01/08/2013, Plantation Key
We left Key Largo for our southern most destination, Plantation Key, in Islamorada. Maddie has learned a new trick on the trip. She demonstrated that she is able to let herself out of the forward cabin where she sleeps (open the door) and traverse the main cabin, climb the stairs to the cockpit and pop her head up when we all thought she was sleeping. All this while we were under way...not good, but we all laughed hysterically when she grinned a self satisfied smile behind her soother at us! Then we started to worry.
Since we were arriving at the marina on New Year's Day, no staff is working. They provided us with our slip assignment, bathroom codes and Wi-Fi password to settle in. Unfortunately, the slip assignment did not match any markings on the dock so we tied up at the fuel dock knowing that no one could buy fuel since they were closed. In the morning, they showed us our dock...not labeled with the number they gave us. We are now at the very furthest end of the dock from all the facilities so pre-planning is crucial.
The place is great. It is located in an enormous park with an Olympic style swimming pool with kiddies' splash pad (where swimmers train daily), tennis courts, soccer pitches, baseball diamond and cages, bocce pits, basketball, a dog park, sand beach, trails with fitness stations (also great for stroller walks to find doggies to entertain someone), a skateboard park and we have access to all of the facilities at a discounted price. We are walking distance to one of the better eating establishments, Marker 88, which we had to visit. At $3.00 per foot, it has been our most expensive stop but was worth the cost given the amenities to entertain our group. With the weather being perfect the entire time, we beached or pooled every day. Morgan & Chris rented a small car and we provisioned and got Morgan a pedi. They took off with Maddie and went to Key West for an evening.
Our group got a car (did a 2 day rental and the kids drove themselves to the airport on Sunday) and went down to Key West for a day on Saturday before they left. It is the only area that is "village like"...your typical commercial tourist town with bars, restaurants and shops lining the main streets. We walked around, grabbed lunch, and did an hour and a half trolley tour to get some history. It was a good thing the people sitting behind us were German and spoke limited English and not interested in the driver's narrative because Maddie was offering her own dialogue for much of the ride! I did purchase "Pinky" a long legged neon pink stuffed flamingo at one of our stops to entertain her...Grammy couldn't resist. Natalie also managed to find a trip souvenir that will grace the wall of her new bathroom.
The rest of the Keys are just establishments strung along a highway (Marathon being an exception)...not really what I expected.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. On Sunday, after an early lunch, the kids cast us off and headed to the Miami airport. Grandma shed a few tears and I still haven't been able to bring myself to wipe the perfect hand print that Maddie left on the window of the enclosure right beside where I sit every day. We could have done without the two dirty diapers we found in the bottom of the dinghy this afternoon!
Iguana that are not indigenous are now prolific.