Ever since Dan’s parents told us about the Florida Keys and convinced us we would love it (and they couldn’t have been more right), we have found ourselves loving it the more we go. So when we were thinking about where we wanted to go for our 10 year anniversary trip (actual anniversary is in May), it didn’t take long for us to decide to go to the Keys.
What we love about the Keys is that it is like the Caribbean, but without having to fly international. We find it is cheaper too. Plus, we get to do more because we rent a car. Really, it is our cup of tea. We know it’s not everyone’s, but we LOVE it. We rent a condo, which in the end, is cheaper than a hotel per night because we can make our meals at the condo. It was less than $100/night, which we thought was an incredible price for the views and amenities we had! I know for some, the last thing they want to do is cook. But we find spending $5.00 on a frozen pizza is worth the pennies saved than going out to eat for every meal. We really eat simple while on vacation – cereal in the morning, sandwiches at lunch, and something that takes less than 10 minutes to make for supper. I can handle that!
We are also people who value taking time to celebrate – especially milestone anniversaries. We have learned that our conversations are a little quicker, our patience can be shorter, and our time together is different lately, which means we have to make sure we keep working on us. In order to have a healthy family, we need to have a healthy marriage, which in the end is an investment for us all. A worthwhile investment!
We chose to not take Mazy with us, so we drove to Michigan to drop our sweet daughter off with her grandparents. It was a bit crazy a few days prior. I did not feel good Tuesday morning (we left on Thursday), so I went to the doctor. Found out I had bronchitis and strep throat. Not the way I wanted to spend the week – recovering from two illnesses, but we weren’t going to let it stop us from going. Thankfully I was given some wonderful medication and I was up and going again in less than 24 hours. I felt 10x better even after 12 hours. The thing is, the humidity and thicker Floridian air actually helped my bronchitis! Within 2 days, I had no symptoms of it. So in a way, it was God’s perfect timing! Who knew? Didn’t get everything I wanted to get done before we left, but oh well! We were still able to go and that’s all we cared about.
All that to say…to Michigan we went!
Early Friday morning, we flew to Florida. We flew into West Palm Beach, rented a car, and drove south and stayed the night in Florida City (which is basically the last town before you head on Highway 1 to the Keys). We were able to get in vacation mode and start relaxing! We even went to our favorite southern restaurant, Sonny’s. If you haven’t ever been there, I highly recommend it!
Then on Saturday we drove down to our condo. We were able to get settled and even have enough time to catch a few rays! Our 30 SPF didn’t cut it, so we had to get SPF 45. Our Minnesotan skin sure hadn’t seen the sun in quite some time!
A year and a half ago, when we went to the Keys, there was a tropical storm that caused it to rain 6 out of the 8 days we were there. Thankfully this time, we had the most GORGEOUS weather! We could not have asked for better weather! That also meant some incredibly gorgeous sunsets that we were able to watch from the condo complex’s rooftop!
On Monday, we drove down to Key West to go snorkeling at Fort Zachary Taylor. The rocks piles offered some great sites of beautiful fish! It was a tad windy that day so it was a bit rough (had to be careful to not get tossed onto the rocks with the waves). We still had such a great time there – plus, the drive down is just beautiful!
My best friend.
Our condo complex called Summer Sea. If you are looking for a GREAT place to stay, I highly recommend this complex! This is the 2nd time we have stayed here because we love it so much! The views are incredible, the snorkeling is fun, and restaurants are nearby if desired. Also, there is a cute little ma and pa cafe across the street that has THE BEST key lime pie. We have gone there a few times.
We even bought out of state fishing licenses so we could fish in the bay and ocean.
Watching the sunset after fishing one night
One of our favorite places in the Florida Keys is Bahia Honda State Park. I can’t even begin to put into words, the beauty of this place! All I have to say is if you have been there, you know what I am talking about. Plus, the snorkeling there is very fun too. Completely worth the drive!
Again, just completely breath-taking at Bahia Honda!
An old train bridge at the state park
Bridges connect the various keys, which makes for a beautiful drive! There is even a bridge that spans 7 miles of water!
I don’t know if this is something to be proud of, but we figured out we ate 2 2/3 pies of key lime pie! Yes, that is 2 whole ones and 2/3 of another. Pretty pathetic, right? In other words, the keys are known for their key lime pie!
God painted a beautiful picture for us every night!
Our last night in the Keys, there was a storm that was over Miami that we were able to watch from our balcony. We were about 1 1/2 hours from it, but we could see it just building in the sky. What an amazing sight!
We sure missed our little Mazy though! We hadn’t ever spent a night away from her, just the two of us before this trip, so to go a week without seeing her, wasn’t easy, but we know it was also good for us too. We are so thankful for our parents who were willing to watch her! Especially since she came down with an ear infection too!
I couldn’t be more thankful for the time Dan and I had together! We felt like little kids again, laughing at everything and just having fun…TOGETHER.
If anyone ever has any questions about the Keys or where we stayed, let me know! We love it!
P.S. More pics are coming!