Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bahia Honda State Park/ The Keys

Saturday December 30th and we are heading to the Keys. We wanted to get an early start because we had around 240 miles, and rain was heading our way. We wanted to be gone before it arrived. That didn't happen, we got hooked up but it started raining while we were dumping. On the road by about 8:15 and before long the rain had stopped. We were lucky enough to be blessed with a rainbow. Kinda concerned about traffic because of the holiday weekend but the traffic wasn't bad at all. Jeff decided to take the turnpike after researching, and almost everyone he emailed thought the same. Both of us were excited about getting to the Keys. We had never camped at the Bahia Honda campground but came down from Curry Hammock last year to check it out. We drove right to the park and right to our spot and backed in without any issues and set up on site 25. Its right on the water and the view is awesome. After setting  up we went for a walk to look around. I love this campground. When we got back from our walk we had new neighbors, Susan & Bruno from Switzerland.

Sunday we finished unloading... We got the kayaks down and even got the snorkeling stuff out. It had been awhile since we had unloaded so much. We took the kayaks and launched them right in front of our campsite. We headed off towards the old Bahia Honda bridge, then around to the other beach area. Jeff caught a good sized amberjack . The water started getting a little rough so we headed back. Jeff went back out after lunch. I stayed back and made supper and cupcakes because I found out it was Bruno's birthday. They came over to watch the sunset, eat a cupcake and visit a bit. The sunset was gorgeous and the conversation was great. So fun to meet new people and learn about there country and background.

Monday we woke up to another beautiful day, the water was flat so we kayaked over to the Atlantic side. When we kayak under the old bridge that water is really weird, the current is really strong there. It didn't really bother us but you can feel it. Jeff caught a blue runner so the trip over wasn't for nothing. When we got back Bruno stopped by to say they are taking the snorkeling trip tomorrow. We had talked about joining them, so Jeff went up and added us to the list. Jeff thought he would practice up a bit so he got in the water in front of the camper to take a look. Everyone said its good snorkeling out there and Jeff said he saw plenty of critters. After we ran to the Winn Dixie store to load up on supplies. Its only about only about 5 miles away. When we got back it was so pretty out on the water we put the boats back in. We finished off the day by watching a beautiful sunset.

Tuesday it was a little cloudy when we got up but that didn't last long and it was sunny again. Flat water again this morning so into our boats we went to peddle around. I knew there was a good reason for carrying them around all this time...Jeff caught one yellowtail snapper that was a keeper. The fishing has been kind of slow but then again it's always slow for me. After we headed up to the store to pay and board the boat for our snorkeling adventure.  It's been awhile since we've been out on a trip like this. I made sure to take my Dramamine  pill an hour before we boarded, I don't want sea sickness ruining the trip for me. It was a beautiful ride out, I had forgot how pretty that water can get. When we arrived we got our wetsuits on cause I always get cold and into the water we went. The captain had explained the boundaries and told us that the fish usually hang out around the boats. The spot is in Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary and it was really nice. Jeff and I both were surprised how pretty it was. Saw lots of fish, sponges and soft coral. The best part for us both was when we saw the giant grouper. They said that a couple of them live around here but we didn't know if we would see them. It was hanging right under a boat. Couldn't believe how big it was... Then we saw another one and it was bigger yet. They said his name was Goliath and he weighed around 250 pounds. He looked every bit of that to us. People on the boat said there was a shark too but we didn't see it. The ride home was chilly but it was a great trip and so glad we took it. The price wasn't bad either, I think it was $29. Well worth that.

December 4th and its another beautiful day so we went for a walk to the beach on the other side. We also walked up on the old Bahia Honda bridge to check out the view....amazing! On our way back Jeff wanted to stop in the nature museum. It was too hot in there for me. I told Jeff he  could check out the nature in there while I'd be outside checking it out here. Next we decided to go over  to see some Key deer. Our neighbor had told us about a road to take to see them.  Went south over 2 bridges to Big Pine Key, took the first left and down this dead end road. After driving a mile or so we  found two key deer. They are so cute, little and they really aren't scared of you either cause I got fairly close for pictures. When we returned we saw Susan & Bruno and Jeff invited them over to watch the sunset again .  They came over and brought Jeff some Yuengling beer and for me Swiss chocolate. Jeff told them that my birthdays tomorrow. I think I was more happy with my chocolate then Jeff could have been with his beer... For sure. We watched the sunset it was FANTASTIC!!

Thursday December 5th.. Happy birthday to me!! Jeff told me we could do whatever I wanted... I like the beach so we got on the bikes to see which beach looked nicer. Then I decided why not just set up in front of the camper... Our own private beach with everything you could want. He brought down his chair with umbrella and for me a fan and nice. He made waffles for breakfast...yummy. Got some wishes on the phone and lots of Happy Birthdays  on Facebook.We also went up to the store and got ice cream for a snack. The cones were huge and pretty inexpensive. I finished making my Christmas ornaments which is always a relief. Jeff made chicken stir fry for supper. And to end the day... FaceTime with the grand kids. It was a great day.

Friday morning we were excited cause our youngest son was flying down to Miami today. He called in the morning telling me Dallas had a huge ice storm... I say so.. He says I'm suppose to fly in there then to Miami. Well he called the airport and his flight was cancelled. Went to the airport and they sent him to Waterloo to catch a plane to Chicago then Miami. His brother was nice enough to drive him there. Then he calls a little later to say his 1st flight was delayed so he might not make his connecting flight. Well he did but I didn't hear from him until 10:45. He barely made the Miami flight, he had to run through the airport and got there as they were closing the gate but managed to get on...hurray!! Then when he got to Miami guess what didn't.. His suitcase so he waited an hour to get it. Just when you think things are good he goes to the hotel that he booked and already paid for to find out they gave his room away. Well they paid for another room at a different hotel. I don't think he got much sleep though. He caught the shuttle and made it here Saturday around 2:00 PM. Meanwhile at our campsite Jeff went out fishing again  today in the Bay Area and caught a couple grunts. I decided to give it a try and I caught a couple, they must have been dumb. I always say the only fish I can catch are the dumb ones.

Saturday December 7th.. Justin texted me when he got on the bus, he was waiting to see if maybe they went out of business. Nope he's on his way. It did rain a bit this morning but I was hoping it would be gone before Justin arrived. It did and was sunny when he pulled in. We fed him and he was ready to go get tackle and a fishing license. Went back to the store to get stuff he'd want. We ended the day by going for supper at the Sunset Grill in Marathon. It was a beautiful evening and the food was good. Came home and Justin was sleeping by 8:00. So went up and watched a movie in our bedroom. I can't believe we have been here a week already. Time flys.....