Monthly Archives: April 2015

Key West Seaplane Adventures-Dry Tortugas National Park

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Okay, I know I promised this post about a week ago. The wait is over! Here is an overview of our favorite activity that we did in Florida: Taking a sea plane to the Dry Tortugas National Park.

We knew that we wanted to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park when we were visiting the Keys but couldn’t decide if we wanted to take the boat or the seaplane to get out there. We ended up deciding on Key West Seaplane Adventures simply because the total time of the trip was much less. With the boat you will spend much of your day on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Meh. Taking the seaplane is about a 4 hour trip which left us plenty of time for exploring Key West that day. 

The trip starts at the Key West Airport. The seaplane also has wheels so it takes off and lands at the airport in Key West. On the island since there’s no airport the plane lands in the water. I think if you blindfolded me I never would have known we landed in the water! The flight to the island is about 35 minutes and the pilot does a fabulous job explaining what you are seeing when you fly over it. There is also a soundtrack to go along with the flight so you get to listen to music. Since the plane flies at a low altitude (about 500 ft) you are able to see a lot. We saw lots of turtles, shipwrecks, and even a boat full of cuban refugees. photo 1 copy 14

One we got to the island we spent some time exploring Fort Jefferson and then we went snorkeling. I loved walking around the fort- especially along the edge of the moat! I heard there is a crocodile that is sometimes there but we did not see him. The snorkeling was nice too and we saw lots of colorful fish and corals. 

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photo 2On the trip back I got to sit in the copilot’s seat! SO COOL! This is definitely the best seat in the plane. If you’re first in line or no one else wants it, you will be the lucky one to sit shotgun. This was a fabulous trip and even though the tickets cost us more than the tickets from Portland down to Fort Lauderdale I was really happy that we took the trip and it was well worth the money! 🙂 17915_10101563710812901_8224500114760575690_n

Taking a trip to Fort Jefferson? Here’s what you need to know!

– I’m really happy that we took the sea plane over the boat. It is a little more expensive but I think it was totally worth it. It’s a great experience and I’m glad we didn’t spend all day on a boat.

-Take the 8 am or the 2 pm trip on the seaplane. This way you will not have all the boat passengers on the island at that time! It felt like a private island. We went at 2 pm.

– When you check in at the airport they will give you a cooler with water or sodas that you can take with you! So don’t worry about bringing your own.

-There are places to change either at the check in at Key West Airport or at the Dry Tortugas.

– If i was going to do one thing differently I would have snorkeled first and explored the fort afterwards. I think this would have been a better use of time as we walked around the fort, then snorkeled, and then had an awkward amount of time left where we didn’t have time to snorkel at another beach so we just walked around again. 

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Florida Keys Vacation

Angus and I spent the last week on vacation in the Florida Keys! It was fantastic and we did a lot but I thought I would share my favorite things that we did here on the blog. The only thing that was missing was manatees! I wanted to see one so badly and we didn’t all week. 

Everglades National Park

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Want to see a bunch of alligators? Okay. Go here. It’s actually a lot cooler than it sounds. We walked on a trail very close to the park entrance  and saw loads of alligators and birds. It was a great little detour and lots of people think of the everglades as being a swamp with a few gators. It was way better than that and I would love to have had more time to explore the areas further into the park. 

Theater of the Sea, Islamorada

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This is a cool place where you can go to watch dolphin, parrot, and sea lion shows as well as swim with the dolphins. The shows are excellent and a great way to spend a morning. I even got to kiss “Sherman” the dolphin!

Kayaking at Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo

Sadly I don’t have any pictures of this, but it was really fun. We rented kayaks and they have lots of trails that go through mangroves. We saw sharks, stingrays, and lots of fish!

Key West Seaplane Adventures, Key West/Dry Tortugas

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This is going to be in a separate post, because it was really just that cool and I have about 10 billion pictures I want to share. Look tomorrow for the post 🙂

Butterfly Conservatory, Key West

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I actually almost didn’t want to go here. Angus convinced me when he told me there were flamingos. Basically it’s a really hot room FILLED with butterflies and two flamingos. It’s pretty magical and definitely worth the 24 bucks we spent to walk around for 15 minutes.

Bahia Honda State Park

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This is a great place to go for a swim. They have a few beaches at the park and I guess that they are the only natural beaches in the Florida Keys. We took a walk out to a sandbar and even saw a few little sharks!

Sparky’s Landing, Key Colony Beach

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Key lime pie. Go get it. The food is great here and it’s a fun place to sit outside by the ocean. I also hear they have 25 cent wings and shrimps for happy hour but we never took advantage of that.

Keys Fisheries, Marathon 

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This is my other favorite restaurant. You order at a window and then get your food and sit at picnic tables on the water. Or you can take your food upstairs to the “Shell Shack” and have a great view to watch the sunset. Awesome 🙂 I had a “conchwurst” which is like a sausage but with conch. Yum.

 

 

 

My Current Favorite Snack

Good morning everyone! It’s nice to finally see some sun. It will be even nicer to see the sun tomorrow when I wake up in FLORIDA because it will actually be warm too. This morning we’re hanging around the house packing and getting ready, probably head out for a quick run, then to the cemetery for my Grampy’s ceremony and THEN we hop on a plane that heads south. Yes, that’s a lot of stuff for one day. It’s happening. But first, I share with you one of my favorite snacks right now. No, it’s not easter candy. Well, it might be but here’s my healthier option: almond butter packs!

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I’ve recently become obsessed with these things and if you don’t believe me then take a look in my car where you will see about 10 thousand almond butter wrappers. I got turned on to this stuff when a man from the company Barney Butter (No, I don’t understand the name either) started taking my spin classes. Then he started bringing free samples.  Then I was addicted. They are the perfect snack for before I teach cycle classes and I’m excited to bring them along with me on long road rides this summer. They even come in a boatload of flavors. The little packages (which are my favorite for the convenience factor) can be bought online (amazon) and you can find the jars in various supermarkets. Whole foods, hannaford, etc. The taste is super smooth and by far the best almond butter I have tasted. I usually just eat the stuff right out of the package but if you’re fancy it would taste really good paired with an apple or some celery. Happy snacking. 🙂

Spin Saturday

Good morning! It’s another cycle class this morning at Quest and I have an awesome playlist and ride ready. Too bad my legs aren’t ready. After falling off a box jump during one of my workouts earlier this week and a KILLER stair workout with my friend Sarah yesterday (will post soon!) my legs are toast. At least the music will be great! Here’s what we’re riding to this week.