|St. Augustine Beach|
We visited family in Jacksonville, saw dolphins play in the surf off New Smyrna, saw some ginormous houses in West Palm, went to an awesome free concert on Miami's South Beach (Zac Brown Band & Nic Cowen), and finally made our way down to the Keys.
The Florida Keys were another of those places where we could really see ourselves hanging out for a while. If not for the ordinance against overnight parking, and the impending Thanksgiving Day holiday, we probably would have stayed longer there.
It's a bit as if we had driven out of the US and gone right into the Caribbean. The water alternates between shades of turquoise, green, and gin clear; there are coconuts to be found around the palm trees; roosters walk the streets of Key West; there are very few box stores; and almost everyone seems to have a boat of some type.
We thoroughly enjoyed the laid back vibe we experienced in the Keys. There was no traffic, so many sounds of the mainland that bother us were absent, and we have a new found appreciation for Key Lime Pie (Snapper's in Key Largo has some of the best we've tried).
We also treated ourselves to a Hobie Cat rental on the beach and got in an hour or so of sailing. The wind was piping along pretty good, I'd say 15 knots. After a bit, I dropped Trish at the beach to warm up and went back out and I got to have a an inadvertent man overboard drill as the extra life jacket flew off after crashing through a largish (from a Hobie Cat perspective) wave. My technique wasn't perfect, but I managed to snag the jacket back by my lonesome.
We also took the opportunity to try out Stand up Paddleboarding, or SUP, through SUP Key West. Trisha was a natural, whilst I was the first in the water after falling off the board. I only managed to fall in twice, and took the stance that if you haven't fallen off, you aren't really trying. All in all it was a great experience. We traveled across the flats and saw Pelicans dive bombing the water for their meals, went through mangrove tunnels, and saw Jimmy Buffet's old house on a canal (pretty small, but so are a lot of houses down there, another thing we like). SUP is definitely a new water sport that we will have to try more of.
Now we are in the Tampa area on the West Coast, visiting with more family for the holiday, without a destination in mind for where to go next. Time will tell...
|Zac Brown Concert|
|Rose on South Beach|
|Oooh I wanna take ya|
|Not a bad campsite|
|Obligatory stop at Margaritaville|
|Do you think Manatees have statues of Humans to hold their mailboxes?|
|Only 90 miles to Cuba!|
|End of the road on the old bridge at Bahia Honda State Park|
|Key West Sunset from Mallory Square|