007 Travel story: Florida (USA) 2019: Seven Mile Bridge and arriving in Key West

In order to read our Florida 007 Travel story from day 1, click here

Today’s Bond locations:

Seven Mile Bridge

Casa Marina Key West

Monday 8th July:

Of course the day started again with breakfast. This time we decided to try restaurant News Cafe, which is located on 800 Ocean Drive. After a wonderful meal it was time to get our rental car from Sixt. This was our first time renting from this company. We had to wait for a while before we got our car, which was a nice Huyndai Elantra.

Our rental car Huyndai Elantra

Everything seemed to be all right, but… there was no navigator available even though we had rented that as well. What the heck? The solution was that we had to go to Sixt’s Miami Downtown office to collect it. Well, ok, no problem. We can do that. It was on our way anyway… But when we finally found the office via phone and google maps (no problem with that), there weren’t any parking spaces available. We found one spot in front of the office where parking was not allowed, but we thought that it would take only a couple minutes to pick up the navigator. So, we parked the car and ran to the office. A staff member said to us: “Yes, here is your navigator, have a safe trip. Bye.” One minute and 40 seconds and we are back in the car. And there is already a police officer writing a ticket for us! We went to him and tried to explain that we had to pick up the navigator and it was only a two minute parking… Lucky for us, he was kind and let us go with only a warning…

Another try then, towards Key West. Navigator on and what the heck again, the directions came out only in Spanish. This time we found a parking space where it was allowed to park for a while… It is not very easy to try to change the language when instructions on the navigator are written with a language you don’t understand. After ten minutes we finally heard the navigator speak English to us. It was much easier to communicate with the navigator now, and off we go again. Maybe it is time to take some Spanish lessons next, since it seems to be a beautiful language.

Then we had some nice driving for about an hour with not much traffic, but then struck the first thunderstorm we saw here in the States. And the rain… It rained more in ten minutes in Miami than in one month in Finland… So, we didn’t see much ahead and decided to stop and have lunch at that point.

We stopped at MammaMia pizza Italian restaurant in Miami. Pirita ate Caesar salad, Junior Agent Traveler had pasta and Mika ate Mamma Mia Hero, which is a hot sub that includes salami, ham, provolone, lettuce, onions, and Italian dressing.

Mamma Mia Hero

After the rain we continued to drive and our next stop was Seven Mile Bridge, which is a filming location of “Licence to Kill” (1989). This is the place where the movie begins. Bond (Timothy Dalton) is going to a wedding of his friend, Felix Leiter (David Hedison), when the coast guard helicopter flies beside them and asks them to stop the car.

Surprisingly in the film Bond and Felix drive from Key West direction to Miami even the wedding is supposed to be in Key West…
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

“‘What could be more important than your wedding day?’ They were cruising over Seven Mile Bridge, part of the oversea highway that runs for over one hundred miles from Miami right down the Florida Keys to Key West, where Felix Leiter was now stationed with the Drug Enforcement Agency.
In a little over two hours he would be standing next to the beautiful Della in front of the altar of St Paul’s church on Duval Street which was better known for its bars and restaurants than the church.”

John Gardner: “Licence to Kill” (1989)

Bond and Leiter hop on to the helicopter and their friend Sharkey (Frank McRae) comes out of a limousine and goes to explain to Leiter’s bride Della Churchill (Priscilla Barnes) that Felix is going to be a little late for their wedding.

We took a little break and walked both ends of Seven Mile Bridge. Unfortunately there was some construction site in the place where the helicopter lands, so we did not get the best possible photos.

Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

Also the scene where Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) escapes have been filmed on Seven Mile Bridge.

Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

We were already quite near Key West and entered our first hotel there: Casa Marina Key West, which is a wonderful hotel that featured in the novelization of “Licence to Kill” (1989), which was written by John Gardner.

“The journey, from Ballast Key to Garrison Bight, had taken twice as long as usual, with Steve peering into the darkness, using a small floodlight to follow the twisting narrow channel, marked with red flags. But they eventually made it. There was a small bar at Garrison Bight, but it was frequented by fishermen who could not have cared what was being brought in from Ballast Key. Half an hour later, Bond was settled into the renovated Casa Marina Hotel, with its huge airy lobby, the smooth polished floorboards, great whirling fans and strange pedigree – for it had been originally built by the legendary Henry Flagler who constructed the Overseas Railroad and chose one of the most beautiful locations for the hotel, set between County and South Beaches, like the Overseas Railroad, had not been one of Flagler’s successes. Between the wars it began to fail, and during Big Two was used by the Navy before returning to private ownership, apart from being taken over by the military during the Cuba crisis, after which it fell into disrepair, to be renovated again in 1977.”

John Gardner: “Licence to Kill” (1989)

“Now this pleasant hotel was a haven of peace for Bond. What was better, nobody knew he was there. He had only partially unpacked, making certain the money was secure in the two big cases, and taking a look in the special secret compartment in the briefcase Q-Branch had prepared for the Istanbul trip. Peeling away the false bottom, which was shielded from any airport X-ray eyes, he found, among other things, a spare automatic and holster.”

John Gardner: “Licence to Kill” (1989)

We walked around this lovely hotel and its beach. We spent an evening with each other by an awesome pool and watched the sunset, which was magnificent.

We also had dinner by the sea just before closing time.

You can read our article of Casa Marina Key West here.

Next day we will visit e.g Felix Leiter’s house and Ernest Hemingway‘s home and museum. So stay tuned!

See more 007 TRAVEL STORIES here

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