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  • Writer's pictureBarbi Taylor

Good Times in the FL Keys

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

July is nearly here and that means we’re gearing up for our summer/fall trip. We’ll be heading out shortly for destinations north and west. Although I’ve been absent from posting here, it doesn’t mean we haven’t been RVing. Shortly, we’ll introduce you to our new rig. We’ve spent most of the last several months breaking it in and making minor modifications. So stay tuned for a video on that subject. First, however, let me catch you up a bit.

This Spring we took a nice trip with family and friends to Jupiter, Florida. It’s a beautiful area, and we enjoy staying at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. (We’ve made two videos of that area already.) In addition, we just returned from a trip to the Lower Keys with our daughter and son-in-law. In both cases we didn’t plan on filming or making a video. We were more interested in enjoying the time with our family and friends (also, we try to respect those who are social media shy).

After the Keys trip, however, we had a change of mind. We didn’t break out the video cameras, but in gorgeous surroundings, casually using phones and one GoPro can produce great images. We felt it was worth the time to create something to save and to share. All too often we overlook the amazing places right in our own backyard. As Floridians, ready to head off across the country, I know that is true. We rarely highlight the sights right here in our fabulous state. (With the current migration of new residents to Florida that might be subconsciously on purpose!)

We stayed at Bluewater Key RV Resort just north of Key West. It was quite a treat for us, with a waterfront site complete with dock and tiki hut. The sites are privately owned, but can be put into a rental program. It’s pricey, especially compared to our normal destinations, but it was an exceptional experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We could have stayed the entire week under the tiki hut and relaxing by the water, but we wanted to explore the beautiful location.

Our daughter and son-in-law brought their boat for that very purpose.

The two of them came prepared with destinations in mind, one of them being Marvin Key. We launched the boat at Sugarloaf Marina with some trepidation. The water in that area is very shallow, and we were advised many places required local knowledge to keep from running aground. We did not have such knowledge. Jen and Paul, however, did a great job using their many navigation tools and took us to our destination unscathed. We found a huge sandbar, anchored, and wandered through the crystal clear, blue-green waters in solitude. It was ultra relaxing and exceeded all our expectations. It was one of only two, perfect weather days during our stay and was an exceptional beginning to a terrific week.

Jennifer and I had a bucket list item for this trip – a visit to the Dry Tortugas National Park.

Even though planned well in advance, it looked like we wouldn’t get reservations, but Jennifer worked her magic and got the four of us on the Yankee Freedom Ferry for Wednesday of Memorial Day week. After our perfect Marvin Key excursion the weather turned windy, cloudy, and occasionally rainy. We weren’t confident that our Dry Tortugas trip was going to be especially pleasant. Much to our surprise, the weather cleared, the winds laid, and we had another sunny, puffy white cloud, Florida day. We highly recommend the Yankee Freedom Ferry. On the way over we rode outside, on deck, enjoying the sun, a bagel, coffee and juice they provided for breakfast. On the return trip we took advantage of the spacious, air conditioned interior and the cash snack and drink bar. In between, we were appreciative of the tasty, bag lunch they included.

Fort Jefferson was much more expansive than we expected. We love exploring the brick forts built along the east coast in the early 1800’s, and this was no exception. Their architecture is incredible, and the difficult labor involved in building them is astounding. In this case, even more incredible is the turquoise water surrounding Fort Jefferson. Swimming and snorkeling filled the afternoon. I’m thankful to have experienced this bucket list item, but I’m not sure it should be a one and done excursion.

The Keys video is now posted, and you can view it through YouTube directly or from the YouTube Videos tab. Stay tuned for our upcoming travels. This year we hope to visit the northern Idaho destinations we missed last year due to fires. You know we have to stay a couple of weeks in the Grand Teton National Park! Then via Colorado we’ll return to Utah, getting to Bryce and Zion this year, closing the trip out in Arizona at the Grand Canyon. So come along with us, and as we always say, make the best of everyday.

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