Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back to the Mainland . . And Reality

Bye Bye Island life . .  you will be missed!  Notice that the leaving Key Largo sign says, "back to reality" . . . so true! 

 We headed back to the mainland after a day of boating . . . exhausting!  Just look at Kyler - he fell asleep with a hunk of hamburger in his mouth - slept for an hour- then continued chewing and got another bite! Hilarious!  (shhh he didn't want me to post this!)
It wouldn't be a Pitts vacation without a little excitement!  Our flight left Orlando at 7:30am - I set my alarm for 5:15 am - guess who woke up at 6:20!!! We had to get 5 people dressed, car loaded, from hotel to airport, return a rental car -- PACK all the crap in the car we had been throwing in the back all week, check-in and check bags, get 5 of us through security and on an airplane in an HOUR!  My only excuse is that my body was still on island time (and I might use that excuse for the next month or so!)  We made it!  However, we were quite a motley looking crew and I later realized my dress was on backwards! Back to REALITY!

The Islands BY SEA!

Our last day of Island living was spent seeing the Islands SEASIDE!  We rented a boat for the day and this might be my favorite thing!

Kerry makes a great Captain - ocean or lake! 
Jayden turns into Chicken of the Sea when he gets on a boat!  He warmed up to it, but I don't think it was his favorite part of the vacay.
Here is Evan feeling a little sea sick!  Right off the bat, we headed out to do some fishing and it was pretty rough out there!
Kyler gave it a try - but we decided to head to the sandbar and come back to fishing when the waters were calmer.
How beautiful is this sand bar!!  I LOVED this!  I LOVE how you can see the anchor!  You could just walk around and pick up seashells!  This is not by a shore - it's just out in the middle -- really cool!

We stayed at the sandbar for a while and had a boat picnic for lunch.
Then it was back to fishing!  We had better luck this time!

It was like fishing in a goldfish bowl!  Look at all these colorful fish going after our chum!

We also did some exploring down the channels between islands and checked out the houses.  We saw sting rays and sea turtles too!  It was the perfect last day of vacay -- IF there has to be a last day!

3 Island Hops Up - 2 Island Hops Back

After our last night in Key West it was time to start hopping back . . . one slight problem we didn't count on -- it was President's Day weekend which equals difficult to find vacancy!  We had reserved our night in Miami and our nights in Key West and were just "winging" it the other nights. . . we ended up having to drive to Key Largo for a night and then head back to Islamarado for the next so we could get another night in at the Iguana Condo. It was no biggy and ended out working just fine.
 The boys got to do some night swimming in Key Largo.
 Kyler caught, and tamed a Key Largo Lizard.
Evan found a chick in the hot tub . .  this was under Kerry's supervion, not mine!
 Then we headed back toward the Iguana Condo and spent the day at the Theater of the Sea - another favorite from our last trip!

 All three of the boys got picked to throw a ring on the Sea Lion.
I told you we would be back!  It was time to get to spread out a little and see our friends again!

 That is MY hand inches from the giant lizard!  I didn't get to touch it because it didn't like me - kept whipping it's tail at me!  oh-well I tried!
We ate at Mangrove Mikes . . . voted best breakfast in Islamarada and it's been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!

Back and forth between Islands is what Island Hopping is all about!  Our last official day is coming up . . it deserves it's own post!

Closer to CUBA than a Walmart!

Seriously, over 90 miles to the nearest Walmart . . . that doesn't happen very often when you live in NWA! We had some "work" to do in Key West - we had to get some things checked off our vacation checklist!  Here is our southernmost point pic . .  not perfect - but better than last time!  It's kind of stressful - there's a line, you have the stranger in line behind you take the pic, you get flustered, feel like you have to be quick because others are waiting . . . but here it is!

The Pirate Museum was first on the boys list, but sadly it's not there anymore!  So, they settled for the Ripley's Believe it or Not.  I heard they had fun . . . I went shopping:)!  I heard lots of cool stories about the cool stuff in there - I however, LOVE my new Key West earrings I splurged on -- all were happy!

The Key West Aquarium was a favorite last time and this time!  We had a two day pass and completely got our moneys worth!  It's very hands on and the boys LOVED it and learned alot!

 Yes, that is Kerry on the Conch Train, check!  We all ended up riding it -- Kyler, Evan and I got off at the first stop and headed back to the resort for some swimming and lounging while Kerry and Jayden finished it up.
 They went up to the top of the lighthouse.
 We explored the streets and restaurants of Key West each evening.
 This was the boys favorite street performer - he is playing the drums on buckets . . the boys are pretty good tippers, too!  This guy recognized us on our second night to stop and watch:)
Key West was great!  But, it's time to hop back up to the mainland . . . and have some more fun along the way!