Travelogue: Florida Keys

After a year of being isolated, it felt like a good idea to take a vacation. Basically so we could isolate ourselves somewhere warm, beautiful….and remote. The middle Florida Keys seemed perfect and the weather didn’t disappoint.

Lots of long walks (not on beaches since the Keys have very few of the sandy type beaches but lots of coral) and swimming (long course!!) at the beautiful outdoor pool in Islamorada where of course I made friends and we even ran into fellow Minnesota teammates. I have concluded that no matter where I winter in future years, it has to absolutely involve a good outdoor pool! Australia is most definitely on my list.

The ritual of driving beautiful highway 1 with the windows down to the pool several times a week followed by a late lunch is quite simply meditative soul restoration. I learned the funny little names of the various Keys and harbors. It never got old.

Post swim avocado toast!

Our home base was a secluded rental home in Duck Key, which was absolutely perfect! Morning yoga on the patio, afternoons in the pool or hammock and evenings on the front porch rocking chairs. I couldn’t get enough Vitamin D!! Duck Key is actually a clump of little islands all connected by cute little historic bridges. It’s mostly private homes so walking, biking or golf carts are the primary ways of getting around. I truly love being so isolated.

Charming bridges of Duck Key

It’s also one of the best places to fish in North America. The boys did a day trip to check giant tarpon off the list. They caught 80lb and 100lb fish!! Tarpon are protected and can’t even be taken out of the water for photos (besides they’re too heavy). It’s an interesting style of fishing around the highway 1 bridges, where the bigger fish (and sharks) like to hang out in the strong currents. Timing the tide is key, as is navigating through the bridge structures once the fish is hooked. It takes about 40 minutes to land the fish! They eat once a month so catching one is a pretty big deal.

Giant tarpon fishing

We also went sailing out in Marathon, which is known for its iconic lighthouse and 7 mile bridge. The shallow waters and coral structures mean that in its history there have been tons of shipwrecks. These make for great snorkeling and scuba spots, which I had hoped to check off my bucket list, but seeing sharks changed my mind 😉

Look closely for the rainbow!

Food wise we ate in, cooking healthy bowls, smoothies and of course lots of my favorite avocado toasts with cold press coffee in the morning. Seared fresh blackened tuna and shrimp supplemented meals for the carnivores.

Salad nicoise with fresh tuna
Açaí bowl with dragon fruit
A knife specifically for slicing avocados! ❤️❤️❤️
Dragonfruit mint smoothie
Cold press coffee!

While many things have been difficult about the last year, there are some things that are better. One of them being delivery. I learned that even in remote places in America, you can still get just about anything you need delivered quickly. It amazed me how easy it was to get groceries and house items. I also noticed that once we settled into our routine the people we regularly saw were generally kinder. (The chill vibe in the Keys helps…Island time is a real thing!)

To say that I am grateful for 6 weeks of sunshine is an understatement. Particularly as a way to almost end our yearlong quarantine. The impacts of this year and this trip have been profound for me. A time for inner reflection and gathering energy to grow. My own kind of winter into spring.

❤️🌹🌈🌱🙏🏻

Fragipani tree
Baby pineapples! (Technically it’s autumn in the Keys climate)
Orchids

5 thoughts on “Travelogue: Florida Keys

  1. That looks fabulous! When our girls were there, they talked about the chickens running around. .. Glad you had a lovely time. For me, I cannot wait to get back to Australia (it’ll be my 13th trip since 2010 — daughter and two granddaughters there). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Where would you suggest I start in Australia? Bondi Beach pool is on my list! But a fellow swimmer said it’s hard to get into. He said Melbourne has tons of 50meter pools… I am already planning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never been to Bondi Beach, I’m afraid. I’ve only been to backyard pools and the ocean. Our daughter lives outside Melbourne, on the Port Philip Bay. . .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Six weeks of bliss. So happy for you. I’m especially intrigued by the fishing…that’s something I would love to do again one day…did it in high school while on a family road trip to the keys

    Liked by 1 person

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