Saturday, May 21, 2011


Yesterday morning we went to the Sombrero Beach park in Marathon. This is a city park with a groomed beach area (no seaweed), paved walk ways, bath houses, playgrounds for the kiddies, etc. Just beautiful. If you travel with dogs as we do, they will like the park as well. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach and in the water. Plus, at the far end of the park there is an small unofficial area where dogs can run free. If you get there fairly early in the day, there is good RV parking. A 24' foot model would be a breeze, our 27' Lazy Daze can squeeze into a few spots. If you kayak, you can launch from the park as well. Nothing to not like about this place.

For lunch we went to our favorite Marathon restaurant; the Keys Fisheries, Market & Marina. It's on 35th Street on the Gulf. I has the lobster Rubin and Carol has a soft-shell crab sandwich; two wonderful choices. We had the company of a great white heron during lunch.
After lunch we checked in at the Knights Key RV park. This is one of our favorite commercial campgrounds. By Keys standards, it's not all that expensive. No-view sites are $49. We picked a very nice waterfront site that was $65/night after all taxes were added. These are "off-season" rates. Add another $25/night in-season. Starting on Monday we're staying four nights at the Curry Hammock State Park for $91 total. That does include the FL resident over 65 discount. The cost averages out.

This morning we took a walk on the old seven mile bridge. When the new bridge was built in 1982, the old one was left in place. The center span where the draw bridge was removed. For lunch today, we went to The Stuffed Pig; another Marathon locals favorite. They serve breakfast & lunch only. We shared a seafood melt and a basket of lobster & conch fritters. We didn't begin to walk far enough this morning to wear off the calories in the fritters but they were just wonderful anyway.

It's hot; summer in the Keys. About 90* with 90% humidity. When I lived in Key West as kid, we didn't have air conditioning; that was for the rich folks. You dealt with it because that's just the way it was.

In the morning we're going to drive to Key West. Haven't been there for many years.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Keys, day one

Left home this morning about 7:00am. Carol needed some water shoes in case we ran across someplace where she could go wading. Saw a sign in Key Largo for a sandals store; Carol found a nice pair of Tevas. We have the Yelp app. on the iPad. If you have never tried Yelp you should. It has all sorts of local information like restaurants, grocery stores, barber shops, laundromats, etc. We looked under restaurants and found Ma's Fish Shack that had very good reviews. It turned out to be a real locals type place. We were the only out-of-towners there. We split an order of great conch fritters and both had the fish tacos. The waitress asked about dessert. I said "no thanks" but Carol quickly ordered Key Lime pie which we thoroughly enjoyed. An excellent lunch. We'll be back.
Our site at the Long Key State Park is very nice. There are large sea grape's & mangroves between us and our neighbors. Once it cooled off some, we sat in the shade and watched the fisherman. The egrets had better luck then the fisherman.
A very enjoyable day. Nice to be traveling once again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Heading to the Florida Keys

Plan B; a trip to the Keys.
Our original plan had us leaving home on the 15th of this month and drifting very slowly up the Atlantic coast through the Outer Banks, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware then through Pennsylvania, etc.
My mother is 93 and lives in an assisted living facility in town. Carol & I look after her. About three weeks ago she fell and broke her left arm. The arm's in a cast and will require followup X-rays and doctors visits into June. So much for Plan A.
The Florida Keys are among the most unique and beautiful places in America and it's only a three hour drive from here. I went to high school in Key West; a fun place to be a kid. I was in the submarine force in the Navy when we got married and our first duty station after we got married was at the sub. base in Key West so we're both old hands in the Keys. Our oldest daughter was born in the navy hospital in Cayo Weso. Semi-conchs maybe?
There are four great state parks in the Keys. Our favorites are Curry Hammock followed by Long Key. In both cases the campsites are right on the waters edge. I would have thought that by late May, we could just cruise into any of the parks with no reservations. Wrong!! I was able to reserve tomorrow, Thursday, at Long Key then next Monday through Thursday at Curry Hammock. Nothing open on Friday or Saturday. We're hoping to be able to stay over at Long Key for at least Friday night. We'll see. Plan B on that is our favorite commercial campground in the Keys; Knights Key. It's in Marathon just before you get on the Seven Mile Bridge. From the campground you can walk to the old bridge that was left in place after the new one was built years ago. We've stayed there before. They have a nice beach area and a small cafe/bar and it's only a mile or so walk into "downtown" Marathon.
Assuming all goes well with my mothers broken arm, we'll head East in mid-June. What's the trite saying? Plans are something you make and then along comes life?