Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.Dinner: This evening’s dinner at the hotel is a plated, 3-course meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert.Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
Take the rest of the evening to settle in, relax, and prepare for the day ahead.Lodging: Hyatt Resort and Spa Key WestMeals Included: Dinner
Excursion: Key West By Trolley. During an hour long, narrated trip see why this island that is only four miles long and two miles wide is such a fascinating place.
Field Trip: Explore Fort Zachary Taylor with a docent. Known as Fort Taylor, this Civil War era fortress served as headquarters for the U.S. Navy's East Gulf Coast blockade squardron.Lunch: Lunch today is out at a local favorite.Afternoon: Field Trip: Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Eco-Discovery Center features more than 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits including a mock-up of Aquarius, the world's only underwater ocean laboratory. Colorful exterior artwork depicts the deep sea, coral reef, and mangrove shoreline. Here we will learn about native plants and animals of the Keys, marine and terrestrial, for increased awareness and appreciation of the need to protect and conserve South Florida’s ecosystem.Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
Lecture: John James Audubon. America's greatest wildlife artist and early naturalist began exploring Florida in 1831 and visited the Keys and Dry Tortugas the next year. He left having sighted and drawn 22 birds for his "Birds of America" folio. Audubon's painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree found in the front yard of the so-called Audubon House where he stayed in Key West.Lodging: Hyatt Resort and Spa Key WestMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lecture: Cuba is located only 90 miles from Key West; these two islands are closely linked and their relationship is one of the most unusual and fascinating in all of American history. Learn about their cultural and economic ties and how Key West has transformed over the past 175 years.
Lunch: At the hotel.Afternoon: Field Trip: Audubon House and Gardens. We will have a guided exploration of the place Audubon lived and worked while in Key West, then the home of one of the town’s founders. In the center of the lot was a garden of native and imported tropical plants Audubon used in his images of local birds. Learn about Audubon’s life and work here as well as the history of the house itself, which was the first restoration project in Key West (1958) and still considered the gem of the island's restoration movement. The home displays 28 first edition Audubon works.
We will finish today's activities around 3:00pm to allow time for independent exploration.
Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening to explore and sample the town's numerous dining options. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.Evening: Free Evening. Enjoy a stroll to view the passing parade. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, wet your whistle in one of Hemingway's favorite hang-outs. Hint: Two local bars lay claim to being his "real" favorite.Lodging: Hyatt Resort and Spa Key WestMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Field Trip: Hemingway House. A docent will lead us through former residence of one of America’s iconic writers, whose personal life was a colorful as any of his characters. Ernest Hemingway first visited Key West in 1928, arriving from Havana. Learn about the lives and times in Key West of Hemingway, his wife Pauline, and the house itself. Personal touches are everywhere throughout the house, from European antiques to trophies and skins that were the legacy of African safaris. It was here that Hemingway produced some of his best known works including “To Have And Have Not” set in Key West. Descendants of his six-toed cat abound.Lunch: Walk around the corner from the Hemingway House and have lunch at the Six-Toed Cat restaurant.Afternoon: Field Trip: Little White House. President Truman’s first 19 months were grueling and left him physically exhausted. His doctor ordered a warm vacation and Key West was chosen. The President and Mrs. Truman arrived in November 1946 for a week of relaxation. He fell in love with the climate and small town charm, returning to what became known as the Little White House for 11 presidential working vacations and five post-Presidential trips after leaving office. Truman claimed Key West was his second favorite place on earth -- surpassed only by his hometown, Independence MO.Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the gardens of Kelly's Caribbean Bar and Restaurant, whose building was was formerly the birthplace of Pan Am.Evening: Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Dock. Here in Key West, watching the sun go down is a daily ritual. Even more, it’s a festival with arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, vendors, and a crowd of thousands consisting of locals and visitors alike. People begin gathering about two hours before sunset for this multi-cultural “happening” that embodies the spirit of Key West.Lodging: Hyatt Resort and Spa Key WestMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner