched every sunrise and sunset possible

Made lots of funny faces & had the best time ever 🙂

We will definitely be back to visit Key West again (hopefully sooner than later) and highly suggest taking a vacation there if you haven’t.

You can find me at the gym working off the millions of calories i took in on vaca or in the kitchen creating recipes that will include anything BUT sweets for the next 33 days. I do have a couple of healthy dinner recipes I hope to post tomorrow… But for now I’ll be catching up on reading blogs! Hope everyone has a wonderful week 🙂

QUESTIONS: Any advice for giving up sweets? When you go on vacation are you more food or activity oriented?

Some sunrise/sunset favorites from Key West

Sorry for the picture overload!! I have about 50 more – if you want to see them you can check out my facebook page .

41 Responses to “Listen to the Local’s”

  1. Looks like a great trip! Although that massive cookie caught my eye! Was it a skillet cookie? They’re the best…

  2. Looks like such a fun time!!! All your desserts look amazing, especially the frozen hot chocolate! I hope your trip was great!

  3. OMG, you looked gorgeous!!!! Probably because you looked so happy! I’m so glad you had a fun time! I think I gained like 10 pounds just LOOKING at all that delicious food!1!

    I’m totally jealous!! 🙂

  4. You got some gorgeous sunset photos! And I’m starving now after looking at all your food porn!

  5. Oh my goodness, what a GREAT trip! Looks like you had so much fun. And seriously, your eats are making me HUNGRY! haha! So many gorgeous photos. I love it. You are making me wish I were at the beach right now, haha!

  6. totally jealous of all those delicious eats! glad you had fun =)

  7. I am going to hawaii in a 6 weeks and this post is giving me chills! I can’t wait!! I definitely look for adventure on any vacation. Food is a bit of an afterthought, although I LOVE finding unique places to try! I’m loving all your eats! That is a lot of dessert but it looks SO good!! My husband and I rarely get dessert, he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth (like I do) so I hate to buy stuff he won’t share with me!! lol

  8. Looks like it was a food-apalooza! Yum! So glad you had can tell you’re super happy in all the pics =)

    Advice for giving up sweets..don’t!

  9. What a great vacation!!! I tend to overindulge too when I go on vacation, especially on the desserts. Everything looks so yummy!! Glad you had a fabulous time, the weather here is amazing 😀

  10. I want that seared sesame tuna SO BADLY.

    and those fries. and that cookie and ice cream combo. and EVERYTHINGYOUJUSTPICTURED.

    take me next time? It’ll be an Alyssa trip! 😉

    your beautiful sunset photos remind me of one I took in the Keys a few years ago. it was featured in the Key Largo newspaper! 🙂

  11. This sounds like my kind of trip! I am absolutely drooling over your dessert pics, especially the red velvet cheesecake and giant chocolate chip cookies, and, well, all of them, really. Sounds like an amazing trip!

    My perfect vacation is a combination of activity and food! I just went on a ski vacation to Stowe, but half the reason I love it there is because the food rocks!

  12. alyssa! So amazing, the giant cookie caught my eye so I had to read more! I have been to sloppy joe’s, felt the same way about it. Your post reminded me to stop and smell the roses… and MAYBE take a vacation!! i love key west!

  13. enjoying life is what vacations are all about. LIFE includes GOOD FOOD! that’s what I did on my vacation. ENJOYED ALL OF LIFE and Indulged 🙂 by hey we can do that because we’re fit people! looks like a really amazing couple of days …p.s loving the white pants

  14. Looks like you had a great time! I have been to key west 1 time before and I loved it. Seeing your beach pictures are making me super anxious for my trip to Cali next week!!! 🙂

  15. OMG you’re adorable! Love the photos and the sun! Wow. And the rain… blah. lol
    Ok, stop it. Just stop. All the food! Oh my! you went all out!
    Tempora fried strawberries!? Frozen Hot Chocolate?! Ooooh swoon.

    Glad you’re back safe!

