My heartfelt thanks to colleague Linda Simkin who suggested we include the Florida Keys on our itinerary. We're only half way down this slender group of almost connected pieces of paradise and I'm totally in love.
From the moment you arrive in Key Largo, the first of the keys, everything is palm trees and pastel coloured shop fronts with barely a fast food outlet to be seen. Shop keepers are laid back and happy to shoot the breeze and even the drivers have slowed down enough for me to feel safe on the single lane, only road that runs from Florida City to Key West.
We called in at the Islamorada info centre and the lovely lady there pointed us in the direction of Robbie's where you can hand feed giant fish called tarpons. Once Geoff had actually been bitten feeding the first one, Taine refused to have a go but I did. My second attempt caused more hysterics than the first because I knew what was coming. You dangle the fish centimetres above the water (while a man fends of marauding pelicans with a foam pool noodle!) and from nowhere this giant fish comes and snaps it out of your hand. So much fun!
Trying to stick to our budget we booked a cheap resort on Wotif. The reviews of La Siesta weren't great but we were trying to squirrel away a few dollars to stay at Key West tomorrow. Imagine our surprise then to find a lovely big apartment style room, a water side location and a beautiful, heated, totally empty pool. Another excellent stumbleupon! Maybe we're just easily pleased because we're simple country folk but lying in a hammock looking out to sea is my kind of holiday ;-)
We had a swim and drank in the sunset from our marina then went to the fish market and bought some stone crabs for dinner. It's a good thing I bought my own McGyver along on this trip because there was nothing in the room to crack the crabs with. Where there's a will there's a way and he sorted them out with a sharp knife and some muscle. I enjoyed the taste but wouldn't pay $15 lb for them again. I'd as soon have yabbies from Tea Tree Lake.
Time now for a glass of wine on our balcony and my day will be complete .