We returned to SC Sunday afternoon from the most epic week in the Keys ever. We're still completely exhausted- you know the kind of exhaustion that comes from trying new (and sometimes scary) things and letting yourself be fully emersed in the moment...it was 7 full days of lots of those new things and we absolutely loved it.
In the last few years, my definition of "vacation" has completely changed...it used to be synonymous with the whole go go go mentality- you know the types of vacations that are packed full of scheduled activities or days on end of constant motion. Obviously, there's no shame in that game but let's be honest, I'm just not built for constant activity anymore. I love my naps, I love to just sit and watch stuff unfold, I love to relax, I love the absence of plans, I love sitting around with family laughing, talking and listening. And don't get me wrong, I've always loved those things, it's just that I'm appreciating them so much more than I ever did before so this vacation was a pretty huge deal to us.
In the months and weeks leading up to our week long visit to the Keys, there was tons of chatter going on about what we would/could be doing, what to bring, who was joining us...the broad details. And in the days leading up to it, I felt like a kiddo waiting for Christmas morning to finally come. To say that we were super excited is a HUGE understatement. We were out of control. I had lists upon lists and questions about my questions and I'm pretty sure I was annoyingly excited :)
I had only been to the Keys once before on a solo trip to visit my parents in Jensen Beach about 4 years ago and we stayed in a hotel on Marathon Key. We went to Key West for a day, rented kayaks on another day, ate great food, had great conversations, and made some really great memories. Long story short, I've wanted Sam and Bri to experience it ever since. Mom and dad visit the Keys fairly often and a couple of years ago they rented a condo for a week in Marathon to do some lobstering and fishing, but since we were in California at the time it just didn't work out for us to go- bummer.
A few months ago, I got a text from mom asking what we were doing from July 26- August 2 and she told us they were planning a Keeling family lobstering, fishing, and fun vacay and to see if Sam could get some leave during that time frame...uhmmm YEAH! They scheduled the trip so that we would be there for the lobstering mini season...this is what got Sam super amped. I didn't even know there were lobsters in Florida, much less a season for it, ha! We watched a few videos on youtube to see what that was all about and I quickly realized it would be something Sam would be totalled gangbusters about and subsequently, that I would definitely prefer to watch happen from inside the boat because even though Florida lobsters dont have claws, they're super creepy looking and seeing as how I'm afraid to touch a live shrimp, a lobster is for sure a no go...
So pre-trip, mom and I were constantly texting back and forth about ideas and adding things to our lists...Mom and dad were bringing their 3 dachshunds (we love those rascals), junk food, the boat, snorkeling gear, and lobstering / fishing equipment, Klint was bringing two of his buddies (Michael and Khush), Michael was bringing 4 kayaks (YES!!), and we were bringing our rockband, xbox and movies, and the rest would fall into place. My kind of planning :)
We left SC on Friday morning so we could help mom and dad with the rest of the packing, loading and boat prep Friday afternoon and then our 3 car, 1 boat caravan headed out early the next morning for our lobstering adventure in the Keys. We arrived at the condo early Saturday afternoon and the fun commenced immediately.
We did so much in those 7 days that they all run together now...snorkeled at Sombrero Reef (got freaked out by a nurse shark and some barracuda), went kayaking a ton, ate really good food, played rockband and laughed hysterically at dad's rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, watched movies, took naps, played in the pool, reconnected, caught lobster (it was delicious), went on walks, explored, caught up...
I didn't end up taking that many photos and videos and it doesn't bother me a bit because the ones I did get, I love but mostly because this was one of those rare times when I was actually in the moment and an active participant in what was going on, not a witness with a camera- and that makes me really really happy. I need more of that in my life, ya know?
Speaking of video, the only videos I took were really short ones on my iphone and with my big camera on our last day there. We decided to go back to snorkel the reef one last time because we all loved it so much. It had stormed the night before so the water was super choppy and visibility was pretty low. We didn't want to go back so instead we decided to swim, float and enjoy the ocean. We started with a cannonball competition (Klint won) which turned into synchronized leaping from the boat and then Klint had a genius idea and we busted out the life vests, turned them into floats, tied a rope to the boat and just hung out in the water most of the day. My favorite time of the whole week :)
Since the videos were so short and I wanted to share them with everyone that was there with us, I made a short video compilation to post on FB that you can watch below if you want. The song is Afternoon by Youth Lagoon.
It was such a raging success that we're already plotting and scheming for The Keys 2015 trip :)
Thanks for stopping by!