The day after Christmas, we got up at 4 a.m. and headed south to the Florida Keys. Road trip! Poor us, right?
We started planning this vacation with friends from Oregon almost 6 months prior and while we like to plan, we’ve never planned a vacation that far in advance. It was totally worth it! While it was freezing cold and dreary at home, we were soaking up the 80 degree temperatures and sunshine. Should I say “poor us” again?
This was the view from our deck. Absolute heaven.
A friend had told us that the Florida Keys doesn’t really have the white sandy beaches that other parts of Florida has. It was true. While there are some beaches, this type of topography was much more common: rocky areas, grassy areas and developed areas all surrounding the water. This spot below was located just at the end of our condo building.
However, the Keys does seem to be the hot place for all things water sports: boating, sailing, paddling, fishing, etc.
Just off the out-cropping of rock shown above, was the shallow area you can see below. The kids were amazed at what they could find…rocks, shells, crab, fish. Who needs a playground?
The wildlife we encountered outside of the water was simply amazing. I’ve never seen iguanas in the wild and they were everywhere in the Keys.
These birds (below) were quite entertaining to watch, especially when we discovered them perched gracefully in some scrubby bushes that in no way looked like they could hold their large bodies. They did though!
Here they are at dusk…I think they knew where the fish were hiding.
This shot below is looking down the row of condos. The condo complex had a heated, outdoor pool and a boat slip for every home. SCORE!
We initially reserved a pontoon boat to take out on the water, but we had so much fun with the paddle boards that we decided to cancel our reservation. The boat rental people were shocked. Apparently, people don’t get into standup paddling (SUP) as much as we did!
I’ll do another separate post about SUP because it was that awesome!
At night, we could shine a light down under the dock and there were little lobsters hiding there. Actually, they weren’t little and the kids got a hoot out of seeing them. The only lobsters we ate were caught by someone else and they were delicious!
This is how we finished every single day in the Florida Keys – with an out-of-this-world sunset.
On New Year’s Eve we could even see fireworks from our deck. What a treat!
Marathon, Florida, is an amazing place. I totally get why people retire and move to Florida. Heck, I wanted to retire right then and never leave. We had the happiest week celebrating the holidays with our friends. It’s an experience that I will cherish.
P.S. If you want to visit, we used Coco Plum Vacation Rentals and we stayed at Indigo Reef. They don’t know me, other than as a renter, but we had a good experience and would definitely rent another condo at Indigo Reef.