My husband had to travel to Orlando, Florida, on business this January. He had the brilliant idea that I could join him, making for a nearly half-price vacation. I could not pass up the opportunity to spend a few days in the tropics during the middle of the Colorado winter. We stayed an additional three and a half days after his business was completed.
We both wanted to see the Florida Keys, and figured this could be our once in a lifetime chance. We did not have the time for a leisurely trip. Still, it was worth the drive. Here are ten things that we both found enjoyable, amusing, or amazing during our all too brief Florida vacation.
1) We live at 6000 plus feet. Watching our GPS in Florida, at one point the elevation went below sea level. We were still securely on land, but our elevation read negative three.
2) The town of Celebration, Florida is a confection of a place that we suspected had little real substance, but it was fun staying there for a night. My husband’s coworkers had a good chuckle over one of the top attractions, a water fountain. We stayed at the Bohemian Hotel.
3) For breakfast in Celebration, we sat on the tiny balcony to our room drinking coffee and eating cranberry muffins while admiring the exotic vegetation growing around the small lake behind the hotel.
4) After staying in a resort hotel, we decamped for a modest chain hotel to save a few bucks. The room cost almost the same as our meal that evening. This was a good way to save money, but it was quite a shock to the system. Still, it was worth the sacrifice to sleep cheap and eat gourmet. And the hotel had a fountain, too.
5) In Colorado, the best fish is fresh caught trout, and we are not great at fishing. All the ocean fish we get has traveled a great distance, so it was a treat to have fresh fish almost every dinner. At Jetty’s Restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, I had mahi mahi, and my husband had salmon, while sitting on a dock looking at a lighthouse and a yacht. The Key Lime Pie was fabulous.
6) We saw a sign the next day for a farmer’s market in Palm Beach. Our growing season ended in October. It never ends in south Florida. We spent an hour or so strolling around, amazed by fresh vegetables in January. We wished we had more room in our suitcases for all the wonderful arts and crafts we wanted to take home.
7) From Palm Beach we drove to the southernmost point in the continental USA. The Overseas Highway is a road that goes from island to island, or key to key. Was it frightening to drive over the ocean on a narrow bridge? Not during the pleasant weather we enjoyed, but I can imagine that rough seas and stormy skies would make it challenging. In this photo, you can see the old railroad. If you've seen the movie True Lies, there is a scene where part of the abandoned railroad is blown up.
8) That evening in Key West we had dinner on a dock. The sun set over the ocean as I had, you guessed it, mahi mahi.
9) The resort hotel in Key West was our big splurge, and the main reason we shopped at WalMart for our breakfast and lunch food. I felt like we’d snuck in through the servant’s entrance. We sat on the balcony sipping cheap wine we smuggled to our room and watching palm trees dancing in the evening breeze. The next morning we saw the sun rise over the ocean. Those moments were worth the expense.
10) I'll spend an entire blog to share my photos and experience just of Hemingway House in Key West. My husband was admirably patient during the tour of the non-air conditioned old house full of poly-dactyl cats.
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