Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don’t We Go

30 Dec

The husband and I wanted a quick getaway before our puppy came. We’re calling it our “puppymoon” – is that a thing? Because it should be. There’s honeymoons and babymoons, but there really should be puppymoons. Disclosure: I am not a parent. However, I think a baby would be far simpler than a puppy.

We’ve had our little bundle of joy since Saturday, December 21.

Our last bit of peace, quiet and sanity occurred December 14-18 when we were in Florida. We had always talked about going to the Florida Keys to see what it was really like. We’d heard that it’s extremely relaxing, but the beaches aren’t necessarily the best. How can a Florida beach not be the best? My thoughts exactly.

Thanks to my awesome travel planning skills, I scored us a good deal on airfare. However, we were flying into Miami and out of Fort Myers, neither of which is near the actual island, Key West. We stayed in Key Largo, where we were one of 35 rooms in a 180-room hotel. It was perfect. The beach, on the other hand, was not what I’d necessarily consider a “beach.” We were surrounded by water, we could hear the waves crashing and the constant squawking of sea gulls, but there was no sand. The ‘sand’ on the beach was little stones – and it felt like walking on glass shards. Needless to say, we wore flippy floppys at all times. But the view was still gorgeous.

Key Largo

Key Largo was much more industrial than I would have pictured the Florida Keys – and was mostly residential areas. Maybe that is what was so serene about the place we stayed – there was NO one around and we hardly saw boat traffic in the bay our hotel was on. The only exception of a daily disturbance was the hotel’s bartender and his parrot (Mango), who lived on a boat that was docked about 100 yards from the hotel’s beach.

We ventured only to Islamorada for dinner one night, but didn’t make it any further down US Highway 1. Despite what I’ve read about US Highway 1 being one of the most scenic drives in the country, we opted not to drive down to Key West to see the southernmost point of the USA. We feared getting stuck in the two-lane traffic on US Highway 1, wasting one of our limited number of days on our mini-getaway. Islamorada was much more touristy than Key Largo – and incredibly windy. We wanted to have dinner on the water, but that wasn’t happening. The restaurant we chose had the windows closed due to high winds and fear of jumping fish from the ocean to your plate.

Our adventure continued from Key Largo through the Everglades and on to Fort Myers. The drive was only about four hours, but Pat’s very concentrated, determined driving got us there on-time (if not a little earlier). Quick backstory: Pat is mortified of snakes. Driving through the Everglades, he was convinced a snake was going to slither through barbed wire fence along the highway, over the hot asphalt and through the car floor to eat him. This motivated him to get through the Everglades as quickly as possible. Luckily, we made it to the western Florida coast in plenty of time for a beautiful sunset by the Fort Myers pier (before a delicious BBQ dinner) to cap off our trip.

Fort Myers

Ultimately, due to traffic, we didn’t make it all the way down the Florida Keys to Key West. Someday we will. Rather, we opted to soak up as much beach time and sun as we could – which in hindsight was the best thing we did, because this winter has been the worst winter ever. 40+ days below zero (temperature, not including windchill)? No, thank you. Consequently, the worst winter ever also happened to coincide with getting a puppy. Worst winter ever, times two.

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