Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Island Life


Hi Knitters,
Today is the first day my house has been empty. Everyone is back to school and work so I am glad to get back to visiting with you. My family and I spent the last week in Key West, Florida. It's a spot we have always wanted to visit but never have before. We took advantage of spring break lining up at the same time this year for all of the schools. All of the kids were able to come on the trip which felt so good.

I was talking to my editor yesterday and he asked what my favorite part of the trip was and I had to say it was my pink cruiser bike with the handy basket. I loved and rode that bike so much all week. Once we got on the island I don't think we drove more than a couple of times the entire week. We walked and biked everywhere. I want one of these bikes at home to keep....


The weather was gorgeous, hot and sunny every single day. We took advantage of a state park just a few blocks down from the place we stayed. It was so beautiful and convenient.


We biked out on this gigantic and colorful pier a couple of times.


It was just stunning in the bright sunshine. One of my sons fished off this pier but didn't have much luck.


TC got a pink bike, too, and Peachy picked a white one. The boys all had black bikes.


We stayed in the Truman Annex which is a spectacularly well-kept area. The Little White House sat directly in front of our condominium, just steps away. It was old-fashioned and sweet looking. Harry Truman spent many vacations here along with other presidents like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and John Kennedy. There were many other visitors with famous names you'd recognize on the sign outside this historic house. There were many historic buildings and houses everywhere you looked. We went by Ernest Hemingway's house but never went in. It was really pretty.


This is the entrance to our condominium. It was quiet and clean and plenty big for our large family. The building backs up to a fantastic boardwalk which we spent lots of time walking on. There was a local coffee shop and an ice cream shop that we frequented along with other cute little beachy shops along the way.


I just loved all of the colors and brightly painted houses. There was tons of artwork nestled into the community. Mosaics and paintings kept catching my eye in unexpected places. There were also roosters all over the place and cock-a-doodle-doo-ing all of the time. That was amusing to us.


We stayed right on Front Street which, in my opinion, is the prettiest street on the island. It was clean and colorful, lined with beautiful houses (some big, some small) and inns and bed and breakfasts. My favorite thing was the huge front porches and white picket fences on all of the houses. I've always wanted a big front porch like that.


My husband loved these extra-gigantic palm trees. They were impressive.


Cruise ships rolled in and out during the week. This was a foreign cruise ship but we never found out exactly where it came from.


This was the view from our pool, lovely and bluer than blue.


My fisherman son got lots of good fishing time in. He caught quite a few fish and always quickly throws them back in. He loves the water and the ocean.


Peachy loved the trip. She is the fairest of us all so I tried to keep her from getting a sunburn and succeeded this time. That's a full-time job in itself. Three of us have my olive dark skin and the other three have lighter skin that needs closer attention in the sun.


This son is already back at college and I was so glad to have him with us on the trip. The others are back to their real lives as well. The food, sun, water and activity is always fun but the best part of any trip is that we get all of that time together as a family. When I said my bike was my favorite part of the trip earlier? I'd like to change that to having uninterrupted time with my family as my favorite part of the trip. That's a given.

As my kids get older I value these fleeting weeks together more than ever as I know that busy schedules and lives will get in the way more and more as the years go by.

I hope you all had the chance to enjoy your families and dear friends last week, too.

I'll be back very soon with some island knitting.
best, susie

20 comments:

Jessica said...

It looks like you had a lovely time. I know what it is like to try and coordinate schedules as the kids get busier with their own lives.

Kris said...

I totally want a cruiser bike now!! Your vacation looks lovely and I understand how you want to spend as much family time together. My son will be turning 17 in June and it's a little sad to see him so grown. I tell my daughter (who will be turning 8) that she has to slow down too. I always wonder how time slips us by.

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Oh, that looks so lovely! I'd love to visit Key West sometime.
We didn't get anywhere over our spring break, but were lucky enough to have the warmest week off - it was in the 70s and close to 80 nearly every day. I had mostly been hoping it wouldn't snow :)

Sally said...

Oh, I understand completely about the bike. I got an orange Raleigh Retroglide about six years ago, thinking I'd just take an ocassional spin around the neighborhood park. I love it so much that I got a big basket for the front and started bike commuting to work, at least 2 or 3 times a week (about 15 miles round trip). At one point hubbo figured I've put about 6,000 miles on it. I've even made an embroidery design and art quilt tribute to my bike and also recently finished a seemless yoke sweater with "her" riding around the yoke. (seedesigns on Rav) Get a cruiser and let us know what you got!!!!

Ólöf said...

Looks like an amazing time. My family and I might be moving from OK to St. Thomas so we might be taking an extended trip to Island life.

idiosyncraticeye said...

It looks amazing, isn't great when the weather is good for holidays?! Never seems to happen to me! Oh,and I love the bike! :)

Sarity said...

Family is the most important of all. I turned down a promotion this week because it is my daughter's last summer before college and I am afraid that too soon this time together will end. I will stay with a 3-day work week for one more summer. I am happy you were able to savor this break and come together!

Sarity said...

I'm so happy you were able to reconnect as a family and savor the time together. This is my daughter's last summer before college and I am already fearing the demands on her time as her adult life begins. I am excited for her, but this is time I treasure.

Amy M. said...

Take me with you next time. I can be your traveling piano teacher :)

Sam I Am...... said...

What a lovely family you have and what a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Donna S. said...

Thanks for sharing. Looks great!! We want to get down there sometime!!

Nickycarp said...

I totally get it, too--I'll be where you are shortly. I try to savor every moment. Glad you had a nice week and savored it, too. You have a beautiful family! Peachy is as beautiful as TC and her mother! :-) Happy Knitting, love Nicky momoffour

Dorothy said...

What a beautiful place. I have to admit, I shamlessly copied you and ordered some Cakewalk yarn in Cherry Blossom so I too can have some of those luscious looking socks from your previous post. Now I just need the vacation to match!

Dorothy said...

Oh, what wonderful photos-just lovely. So nice the entire family was able to go together. I have to tell you, I was so inspired by your earlier post with the Cakewalk sock yarn that I shamelessly copied you so I too can have a pair of socks in the Cherry Blossom colorway; it's just gorgeous. Now I just need the trip to go with it!

Ana said...

Your post reminded me of how blessed I am to be a Floridian!

Marianne said...

I understand the feelings of having the family all together, it is priceless. (but the bike is awesome too) Through the years my family has come close together then spread apart again. Now, I am caring full time for my Mom, one son lives 3.5 hrs to the West and the other lives 2.5 hr drive to the East. They can both be here if I really need them and it is grand!

Brandi Schoch said...

What a lovely time. I hope to be able to do this some day with my children (once they leave the house).

Armida said...

I'm so happy you all had such a lovely vacation! Florida is one of my favourite places. I haven't been to Key West but it's always been a dream to visit one day :) It sure looks beautiful.
Spending quality time with family is one of the most precious gifts and I'm so glad you got to savor and enjoy it!!

PghCathy said...

How nice to see your Key West photos. We had our first trip there in Jan & I remember most of the places you talk about. Biking is most definitely the way to go, I can't imagine driving, especially in the 'tourist' section. I did make it to Hemingway's house...very interesting to hear about him & see those 6 toed cats!

Love your blog!

Kathleen Lisson said...

beautiful photos!