Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Florida Keys

Usually by the time we pack up to leave we're ready to move on. This time not so much. What's different this time? In a word, everything. When we arrived we were immediately made to feel welcome by our camp host and fellow campers. The weather was less than optimal (by Keys standards) but we went out for several paddles on the kayak and paddle board.  Chloe was a hit in her red doggie life jacket riding on the board with Shawna. 
This is a Poisonwood Tree. Dangerous to touch or even stand under; imagine a whole tree made of poison oak and you've got the idea.

We haven't seen any yet, but we keep looking. Chloe didn't know quite what to make of the foot long iguanas which were about everywhere.

The people we met were predominantly from the East coast, our camp host Patty and her husband Tim are from Massachusetts and the parking lot was full of cars with license plates from the really cold states up north. We met Jim and Nancy, full-timers for the last 11 years, who gave us priceless advice on where to stay in the North come Springtime. Dick, Beth and their friend Mary who offered a spot to stay as we head toward Port St. Joe, our next long landing which Mexico Beach Jim helped us arrange.  John who gave me some pickled pike as a parting gift (don't knock it til you try it) delish'. Ray who gave us invaluable information about sunshades so Shawna won't cook in her office window in the afternoon sun (time to get the sewing machine out honey!) Gary led the informal board meetings on the lawn. George and Linda with their distinctly New England sense of humor (their RV has a sticker that reads "Mass-holes"). Dennis knocked on our door with fresh homemade pie and quiche and his wife Susan told us stories about their lives in Eastern Pennsylvania (they have a son who races a Porche 911 with a diesel engine in the Lemons racing series!) The point I'm trying to make is we feel like we really got to know these people. Nobody had their face stuck in a phone or a tablet, and spontaneously about a half hour before sunset people started gathering at the tiki bar on the beach to watch, and frankly rate the sunset.
Every sunset is spectacular in its own way on the Florida Keys

We couldn't decide which one to share with you, so here are our two favorites

We left reluctantly on Thursday, amid hugs and promises to see one another "down the road".  The Florida Keys is a singular place and we can't wait to come back in December.

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