THE KEYS

FOR MY MOM'S 60TH BIRTHDAY, WE GOT HER A TRIP TO THE KEYS. MY PARENTS HONEYMOONED THERE 33 YEARS AGO AND HAVEN'T BEEN BACK SINCE. WE SPENT A LONG WEEKEND TOGETHER ENJOYING THE SUNSHINE, TASTY MEALS AND EACH OTHER'S COMPANY (WHEN WE WEREN'T ARGUING ABOUT SOMETHING, AS FAMILIES USUALLY DO). 

WE STAYED AT HAWKS CAY RESORT LOCATED IN DUCK KEY. DUCK KEY IS ABOUT HALF WAY BETWEEN KEY LARGO AND KEY WEST. WE LANDED IN MIAMI AND PICKED UP A CAR TO DRIVE TO THE KEYS. WE PLANNED TO SWIM WITH DOLPHINS, LOUNGE BY THE POOL AND TAKE IN THOSE CARIBBEAN BLUE WATER VIEWS. WE EVEN MADE A FEW NEW FRIENDS, IGUANA FRIENDS, THAT IS.

WE ATE AT VARIOUS RESTAURANTS, BUT THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE THE STUFFED PIG FOR BREAKFAST, ANGLER AND ALE FOR DINNER, AND LIGHT BITES AT THE BUZZARD’S ROOST IN KEY LARGO, WHICH OFFERED LIVE STEEL DRUMS AND MARINA VIEWS. EVERY RESTAURANT WE VISITED, I RATED BASED ON THEIR KEY LIME PIE (YES I ORDERED THAT MANY SLICES OF PIE) AFTER DINNER WE SAT AROUND A FIRE PIT ON THE BACK PATIO SIPPING ON LOCAL BREWS.

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS WAS A SERIOUS HIGHLIGHT TO THIS TRIP. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, BUT KNEW I’D LOSE MY MIND ONCE I GOT INTO THE WATER. I WAS SO ELATED, I HAPPY CRIED UNCONTROLLABLY. WE INTERACTED WITH THEM, GOT TO HUG AND KISS THEM AND ABOVE ALL MARVEL AT WHAT AMAZING MAMMALS THEY ARE. 

WE SPENT A DAY IN KEY WEST WALKING AROUND DUVAL ST. AND VISITING THE SOUTHERNMOST POINT. WE STAYED FOR THE SUNSET IN MALLORY SQUARE WHERE WE ENJOYED SOME STREET PERFORMERS AND WATCHED THE SUN GO DOWN. I GRABBED A COUPLE SCOOPS OF MANGO AND KEY LIME PIE GELATO AND WATCHED THE SKY TRANSFORM INTO VIBRANT HUES OF PURPLE, PINK AND ORANGE.

MUST DO: SWIM WITH DOLPHINS AT DOLPHIN DISCOVERY

MUST SEE: A KEY WEST SUNRISE AND SUNSET

MUST EAT: A SLICE OF ANGLER AND ALE'S KEY LIME PIE