Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Florida Vacation - May 2012

I know I promised this entry a couple of weeks ago, but there were some hold ups. But, alas, here it is! )More pictures will soon be on Facebook, too.)

At the end of May, Clay and I took a road trip through Florida. We went to three main places: Siesta Key, Key West, and Orlando. ALL of them were wonderful!

We had never heard of Siesta Key before, but Clay was doing some research when we were planning our trip and came across it in an article as the U.S.'s #1 beach.  He had read that once you go to the beach there, you don't want to go to any other beach. Turns out, it's totally true.

That was our first stop. We got there right before sunset, so we walked over to the beach after checking in and it was BEAUTIFUL. The sand was powder. The sunset was gorgeous. The crowd was perfect.

Our room was pretty awesome, too. It was a decent price, just a very short walk to the beach, and very clean.  It reminded me of my grandparents' beach house they had in Destin. It had its own little mini kitchen and dining area, and it was just so cute. Pictures don't do it justice, but it gives you the idea!

We spent a couple of days there. It's a little town, so we walked everywhere. It wasn't cluttered with tourist beach shops or anything either, so that was neat. They have some good food there, too. I would definitely go back.

On one of our beach days, we rented a kayak and went along the coast for a total of about 2 miles.  We saw some of the really nice houses we couldn't see from the road.  Before we went out on the kayak, we saw a ton of dolphins that weren't too far out, but they had already gone when we headed over there.

Our next destination was Key West, but on the way there we rode through the Everglades. We stopped at Shark's Point (I think that was the name) and did a 15 mile bike ride. There were gators everywhere. Literally. On the side of the road, crossing the road, in the creeks... there was no barrier between us.  There was some pretty cool wildlife other than the gators too. The 15 mile bike ride thing definitely proved I'm way too out of shape to just randomly jump on a bike and ride forever.

After that, we made our way to Key West. We crossed all the many bridges between the islands at night.  They have deer crossing signs everywhere, even on the bridges, which took me by surprise. We actually almost hit one on the way out of Key West. Anyway, we stayed in a hotel called Pegasus on Duval Street. Duval Street is like the Bourbon Street of Key West, but it's way cleaner, nicer, and calmed down.

It was really nice staying in the middle of everything. We brought our bikes so we biked pretty much everywhere we could, unless we walked. We were really looking forward to trying this place called Peanut Butter 'n What?, but they had closed down... they make everything you can think of with peanut butter. We were pretty bummed about that. They had other places with pretty good food, though!

I hadn't really been on a rocky beach, so I was surprised when we went to the beach that it was as rocky/shelly as it was.  The beaches there are considered parks, so you have to pay to get into some of them.  Where we went was pretty nice, though.  We found a little cove made from a palm tree, so we just relaxed under there and enjoyed the day.

Public Beach

Park Beach

We went to the Southernmost Point... which really isn't the Southernmost point of the US, BTW. We didn't take a picture with the big buoy because there were a million obnoxious people in line to do it and we figured it wasn't worth it, so I just took a picture of it by itself.

On one of our days in Key West, we took a boat trip to the Dry Tortuga Islands. It has an old fort- Fort Jefferson- on it. It was overpriced and I'm not sure it was worth the money, but we had a nice time on the beach there. I think it would be more worth going if you actually chose the option to camp out there.

At the fort, we walked around and saw a nurse shark, barracuda, and cool colored fish.

After Key West, our final destination was Orlando as we made our way back home.  We had gone to Disney in February and bought a 4-day park hopper. Well, we only used three days because Clay's Aunt Teresa who works there went with us one day so we just got in free. That remaining day didn't expire until September, so we took advantage of it. It was also Star Wars weekend, and Clay LOVES Star Wars.

It was a lot of fun. We chose to just stay in Hollywood Studios since that's where SW Weekend was taking place and we spent the least time there in February. They had a huge tent set up with special Star Wars merch, so we stocked up on t-shirts and stuff. They had amazing artists there doing awesome paintings. They had everything Star Wars you can imagine. We even got our first ornament- an R2-D2 head with Mickey ears.

I LOVE Disney and can't wait to go back! The annual Food & Wine Fest is in October, so we're going to go catch that for a day. Seriously, we're addicted to Disney World.

Anyway, we had a really nice time everywhere we went, and it was a nice way to start off the summer.
Stay tuned for an update about our new home! I promise it won't be too long from now!



  1. Sounds like an awesome trip! I'd never heard of Siesta Key, but now you got me wanting to go there ... sounds great! Love the pictures! The bike ride looked like a lot of fun ... glad the alligators stayed away!

    Disney never gets old! So you got your first ornament! I love all of our ornaments throughout the years ... each one has a story!

  2. looks like an amazing visit! Ive never been to some of these places but I do love deisney! Have a happy Saturday and be sure to check out my giveaway ending tonight!. BTW I am your newest follower and cannot wait to read more of your posts and hope that maybe you can return the favor and follow The Preppy Student. I always comment for every comment left on my page and hope to start a friendly relationship with your wonderful blog!