Sunday, November 27, 2011

Camping Trip in the Keys 11/19 - 11/23

We took a vacation with the Sprinkle family down in the Florida Keys.  We camped for four nights at Bahia Honda State Park.  We had a campsite that only had water, a grill, and a picnic table...i.e. no electric.  We slept in our tent...definitely recommend blowup mattresses for this campground since the island is completely made of coral (very rocky).  We had a lot of fun.  Just outside of our tent was a cove coming in from the Gulf of Mexico that had a drop off of 30 feet.  We saw lots of cool fish, birds, a sea turtle playing one morning, and even an octopus.    The first day we got there, we went over to the Nature center after we got our tent all setup.  Then we walked along a trail that took us to the old bridge.  We ate hot dogs and kielbasa the first night for dinner.  It was yummy!  We brought a fire pit where we had a fire every night and roasted marshmallows.  It was amazing at how many stars could be seen each night, including shooting stars and satellites.

 The girls enjoying coloring and puzzles at the Nature Center.

 The view along the trail.

 On the bridge.

The second day we got up and made eggs and bacon for breakfast for everyone.  Then we enjoyed fishing at the cove in front of our campsite.  Then we went snorkeling after lunch.  We went to the grocery store to pick up some chicken and we made chicken, corn on the cob, and rice for dinner.

 This bird was at the cove every morning and didn't seem too frightened of people.

This was a cool spider hanging from the fence along the cove.

 Kaylyn and Shelby played the entire time and did not fight once.  They truly are good friends!

 Kaylyn snorkeling in the water.

The third day we hopped in our cars and drove 30 miles to Key West.  We spent the whole day, where we visited the Key West Aquarium, the Shipwreck Museum, and rode on the Trolley to see all of the Keys.  We ate lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish, and we ate dinner at The Conch Republic.  It was a lot of fun...we got back around 9:00 pm and we all crashed for the night.

 Is this Sponge Bob ???  LOL!

 This sea turtle had her arm amputated.  But, she's thriving at the Aquarium.

 Nurse Shark Feeding.

 Touching a live baby nurse shark.

  Feeding a shoreline shark.

 Another sea turtle.

 Ashlyn holding a horseshoe crab.

 Mommy holding a conch.

 Kaylyn holding a star fish.

 Kaylyn petting a kid gator.

 Lunch...need I say more!

 $5 margaritas!

 Our actor for the Shipwreck Musuem tour.

 The kids climbing the tower at the Shipwreck Museum.

 Here we are at the Southernmost point of the Continental United States.

 Hemingway House.

 Sunset at Mallory Square.

The fourth day we lounged around on the island again.  The Sprinkles made us all eggs and bacon for breakfast.  The kids played around the cove for awhile.  Later on we went over to the other end of Bahia Honda State Park and hike a nature trail to a secluded beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  Then we walked back along the beach, ate lunch at one of the picnic tables on the beach, and went back over to the Gulf side and snorkeled some more.  That night, the Sprinkles made us yummy tortellini, sausage, and zucchini for dinner.

 A tiny baracuda swam in the cove in front of our campsite everyday.

 There were lots of beautiful fish located in the cove in front of our campsite!

 Lots of beautiful flowers and plants on the nature trail.


 A type of apple that grows by the sea and tastes like licorice when ripe.


 Moray eel hiding in the coral...hard to see.

 The old bridge.

 Another beautiful sunset as seen at our campsite.

Our final morning, we woke up and packed up most of the stuff.  Then we headed over to the beach where a ranger took us on a nature walk along the Atlantic Ocean side of the beach.  We saw lots of neat stuff.  Then we headed back to the campsite, finished packing up, and headed home.

 Pretty yellow butterfly.

 Kaylyn holding a type of tube sponge.

 Ashlyn holding a type of algae.

 Oatmeal algae.

 The girls holding a vase sponge.

 The ranger showing us lots of cool things that were found along the beach washed up, including garbage!  We picked up the garbage to be disposed of as we went along.

Lots of Portuguese Man of War found washed up on the beach.

 This little guy was right up against the rock at the cove in front of our campsite.  It was really neat at how close he was.

 Here's where someone scared him, he inked, and swam a little bit away.

 He settled right back down.

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