Tag Archives: Grassy Key

Day 374 On the Road, Grassy Key, FL

Almost the last day at the Monroe County Library!  We are grateful that they exist, but really wish they would have had WIFI that works consistently.  So frustrating to be in the middle of school and have it go out on the kids.  We know they are really strapped for cash here, so we understand.  It’s hard not to compare it to the Phoenix, Arizona library, the Ames, IA library, or even our library back home and not find it wanting.  We hope our next city has a better budget!

IMG_4273I had a headache from all the noise and smells at the library, so I went for one last walk at Curry Hammock State Park.  The pelicans were busy diving for fish near the shore and a group of us stood and watched for 10 minutes.  I’m going to have to do a little reading about pelicans because none of us could understand how they could hit the water, repeatedly, hard, and not get hurt. And feed themselves in the process!  It was really fun to watch, but the park closes at dusk, so I had to high tail it out of there.  Farewell, Curry Hammock, I doubt we’ll ever be back…

Day 372 On the Road, Grassy Key, FL

We rented kayaks for the day from a guy who answered his phone by saying, “Are you from Bend, Oregon?  I recognize your area code.  I used to live there.”  I had to sit down I was so surprised.  Turns out Curly left Bend when the recession hit and moved to the Keys and opened a marina.  We figured out that we knew many of the same people and it was so fun to talk to him.  I had gotten his name the day before from a family at the RV park who had rented paddle boats from him.  They said he was so nice and would bring the kayaks to us here at the RV park whenever we wanted.  Well of course he’s nice, he’s from Oregon!

IMG_6002Dan and I went out first – the kids were still asleep!  We hadn’t been in the Gulf water yet, so it was fun to see what was right on our doorstep. These kayaks were a lot longer than the ones we had rented before, and they would glide easier with a stroke.  I want to buy one now and strap it on the top of, oh, well, uh, I’ll get one when we get home!  It is almost as good as swimming and a great workout.

IMG_6009After the kids finally got up and ate a huge breakfast, we went out for a couple more hours.  We headed north, into the wind, and went by the Dolphin Research Center first.  They were doing a “show” and we could see the dolphins jump out of the water in response to the trainer’s whistle. We had been hearing that whistle for a month and it was even more annoying up close.  We kept paddling north until we reached the bridge, probably two miles.   When we turned around to head south, we barely had to paddle.

IMG_6018Eliza took this picture of me – smiling ear to ear because I am having so much fun.  Why haven’t I been kayaking every day while we have been here?!  (Oh, right, school.) The kids went in to rest then, and I kept going for another hour.  There was so much to see!

IMG_6017Nate came back out for awhile and we explored the bay near the RV park.  Another RV’er told us that there were trails through the trees, but we went down every finger, and couldn’t find a way through.  We saw a lot of fish, but none that we wanted to catch.

IMG_6037I went out again on my own, and headed south.  I am so glad I did!  I had walked the other side of these homes in the neighborhood for a month now, and had I not seen them from the water, I never would have known how “alive” they were.  They were all open to the water, with pools and huge boats and people laughing.  It was 3 days after Christmas, and I could tell people were still celebrating.  Now I understand why so many people like this area – it’s beautiful on the water side.

IMG_6044At 4:45, the kids and I headed out again to get in position for a good sunset picture.  This picture is of Nate, easily sliding back into the water in our little marina.  The dock had a notch in it, with a ramp that lowered into the water for easy access in or out of the water.  One day and already he’s an expert!  I told Dan I would paddle the river tube out and he could have a kayak, but he was tired and didn’t want to go out.  I knew he’d worry about us the whole time, and I was right.  He wasn’t comfortable with us out on the water as it got dark.

IMG_6059If we just kept going, we could reach the Mexico side of the Gulf…instead we paddled around for almost an hour, waiting for the sun to go down. We kept looking for the shark that the fisherman told us he released just before we went out again, but never saw it. Whew.

IMG_6088Eliza took this picture of Nate at sunset and I love it!  It’s better than just a picture of the sun on it’s own.  We looked for the green flash every time we watched a sunset while we were here, but only Dan ever saw it.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s still a great way to spend an evening!

Day 369, Christmas on the Road

IMG_4178Merry Christmas from Grassy Key!  This is my favorite sign in the neighborhood I walk in every morning.  People are really creative with lights on palm trees, cactus and buildings, but I think this sign is just the best.

This is our second Christmas on the road, and our first alone as a family, and without our church.  We are going to have a nice, quiet day and then go to the dinner that the RV park puts together for all of us travelers.  We can only imagine how alone Joseph and Mary felt as they brought baby Jesus into the world. How grateful we are that they did.

Day 368, Grassy Key, FL

IMG_4141While doing my bible study near the water, this iguana swam out of the Gulf and crawled up the rocks onto the pier.  I just sat there aghast because if Eliza and I had known that the iguanas could swim, we wouldn’t have been kayaking right underneath them a few days earlier!  This guy had his swim, then worked his way down our pier to a stone table and sat on it with a friend – a smaller green guy.  Again, so neat to see , as long as they aren’t touching me!

IMG_4152We went to our favorite park, Curry Hammock, in the afternoon and I swam for a couple hours.  The water was warm, but I couldn’t get anyone else to come swim!  Wimps.  They just like our nice clean, warm pool better!

Day 366, Grassy Key

Today was a lazy day and I was grateful we didn’t have a lot planned because I had woken up in the night with my bites hurting and I had a hard time getting back to sleep.  Eliza and I have tried everything to keep the no-see-ums off of us, but we are still getting eaten alive inside and outside the rig.

IMG_4103We played all the games at the RV park and you can see how happy the kids were to be playing with their parents – out in public where the whole RV park could watch!

IMG_4105We were out on the rocky pier and Nate saw this nurse shark – right in our own little marina!  A few evenings before two men had been looking for them at the same spot.  He was about 3′ long.

IMG_4109Walking back to the rig, this little green guy couldn’t decide whether to walk down in front of us or freeze and hope we didn’t notice him.  These iguanas are all over the RV park, and the islands.  They can be as little as 5″ and run across your foot, or as big as the ones we’ve seen in the trees.  Eliza and I love nature  – we just don’t want it to touch us!

Day 364, Curry Hammock State Park, FL

IMG_4082We went back to Curry Hammock State Park and Eliza walked the beach with Nate and I!  It was another beautiful sunny day and there wasn’t anyone else there.  I picked up a few shells for gifts and had a blast with the kids.  They are amazing human beings and I love spending time with them.

IMG_4085After I wash the shells, I leave them on the table to bleach out in the sun.  This tablecloth was from our friends the Ackermans years ago and I have gotten more compliments for it on this trip than on our new rig.  People love it, Karm, thanks again!

Day 363, Grassy Key to Marathon, FL

IMG_4053I rode my bike to the library today, an easy 11 miles, and stopped at this quay for yet another picture of the Gulf water – isn’t it gorgeous?  Look at that color!  I can’t get over it and can’t get enough of it.  Just beautiful.  I understand why people live here and sit on their decks and just stare at the water.

IMG_4055Came back to our rig and was so grateful for it and this trip.  We’ve been through so much with this rig and together as a family and I don’t take one minute of it for granted.  We are blessed!

IMG_4059Dan and I went out to dinner and I took yet another picture of the sunset and the 7 mile bridge.  A fun evening, a great waiter and a beautiful sunset.  We got home and the kids’ were fine – score!