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Don't Leave Home Without Them!

Perhaps you've come to Camera Crazy to see what is what and found no new posts. For nearly a week Bruce and I enjoyed each other's company while taking a driving trip down to Key West. This was not our finest trip, but it was one of the prettiest, that's for sure. Our plans were sketchy--no firm decisions made until maybe the Saturday before we were to leave on Monday. Dumb move.

As you well know, I work weekends which meant I was ill prepared to be leaving for a trip early Monday morning. Not for a lack of trying; it was a time thing. Timing will come into play today as well because I'm running a tad bit short of it right now. Between yesterday's 30 sales, and last weekend's 28, I need to order and now! Mr. Roger is so darn busy that if I don't get my order in quickly, he'll get working on someone else's and we can't have that now can we?

I didn't notice what I'd left at home until Monday night. I was very sad indeed to discover that although I'd packed all my battery chargers, I neglected to put them in my suitcase. I needn't tell you that a digital photographer without batteries is nothing. Fortunately I have two batteries for each camera, but still I had to choose my picture taking wisely. Never again will I make that mistake--or so I hope!

Very briefly I'll get you started on the journey. Driving the Florida Turnpike, is normally very nice, as well it should be for how expensive it is. Except this time. All of the rest stops are under renovation with very few food options. Because we were anxious to get going, our breakfast was going to be on the road. Crazy long lines at the few places open made for some unhappy Pecks. As an aside, the further South we drove, the higher the gasoline prices, which we all know are pretty steep these days.

On the bright side, the traffic was fairly light, and before you know it, four hours later, we were past Miami and heading onto the Florida Keys. Perhaps it's a nod to the color of the water, don't really know, but as soon as you get that far South, the rails on the side of the road are painted turquoise.
We got off before crossing the first of many, many bridges and had lunch at our first tiki hut at  Gilbert's Resort in Key Largo.
The food was fine, an 83 year old woman sitting next to me at the bar kept me entertained, and the margarita cold. Walking down to the water's edge, I saw some happy folks looking at something---dolphins playing not far from shore. If I'd know it was going to be the only dolphin sighting on the trip I sure would have gone and got the Nikon out of the car! You might be surprised at how intricate real tiki hut roofs are--I sure was. This one overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.
To break the trip up into manageable pieces, our stop for the night was Islamaroda at mile marker 88. For those of you who don't know what I mean, US 1 ends at Key West--mile marker 0. Beginning in Maine, the road runs along the Eastern shore of the United States for 2377 miles! Now that would be some trip wouldn't it?

We roamed around a bit after checking into the hotel at 4, looking for a place that might be a good launching spot for the kayak.
Sadly, we did not find a spot. Furthermore, it was quite windy making a trip out on open water a wee bit hazardous. While Bruce was looking around a gigantic fishing store, I walked next door and found a cute little place to eat dinner. Originally we were thinking of going to another place recommended in our guide book, however, after we checked it out, we decided it wasn't our kind of place. Morado Bay was definitely our kind of place. Obviously another diner offered to take our photograph!
I took a photograph of other diners to show you the setting:
A magical way to spend our first night in the Keys. The next morning I rose at sunrise, hoping I might get a good one over the Atlantic:
While I'm outside Bruce does what he likes to do while traveling--turn on the television. I, on the other hand, have no interest in such, in fact, I whine about it constantly. This way we are both happy!

Off we went again, counting down the miles as we went....

Tomorrow I'll fill you in on the final 80 miles and Key West itself...that is if I get my order done!
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