Sunday November 22- We are on the move today. The good news is not a lot of miles to go. We are going to Curry Hammock State Park, its one of our favorite spots. We had about 130 miles today. The route looked to be really easy too. We took 41 to 997. This road was new to us and we didn't know what to expect. It was on the truckers map but we weren't sure how the traffic would be. It really wasn't that bad. Then from 997 we took highway 1, the only road to the Keys. We made the trip in 3 hours. We called before arriving to see if our spot was empty. They have a place to wait but its not that big. Just easier to go right to our site, #23. Its a big site the only problem is the trees need a bit of trimming. We got in and its very private. We have trees and shrubs all around us. We really did some unloading this time. We have 2 weeks here but might leave 2 days early because of an overlap of reservations. With being here for awhile we got everything out. Its a gorgeous day out there but we've got wind. After we got everything out it started sprinkling. Came in and worked on the blog. We have 50 amp service, water on site but no sewer. The internet is good but without a dish or satellite you have no TV. This park is fairly small with 28 sites but 2 are camp hosts. The shower house is not my favorite. The showers are ok but toilets are waterless recycle toilets. They are suppose to be replacing them with flushing ones but I don't know when. It's very quiet, clean and you can launch your kayaks from the beach. Jeff loves this place. On a final note Ashton played for first place in his hockey tournament tonight. They got beat 3-2 in OT. It was a heart breaker but Seth said they really played well, they'll get them next time.....go Riders!!
Monday November 23-I got up and walked down to watch the sun come up. You can watch the sun rise from the beach and the sun set....quite cool. It was really cloudy and the wind is blowing good. I went for a walk but if you stay in the park there is not a lot of area to walk. I went to the highway and back around to the day use area. I also walked around the campground loop.
Tuesday November 24-Back to the beach for the sunrise, not anything like yesterday but still so pretty. Went for a short walk and Jeff wanted to get the bikes down. We decided to take them out for a ride. We crossed highway 1 to get to the bike path. Its another really windy day so the ride in to town was easy with the wind at our backs. As we were riding by the airport we saw that there was a free museum there, so we went in for a look. It's the EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum. The museum has many military memorabilia, including the newest exhibit plane, a DC#10 used by Ozark Air Lines.
After looking around we decided to head back and stop for lunch at the Island Fish Co. We had an awesome spot with a water view. Our lunch was ok but it was great on atmosphere.
Back on the bikes and right in to the wind....good thing we have assist on our bikes. We made it back safe and it was a great bike ride.
After supper we walked the pups around the loop. We talked with a campground host here named Mark, we are going to go fishing on the bridge with him tomorrow.
Wednesday November 25- The first thing I heard this morning was rain....it didn't last long. We got everything loaded up and headed to the bridge. Mark said he would be there after 7. We went to the duck key bridge. Boy he has done this a few times. I had my stuff in a sack, Mark had a cart with lots of poles, chairs, buckets, coolers, basket you name it he had it. Well it started out kind of rough, it started raining with wind. It didn't last long but still got us wet. After that Mark showed us how he rigged his poles and how to fish from the bridge, for yellow jack. He caught some fish to start a really pretty one called a look down.
We also met some friends of Marks, John and Judy, they are camp hosts at Long Key. Well I tried fishing but the wind was wicked. I had 2 good bites but I managed to loose them. I just need more practice I guess. Jeff caught this weird looking stick fish. I caught nothing.....
It cleared up but the wind wouldn't stop. It was a fun day and if the wind dies down we want to go back and try it again, only this time catch some. Mark caught 3 good sized yellow jack and he gave us a big one to take back and try. Hope its good.
Thursday November 26- Happy Thanksgiving to all...Its a great day here in the Keys, with wind. Jeff put our turkey breast in the crock pot and I got the rest of the stuff ready. I talked to the kids and grandkids today. We just hung around here waiting for our meal to be ready. We had a great lunch, everything was yummy.
The best part of the meal for me was the pumpkin pecan dump cake. I think Jeff will agree on that. He splurged since it was Thanksgiving and had some dessert, so good. We are very grateful that we are able to live this lifestyle and travel around enjoying all the things God has given us. I cleaned up the mess and we both decided to take the rest of the day off. I spent some time outside finishing a book. Jeff rode his bike to the bay and did some fishing. I also spent some time on the beach. I even had a visitor come a calling at our camp site.
We took advantage of all the leftovers for supper. Since I didn't go watch the sun come up we thought we would go see it set. Funny how you can witness both on the same beach.
Friday November 27- We decided to take the kayaks out this morning. The wind had died down some and we thought we would stay close and out of the big wind and waves. We were out about 9 a.m. and headed to little island out in front of the beach. We had fun and caught lots of fish but they either were to small or nothing you could eat.
We enjoyed fishing until we ran out of bait. We also enjoyed watching all the birds. They were all over out there today. When we got back we cleaned up everything and sat down to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes play. It was another win that's makes there record 12-0. Best season ever. It was an exciting game for sure. For supper we had that fish that Mark caught. We had never had yellow jack but let me tell you its very good. It's real white meat and meaty. Jeff had his grilled and I fried up mine. Both were very good. We are going to have to figure out how to catch them.
