Sunday, May 25, 2014


Julie's parents went to Florida last month to hang out on the boat and sail it down to the Keys, and they invited us to join them for a portion of the vacation.  Julie figured it was about time for the kid to see the ocean and we booked a trip down.  We told Julie's cousin Allen about the trip, and he decided it sounded so fun, that he and Ashley would come down and leave the kids in Texas.  Turned out be a good family trip!

We landed in Fort Lauderdale and drove to the Keys, stopping to see Allen and Ashley and Bill and Debbie along the way.  We stayed on Duck Key which was in between where Allen and Ashley were staying and where Bill and Debbie were docked.   

For our first full day there, we checked out the sailboat and ate some lunch.  Then we went to Bahia Honda State Park to sit on the beach and play in the water.  The old Bahia Honda bridge was super neat, but they should fix that big section missing in it, someone could hurt themselves...

After getting some rest, we headed down to Key West.  The drive from Marathon was only about an hour and a half.  Parking was crazy expensive, but we found a spot and hit the town.  Our first stop was for some delicious Key Lime Pie which came with cold water and air conditioning.  Then we were off to the overlook bar, the lighthouse and the southernmost point.  Allen and Ashley came down to meet us for dinner and sunset in Mallory Square.  We ate at a Cuban restaurant for dinner and Noah really enjoyed playing with my coffee cup, it was just his size.  The sunset was gorgeous and the street performers haven't changed since Julie was there a few years ago.

The next day in the Keys, we went sailing!  It was nice but a bit slow because of the lack of wind.  We went to a snorkeling spot to see if we could find anything good to see, but we found only big waves.  We saw a few turtles in the water, and some fish, but didn't stay too long.  Noah was a good sport, but I think that is mostly because he was sound asleep for the first half of our adventure.  The second half he spent distracted by Julie and Debbie.  I was too busy watching the horizon and trying not to think about feeling seasick anymore.  Bill said it is something you have to get used to, and to not give up after one trip out!   Not sure that was enough for me to try again, but we will see.

We said our goodbyes to the Keys and drove up to West Palm Beach.  The traffic was pretty light and we made good time, getting there right when we could check into the hotel.  Since we made good time, we put on our bathing suits and took off for the beach.  Julie drove us around some of the nice houses on the island and we parked on the beach.  Noah really, really liked playing in the sand, he got it everywhere and even ate some of it before we caught him!  He did not like getting washed off in the water, which was still a bit cold.

Julie took us to get some ice cream at Sloans, and that hit the spot after the beach. We got Noah a scoop of banana flavored ice cream, and he loved it! We had some more Cuban food for dinner, and called it a night.

The next morning we had a tour of Palm Beach Atlantic scheduled, but it turned out it was the admissions tour.  We tagged along and got to check out all of the new buildings and Julie told tales of the old days at the school.  We stopped at the book store for some merchandise and then hit one of Julie's favorite places to eat just down the road for a nice trip down memory lane.  Since we were still in Florida, we hit the beach one more time, but the wind made it less fun this time.  We finished the night at City Place and ate some good pizza over there.

The fountain in City Place
We were sad to leave Florida, but it was great to see all of Julie's old stomping grounds and check out the sailboat in action.

Noah traveled like a champion. He slept through almost all of the turbulence we flew through, only got fussy near the end of the longer flights, and really enjoyed seeing all the new places. We had a long layover in Houston on the way back, which worked out to give him a lot of time to play and wear himself out. We went to the United Club since Julie has passes through her credit card, and they let us into the family room, which we had to ourselves the entire time. I think we'll be able to take Noah on all sorts of trips in the future!

In the United Club's family room, we had the place to ourselves

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