The Florida Keys and Key West was one of the primary targets for our run through the east coast. It seems in past travels when we set up a longer trip something would always come up to derail it. We cancelled a trip to the same place a couple of years ago due to my eye surgery. This trip had something a little extra special, our 40th wedding anniversary would fall during our time there. So we were even more nervous about something forcing changes. But for once the entire trip went as planned. Even a busted cooling hose on the coach engine in Marco Island turned out to be a few hours work vs. a feared multi-week repair job.
There was also concern about where to base the plane. There are not many options in the keys. Key West was out as it was distant and very expensive. But with the help of Bob Jones, another person who travels with a Kitfox ( Florida: Some assembly required - AOPA) and lives in Marathon, we were able to secure the plane and the trailer. We stayed at Sunshine Key RV Resort that was just down the road from Marathon and about an hour out of Key West.
Then all we needed was good weather! And we got a little. We hit a windy streak that slowed our activities a bit. But we made the best of it and hit the high points that were the most important for us. We got to fly the plane, but not all the way to Key West due to weather and the many controlled airspaces in the area. Besides, we had flown in to Key West in the Cirrus SR22 we owned previously many years ago.
As we travel the country we have not really been in vacation mode. We don't pay for sightseeing trips that much. But as we hit southern Florida we decided to splurge a bit. Our first was a sunset sail in Key West aboard the schooner America 2.0. Our almost all female crew did a great job of helping us all relax and enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in hand. And the sunset was just what we had ordered.
Another splurge for our anniversary was a meal at Sunset Key. The resort is on a private island that can only be accessed by their private shuttle. We tried to get reservations on the day of our anniversary but ended up being lucky to get a late lunch on the day after. Turns out that typically reservations are made years in advance and we were fortunate to get in at all. It is pricey as expected, but well worth it for the experience. Karen was able to enjoy Gluten Free Chicken Salad, Crab Cake and desert while I had to try a Lobster Burger. And the view..... Well, see for yourself!
We rode bikes in Key West, but have not figured out a good way to take pictures or video without causing an accident. And of course we did a little bit of wandering around downtown.
We took the boat out around Sunshine Key and Bahia Honda. But the winds and very shallow water even for our shallow draft rig made the ride back kind of sporty. Safe to say we got wet.
Flying over the Keys is absolutely gorgeous. The water is aqua blue and typically very clear. On the Gulf side where it can be very shallow it was obvious where speeding boats had run aground and left jagged scars on the bottom. The windsurfers were plentiful as well as boats and really expensive homes.
After a week of soaking everything in it was time to head North for new adventures.