Exploring: The Florida Keys, FL

That we didn’t actually eat whilst in the home of the good stuff the Florida Keys!! I know – we’re useless! So this was the next and final stop on our Florida road trip – sad times I know! We planned to stay for just the one night and then start the loooong journey back to Atlanta with a stop off on the way but that didn’t actually happen and this is why…

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Yep it was bloody lovely!! We rocked up at the hotel that we’d booked for one night – the Hilton in Key Largo and it was AMAZING!!! Yeah it was an old hotel but it literally had everything!! You didn’t need to leave it at all!! It had swimming pools, 2 beaches, a basketball court (Jannis was majorly impressed with that one!!) tennis courts, table tennis tables, a restaurant and everything else you could need on a holiday including one of those beach bars with a single barman like the one in the film Cocktail! At one point it felt like we were in a film, especially when one loud and slightly tipsy American bloke was getting the rest of the drinkers to chant the barman’s name!! Classic!! We were amazed and after literally 2 minutes in our rooms we were out exploring our new surroundings! Oh and we’d already wished we’d booked for 2 nights!

Off we trotted and discovered the swimming pools but decided to take a little stroll to the beach! We started out on the small beach simply because it was the first one we found, and had a little paddle in the clearest sea ever!!! You could literally see all the little fishes in the bottom and at one point some jellyfish – this actually scared myself and Melanie but we were brave enough to dodge them!! Then we took a stroll to explore the larger beach and it seemed this was where it was at!! We spotted the table tennis tables and the very competitive Jannis tried his luck against the German and Melanie but sadly wasn’t victorious! Here’s a pic of them in action…

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I went up against the German but failed miserably! For some reason he won’t just play nice and has to try to spin the ball and hit it in fancy ways! In the end I gave up and purposely lost!! He always has to be big and clever!! We also found a game that had 2 wooden boxes with a hole in and bean bags! The aim was to get the bag in the hole. We played couple against couple and the Cook-Richters (as we were then!!) were victorious on 2 occasions – much to Jannis’s disappointment! Sorry Jannis! It was purely a game of luck though and Jannis and Melanie were close to winning in just about every game!!

So after our afternoon of relaxing and making the most of our new surroundings we decided to see if we could stay for a second night but sadly this wasn’t to be – it was fully booked. Boooooooooo!!! But all was not lost – we found another place just down the road! Result!!! So the following morning we packed up our stuff (AGAIN!) and drove a whole 5 minutes down the road to our new apartment!! Then we decided to explore more of the keys and headed down Overseas Highway towards Key West. And we saw some amazing sights along the way! The sea was so blue and so many different colours, it was so pretty!! Some parts of the road were literally over the sea (hence the name of the road!!) and had no land at either side a little bit like this…

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I think it has to be the prettiest drive I have ever been on! You NEED to drive down this road if you’re ever in the area – it’s not to be missed!! Check out this beaut – one of the many pics I tried to take whilst driving along – therefore you need to excuse any car parts that may have made it into the picture – it’s not the easiest way to take a pic!

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We drove for about an hour and a half past a place called Marathon and made it to the Bahia Honda national park. Now this place was supposed to be picturesque so we thought we’d check it out and we definitely weren’t disappointed!! It was beautiful! Pure white sand, clear water and spectacular views!! Here’s just one of them…

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

We had a wander around and took some more pictures before spotting this beast…

WOWZERS!!

WOWZERS!!

He was the biggest lizard I have ever seen!! And despite my fear of all animals I somehow plucked up the courage to get kind of close and take some pics! I don’t know what came over me!!! I just couldn’t believe how big he was!!! He soon wandered off into the distance though – the German missed him completely! I think he was taking pictures somewhere!!

After chilling out in the water for a while we decided to head back to the apartment but not before stopping off at Taco Bell to give Jannis his first taste of the fast food delight!! I wouldn’t say it’s the best fast food in the world  but I would go again!! It wouldn’t be my first choice though! Ha! Later that night we ventured out to find some food and went to a place called Tasters. I think this could have been the BEST food of the holiday!! It was amazing!! You seriously need to check this place out! (Once again food is one of the main elements in a blog post – I really am obsessed with it!!!) So we decided to eat outside and brave the bugs – the only people to do it! We literally had a private dining area with flame lanterns and everything! I tucked into some shrimp and grits (stereotypical southern food!) and it was beautiful…

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The BEST shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted! And I topped it off with some bread pudding – now this wasn’t just any bread pudding like you’d have over here, it had chocolate swirled in it and tasted amazing!!!! You NEED to try it! We did ask to try some key lime pie (seen as though we were in the keys!) but it wasn’t actually on the menu and when we asked our server where the best one was served she said Publix – the local supermarket!! It would appear you don’t have to go to the Florida Keys to have a taste of the best key lime pie!!

Sadly our Florida road trip was coming to an end…boooooo! And the following morning we loaded up the car and set off on the loooong journey back to Atlanta. We planned to stop off on the way but myself and the German took it in turns behind the wheel and we made it home 12 hours after we started. Our first ever American road trip was over but we’d had an amazing time and it ended with that lovely feeling of sleeping in your own bed!! You can’t beat it!!!

So what will I tell you about next now the trip has ended…well my new status as a wife means I had another trip to the US Embassy this week! Want to know what happened this time? You’ll have to wait til my next post for that one…after I’ve caught up with some of my amazing friends on a hen weekend in Leeds! I see carnage on the horizon but hopefully I’ll survive and be able to string some sentences together to fill you in on my latest Embassy adventure!!

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4 thoughts on “Exploring: The Florida Keys, FL

    • Hey Lucy!

      You should definitely do the Florida Keys! They’re amazing…and of course the pie!! If you want any tips (although I’m sure a seasoned traveller like you won’t need any!!) just ask!

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