  16. 🙂 What?! no trips to tasti d-lite with me!! no fair, you need a cheat day! so i can come with 😉

  17. Beautiful! Looks like you two had a fabulous time!! And you are absolutely killing me with these desserts!! 🙂

  18. It looks like you had a fabulous time. I’m drooling over all the food!!!

  19. You’re gorgeous!! Look like a ton of fun!! Wow you’re eats look amazing!!

  20. I seriously don’t know where to begin on commenting. Your food looks so good! Like can you virtually send it to me?

    You are seriously gorgeous! You look so pretty and I’m glad it was so much fun! 🙂

  21. WHOA- everything looks soooo freakin’ good 😀 It is making me drool- lol! I REALLY want to try that tempera strawberry dessert- that does sound TO DIE FOR! That sucks about the Serendipity Frozen hot chocolate, although I have never had the real thing, I have heard such great things about it. One day I will get it…one day 🙂
    And a 1/2 pound cookie?! Holy smokes! I think I would of been defeated too- hahha 🙂 but it looks OH SO GOOD!
    So glad you had such a nice vacation- you are sooooooo tan!!! Pretty pretty!

  22. I’m loving those gorgeous sunsets, and you look like you had so much fun! All that food + desserts look fantastic too. If you want just a little more ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s free cone day is next Wednesday.

  23. These pictures are amazing! Food porn to the fullest! So jealous 🙂
    And you look so pretty in these pics, love the outfits!

  24. This post made me hungry! looks like the trip was a blast. Its a shame that the frozen hot choc wasnt up to par! Those tempura strawbs look amazing!!

  25. How fun to ride bikes! I’ve wanted to do that on vacation before, but my traveling companions are never amenable to the idea 😦

  26. That vacation looks amazing. Now I want to go to Key West just so I can eat all that wonderful food.

  27. T”empura fried strawberries rolled in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with dark chocolate in a white chocolate cream sauce with a side of vanilla bean ice cream.”.. i read that .. and I DIED! ahhh everything from you trip looks absolutely delectible! from the food porn, to the sunset cruise, to THAT desssert! so glad you had a good itme!

  28. Looks like you had some truly fabulous eats and a GREAT time!!!! 😀 Love all the pictures!

  29. OMG what a glorious vacay you must have had! But why no Key Lime Pie? 😉

  30. oh my gawd, you had SO flippin’ many fantastic eats!!! I seriously want to gauge my face in all of those desserts; and that red velvet cheesecake is SOO bright! Oh and the fried strawberries…and gazillions lbs of ice cream!?! livin’ large girlfriend and I love it!! Glad you’re back though, here’s exciting news to welcome you home…I added you to my brand new blogroll:) xoxo glad you had a great vaccay!

  31. Looks like you had a great trip I LOVE Mathessens they have the best cookies and ice cream we always get the cookies with all of the nuts = amazing! Havent tried Blue Heaven but I definitely need to next time im there! Im jealous of your tan btw 🙂

  32. You looks absolutely gorgeous!! And all that food looks so so delicious. Not going to lie, I was drooling over every ice cream, cookie, and cake picture 🙂 That place sounds so incredible and beautiful, I am glad you had a good time 🙂

  33. What an amazing trip…so much good food? I used to think that I could handle any dessert too, and I could! Until I turned 30 and my metabolism totally shut down. 🙂 But I think I could take on a 1/2 pound cookie quite willingly!

    You look gorgeous in these photos! Seriously, you are a knockout!

  34. I’m so jealous! The weather looks amazing! It looks like you had a wonderful time!

  35. looks marvelous! And, wow, you are so tan! I totally need to get some fake-tanner or something going on, I’m as pale as a sheet!

  36. Looks like such an incredible time with INCREDIBLE food! MMMM!!

  37. wow looks like you had an amazing time! i love going to the keys, it’s one of my favorite vacation spots. the food you had looks so delicious, argh now i’m hungry! can’t wait for your next post 🙂

  38. Wow, from the amazing local food, the decadent dessert (I wish I had some of that ice cream and cookie), and the sunrise/sunsets you sound like you had an incredible time and everyone needs a break every now and again. Wonderful post.


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