10 Hours in the Florida Keys

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My blogger friends Laura from The View From My Window and Christine from Just Blue Dutch nominated me for a 7 day Nature Photo Challenge a few weeks ago. Thank you Laura and Christine- your beautiful blogs with their amazing photography and insightful ways of looking at the world inspire me daily. This is my take on the 7 day Nature Photo Challenge- a travel diary of 10 hours we spent in the Florida Keys this past December.

December 29, 2015

9 a.m.

We leave the house much later than we wanted to. Considering there’s 7 of us including my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, it’s a wonder we made it out at all. It’s always a pretty drive though through the colorful neighborhoods of Miami. Ocean air. Billowy clouds. Lots of interesting characters to look at along the way.

12:30 p.m.

Finally. The 7 Mile Bridge. We are able to view where the sea meets the horizon for one solid blue line of harmony. This view always takes my breath away. As we drive down the highway and through the many miles of bridges along the Florida Keys, this view is all one sees when you look to the left and when you look to the right. There is no other place like it in the world.

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3:00 p.m.

After getting caught in terrible traffic because a boat literally caught on fire on the highway and because it’s only 2 lanes all the way down- 1 lane going and 1 lane coming back, we have to change plans and stop much earlier than Key West- our original destination. We will never make it to Key West- I really had wanted to wave to Cuba and eat key lime pie but that will have to be next time. We discover instead the Marathon Keys. There is an exquisite beach with easy street parking nearby and a children’s playground. What luck! One of the many things I love about South Florida is the diversity of tongues you hear, the many tourists and families from all around the world speaking so many languages, each with their own accents. Heavenly music to my ears.

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6:30 p.m.

We spend the afternoon playing in the water and sand. Ocean swimming. Hubby and I take turns with the kids. I race the boys out to go as far as we can go. Baby girl cries for me from shore and runs away from the crashing waves.The Atlantic is salty, pure and through. It stings your eyes, parches you out and leaves you feeling utterly relaxed and spent. We stay as long as the sun will permit us.

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7:45 p.m.

We watch the sun set another day as we make the long drive home. Was it worth the drive? I look back at everyone’s sleeping faces- heads and toes sandy and salty and dirty. The smell of stale chips, sandwiches, cereal bars in the car. Half-empty water bottles rolling around on the floor. Hubby looking at me while he changes the radio station. If I close my eyes, we could both be 20 years old again, making this drive in a two-door car and not a mini-van with 3 sleeping kids in the back. Not having to sneak in real conversations with interruptions every 5 minutes. Not having to stop to let someone go to the bathroom.

Yes, without a doubt, it’s always worth the drive to the Florida Keys.

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