When Lloyd and I arrived in Cedar Key, Florida, we planned to stay 3 or 4 days, but quickly changed our minds. Even though it had been more than 10 years since we visited the small town on the Gulf Coast, it had not changed much. Annie's Restaurant, famous for serving eggs and fried mullet for breakfast, was still there and still cooking eggs and fish, the Island Hotel and King Neptune Bar hadn't changed a bit (why would it, it's been there since 1859?), Cooks Restaurant was still in operation, and Fred still conducted boat tours out to the other keys.
We rented a condo and stayed for two week. The people in Cedar Key were warm and welcoming from the get-go. I found out that a new place in town, Black Dog Bar and Tables, was holding a book signing for writer Art Atkins. I attended and listened to Art talk about his mystery set in Cedar Key. Owners Connie and Jay Edge invited me to sign at their place the next week. If you're ever in Cedar Key, you must visit the Black Dog, named after Connie and Jay's dog, Otis. This place is cozy, but classy. You can sip your wine or espresso while gazing out onto the Gulf of Mexico.
I also spent many mornings at Joe and Edie's place, Kona Joe's. Edie makes the best egg and cheese sandwiches. Enjoying my Americano, I sat around listening to the locals chat about life on the island, and soon I felt like a local myself. I also met artist, Carmen, at her shop the Barefoot Gallery (combo coffee shop and art gallery, showing and selling works by local artists.)
I was sad leaving Cedar Key, but I added another coastal town to my list of places to hang out when I need a Gulf of Mexico fix.