For one week in mid-January, our family took a much-needed respite to the sunny climes of the Florida Keys. Time to post some pics!
We rented a car from the Ft. Lauderdale airport, and set up camp down at our hotel in Key Largo. One of the first things we did was to visit the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary just down the road from us. Saw several sea birds, owls, raptors, as well as the circling turkey vultures and a few pelicans on the shoreline alongside the sanctuary.
bayside view from the back of the sanctuary
We spent some quality time at Sombrero Beach in Marathon; we were surprised at the lack of nice beaches in the Keys, but really there’s more snorkeling, scuba, and fishing done there than hanging at the beach. The water temp was quite comfortable. The Portuguese Man-o’-War were out in force, with a handful of softball-sized ones washing up on shore, their tentacles bright blue.
facing southwest from our location on Sombrero Beach
One morning we got going early and went to Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. We arrived just as it opened, and had practially a private tour and bird show. We enjoyed seeing all the animals there, and the cooler weather that day made for light crowds.
Sherman the dolphin’s performance highlight
Mo and I spent one morning putting in some road work on the trails at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. It was a very peaceful hike along three miles of tree-lined pathways, although we did a little backtracking because the recent high tide left a couple unpassable spots among the mangrove scrub on the south end.
We saved Key West for our last day, when the island was less busy. It’s a 2-hour drive from where we were staying. There is a ton of interesting history there, and we wished we could have spent more time to see the architecture and visit more of the shops.
K, Mo, and I at the southernmost point marker in Key West
It was a wonderful time of relaxing and soaking in the warm weather and great seafood.
sunset over the bay behind our hotel
I’ll post some wildlife pics in my subsequent vacation post.