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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, January 22, 2012

OFF TO KEY WEST - Jan 8th - 16th

After taking dad and mum to the airport, we  came back to the RV, did the final check, hooked up the car on to the van, then we were off. We had to go over a very high bridge, which had a sign to be careful of high winds.  It was a bit scary, Michael was a bit nervous.  He had that feeling of a panic attack, it was so high.   We drove till about 6pm, then pulled into the Big Cypress National Park  visitors centre car park, and stayed  for the night.  We left the sides in of the van for easy get away, in case we were told to move.  In the morning we saw a sign, 'No camping', but really we were not camping, so that was ok!  

We left at about 9am, stopped at a place called Homestead and did a bit of food shopping,  went through Key Largo, then finally got to Blue Water Key Resort at about 4pm.   
This resort is 10 miles from Key West, which is right down the southern part of Florida.  The hosts met us out the front, Mike unhooked the car, then I drove the car and followed them to the
site.   We have been told, that usually there is someone who is only too happy to help out, when arriving at a park.  I hope this is the case, because trying to guide Michael into a park is not my favorite thing to do, I have too many memories of Glenlock and backing vans into position. 

Each site here is separated from the next by palm trees and foliage, and a Balinese style hut with an outdoor kitchen, and table and chairs, with a landing on to a waterway.

Some of the RV's and cars in here are amazing.  We were told that one of the RV's is worth $2 million.  Cant imagine what it has inside to make it worth that much. 

We had a good week relaxing, catching up on work,  & going sightseeing. One of the days was quite windy and cold, but as always Sergeant Michael was up early blowing his whistle for us to be up and on our bike rides by 8:30am.  Wow!  He did say we would go in the direction if the coffee shop, so that was one consolation.  It was a struggle to peddle into the breeze.    We had a chai latte at Baby's coffee stop so that made up for going out in the cold.  We relaxed in van for most of the day,  Mike did some emails etc., then late afternoon, we drove 16 miles to No Name Key, to see the deer that come out at dusk and walk around and into people's yards. 
They are miniature, and some have the full grown horns. Quiet cute.

We then went to No Name Pub, which is the most quaint restaurant we have ever been to.  It was opened up in the early 50's, and since then everyone who goes there (except us)
writes on a $1 bill and attaches it to the walls or ceiling.  We were told there would be at least $100,000 in notes, and I believe that would be the case. It is just amazing, notes upon notes. 
There was not one vacant spot. They also are well known for their yummy pizza's.  And they certainly lived up to their name, Awesome!!  We got chatting to the people next to us, (as Mike always does), and finds out anything and everything about the area, politics, history, and almost every time, he will mention Israel. Had an enjoyable evening

Today we drove the car into Key West, parked outside the main township, then got on our bikes to ride in to the town.  No helmet rule for adults here.  I was a bit nervous, as I was following Mike, who was going in and out of people, on the footpath, then on to the road, among
the traffic.  I felt like my head was on a swivel, trying to check every direction so as to not run anyone over, or to get run over myself!!   You have to remember we are on the opposite side of the road, so have to re-program the brain to remember this!!   It was such a nice sunny day, so there were lots of people out and about, which made it more treacherous. Had lots of fun.   Then at 4.45pm we locked bikes to a fence and got on a very old, but beautifully restored sailing boat, similar to the "One & All", and went on a sunset cruise.  Such a lovely evening, with a slight breeze, the dulcet tones of classical guitar, a glass of red wine, and lovely sunset ( nearly as good as Pt Hughes).  Thought of everyone back home, miss you all. This sunset cruise reminded us of the cruise we did off Eilat with all our Israel group. We also had a mock battle, with pirate ships and fired the cannon at the opposition boat.  When we got back, it was already dark, so we had to negotiate our way back to the car with no lights on our bikes. Fortunately there were not too many people around, so I was ok, put the bikes back on the car, and headed back to the RV.  Such a nice day. Up early and packed everything up, and headed to Naples.  We had a 250 mile drive We are now speaking in Miles, MPG and feet and inches!!).  Stopped halfway for fuel.  They have excellent service plaza's in the middle of the freeways, especially for RV's and trucks. It is easy to drive off the highway without having to negotiate too many things.  Filled up with fuel,  then there is a place to park, so we stayed for about half hour and had lunch, then  pulled out onto the freeway again, without too much difficulty.

Arrived at Crystal Lake RV park at 4.20pm.  A couple of volunteers were on hand to help
us to get set up on our site, which overlooked a lake.   Just beautiful!   They were very nice, and only to happy to help these Aussies, who are still new and green when it comes to parking etc.
They told us they love listening to us talk. Quite funny. It was such a nice evening, we sat outside under the awning and had steak, roast potatoes & veggies for tea.  Very nice. We are staying here for 5 nights. 

Anyway, bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and for your comments,   keep safe and well,  God bless.
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Lisa & Barry Hedges on

Have been following your journey and all sounds great ... don't envy you negotiating into some of those parks! Love Lisa and Barry xx


Thank you for the phonecall about the NO NAME PUB. It is hot here in SA 36 degrees C or 96.8 degrees F. Have great time in USA and I will miss you. Love Isaac

F/L on

Happy Birthday to Mike on whatever day it is over there..Hope
u have another day that is enjoyable but then again everyday
is your birthday!!!!! luv L/F

Bev Gore on

Have enjoyed reading your blog and following your travels. Sounds likes you are having a great time. Happy Birthday Mike for the 24th. Hope you had a great day. Have just returned home from the Tennis in Melbourne and a few days in Sydney. Val also remembered your birthday and sends her love.

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