Key West – Part 1

My Key West Racecation was SOOO much fun!  I stayed with a great group of ladies (Sam, Crystal, and Ashlee) and made some memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  I will probably break my recap into 2 or 3 posts because there is just so much to cover…not to mention lots of pictures.

I have to thank my wonderful hubby for holding down the fort while I was away for the weekend.  He is an amazing father so I never had any doubts that he couldn’t handle it, but I still have to give him his proper shout out 🙂  Also, thanks to my mom for keeping Gabby on Monday night so that Steven didn’t have to wake her up at 5:30 Tuesday morning to get her to daycare before he had to be to work.  Thanks Maw Maw!

DAY 1 – Friday, January 15

Our adventures began at 6 a.m on Friday morning, when Sam and I to the airport.  We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, but the security line was SO slow that I was starting to panic we weren’t going to make our flight.  We got to the gate just in time to start boarding.  There was a lot of turbulence on the flight and I was too excited to sleep so I worked on a quick blog update and also learned how to use Makayla’s GoPro.  Productive flight!  We landed around 12:45 in Ft. Lauderdale and grabbed our rental car to make the drive down to Key West.  We were told that the drive down to the Keys is very scenic and enjoyable.  Unfortunately, it rained for much of the drive so it wasn’t quite as majestic as it was supposed to be, but we still had fun.  We stopped in Key Largo at Jules Undersea Lodge to see if it was the real deal and found out that it really is!  You jump in their lagoon and scuba down to their underwater lodge (28 ft, if I remember correctly) and you can spend the night.  I don’t think I would be too comfortable with that, but they also have a 3 hour scuba/lunch special where you can scuba around their lagoon and then go to the lodge for a pizza lunch.  We were pretty amazed by this and said we would have to add it to our bucket list.  We continued on our drive down.  After crossing the 7 mile bridge, we were anxious to find a place to pull over and take some pictures of the beautiful turquoise water.  The rain had stopped and the sun was about to set.  After crossing yet another bridge, we pulled off to the side and took some pictures of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge.  Beautiful!

We got to the hotel (Silver Palms Inn) a little after 7:00 pm.  I was very happy with our accommodations.  I loved the Island vibe!

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We unpacked a little bit and got showered.  Crystal and Ashlee were on a later flight so we decided to head out to find dinner.  We walked down Duval Street and decided to stop at Margaritaville to get some food and a couple of drinks.

After dinner, we were tired and we knew the girls would be getting in soon.  As soon as we got back to the hotel, Crystal and Ashlee arrived.  I was so excited to see them!!  They had a long travel day too so we were all tired and ready to go to bed.  We thought it was funny that our husbands texted us that night after we fell asleep.  Isn’t it sad that we were in Key West and they were home and we didn’t make it up as long as they did?

DAY 2 – Saturday, January 16th

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning.  We knew we wanted to rent some bikes to explore Key West so we just grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel.  We rented the bikes from our hotel and headed South.  We stopped at a pier near the Southernmost Beach Café (and added the café to our “to-do” list) and took some pictures.

DSC_0657DSC_0660Then we continued on to the Southernmost Point.

FB_IMG_1453584586069After riding around a bit more, we decided that we should head to the beach.  The sun was out and the temps were in the upper 70’s/low 80’s.  We made a quick stop at the hotel, changed into our swimsuits, and headed back out to Smathers Beach.

Soooo…I had a little cellphone snafu.  Along the route to the beach, somehow my cell phone fell out of my bike basket without me hearing it, seeing it, or feeling it hit my knee.  I didn’t realize until we got to the beach and I wasn’t quite sure where I had dropped it (there was this one part of the route where Sam and I both almost fell off our bikes and then I was laughing so hard that I almost fell again, so I knew it *could* have been there).  Long story short, I ended up being reunited with it (a very nice couple found it and called my ICE (In Case of Emergency) – Steven to tell them they had it).  Funny part was that Steven had just lost his at the same exact time (I swear, we never usually lose our phones, so for both of us to lose ours at the same time is a crazy coincidence).  So, when they called our home phone to tell him they had my cell phone, he thought they had HIS and wanted to know if they were at the Great Mills pool where he had just left Gabby’s swim practice – lol!!  So, after getting reunited with my phone, we headed back to the beach to relax for a while!!  It was such a beautiful day!!

After hitting up a food truck for lunch, we decided to go jet skiing.  We knew we also needed to go to the expo to pick up our bibs and were starting to worry about time since our jet ski tour started at 4:30.  We finally decided to just go back to the hotel and get the car.  We hit the expo first.  Going to an outdoor expo in my bathing suit was definitely a first!!

12419000_1035184903228993_1398613825026823722_o.jpgThe expo was pretty small, which was okay because we really didn’t have much extra time anyway.  We did notice that they had a “Plan B” route outlined for tomorrow’s race due to the extreme weather conditions expected.  They decided to cut out the part of the route where we were supposed to run an out and back on a pier for safety reasons.

After the expo, we went jet-skiing!!  It was so much fun!!!  We rented 2.  Crystal and Ashlee rented one and Sam and I rented the other.  Sam started off driving and I was holding on for dear life with one hand and recording with her GoPro with the other hand.  The weather was starting to turn a little bit.  The sky was dark and it was starting to get cooler, but it was still awesome.  The guides took us through a little mangrove (I think that’s what it’s called).  Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of that but it was really cool looking!

Once we got on the Ocean side, the water became a LOT rougher.  We stopped at a sandbar and got off the skis for a few minutes.

We switched places when we got back on.  I drove and Sam was the one holding on for dear life!  And I’m not lying!  The waves were so rough at that point and I was having a very tough time getting the hang of it.  Talk about baptism by  fire!!!  I thought for sure that I was going to flip the jet ski and we would end up in the water.  It was pretty funny though.  Unfortunately, the GoPro had stopped recording.  I was really looking forward to watching it.  We still got pictures though!

The 1.5 hour tour was supposed to take us around the entire Island, but because of the changing weather conditions, the tour guides decided to give us the option of continuing through the rough water or going back to some calm water.  We decided to go back to the calm water!!  Once we got to the Gulf side, the water was perfect again for jet skiing.  I absolutely loved it and could have stayed on all day.

After our tour came to an end, we hit up a grocery store to grab our breakfast for race morning the next day and then headed back to the hotel.  We got ourselves all cleaned up and headed out to dinner.  We went to Fogarty’s and tried some Conch Fritters, which I thought were pretty good.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to get our race stuff ready and to get to bed at a decent time.

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We had SO much fun.  Every time I look at the pictures, I laugh out loud about something.  More fun, running, walking, and other shenanigans to come!  Stay tuned for Part 2!!

 

2 thoughts on “Key West – Part 1

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