Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Key West 2013

Last Saturday we got back from our annual trip to Key West and it was a fun and exhausting vacation! We didn't do as many touristy things as in previous years and definitely spent more time at home, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. I definitely needed to rest more this year! Anthony did a lot of fishing and snorkeling, but he got to spend a lot of time with us too. The best was being able to get up in the morning and have breakfast together. We literally never get to do that since Anthony works 6 days a week and then on Sundays we rush out of the door as soon as James gets up to go to church. The first morning I made French toast and James loved being able to sit at the table and eat breakfast with Daddy.

This trip we saw a crazy amount of wild iguanas! The keys are known for wild iguanas so we have always heard about them, but we only ever saw one or two. This year we saw over 100, easily! We took James to a playground on the base and ended up seeing tons of iguanas on the seawall. I don't think we ever even touched the playground equipment, we spent all our time walking around looking at the iguanas.

Our first night in Key West, we scoped out some fishing spots on the base with our friends. A member of the coast guard came and chased us off the docks and told us that the only place designated for fishing was a pier on the very edge of the base. The next morning we decided to take James there to see what we could get. It wasn't a very kid friendly area, the pier itself had no railing, just a small step and then a steep drop off to the channel and on the other side of the parking area was large gated areas with big biohazard signs that warned of radiation. We did manage to get some good fishing in! We worked it out that my mom would stand behind James and make sure he stayed sitting on our cooler, I would keep putting James' rod in the water after he reeled it up, and Anthony would fish to the side of us, trying to actually hook something for James. Here is James reeling in his pole. He was all business about it!

 We moved to a different area and almost immediately Anthony hooked into a fish! James got so excited and ran over to reel it in:
 Here he is showing it to us! He wasn't scared of it at all and he just laughed and laughed!
 Then Anthony caught another one and James got to reel it up again!
Pretty soon after this, James gave us such a fright by laughing and running away from us and getting really close to the non-existent pier wall. Our hearts stopped while we chased after him, thinking that one wrong step could send him over the edge. Even Anthony got upset! We put him straight into the car after that and told him fishing was over and that he cannot run away like that. Scary!

Monday afternoon we tried out a small beach at one of the navy bases while Anthony took off snorkeling. James sat in the water with me and looked for snails and clams for a little while and then spent the rest of the time walking with me or my mom around the marina looking at boats. I finally got him to sit down for a few minutes with the promise of fruit snacks :)
Tuesday morning we met up with our friends to buy our tickets for the week. While we were deciding and coordinating our plans, Anthony played with James in the gym that is right next to the ticket office.
There was also this cool chair outside, so we had to get pictures!

Wednesday morning we went to Bahia Honda state park for the first time. We always plan to go every year but have never actually made the time. There are two different sides of the park with beach access and we chose one side and our friends who were meeting us there chose the other side. It was quite a comedy of errors trying to figure out which side everyone was on and which side we all wanted to be on! We liked the rocky side since there were a lot of snails and hermit crabs to find and look at, but everyone else liked the other side because the beach was more sandy there. We didn't want to be party poopers, so my mom, James, and I left Anthony while we tried out the other side, only to regret our decision and make our way back. Anthony didn't know that we were coming back, so he started walking the two miles to the other side. Once he got there he realized that we had gone back to where he started so he borrowed someone's phone to call me. I then had to get in the car again and go get him. So exhausting and confusing! It all worked out in the end and overall we had a good time, although at multiple points I was ready to call it a day.

Friday we decided to go downtown and visit the aquarium and the toy factory. We have been to the aquarium every year and each year I am surprised by how small it actually is. James liked looking at the sharks and the sting rays, but we had to keep reminding him that he couldn't touch these sting rays, since he is so used to sting ray touch tanks.

The aquarium is open to the outside and doesn't have air conditioning, so I was ready to head over to the toy factory and do some shopping. We told James we were going to the toy store and he was so excited! We walked over and rode the elevator up to the entrance only to find a sign on the door saying that they closed down in February! I looked it up online and it looks like they were only in business a few years, but I am still curious about what happened. It seemed like they were doing so well last year and it was such a cool place to visit. I was so disappointed! James didn't seem to mind too much, I think I was more put out than he was. We rode the elevator back down to the first floor and bought some fudge and cookies instead :)

When we were walking back to the car, James wanted to be carried so Anthony held him while I walked behind. James kept peeking at me over Anthony's shoulder and it was too cute!
At the end of the week, we took all of the lobsters and fish that the boys caught and saved and made one big feast! We had lobster two different ways, fish, macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, corn on the cob, and hush puppies. It took forever to get everything cooked and organized but it was so delicious, it was worth it!

Our fishermen:
 The catch as they collected it throughout the week:

The final tally of lobsters, cleaned and ready to cook:
We tried frying some of the lobsters with a honey batter and it was delicious! The rest of them we broiled:
One of our friends thought to take a picture of her plate before digging in. Everything looked so good!
It was another great year in Key West! Anthony is already thinking about when he can go back and get more lobster :)

1 comment:

Happy said...

So glad you guys had fun!! Awesome dinner, I can't even remember the last time I ate lobster! The iguanas were crazy! We need a relaxing vacation like that, but right now, nothing is relaxing with Nolan...