Monday, October 19, 2015

A Trip for Two to the Florida Keys

This is October.  It is starting to get chilly - which I love.  But it has me reminiscing over the warm days of summer.  Steve and I had a lovely trip to Florida this year.  So I will share a few photos and stories from a lovely week full of little surprises.  Mostly just enjoy the pictures!

This is the view from our condo.  There is a nice little bench right there on that dock.  We saw sunsets and dolphins and basked in the warm sunshine.  (Booked through VRBO - find some great deal there by searching Islamorada.)
We were right on the water - with two chairs just waiting for us!  There was kayaking and swimming by the pool, day dreaming, and lots and lots of relaxing.  

We took a quick run down to Key West.  Some of the highlights were the Audobon House to see original John James Audobon paintings.  It is also worth your time to hike on over to Blue Heaven (  Don't miss the loaded black bean bowl.

We had lots of key lime pie on a stick!  I won't even tell you how many times we stopped to pick a couple of them up!  In Key West Visit Kermit's.  Thankfully they also sell them at almost all Circle K's in the area as well.
Best muffins in the Keys!  Try Harriette's Key Lime Muffins served warm.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!  Harriette's is located in Key Largo.
The very best part of the trip were the sunsets!  Every. Single. Night.  We saw the most amazing skies.  From our bench at the condo or from a restaurant on the water.  At one particular restaurant Steve and I were sitting on the dock watching the sun go down.  It was the most peaceful evening - we just sat and watched the sun go down while enjoying just being together.  I turned to Steve and said, "I wish someone would take our picture."  Five minutes later two women visiting from Great Britain said that they had just taken the most amazing picture of us and would like to show us!  They texted us this photo!  I have been so grateful to God for this tiny little blessing - and for those two very gracious ladies.  Maybe I cried... 

Perhaps the best choice of the trip was deciding to take a group sunset cruise.  We were on a budget
so chose a pontoon tour that held around fifty people. Renting a boat for ourselves was just too pricey.  However, when we arrived, no one showed up but us!  So instead of a packed out boat vying for the best views,  we had one captain and his little boat and the whole sunset all to ourselves!

We started out with the tour guide giving us his routine - but after a few minutes I asked him to turn off the loud music and just hang out with us.  He graciously agreed!  He answered all our questions, confirmed my eagle sightings, watched a shark with us and told us all sorts of interesting facts.  The most important of which, was that he had not found any wayward pythons!  Thank goodness!  He even gave us complete silence to watch the sun go down.  I think we were all three in awe.  It was the most perfect gift ever.  Maybe I cried again...  haha!  I couldn't have dreamed of a more relaxing way to end our week away.  The two and a half hour trip ended with a lightening show as we pulled back in to the dock!  If you are ever in the Keys, check out the tours at Cheeca Lodge (book through Islamorada Boat Tours (  It was also a great way to see a beautiful lodge that I had been wanting to see for years... just too pricey to vacation at!

This is looking back over our shoulders as we headed back before it got to dark!

All in all it was the best night ever.  But Steve might actually put up an argument about that.  Some time you should ask him about snorkeling - with SHARKS!  He had such a great time.  If you can imagine that being a great time!  He came back grinning like a little boy - who had just seen a shark up close and personal!  I got the added bonus of Steve without a beard (cause you can't snorkel with a beard).  Haven't seen that face in years.  Looks just like the boy I married so very long ago!  (For the best snorkeling experience in the Keys, book through Bahia Honda State Park. at

There are a hundred different sunset photos and fifty different food pics.  We had great weather and great meals and even got upgraded from our original rental to a convertible Camaro!  Every little detail of this trip was a blessing from God.  We are so thankful for the good gifts he gives.

The sunset on our first night - from the chairs on the beach at our condo.

View from the tables at the Islamorada Fish Company!  Great food, too.

This was right before two dolphins swam past.
The whole week I had hoped to see a manatee - which is apparently unusual for June/July.  But we saw three!!  One was a cute little baby.  So thankful for this little blessing as well.
We ended the trip with a visit to our favorite church away from Trailhead - Core Community Church
in Homestead, FL.  Such a refreshing visit with good friends.  Then on to our conference in Miami.  It was such a sweet week full of little reminders that we have a glorious God who revels in showing off His creative beauty!  And boy, did we enjoy every minute of it!  Even better that we got to spend it together.  After twenty six years of adventures, I am still glad to run away with Steve.  Already planning when and where we can sneak off to next!  But it's gonna be hard to beat those sunsets...

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta( a Morracan traveler from the 1300's)

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ~Lin Yutang (Chinese writer and inventor 1895-1976)