Friday, June 26, 2015

Camping in the Florida Keys

This week, we crashed my parents' camping trip in the Keys.  Um... Yes, I wasn't going to let that one happen without me getting in on that action! ha!

They left a few days before we joined them...they stayed one night at {John PennenKamp Campground } and then they headed to {Long Key State Park}, which is where we joined them.

This is what the campsites look like.  So pretty!

Here's our site...

Yes, RV camping is the only way to go in the summer in Florida. Just think... heat and mosquitoes.

As soon as we got there, the girls were ready to head into the water!! They were bound to catch some fish, which Autumn did as soon as she put that net in the water!

We took the paddleboards out to have some fun.

Autumn is getting so good on the board! She can pretty much paddle herself!

Here's me and Caroline. I'm wearing that awesome mesh sling I talked about {HERE}. The wind was really blowing here, so I couldn't get on my knees.. I needed all the strength to pull with my arms.

A big seaweed fight ensued between my dad and Autumn.

Brooklynn started to get in on it. She pretty much stayed out of the whole time, being "protected" by Grandpa Woody...but then decided to start throwing some too.

We came in to make dinner. The girls were playing around in one of the beds int he RV. They love that thing!

Brooklynn's eyes just do me in.

And so do Autumn's...although you can't really tell here.

And sweet little Caroline's too. lol. We're in trouble.

 After dinner we went for a walk in the campground. The have a trail...that we didn't really walk in. For one, it was a hike just to get to the trail and with 2 walking kids, you can't last that much longer. But also, the mosquitoes were coming out pretty strong, so we bailed.

BUT, we did find some good photo-op spots along the way!

Along the way, we discovered TONS of crab holes...with TONS of land crabs!

Once Autumn discovered the crabs, she was chasing them all over trying to find some! She kept catching the babies. ha!

This tree. We walked by it and I was just mesmerized by it. I mean, look at it! It is the perfect picture of Florida...of the Keys.  And I love coconut trees.

BUT, the next day when I was walking by, the park rangers were CUTTING DOWN THIS TREE!!  I was so upset by it. I didn't understand why they would do that!  I mean, if the coconuts were falling on campers (tents/RVs), then just cut off the coconuts, NOT the beautiful tree!!

Well, a coconut fell on the ground and rolled to my feet. So I picked it up and brought it home with me. Now I can revive the tree in my backyard!

More fun on our walk.... 

Man, I wish I could take this driftwood home with me!

The pictures aren't bad either <3 

The next day, my girls were up early ready to go! They found the binoculars and kept themselves entertained for a while. Silly girls.

We spent the morning paddling around a different area. 

I, of course, didn't go snorkeling since I had Caroline strapped to me. But that's ok. Autumn was having a great time!

My dad found a conch, with a live animal in it!

What some people my not realize is that the Keys DON'T have any beaches. Unless it's at a resort or a house. If you want to go to the beach, you have to pull off on the side of the road and just play in the water there. The whole "thing" is nothing but a big causeway. And some places even have a sea wall...which is what we had this time when we went paddleboarding.

My mom and her dogs. They go everywhere with them.

That afternoon, my parents got Autumn a mask and snorkel set that actually fit her (because the one I got her didn't fit her face)...and they went snorkeling again!

Brooklynn just swam around with me and Caroline.

Back at the campsite, we played games while waiting for dinner.

Our last morning... not a bad view for your backyard, right!?

One last time snorkeling before we leave!
This time they saw about a dozen lobsters and school of fish! Autumn was in heaven!

 I was hanging back at the site with a sleeping Caroline and getting cleaned up to go home.

And then playing with Caroline when she woke up. 

 Brooklynn got bored out there (she wasn't really snorkeling..she doesn't like to put her face in the water for long periods of time just yet), so she came back in.

Then we all got cleaned up and ready to go home.

It was a long ride home... we kept hitting rain and thunderstorms all the way up. BUT, at least mother nature did my work for me and washed off my paddleboard - yay!

By the way, driving on the highway with a paddleboard on the roof of your car is more nerve wrecking than driving home from the hospital with your first born child...haha!! At least your first time doing it... on the way home, I was a tad more relaxed about it, but still checking on it every so often. In fact my neck is pretty sore from checking it so much!

Check out our other camping trips!

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