Yes, this is what they call paradise. The occasion was part ONE of mine and my friends' quarter-century birthday celebration! :) we've known each other for about a decade and I'm so thankful for all these years of friendship! Most people go all the way to Key West, but we drove down to the 'Halfway Key' for the monthly Full Moon Party, hosted by the Morada Bay - right on the sand, by the water. It's a Keys institution! A carnival band, flame-throwers, stilts, live music, drinks. all under the full moon. So great!
The drive from South Florida to the Keys (@thefloridakeys) is hands-down one of the prettiest ever - It's just you, the road, the sky and the ocean. Brings your heart-rate down instantly, and sets the mood for the Laid back Florida Keys way of life!
SNORKELING - None of us were in any rush (duh!), so on our way down, we stopped at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for a quick snorkel off of its Canon Beach. Just about 100 feet offshore, you can swim right over a Spanish shipwreck from the 1700s. I wish i had an underwater camera; the massive anchor, cannons and endless fish (including 'cudas and tarpon!) were so cool!
|John Pennekamp State Park|
|Leftovers from the colony days!|
ART - The next stop was another really pleasant surprise - by recommendation, we stopped at the gallery of world-renowned marine life photographer Stephen Frink - it's this tiny store that most people would miss but which houses the most beautiful and vibrant photos i've ever seen. DEF check it out!
LODGING - We finally made it to our hotel - this AH-DORABLE cottage inside waterfront campground Fiesta Key RV Resort in Long Key - only 10 mins from the Morada Bay.We met the friendliest people with the coolest stories - everyone looking to get away from the South Florida hustle and bustle lifestyle... Great restaurant with cool owners; they made my first ever deep-fried Oreo (shout out to my pup Oreo!) and it was all that I thought it would be! We caught the sunset right there, in our backyard, and headed to the party.
|Fiesta Key RV Resort|
The next day, struggling with life, we all headed back up to mainland. Not without a MANDATORY stop at Robbie's of Islamorada, the coolest tarpon-feeding spot in the area! Watch out so you don't drive right past it - it's pretty a hidden gem. Also watch out for the daring pelicans who are most definitely not afraid of humans and will steal your little fish.
|Tarpon as big as me.|
Even just a couple of days in the Keys does your body, mind and soul a great deal of good. The worse part of the trip? Having to come back to reality. Until the next time, LC
|Back to reality is right.|