Destination hands out slices of pie
Tourism authorities for the Florida Keys cheerfully offered some Toronto and Hamilton residents the fruit of a baker’s labor this week.
Ashley Serrate of Florida Keys & Key West and Jerry Grymek — who represents the destination in this country — handed out slices of Key lime pie to passers-by in both cities’ downtown areas from a trailer decorated in images of the southernmost part of Florida.
The catchy event enabled some Ontario residents to sample a dish that is part and parcel of the Florida Keys, Serrate said in Toronto on Monday.
“It’s our iconic desert,” she said of a tropical dish that originated in the Florida Keys and is commonly found on restaurant menus there.
Serrate said the imaginative promotion reflects the creativity found in the part of the world she promotes.
“Throughout the islands there’s a lot of art, culture and history, and of course everyone knows that Ernest Hemingway lived and worked in Key West,” she said.
Serrate added her destination will appeal to nature enthusiasts, having 10 state parks, and “1.5” national parks. The unusual figure is a result of part of Everglades National Park reaching into The Florida Keys.
The Florida Keys are also home to Dry Tortugas National Park, only accessible by ferry or seaplane. That park is home to long-standing Fort Jefferson, which counted among its 19th-century inmates one Samuel Mudd, with many believing the expression “your name is mud” resulted from his criminal behaviour.
Key Largo is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reefs State Park, the first underwater park in the United States.
Serrate said Islamorada has both “great food and a great arts scene.”
She noted that winter is looming and said her destination will offer a warm-weather retreat for visitors, with January regularly seeing temperatures of 80 to85 Fahrenheit.
She said the Florida Keys are only a “hop, skip and a jump away” for southern Ontario residents, with Toronto and Miami being around 2 hours and 30 minutes away by air, and the Keys then being around 45 minutes by car from Miami.
The 113-mile Overseas Highway enables people to easily travel the watery region, with the road featuring 42 bridges.
Pictured: Ashley Serrate and Jerry Grymek were handing out slices of Key lime pie in downtown Toronto on Monday, as part of a Florida Keys & Key West promotion.