Awoke to a beautiful day that had no set agenda...just lots of sunshine and fun to be had! We enjoyed an eco boat tour, exploring the Gulf side of Key Largo. Our Captain was great and made the educational side of the Key's plants and wildlife interesting. We took pathways through mangrove trees that didn't at first appear to be wide enough for our pontoon boat, but we made it through just fine. The boys especially loved seeing the fish in the clear shallow water. Needle fish were a favorite. Tim had fun counting how many crab spiders he saw above us, dangling between the trees, as we traveled along.
On our boat tour we saw numerous kinds of fish, manatees, pack of wild dolphins (including a baby), all kinds of birds, a huge osprey's nest, people getting to swim with tame dolphins, and an iguana. Such a wonderful adventure for the family!
Once back on land, we packed up our belongings and headed further south. We enjoyed lunch at an oceanside restaurant, The Island Grill, in Islamorada. It's so nice not being cold while trying to enjoy a meal.
Our next stop was along the side of the road for a dip in the ocean. They have pull off spots along the way for fishing and such...we opted to just get our feet wet. Some fish came around and there were so many cool shells and living creatures on the rocks in the shallow water. We dried off and headed off again, only to stop not too far along at Long Key State Park for a walk along a boardwalk through the mangrove trees. We found a neat little beach there, but we weren't all getting wet again right then. It was peaceful with the exception of the biting gnats...oh, the horror of it all! We were the lunch buffet for the no-see-ums...all you can eat, free of charge. The car was a nice haven away from the stinging bites. Note to self and others...bring bug spray to FL Keys!
Next stop, Parmer's Resort on Little Torch Key. Great getaway with a pool and an ocean view! I'm not sure where the boys had the most fun...in the pool or on the hammocks. The resort had several large hammocks across the property. They were so comfy and so much fun! It was cute to hear the boys say, "We're going out to play on the hammocks." Next best thing to a playground.
Our evening consisted of swimming, dinner, and enjoying the star filled sky over the ocean. Another great day!