Road Trip to the Florida Keys – Part I

A few months ago we made a little birthday getaway to the Florida Keys…

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My husband had never driven the scenic route down A1A from Miami to Key West which is a drive everyone should do at least once in my opinion.

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It was a quick trip- only 3 nights- but just long enough to get out of town and do a little relaxing. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale and rented a car. He decided we needed a Mustang convertible for the trip and I happily agreed.

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He was a happy man…

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Once you get through Miami, Florida City and Homestead and into the upper keys, the experience has begun…

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We decided to stop for a late afternoon lunch at Skipper’s Dockside in Key Largo…
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I highly recommend their shrimp and fish ceviche…how cute is the coconut it is served in? Doesn’t it just scream “welcome to the keys?”
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Obligatory start of vacation cocktail shot- the dark and stormy

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Back in the car and heading towards Tavernier…
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Then Islamorada… (my personal favorite key)

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I think this was somewhere around Fiesta Key…it was getting windy and difficult to take pictures. Did I mention there was a category 4 hurricane out in the Caribbean that was making things BREEZY? (Joaquin for those who remember)

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My only complaint about the convertible is that is was difficult (on top of the wind) to take photos because you’re so low to the ground. A Jeep would have been perfect here…

We stayed at the Tranquility Bay Beachfront Hotel and Resort.

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I loved this property…located in Marathon, its bigger than a bed and breakfast, but still not a large-scale resort that is devoid of any charm.

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I think the plantation style really makes you feel like you are in the Keys. They had adorable little cottages/townhouses and beautiful landscaping.

 

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DSC04963DSC04989We met a local who lived on property…

DSC05012Our cottage was spacious…2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, full kitchen, dining room, living room…more than we really needed for the 2 nights that we were there, but the price was the same as a 1 bedroom cottage. (travelling during hurricane season has its perks- rates are low)
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It seemed like every room had a large balcony with chairs made for relaxing…

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I forgot to take pictures of the master bedroom, but how sweet is this guest room?

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I adore the wallpaper…

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View of the pool from our room…it was so humid my camera lens was fogging up…

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We had a 1 minute walk to the pool and a 3 minute walk to the beach…

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Not sure if any of you watched the Netflix series “Bloodline” but it was filmed nearby in Islamorada and I swear we could have been on set…looked exactly the same.

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Well maintained…the sand was getting raked constantly it seemed…

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Our first full day there, we decided to go the pool. Joaquin was complicating things- all water excursions were cancelled as the ocean was rough. No big deal. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and the breeze was fantastic as it was helping cool things off.
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Birthday painkillers 🙂

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Another benefit of vacationing during the off-season is the lack of crowds…

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Our friend was back. Or maybe it was his buddy. There were several…

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We had every intention of walking next door to the sea turtle hospital where you can visit rescue turtles, but after a long day at the pool, we headed down to the beach front Tiki bar instead. I took this picture earlier in the day when nobody was there, but by late afternoon it was packed. We’d made some friends at the pool from Denver and they joined us for drinks.
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Did I mention it was windy?
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We didn’t care. We were excited about the epic sunset we’d heard so much about…

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It really was beautiful…
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Since we’d all been drinking and didn’t want to drive anywhere, we ordered dinner from the on-site restaurant The Butterfly Café  (excellent grouper! No surprise they’re voted best restaurant in Marathon) and ate it on the patio by the beach. By then the tiki bar had turned into party central. It was a really fun birthday!

If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend checking out Tranquility Bay. We could have easily stayed several more days had our schedules allowed, but we were off to the lower Keys! Stay tuned for part 2…

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