Saturday, April 23, 2016

Changes in Latitude


Like the old Jimmy Buffet song, changes in Latitude, changes in attitude, and we certainly noticed our attitude improve while in the Keys.


We dropped the cats off at our friend Heidi’s animal hospital on Monday morning.  We were a little concerned about leaving them, but Heidi assured us they would be fine and she would supervise their care.  The poor things had terrified looks on their faces when we left, and that was the picture I carried with me to the Keys. Since we left the motorhome and stayed in a hotel, we couldn’t bring them.

it’s a lot easier trip going to the Keys if you don't’ have a big old motorhome and we made great time.

Once we got to Key Largo, I got out the camera.  This Bougainville has been in the same spot since at least the early 1990’s.   It’s always beautiful with its many different colors.

Keys flowers



We had reservations at Looe Key  Reef Resort and got a discount since their dive boat captain is our neighbor from Venture Out (where we have our RV lot)  We reserved the cheapest room they had which was still expensive, even in the off season.

We checked in, got our room key and walked to what could only be described as a “dudgeon.”   We’re not that picky about hotel rooms since we spend so little time in them, but this one was just not going to work.  We went back to the office prepared to pay just about any amount of money to get something better.  When the guy at the desk realized we knew Captain Ron, he upgraded us from the dudgeon to the penthouse, and at no extra charge. Yay!

Here was our view.




We hit our favorite local happy hour for dinner and drinks then came home and crashed. It had been a long day.

On Tuesday, we picked up the boat and brought it to Venture Out so we could prepare it for travel back to Tampa. 

Our two main objectives in our trip to the Keys was to get the boat and meet up with my long lost cousin.

Coming from an Air Force family, I have not been able to spend much time with my extended family and hardly know most of them.  Neither has Al for the same reason. Growing up, we lived in Japan for 3 years and Guam for 2, so our visits to North Carolina to visit family were limited.  I have cousins I would not recognize if I saw them on the street.  My cousin Anne had recently retired and moved to Key West.   The last time I remember seeing her, I was 16 and she was maybe 9 or 10. We reconnected and made plans to meet in Key West for happy hour. I was so anxious to see her again.

Anne and her wife/partner Jan were a lot of fun and we had a great time.  So great in fact, that we decided to do it again the next night.  We were so busy talking and laughing, I neglected to get any pictures the first night.

We met the next night at Geiger Key Fish Camp. They allow dogs, so they were able to bring their new puppy Mulligan so that we could meet her.    

Anne (left) is the daughter of my Dad’s only brother.  Jan is on the right and of course Mulligan in the middle. 




Karen, Anne, Jan and Mulligan


Al, Anne, Jan, Mulligan

It’s amazing how easy it is to reconnect with long lost family.  We had such fun with them and we will be getting together often the next time we are there.  They  sure enjoy island life.

Geiger Key,  Jan, Anne, Mulligan


The southernmost point in the US is in Key West and there is a famous buoy marker at that point.  Everyone who goes to Key West gets their picture taken in front of the marker….everyone but us that is.  When ever we went by, there were so many people waiting in a line to get their pictures taken  in front of it that we always said “next time.”

This time we decided to try sunrise and finally got the job done.  It was no problem getting up because I was so excited to be back in the Keys that I couldn’t sleep.  Al had no problem and didn’t complain when I woke him up before zero dark thirty.


Southernmost point


It was nice walking around the beautiful city of Key West in the early morning hours.  No traffic and few people. The weather was cooler than usual for mid April and it was perfect.  It’s a lovely city with beautiful old homes, gardens and beautiful flowering shrubs and trees.



Key West has it’s own special vibe.


The early morning sea grass removal was taking place.




I am not sure of the name of this very interesting plant.






No stroll around Key West is complete without roosters and bitties.



Anne and I talked about the Key West chickens and our Grandpa Meredith who always raised chickens.  He always kept plenty of “bitties” for his grand children.  Anne and her brother Randy were lucky to live in the same town and got to spend a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa Meredith.



We never got any sunset pictures this trip but for those of you who don’t know what the sun rise looks like, here it is. 

It’s pretty much like sunset, only earlier.  Smile







Sunrise over Key West


We decided to leave on Friday early so that we could pick up the cats before they closed and we had to pay another night boarding fees.

The trip home towing the boat wasn’t as bad as I thought.  It towed well and we made decent time getting back.  The kitties were happy to see us and settled right back into the motorhome.

We left the boat and trailer here at the Rv park for a few days but on Monday brought it over to it’s new home at Port Tarpon Marina. It sure is nice having someone take the boat in and out of the water for you.

This is our boats new home.  It lives in the building on the left.

Port Tarpon Marina   Tarpon Springs  FL   Waterway Guide Featured Marina Listing


It makes being in Tampa a little bit easier.

Things may be changing a little for us.  Stay tuned.


  1. getting together with long lost family is always fun, glad you enjoyed it.
    Love the Keys have been there a few times.
    Maybe head back there again some day.
    Enjoy your new home.

  2. Something tells me you are going to move into a house.

  3. Nice visit to KW, you've just increased my withdrawal symptoms of not being there. :c(

    There's no cure, I know!

  4. Beautiful pictures Karen. The sunrises were spectacular! I laughed that you got up before sunrise to get the famous picture. You are sure right about the lines. We saw them for 8 solid weeks in Nov & Dec and never did get the picture. I was hoping you would be able to go to the Keys again this winter but since you brought the boat to Tampa am nuw thinking maybe not. Hope I am wrong.

  5. You will be happier staying here for a while with your boat.

  6. We know Anne and Jan from our past lives near Raleigh. I played softball with Jan, aka Baby Bear, back in the early '80's. Wow, that was 35 yyears ago!
    Yes, Florida is better with a boat.

    1. Well how cool is that? It is certainly a small world! You should go see them.

  7. Love Geiger Key Fish Camp! We stayed at Blue Water Key last winter and loved their happy hours. Even had Manatees go by...You made me miss the keys!

  8. You brought back a lot of memories with this blog.
    Hope the kitties especially Baxter were not too traumatized by the experience.
    Hoping things will be working out for you soon.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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