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