Check it off our places-to-go list! We made it to the Florida Keys – finally – after many years of planning to visit here. Excitement rose as we drove down: views of water on both sides of the 2-lane highway. Gradually excitement turned to dismay: a strip-mall look. We drove in silence. The further we drove, (sigh of relief) the nicer the Keys looked.
We were getting hungry and hadn’t found a place to eat. We spied a UPS driver getting in his van and asked for a recommendation. Thanks very much, UPS! The Island Fish Company in Marathon was just right – and just on your right as you enter the town. We had a table on the dock and watched a manatee swim by as we ate grouper sandwiches.
We had reserved a campsite 11 months ago at Bahia Honda State Park. The site was one of the best we’ve ever had. It was only a few steps over a boardwalk to the ocean. We walked on the beach, where we spied a group of pelicans plunging from 20 feet into the ocean, again and again. At dusk, we took a stroll through the camping areas to see the many and different set ups, from simple tents to rolling “McMansions.”
We heard rustling just behind us in the woods. Then we spied little eyes looking at us. Raccoons! We’re surrounded! There appeared to be a whole family out there, and they were trying to come into our camp area – to tidy up for us. We may have reserved and paid for the campsite, but, now, we know who the true residents are. We packed everything into the car, and then slipped into our tent with books in hand, Petzls on head. As we drifted off to sleep, we knew the raccoons had reclaimed the site. We’ll settle for sharing it with them; we get days; they get nights.