day one & two
Day One - We arrived in Miami around 9pm, rented a car at VIP for $100/week (found them & their pricing on the Internet) and arrived in Key Largo at the Ramada Inn (MM 100) at 11pm.
M was petrified that we would not find a place to stay for the rest of the trip; we had no reservations anywhere and the girl at the desk noted "it's our last room". But not to fear, we had great camping the rest of the trip.
L got all dressed up for the tour of channels near the hotel. It took us about an hour to walk 100 yards to the bar due to the numerous waterways carved into Key Largo; we literally could not find the one sidewalk that led to the bar.
Day Two - We left the hotel around 10am, and arrived in Long Key (Marathon) near MM 70 in the afternoon. We had some great road-tripping and side excursions along the way.
We skated a bridge of about 6-7 miles near Long Key Recreational Park, went to dinner at a spot called Hawk Channel, then finally rejoined our campsite at the KOA on Fiesta Key.
The Keys are densely populated with little pastel-colored stucco buildings like this one. Some add palm trees or flamingos emblazoned as murals for effect.
You can see how hazy it was on this morning, it didn't clear up until about 10 or 11am, at which point we pulled off the road to have a beer and herald our first sun of the trip.
This was a great picnic spot for lunch on the way to the KOA on Fiesta Key. A monument to hurricane victims, it seemed to be constructed of coral. It is located at MM 81.5 in Islamorada, just south of a great deli where we picked up all natural wraps and juices.
Fiesta Key is taken up 100% by the KOA near Long Key in Marathon.
It was 80 degrees, sunny and slightly breezy by noon when we checked into our campground and it stayed that way for the rest of the day.
The sun had just come out from a hazy daze when we arrived at the KOA. So we sat on the dock near these fishing boats getting into the vacation mood.
Just one of L's photos from the "pelican series". An immediate fascination with pelicans resulted in a 20-photo series. email us if you'd like to view installments #2 through #20. (just kidding)
Our KOA campsite was small but homey. Here is L packing up her gear in preparation for a skate on the bridge near Long Key State Recreation Area at MM 67.5
Post-skate, M drove happily towards sunset #1 at Holiday Isle Resorts MM 84. He loved that Chevy Cavalier 2-door, 4-cylinder ;-)
Sunsets are a big thing in the Keys - since you're right out in the middle of the ocean, they are outstanding. We did all we could every night to see the sunset someplace different and interesting.
Our first sunset in the Keys. We enjoyed it at place called Holiday Isle at MM 84 - from the sixth floor of the tallest building we saw all week.
Our first dinner date in the Keys was at a place called Hawk Channel. The service was atrocious, then we had to beg for the bill. When it finally arrived, we got a real eye opener - I guess we need to cut down on our consumption!
The entire restaurant got a hoot out of this; they were enjoying the service about as much as we were.
The first of several evenings spent at our campsite, drinking red wine and burning citronellas purchased for the vacation occasion.
We spent every evening hanging out together, sitting and talking, drinking and laughing. Our second night camping we actually fell asleep with our heads hanging out of the tent while watching the amazing starscape.
on to day three