Sometimes you've just got go on an adventure...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On Saturday morning,  fall hit South Florida.  This means highs of 85 degrees, a touch lower in humidity and no rain!  It was one of those few weekends that there was nothing on the agenda (except for homework and a mountain of laundry).  We decided to drive down to the Keys for lunch. The start of the Florida Keys is about 1.5 hours from my house and the further down you drive, the more interesting it becomes. 

We piled into the Prius with no real agenda. I had nothing other than a camera, phone and sunglasses. We wanted to pull into John Pennekamp State Park to check out the snorkeling options for future reference, eat some fish sandwiches and go feed giant tarpon fish.  We'd be home by five p.m.  It was a very un-ambitious itinerary. 

We piled into my new little car and started driving.   The sky was blue and as soon as we hit paradise, the water was even bluer.  I instantly remembered why I love these little islands so much.

First stop was John Pennekamp State Park.  There is nothing to see there above the water. There is great snorkeling but if you are not planning to snorkel or scuba dive, don't waste your time. 

We then headed south towards the middle keys. Sometime soon after, one of the boys asked "how far is Key West?"  We stated that it was about two hours down the road.  My husband asked if the three of us wanted to go all the way down. "We have to drive back tonight and it is a long ride home. We won't be home until late", he said. "Let's go!", the three other crazies (including me)stated. They boys wanted to see the Southern Most point of the US and the 7 mile bridge. Before we knew it we were in the...
The GPS advised that we would  get there at about 4 p.m. Once we were getting close, I started to do the math and thought that if we stayed to watch the sunset, we would not be home until midnight. It is a long, dark drive home. I started to google. I started to call hotels. Eveyone was booked (it was the Columbus Holiday weekend and Saturday night in Key West). It seemed hopeless.  I'm also a picky hotel person. The keys has really gross hotels. I refuse to stay in one that would skeeve me out. The odds were against us that we could find a non-gross room that would hold four people that was not $500 or more that night. 

Luck was on our side. We were stuck in a traffic jam right in front of this cute place. I told my husband to pull in. They had one room left. It had enough space for all of us.  "We'll take it, I screamed!".
This hotel is called the Parrot Key Resort.  It had the Old Key West style that is adorable but the rooms were nice. We had our own little porch with adirondack chairs.  It was perfect. We checked in. We had no luggage so we headed downtown to Key West.
Don't you love this cute red wall unit and turquoise chair combo?

We walked around, ate chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick, drank a beer at sloppy joes, ate conch fritters, looked at a lot of silly t-shirts, looked at a lot of amazing art and made it to the famous Mallory Square for sunset.

They celebrate sunset every day in Key West. If you've never done it before, you should add it to your bucket list.  You will want to have a sunset celebration every day when you get home.

Here are some people getting ready

 There it is!

We then ate dinner at a crazy good BBQ place and started to look around for some toothbrushes and sleepy clothes. We found a little outlet store where I got clean underwear and some PJs and we found a 24 hour drug store for toothbrushes.

This morning when we woke up we headed to this hunk of cement. It is not in a park or anything. Just on the end of the street. Morning was a great time to hit this tourist spot (my kids would have never forgiven me if we did not go). We were the only ones there.

We were hungry so we found a French Bakery

Those are nutella filled donuts. OMG! Worth every calorie.

We then started to drive home. We stopped at this cool place called Robbies. You can feed wild tarpon there. For $1 you can look at them. For $3 you can feed them. I just looked. The boys fed them.  They were huge!
This guy was about four feet long!
 This egret was just walking around the gift shop at the Tarpon place.  

If you are ever in the keys, I would recommend this stop. It was awesome.

We then made a pit stop at Holiday Isle resort. This place used to be a dive of the best kind. I spent many a spring break there having too much fun in my younger days.  They fixed it up and it looks great. I even saw a wedding going on.  Can you see the bride in front of the golf cart?
 Here is the groom...

Here is another view of the resort...

 We made it home by 1:00 Sunday. Just in time for homework, food shopping and laundry :( Back to reality. Our spontaneous mini-break was amazing. I hope that my kids will look back on it one and remember our fun little adventure!


NanaDiana said...

Oh- How I love The Keys...and miss visiting them. I read every word and enjoyed taking the trip right along with you. I am so glad you had a great time. Love those little impromptu visits when you have to go buy clean underwear! xo Diana

angryparsnip said...

What a wonderful spur of the moment ideas. And everyone will remember it.

cheers, parsnip

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

sarge and i did things like that all the time! and key west was one of our very favorite spots. we spent many evenings at mallory square. we liked those tiny b&B right down there. very romantic! (some of them)

once we even "accidentally" went to disney world for a weekend! i'll post about that trip one day.

smiles, bee

Susie said...

Japolina, You are a special Mom...that trip just sounded so fun and interesting. Your boys will always remember that trip. Glad it turned out fun. xoxo,Susie

Karen said...

Wow, that sounds like Nirvana. I cant think of anything better than a spontaneous vacation and fun with the people you love the most. Your children will treasure this memory.

Suzan Sweatman said...

What a fabulous spur of the moment decision you made!!!
Sounds incredible - wish I could hop in the car and get there in an hour and a half :(

Introverted Art said...

I know! I noticed too. The humidity is fading and it's been cooler. I like Key West too. and those nutella filled donuts yummy

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