We had a fantastic weekend visiting with friends and family!! Really grateful to be able to visit with my aunts and uncles. We had dinner at their clubhouse – fabulous food and then entertained by Jammin’ Jimmy:
We headed south to Key Largo. What a difference a few hundred miles make! It is HOT in the Florida Keys ?
The Florida state park campgrounds in the Keys were impacted to different degrees by the last few hurricanes. With limited availability, we were unable to obtain reservations at any of them this year. Deciding that we’d really like to be near John Pennekamp State Park, we booked at a private campground, Key Largo Kampground and Marina. Considering that it is an RV park, some of the tent site are surprisingly nice – good sized and shaded. There is electricity at each site and shared water spigots every few sites. The bathrooms and shower are fine and they have laundry facilities (we did not use). The pool was nice and the front office sold ice for a reasonable price! We were able to launch the kayaks from the marina’s beach. Due to a mix up, we had 2 sites instead of 3, and although the office kindly found a way to provide a third site, we ultimately decided just to get set up on two and be done. We were able to fit all the gear on the 2 sites, and while it may not have been pretty, it worked very well. We put the GO and Karin/Len’s tent on one site and the dining tent and GOzeebo (for Kathy/Tom) on the other. In between we put the chairs and behind we put the 6 bikes and kayaks!
We were so busy, we spent very little time in camp!
After set up, and showers (did I mention it was really hot?), we treated ourselves to dinner out at The Fish House in Key Largo. Absolutely wonderful?
The next day (Tuesday), we rented a boat from John Pennekamp SP. Jim and Len went fishing in the morning and picked up the rest of us in the afternoon for snorkeling. There were so many different fish – all sizes and colors, some sporadic, some huge schools! Lots of scary barracudas and even scarier shark (but not a dangerous type). The color of the water was also extremely beautiful and varied in many hues of greens, blues, and purples.
The forecast for Wednesday was for rain around Key Largo, but not so much at Key West, so we took a road trip to visit the Conch Republic. If you are not aware, there are wild chickens running all around – very interesting. There are a number of historic points of interest, the most famous are probably Hemingway’s home and Truman’s Little White House. We walked along Duval Street and treated ourselves to delicious chocolate covered frozen key lime pie on a stick (wish they had this at the Wisconsin State Fair – they have everything else on a stick there!)
We reached the southernmost point in the continental US…and have a picture to prove it!
Headed back in the other direction, and reached the start (and end) of Route 1!
After a delicious dinner at Blue Heaven, we headed to the iconic Mallory Square to watch the sunset.
It was a long day, but lots of fun?
By the way, there was another GO at our campground!!! Love to see GOs in the wild.
Steve and Barbara are avid GO owners from Michigan, traveling far and wide. They shared information about some of their favorite camping places. Here is their rig as they prepare to leave Key Largo on their way to the Everglades.
With better weather on Thursday, Jim and Len tried fishing from the campground’s beach – not successfully. I was more successful finding a nice yoga studio, just a 20-minute bike ride away! In the afternoon we launched our kayaks. There are mazes of mangroves between our campground and John Pennekamp SP. We had fun paddling around through the channels and over to John Pennekamp SP.
On Friday, we decided to kayak in the other direction, which brought us out into the open ocean (kind of). We followed the mangrove shore around to cross the major boat channel and land on a very small island. Felt a bit like Ponce de Leon landing in Florida…
As we returned through channels that do not allow motorized vehicles, we saw many species of birds and in the water saw sting rays, lots of fish, and a horseshoe crab! To celebrate our vigorous kayaking adventure, we treated ourselves with a bike ride to an ice cream parlor?.
The forecast for Saturday was for low wind and calm seas, so we rented a boat again from John Pennekamp SP. Jim, Len, and Tom went fishing in the morning, finding success outside of Molasses Reef. They caught grunts, jacks, yellow tails, sculpins, and Captain Jim caught a nice little barracuda. In the afternoon, they picked up Kathy, Karin, and me for more snorkeling at Grecian and Dry Rock reefs.
After helping Karin and Len pack up to leave on Sunday, the rest of us decided to visit Everglades National Park. It does NOT disappoint! So many birds, animals, and plants!!
Alas, all good things come to an end (at least until the next good thing starts), and it was time to break camp.
Kathy and Tom had no problem with their first time disassembling the GOzeebo, their temporary home away from home. Some of their favorite features about the GOzeebo are the roominess and high ceilings; there was enough room to be able to set up clotheslines INSIDE the GOzeebo, because it rained too often to dry clothes and towels outside! They found it very convenient to be able to open all four sides of the GOzeebo – quick and easy access from any direction?
Happy to say that the morning stayed rain free while we broke camp. Here is our LEO, all packed up and ready to GO!!