Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Key West - The End!

Key West is known for its sunsets. Every evening, tourists from around the world gather in Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. Of course we couldn't miss that and I'm so glad we didn't. When the the last bit of setting sun disappears behind the earth the celebration begins. There are performers galore, some quite talented and most a little bit crazy. There were pirates and acrobats, jugglers, and mimes, balloon artists and musicians all trying to lure you in. We couldn't resist the pirates and kids are drawn to balloons like a moth to flame. It was all great fun and after a slice of key lime pie we retired to our hotel for some much needed rest.

The next day began with a visit to Hemingway House. It was actually his second wife's house, which she kept after they divorced, but is still famous for the years he spent living and writing there. The cats are famous too and there are up to 50 that live there at a time. They basically rule the roost and are free to roam wherever they would like. After a very interesting tour of the house and grounds we wandered the streets for a bit and stopped for a snack of conch fritters and some more key lime pie - this time from The Blonde Giraffe. They are famous for their chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick! The regular key lime pie was delicious as well. On the way out of town we had to make one last stop at the southern most point in the continental US for a photo op, then it back in the car for the long drive home. It was a perfect little escape that only left me wanting more. I'm already busy planning our next adventure - I'm thinking somewhere international this time. Lyla needs some stamps in her passport.

Basking in the glow of the setting sun.


Tyler waiting for his motorcycle balloon.


Hemingway House.

One of the many cats. Supposedly cats with 6 toes are
good luck for sailors - that's why Hemingway liked to
keep them around. This one here has 7 toes.

Alaina eating her chocolate dipped key lime pie.

At the bottom.

Homeward bound.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

The drive to Key West took about 4 hours, which is a long time to be in the car with 3 kids. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how good they all were. It was actually quite relaxing. Tina and I sat in the back and chatted away, keeping the kids under control by throwing out a few snacks every now and then. When the kids started to get antsy we stopped and swam, which was wonderful for all of us. That warm water was heaven.

Have I mentioned that Lyla loves the water! She loves the tub, the pool, the ocean. She splashes in the cat's water bowl and runs, ok, crawls really fast, whenever someone turns on the bath or shower. She wants to wash her hands every time I do and tries with all her might to turn on the hose whenever we are outside. Well, needless to say she had a lot of fun every time we stopped for a swim break.

The first beach we stopped at was surrounded by mangroves and had a great little reef you could hike out to. The kids loved that and exhausted themselves running around looking for shells and fish and eating seaweed(Lyla). We snacked on PB and J's and soaked up the sun. It was fabulous! The kids fell asleep almost immediately upon getting back in the car and Tina and I continued chatting.

On the way home, we stopped at a different beach that was so secluded. It was beautiful! The sand was so white and so fine. It squished between your toes when you walked out into the water and was great for making drip castles. You could walk forever but watch your toes. We discovered pretty quick that there were lots of curious crabs waiting to get a pinch. Erik was the only one that braved the long walk out to the drop off for a real swim.

A little hike.

Surf lessons.

A family picture.

Eating seaweed.

Beautiful Alaina!

Our own private beach.

Water Baby!