After taking a much-too-long hiatus from traveling (specifically Islamorada) we got back to it last week with a much needed vacation to our favorite spot in the good ol’ USA. As you know we are damn near obsessed with this tropical key and at our max (of freedom) were traveling there 3 to 4 times a year. We even ended up taking our honeymoon there… with my sisters and their boyfriends *cough cough*.
Our trip this year was a little, well a lot, different. For one, since I resigned from my teaching job we had a lot more freedom with our travel time/date, and for another we had an 11 month old with us for the 11 hour car ride. Yes, I said 11 hours. Do I suggest this? Absolutely not. Would I fly next time? Abso-f*%$ing-lutely. Was it worth it? Absolutely it was (crazily enough). We broke up the trip driving from Atlanta to Savannah: 4 hours and then the next day did Savannah to Islamorada: 8 hours, but due to traffic and towing a boat it was more like 11. We did the same thing on the way back and let me tell you that I would have rather walked than drive that last leg. Getting Jack back in that car seat was like trying to tie down a bull. But we lived and now we have some wonderful (and some not so wonderful) first real family vacation memories to keep us warm at night.
Like I said, the trip down was not bad at all. There were tears, but I think that it was mainly excitement to get back to “our place” that made the drive more bearable. Also, moments at random gas stations in Florida (see below) are always a good time.
Then we were there and all was right with the world.
Well, almost everything. I got my nice camera out of it’s bag as soon as we got there. I was ready to document this family vacation! Hey, maybe I would even make a book *patting myself on the back*. Uh oh, battery’s dead! Let me just get my trusty charg… crap.
So, all of the photos are iPhone pics and most of the photos are Snapchats that I sent to my family and friends. You’re welcome.
The weather was hopping, especially coming from 30 degree weather in ATL. I’ll take a high 70’s sunny day any day. We basically did the trip like we usually do. Up early in the mornings, John goes fishing, I drink coffee and get a little sun (baby takes a nap), John comes and picks us up we eat lunch/explore/etc., head back in at sunset, change and go to dinner, early to bed and repeat for 7 days. Its bliss. Having Jack with us called for things to be a little more regimented, but that was fine with me. I am a schedule type of gal. Staying in a hotel room for 7 days got old by the end and I wanted some space. It got a little crammed, ok, A LOT crammed. But that was just the more reason to get out and do stuff. Also, Jack projectile vomiting while in crammed hotel room didn’t help matters. Cue Barbara Streisand’s “Memories” from The Way We Were.
Lucky for us, some of our best pals live in Ft. Lauderdale a mere 2ish hours away and came down for a night. We got in some quality boat time and hang time which we really needed. They have a son who is a year older than Jack (or “Yak” as he was called) so they both had someone to play with… and dance with.
It was so funny to get to watch the two of them interact. Jack loved following their son around and try to do all the things he was doing. A farewell trip to Alabama Jack’s before they headed home the next day was a blast. If you are ever on Card Sound Rd. I HIGHLY suggest hitting up this biker/boater bar.
John got in some great fishing while he was there. While the sailfish still eludes him, he brought home dinner almost every night. One thing that I love about Islamorada is that the restaurants will cook your catch. We ate tuna 2 or 3 times, some snapper, and… something else. Sorry John. I can never remember them all. He, however, can probably recall all their names, lengths, weights, and whatever other stats fish have.
There was also ample time for napping, a must-have on any vacation of mine. We skipped the crib for Jack’s afternoon nap so most days he conked out just like this. And so did I.
On the way back to the docks are these great sandbars. When its a little warmer they are packed with people drinking beer, listening to music, and having a good old time. It was a little too chilly for me to get my hair wet, but that didn’t stop us from walking around. Jack loved it.
I am sure that he didn’t love this though. Those are shorts. It’s a long time til you’re 18, kid. We have been staying at the same hotel for a few years now and have gotten in with the caretakers (What do you call the people who live at the hotel and run it? Well whatever you call them, these people are them. Did that make sense?). They headed out to get lobsters one night while I stayed back with the snoozing baby. We were able to enjoy some yummy Florida lobsters on our stop over in Savannah. It was a little taste of the keys a little closer to home. They were delicious.
Before we left Islamorada we made sure to head south and hit up one of our favorite spots, Robbie’s. They have great little shops, killer key lime pie, and an even better view. But the best part (and most touristy part, but I don’t care) is feeding the tarpon. The pelicans are everywhere and I may like them more than the actual tarpon. They are such funny birds and always looking for a snack. This one didn’t even look real (as it stood next to me oddly on the dock). Like I said, they are everywhere. Here is one taking a bite out of John’s foot.
As per usual, with bellies full of Key Lime pie we headed to nearby Indian Key for our history lesson. We have visited Indian Key every trip to Islamorada and its still one of my favorite parts. Google it if you have a moment.
And, as all vacations do, it finally came to an end. The last day was bittersweet. I, for one, was ready to get out of that dang hotel room and back to my house, I was also dreading the ride, but there is probably no place that makes John happier. And for that reason I was sad to leave. Oh, and the sun. I was definitely going to miss the sun.
Vacations used to be just these things that we did all the time, just us two. Maybe taking a year’s break from them made me appreciate them more and appreciate being together more. I know that we want to bring our kids with us, let them get to travel, love places we love. I think that that is important for John and I. Buuuut, that said, I am still looking forward to a couple’s getaway. Hey John, what do you think about Europe?
One Year Ago: Snapshots from my Hometown Baby Shower
Two Years Ago: What the Kale?
Three Years Ago: Fresh Whole Wheat Pasta
Four Years Ago: Don’t Ever Give Up