Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Florida Keys {Day 2: Continental Inn & Sunset Park}

Sunday was a beautiful day. But Monday morning, as we left Cape Canaveral and started heading south, the rain started. My dad and brother had to buy trash bags and duck tape and tape up all of our luggage so it wouldn't get wet in the back of the truck. {They said the cashier asked them who made them mad. I guess it did look a little suspicious. :)}

You probably already know this, but I thought I'd throw it in just in case you didn't. :) A little background information so some of the things I mention in my vacation posts will make sense! The Keys are a group of islands that extend past the southernmost point of Florida. The Keys are so close to the equator that the weather is tropical and warm for most of the year.

The foundation of the islands is pretty much a coral reef. The reef is all around the islands, so there are no real waves, like you think about at the beach, because the reef stops them. And because waves are what bring in sand and create beaches, most of the traditional-looking beaches in the Keys are man made. The water is a beautiful, clear aqua color, not at all like the murky NC and SC beaches I was used to.

The Keys are famous for snorkeling, diving, fishing, and relaxing. The whole atmosphere of the islands is supposed to be laid back and easy going. The Keys are also full of history, which I love. :)

There are five main Keys or groups of Keys. Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key (and lots of surrounding islands), and Key West.

There will be a pop quiz at the end of class. :)

We finally arrived at our hotel at Marathon on Monday afternoon. Marathon is a wonderful place to stay! It's right in the middle of the Keys, so you're not awfully far from Key West or Key Largo. Plus it's more of a homey, family-oriented place than some of the others.

We stay at a hotel called the Continental Inn, in Key Colony Beach, Marathon. We found this place the first time we went to the Keys, back in 2007 or 2008. We found it online and weren't sure what to expect. But it was so lovely that I can't imagine staying anywhere else! There are a lot of one-bedroom condos, and only two two-bedroom ones. We stay in a two-bedroom one so that we're not cramped up. :)

Here's a little glimpse of what would be our home for a week:

There are two bedrooms like this.

With a little deck/balcony.

Our living area. I spend many hours in the evening reading on that couch. :)

Dining area.

The kitchen. My family loves to eat- can you tell? We had just been on a grocery run, but we bought a lot of food from home, too.

This is our beach at the hotel. There is a sandy area for sitting, and tiki huts with grills and picnic tables. And just beyond those round light things is a sea wall, and steps leading down to the ocean. Sometimes the water comes up to the bottom of the stairs, and sometimes you have a narrow sandy stretch.

Cloudy, stormy skies. You won't believe the difference between this and the end of the week. :)

See, this is the wall, as seen while standing on the actual beach in the water.

This is my brother pretending he's on Survivor.

This is the pool. The hotel is in a u-shape, and the pool is in the middle. I'm not quite sure why anyone wants to use it with the gorgeous ocean so close!

The rain stopped in the afternoon in enough time for us to get some pictures and go out to a local place for supper {the Cracked Conch Cafe- good food but a little expensive, and the lady working there was not very friendly, to be honest}.

About this time, we really started to realize just how much rain they had gotten over the past few days. This was our parking lot:

It was useless to wear any kind of shoes, except maybe rubber boots (which we left at home) or flip flops. And sometimes it just made more sense to go barefoot when we were just going to be around the hotel and nearby park.

The birds liked it, anyway.

This is Sunset Park, and it's right near our hotel. Obviously, it's a beautiful place to watch the sunset over the water. They have weddings here- the last time we were here, we saw people leaving from one. There are benches and a little dock and it's just a neat place. Even when it's underwater.

This gives you a faint idea of how beautiful the water can be. Blue and clear like pool water.

Sunset Park from the dock.

Coming up: Day 3, or The $3,500 Deer and the Best Pizza in the Known Universe!

Previous posts: Day 1.

Until next time,

1 comment:

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