Saturday November 28-Went to the beach again to witness the sunrise. I also noticed how calm the water was. Jeff checked the tide charts to see when high tide is. We planned accordingly and put in the kayaks. We caught fish but again nothing to keep. The highlight for me was catching a lady fish. They really put up a fight and even jump out of the water.
We tried a couple other spots. The wind started to pick up so we brought in the kayaks and cleaned them up. I decided to get my Christmas stuff out and do some decorating. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......Florida style.
Tonight instead of staying in and cooking we decided to go out for supper. Last year when our son and his girlfriend came down we went to this place. We really liked it so it was on our lists of things to do. So off we went to Deer Key and the restaurant The No Name Pub. When we were parking we spotted the key deer. They aren't afraid of you that's for sure. If you don't have anything for them they loose interest in you quick. You are not suppose to feed them but by the way they act I'm sure people do.
After a few pictures with the deer we went inside to have dinner. We got the breadsticks and a pizza to share. There breadsticks are our favorite. The pizza was really good it had lots and lots of cheese.
This pub is really quite interesting. The walls and ceiling are covered with dollar bills that the customers have signed and stapled up.
He gave us the fish to take home clean and eat. We are going to have some fish to put in the freezer.
We told him that we aren't giving up that easy. We are going to try again. We thanked him for all the help and fish. Jeff tried to give him money for the bait but he wouldn't take it. I asked him if he liked desserts...... I made him some pecan tassies. He seemed very happy with the pay day.
Monday November 30- It's the last day of the month. It was a cloudy morning to start but to our surprise it cleared up really quick. Again we thought we would take our the kayaks. Its really calm out there today. We went back to our mangrove spot and tried to get us some keepers. We got lots of fish but all too small...all baby's no mama's. I did figure out how to take a picture of myself and a fish, look how big they look. It's trick photography. they were small.
A funny story..... while we were out there I noticed a lot of buoys floating in the mangrove trees. I wanted to get some more. So I headed in. Jeff told me to make sure there weren't any birds over head. I made sure to scare them off before I went in. Well I got a few buoys and I was heading back. I saw Jeff under the mangroves. He had a snag and went to try to retrieve it. Next thing I know Jeff is not so happy. It seems he forgot to check for birds before going in to retrieve his line. One of those birds made a direct hit with Jeff's head. That was a funny for sure.
Tuesday December 1- After another glorious sunrise we went to town. We had a list of things we needed at K Mart. Jeff decided to get a seal a meal so we can freeze fish to take home. It keeps it a lot fresher and packs up real nice in the freezer. Much more compact. After lunch we went across the highway to the bay. Jeff wanted to try and get some lobsters. He packed up all his snorkel gear and fishing stuff too. We did this on our bikes so we had a full load.
The water was calm so away he went. I watched him from the shore. He said he got 3 lobsters but they were just short. He put them back, $500.00 a lobster is the fine if they aren't big enough. Not willing to take that risk. He saw lots of critters. He said there were lots of fish, barracuda and a big stingray. He also saw a school of snappers so when he got back we tried fishing there. We couldn't catch them they just kept getting our bait. We went to the day use area before calling it a day.
Wednesday December 2- When I woke up today it was very dark out there. It wasn't long before the rain started. That's a problem because we are going to go out on The Marathon Lady this morning. We checked the radar and it looks like it will be gone by then. The fishing trip is 1/2 day. We go in the morning rather than the afternoon. It's 8:30 to 12:30. You need to be there 1/2 hour early. You can bring your own poles or rent one for $5.00. We have been fishing on this boat for years. They run a really good operation. It's inexpensive and the crew are there to assist you. They want everyone to catch fish and have fun. We headed that way. The weather cooperated and it was a perfect day. The water was a little rough on the trip out but it calmed down.
We had a great day on the water. We caught fish and there was lots of friendly people on the boat. We made 3 different stops. The first stop we both did good catching lots of grunts. Our second stop we didn't do that good, a couple fish each. The third stop we did good again. Jeff got a real nice mangrove snapper, I got 3 porgy's. We ended up with 23 fish to take home. The crew will also clean your fish 3 for $1.00. Can't beat that. The pelicans know when its cleaning time too.
We came home and got cleaned up. I went to the beach to spend the afternoon. We walked the dogs around the loop before settling in for the night. It's been really hot and humid today and the no-see-ums are out and hungry.
Thursday December 3- It rained a lot last night and it looks like that's going to be the forecast today. I wasn't going to go to the beach but I saw the color and walked down to take a peak. It was a good one today. It's so calm the water looked like a mirror. The wind is not blowing and the bugs are biting. We had planned to pack every thing up today. It looks like a storm could come through so we picked it up early and quick. We spent the day inside watching movies and I got out my coloring books and colored like a child. I love these new color books they have for adults now. Really cool pictures. I have always loved to color and now they are making books for adults....cool. We are going to move to Long Key tomorrow. We decided to cancel the last 2 days here and spend 2 weeks at Long Key. We have never been to that campground so we are excited to go.