January 14-20, 2015.
We’ve been away over 2 months and we’re really feeling like we’re on vacation now! The sun, the palm trees and the island culture feels like a great fit. We left Orlando and headed south through Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach (stopped for the afternoon), passed Miami and headed for the keys. We’re definitely taking advantage of the weather, spending ($) like we’re on vacation and enjoying cold beer during the hot days.
Taking a beat on the beach in Palm Beach and watching the parasailers
Heading south on the overseas highway is a really stunning drive
We stayed in Marathon, a little low-key town between Key Largo and Key West. This was our campground. (we normally stay with friends and Walmart)
We enjoyed some yummy key lime pie. The hurricanes have wiped out most of the key limes in the keys, but now they’re imported from Mexico to keep the tradition alive.
We did a vision-boarding session with Merredith (Jackson’s mom) and friends over skype. Jackson’s is shown first, Erin’s second/below. We’ve got them hanging in the van to keep our possibilities alive.
We went on a little zip on a jet ski before we made it to key west. That was so fun! It was choppy and we were soaked, laughing the whole time. That is until we saw a fin circling our ski. We both paused…and then two dolphins jumped out of the water beside us. We were surrounded in dolphins just playing. It was so magical….and totally unexpected (the company really didn’t up-sell the experience).
Jackson hunted and killed a coconut for us
We finally made it to Key West, the most southern point in the ‘continental’ US. We pulled into our camp site at Boyd’s campground and joined the folks beside us for a BBQ and drinks. Emma, RJ, Mira and Colin were fun to hang with (from Rhode Island and northern Florida).
We spent the rest of the evening on Duval street, the big tourist party street. We did our own pub crawl and saw everything from sport’s bars to live music to DJ.
We sampled some conch fritters at the Rusty Anchor, a local spot.
We did an after dark kayak tour off Stock Island, saw some photo luminescent worms, as well as urchins, star fish and lots of small fish. The experience being out in the dark, sneaking around the mangroves and seeing the stars was really cool. The sea life was less than exciting, but nothing beats the dolphins.
1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip
874 kms this week (543 mi), 7709 total on the trip (4790 mi)
Spent $1453 this week, $8387.53 total