Mom and Dad (AKA Nancy and Rob) are super happy…vacation with our boys begins!! March 7 – 14, 2020

After much back and forth over our Bahamas trip and its eventual cancellation, we’re super excited to have Justin and Bryan join us aboard Misty for some fun in the sun in Miami and the Florida Keys!  Let the vacation re-set begin…we’re thrilled with our plans to share Florida cruising with our boys.

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Rob with Justin and Bryan at Haulover inlet

We fetched them from the airport mid-afternoon on March 7th, and headed back to the boat for a relaxing afternoon, wandering around Haulover Park, past the inlet and along the beach, followed by a yummy dinner aboard Misty.  We’ve said it before, but this park is lovely, and while this city marina is basic, we love the location across the street from the beach, and the dock hands (Alex!!) are great (office staff, not so much), and the facilities are clean and secure.  There’s also a Publix and CVS just a bike ride away!

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The gang’s together at Haulover Inlet

After dinner, we were introduced to a crazy/hysterical/more than slightly perverted game:  Cards Against Humanity.  We laughed until we cried, with more than a fair amount of blushing from Mom!!

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We were rewarded with a lovely sunset over the marina.

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We have loved our time in Miami, and wanted to share it with the boys.  Our first day we spent wandering around South Beach enjoying the beautiful art deco architecture, the walk along the beach, and a delicious lunch at Oh! Mexico, where we lunched with our friends the McKean’s last year.  We enjoyed yummy tacos and margaritas before heading back to the boat for dinner.

Strolling along the beach…just LOVE the lifeguard “stands” all along Miami Beach

Beautiful Art Deco architecture, art and lunch in South Beach

We had another beautiful evening aboard Misty for dinner, a nice sunset and more laughter!

We let the boys lead the way as to what we did/where we went, after providing them with a fairly comprehensive list of ideas.  We settled on Zoo Miami.  Zoo’s have come a long way in recent years, with their ongoing efforts for humane treatment and homes for the animals, but more importantly, their conservation efforts.  Zoo Miami is fabulous and incredibly interesting, and we were super impressed with the docents throughout the zoo.  We had a great day, and would definitely go back!!

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As you enter Zoo Miami, you’re greeted by the beautiful flamingos

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Sleepy tiger

All kinds of fun loving monkeys, one playing endlessly in a bed sheet!

Beautiful birds in the aviary, with the most remarkable docent who helped us spot and identify some amazing birds hidden in the foliage!

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Hello from the camels!!

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…and the rhinos!

A greeting from the elephants

When we first saw the lions, they were napping, but then…

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Everyone woke up!! ROAR!!!

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And then there was this guy, who kept making funny faces at us! Silly monkey!

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And when in Florida….there are sure to be some lizard sightings!

The Zebra’s

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Up close with the giraffe’s…you can even feed them!

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The beautiful bird-filled pond at the zoo exit

After a few fun filled days in Miami, we set out to take Justin and Bryan to some of our favorite places in the Keys for the rest of the week.  Our first stop was going to be Tarpon Basin, a great anchorage we’ve visited a few times, and we wanted to share the mangrove “caves” with them.  We set out shortly before 8 am, under partly cloudy skies and easterly winds of 12 – 18 MPH, so we anticipated some chop as we crossed Biscayne Bay  as we headed south.  But first, the boys got the opportunity to cruise through Miami.

So long for now, Miami…we’ll be back for sure!!

Rob

Ahhh…the Keys!  First stop, Key Largo!

After setting anchor in Tarpon Basin, the boys headed out in the dinghy to explore the mangrove caves, and Nancy got busy pulling together “docktails” and dinner.

Here they go, and here they come!!

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Our Tarpon Basin sunset

The weather the morning of March 11th was consistent with the previous day, but we were in the Gulf, and a bit more protected, so it was less choppy/bouncy.  We did the short run to Lignumvitae Key in two hours.  It was spectacular, and the boys were treated to a great dolphin display in the bow AND the stern!!  Bryan had his Go Pro and caught it all!

Our spectacular cruise from Tarpon to Lignumvitae Key…a picture perfect day!

After grabbing our mooring ball, the boys once again set out on the dinghy to shore and check out Lignumvitae Key.  Nancy stayed on board to recover from a bit of seasickness (?? ick) and pull together another lovely evening of food and cocktails!

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Lignumvitae Key mooring

That evening we enjoyed a truly spectacular sunset!  Ahhh…the keys!!

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A picture’s worth a thousand words!!

We had a gorgeous day to cruise down to Marlin Bay Resort and Marina in Marathon.  We enjoyed the beautiful day and sights on the water along the way after a nearly 5 hour run.

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On our way to Marlin Bay…March 12th!!

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Our beautiful view for the next five days at Marlin Bay

We were thrilled to be docked just off the pool and clubhouse, as we were looking forward to enjoying this beautiful place that is so very special to us.

Just chilling aboard Misty

We took the short walk over to Key Fisheries to enjoy a great fresh seafood dinner, bring home one of their delicious Key Lime Pies, and relax at the “beach” area on the basin along the Gulf to enjoy the sunset.

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Key Fisheries, where they take your “name” for your order, and change up what the theme is….on this day, it was your favorite cartoon character…makes it fun!!

Enjoying the sunset at Marlin Bay!

We wanted to revisit some of our favorite spots in Marathon with the boys and next upIrie Island Eats Food Truck.  The food is fresh and remarkably delicious.  And you get to eat in that beautiful garden with the produce stand next door.  A yummy, happy place!!

Irie Island Eats and Paradise Produce…lunch and goodies to take home and enjoy from the produce market!

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, is a small non-profit organization that is dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles.  Sadly, many in their care will never be well enough to be released, but they strive to do so, and give a ton of TLC to those who stay with them.  When they do release them, it’s a big deal, usually taking place at Sombrero Beach in Marathon (we missed one by only a few days).

Turtle patients at the Hospital

After our HOT time at the Turtle Hospital we ventured back to Marlin Bay to relax at the pool and play some pool.

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Pool sharks playing pool at the pool…and the beautiful hibiscus to console me after my awful game!!

Alas, our last night with Justin and Bryan was here.  Rob and Bryan walked over to Key Fisheries for some oysters, and then we enjoyed another dinner aboard Misty before relaxing for another beautiful sunset.

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Our last night, and another beautiful evening at Marlin Bay’s “beach”.

Justin and Bryan left to drive back to Miami early on the morning of the 14th…so sad to see them go, but it was a great week!  After they left, it was time to relax at the pool and overcome our sadness of seeing them leave.

Views from our lounge chairs…with a green visitor!

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There was a big group of Loopers at Marlin Bay, and we enjoyed a beautiful evening grilling burgers and watching the sunset the night before we left to head north.

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Looper BBQ and a lovely sunset for our last evening at Marlin Bay

So Long, Marlin Bay

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