Day 137: Spending the day in Islamorada.
Today we woke up to find an empty spot next to ours. This campground is so busy, especially this time of year, so I know it won’t be empty for more than a few more hours. I quickly snapped a picture of the least photographed side of the Airstream since it was feeling a little self-conscious.
This morning, we got an early start on homeschool. Mila joined Ava during the science and art portion of the day. We went on a morning walk to find some sea creatures to learn about but the tide was too high for that. So we decided that a crab claw that was lying near the seaweed would have to do for today.
Incorporating art into our activities seems to increase the excitement level of our lesson plans. And I have also come to the realization that Ava is a better artist than me. Check out that pincher! Nice job, Ava.
The kids go through a lot of clothes, especially at the beach. Our laundry pile has quickly turned into a laundry mountain that must be tackled today. So we need to head into a larger town, 15 miles north of us, called Islamorada to take care of some business at the good ol’ laundromat.
But first some food. Whenever we mention that we are going to the keys, people’s eyes light up as they talk about Robbie’s. So since enough people mentioned it, we had to go. The burgers there are pretty good. The bacon was just the way I like it. Plentiful and crispy.
Dan is trying to cut out some carbs out of his diet and decided to get the trusty cobb salad. Ummm, wrong choice dude. This is what he got. It is as sad as it looks. That chicken sitting on top is a $5 add-on. The bed of iceberg lettuce under it would have cost 9 bucks by itself. Not so trusty after all for a $14 lunch salad. Those sprinkles are suppose to pass for the bacon. Not sure where the eggs, tomatoes, avocado and blue cheese are. With a disposable cup full of balsamic dressing, too.
Dan was so disappointed that he filled out a comment card. I wonder if he told them that I stole all his bacon.
Robbie’s also has a marina full of goodies to buy and they will even cook whatever you catch yourselves. The highlight of Robbie’s is the tarpon feeding.
For 3 bucks you can get a bucket of fish and feed the tarpons that hang out on the dock. Mila was very excited to hold the bucket of dead sardines.
I had no idea what to expect but I surely wasn’t expecting to see these monster fish. They were huge! And they were all waiting for their lunch quietly.
Once the girls realized that they had to throw little dead stinky fish into the monster fish’s mouth, the idea that this was going to be so fun quickly faded away.
After some convincing that she would survive this experience with her fingers still intact, Ava fed the tarpons. You can’t see it in the picture but as soon as you throw the dead fish, the larger ones go nuts and I swear the ocean turns into a jacuzzi with its jets at full blast for a second.
Next I worked on Mila for a bit. She was not budging from that wooden pole she was hugging.
It didn’t help that the pelicans were overly aggressive. They get so close that I am surprised the tarpons didn’t swallow this bad boy up.
But the thing that scared her the most was seeing this picture. After seeing this, there was no way I was going to change her mind. Me on the other hand? I can’t stop laughing. I wish I got to see this craziness in person. Haha.
Can you believe we left the beach today? Me neither. Let’s drive around some more!!
Put the petal to the metal, Dad!
Dan loves the Bass Pro shops and read that they had one in Islamorada. When we got there, we realized that the store went under the name World Wide Sportsman.
Right in the middle of the store is a beautiful old wooden boat. You can actually climb up and check it out.
You are also allowed to go inside but kids under 6 are forbidden. So I let Dan go in to check it out.
This boat is supposedly the ‘half-sister’ to Ernest Hemingway’s fishing boat named Pilar. They have restored this boat and painted it just like Hemingway’s. It was built down the street a year before Hemingway’s boat was built. Pilar is Hemingway’s nickname for his wife Pauline during their courtship. The two boats are very much alike with the exception of the customization Hemingway did to his.
The original Pilar is now on display in Cuba at Hemingway’s homestead. This one was purchased by the owner of Bass Pro Shops and rechristened in 1997 by Mina Hemingway, his granddaughter.
Back at Long Key, the water finally receded and we were able to do some exploring.
The beach here is not a white sand beach like they had at Bahia Honda. It is full of rocks and you really have to wear shoes if you want to stay safe… or if you are afraid of little sea creatures biting you as the kids (and I) are.
There is a tree that sits a few campsites away that has the perfect tide pools for exploring once the tide is low enough. Too bad it didn’t look this earlier when we were on the hunt for sea creatures during homeschool.
The sea birds love to hang out at this spot too at sunset. We got to see some Royal Terns which was a special treat.
The sunsets here have been amazing. And the lack of bugs has been an added bonus. We really only have to worry about them once the sun starts to set.
Speaking of bugs at sunset… RUN!
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