My Happy Place

As the fun days of summer come to an end I thought I'd share a few images of our recent adventures.

In addition to Because I'm Me and Jude Harbor I now run a full time home daycare, which is great but limits vacation time quite a bit so instead of weeks away we did short weekend excursions, mostly with our camper - which we used five times this summer!

Most of our trips were to my happy place, the Florida Keys. My oldest son, Ian, is working in the Keys at Sea Base, a Boy Scout high adventure camp. So, you know, we had to visit him, right? Three times (plus a visit in April). We didn't make it to Key West this summer but we explored Long Key State Park quite a bit and spent most of our time in the water swimming, lounging, and boating on Ian's boat. Pure heaven.

Our biggest moment of excitement there was at about 10:00 pm on a Friday night at Long Key. One of the rangers drove past us, saying he had a minor emergency, as we were getting the camper into our site. Ever the curious home schooling family we had to see what was going on. About a hundred sea turtles had hatched but were heading toward the restroom lights instead of into the ocean. We watched the rangers and another family take the turtles back to the water and helped find a few of the cuties ourselves. It was an amazing experience and really brought home the fact that lights need to be off for the sea turtles. I couldn't believe how strong the attraction to the lights was - one camper held a flashlight pointing down and a swarm of turtles rushed to the light, he was then able to create a little trail of light to the water's edge.

If you're in the Keys and looking for a quick, free, pretty interesting, thing to do walk the old Seven Mile Bridge. It's now a fishing bridge, with one side closed for renovation, but in the shallow water are sharks, sting rays, dolphins, sea stars, fish, birds, and who knows what else - the wildlife seems to change with the days and tides.

It takes us about 4.5 hours to get to one of the state campgrounds from our home. We travel through the Everglades on US Route 41, past the smallest post office in the United States, indian villages, and a memorial for the victims of ValuJet flight 592. It's a relaxing drive with no interstate to worry about so even though it's a long drive it doesn't feel like it at all.

Plans are already being made for our next trip.

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