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Published: February 19th 2009
Well, another two weeks is coming to a close. Tomorrow we leave the Florida Keys, and head back to the Florida mainland. The keys are magical for us, not just for the weather, but for the down-home, campy feel here that makes us feel right at home.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located on Key Largo, the first Key heading south from Miami. Located in the mangroves, this park is a haven for kayakers, canoers, and boaters. There are two beaches and boat ramps, and the park operates a glass bottom boat out to the coral reef and diving and snorkeling adventures. There is also a visitor center with great exhibits and a huge circular fish tank.
When we arrived we were able to spend two days with Nick and Sandra before they moved on. Nick took us out in our kayaks and showed us a very special spot where huge mangrove snook live under some mangroves on one of the kayak trails. We were unable to fish for them, because you need a special permit for snook (which I now have), no power boats are allowed in this section (and Dave wouldn't take me fishing in
These fish were huge, but unfortunately we couldn't fish for them
the kayak - for fear I would tip us over) and snook are out of season in Monroe county until March 1st.
The boat was great fun. We went out into the Atlantic, into Florida Bay and into Card Sound, but we never caught a fish big enough to keep. We just kept feeding the bait-stealers! We heard about 2 crocodiles that were living in the area, but when we kayaked over to where they were suppose to be, we didn't see hide nor hair of them.
Walking every day, we needed to walk on the bike trail on Route 1 and the neighborhoods surrounding the park to get our 3-4 miles in. Walking around the entire park is less than a mile and a half. We did some biking and some kayaking, but mostly we went out fishing and didn't catch much. We had a few cold fronts move down through the Keys this winter, but the weather here at Key Largo was great every day. We even turned the air conditioner on a couple of days this week.
Bill and Lucy (also from MA) spent a few days here with us last week, and Lucy
made us an excellent meal. We met the gang staying at Long Key at the Wahoo for happy hour. this is always fun. Don and Carroll caught up with us for the last two days we were here and we went out to eat with them at the Fish House on our last night. The Mahi-Mahi was excellent, Dave said and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken that I had was scrumptious.
On Valentine's Day, Dave took me to the Bayside Grille, which is where we went last year also. The open-air restaurant is right on the bay, built up in the air and has fantastic views of the sunset over the harbor. I received a pink carnation as a gift from the staff.
It is a little sad leaving the Keys, but we are ready to move on. The weather usually starts getting to hot in the Keys in mid to late February. We are moving a lot further north this year than we normally do, so we are expecting cooler weather than what we are use to, but we are really looking forward to spending a couple of weeks in Sebastian Inlet.
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