Sunshine Key Resort | Big Pine Key Florida

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Most of the time when we travel somewhere, after 5 days or so I start to miss my bed and I’m ready to go home. This was not one of those trips. On the way home I literally started looking up home prices and scheming ways to start our new life in the Keys.

This vaca was actually planned the day before we were suppose to be heading to Charleston, South Carolina to celebrate our wedding anniversaries and my 35th birthday. We were tracking the weather all week, and the weather was 60-90% chance of rain for most of the trip. Major bummer. So risking the husbands thinking we were (even more) mentally unstable, Jenn & I started brainstorming the idea of a last minute change of plans and head as far south in the continental US as possible. In our internet research we discovered a campground called Sunshine Key Resort that met our vacation requirements: pool, marina & waterfront. Plus… well it was the only one available during Spring Break. We managed to score the last remaining waterfront site, but it was also right next to a very loud water treatment plant which slowly started to drive us insane with its constant humming.

We also decided to bring the boat and kicked off the trip with a sunset cruise to a local tiki bar in Marathon where we feasted on fresh seafood and $2 jello shots. As expected, the guys quickly ditched us to go fishing, so we decided to take the kiddos to Bahia Honda to let them play around on the beach while we floated in the pretty clear water.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was snorkeling the Sombrero Key Light reef. The water was this pretty turquoise color and we got to see some parrot fish, puffer, porkfish, butterfly fish, snapper, grouper and my son’s favorite… a billion sergeant majors. After I safely got out of the water, I had this great idea to have the kids throw some chum overboard to get the fish going in a frenzy while Thane snapped some pictures. It didn’t take long for a large barracuda to join the party at which point my brave and heroic husband frantically boarded the boat in a manner that can only be described as a frightened wet cat.

Our campsite was also perfect for launching the kayaks and just cruising the water around the 7 mile bridge. It was a nice way to relax in the evenings and a great escape from the constant hum from our beloved water treatment plant. We also visited some of our favorite restaurants, including the Keys Fisheries, Morada Bay and Robbie’s. At the marina, Thane redeemed himself after the barracuda incident by bravely hand feeding 3 hungry tarpon and a pelican. He even had some cool battle wounds to show for it that look super manly. After having our fill of sunsets, hogfish and key lime pie, it was time to return home… and start planning our next trip.

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River Ranch Campground

We thought it would be a fun adventure to live like cowboys at this here dude ranch. Then we checked the weather and it was predicted to be 28° so we assumed we would obviously freeze to death. After much going back and forth, we decided to put on our big girl britches (and many other layers) and tough it out. I’m happy to report that everyone survived and we had a great time exploring the countryside. Our campsite was right next to the shooting range, so the men of the group decided to load up and shoot some skeet together. Thank you Lil Jon for ruining the word “skeet” for me for life. We also frequented the petting zoo often and the highlight was being able to hold these adorable 6 week old baby goats. We also decided to go on a swamp buggy adventure since the boys are pretty into vehicles with big wheels and no roofs.river ranchriver ranch campingbaby goat river ranch campgroundriver_ranch04a river_ranch08bwild turkeyriver_ranch05 river_ranch10 river ranch florida river ranch camping river_ranch07 river_ranch06 river_ranch05c river_ranch05b river_ranch28river_ranch11 river_ranch25 river_ranch17river_ranch20 river_ranch13 river_ranch12river_ranch19river_ranch18river_ranch16river_ranch15river_ranch29

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Fort De Soto Campground

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Christmas Medley 2014

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