In October of 2019 the kids and I joined Paul in Miami. He had been there at a Theater convention for a couple days, after a stressful flight with the three kids, I got to relax a bit by Miami Beach at the Fountainbleau Resort. I’ll just jump into the pictures. These were the first pictures I took with my new Sony AR3 camera and Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens. I’ve been enjoying the combo ever since!
Beach vacations are the best! Kal and Sophia couldn’t get enough of the ocean. Gabe spent all summer refusing to get in water, which made it a little less stressful than other summers spent with toddlers in the past. Still, I kept trying. He and I just made ourselves comfy in the sand watching Soph and Kal. Meanwhile, daddy still had meetings.
As close as Gabe got to getting in…
October is the busy season for me, and I was worried I would regret leaving during the middle of it. But now I’m thinking it’s the greatest idea ever!
Kal vs. the ocean
Everyone stayed up late partying in Miami, so we had the beach to ourselves the next morning. It stormed a bit later that day.
The third day, first thing, we head to the Everglades. We are enjoying seeing the beauty of the country through our amazing National Parks. The kids collect Jr Ranger badges too which is really fun! It was a steamy hot day though, so we didn’t last too long outside, and most of the wildlife wasn’t too visible either. We did get to see one baby alligator though, right outside the visitors center.
Same day, that afternoon, we head over to Biscayne Bay. Most of this park is underwater, since our kids are too young for diving, the best option was a boat tour to the Island of Boca Chita Key. This might have been everyone’s favorite. We got to spend a couple hours exploring the island, including an old lighthouse.
We found lots of crabs. And a small beach covered in shells. At National Parks, you aren’t supposed to take anything with you, so it was really cool that all those shells were just there, we just walked on them and explored. It was beautiful!
After that fun-filled day, we head to Key Largo where we’re staying. Very early the next morning, we drive two hours to Key West to make our way to the most remote National Park in the country, Dry Tortugas. You can get there by taking a boat ferry called Yankee Freedom. Unfortunately, it was a stormy morning and the whole boat was in for a time. After enjoying ourselves for about 30 minutes, it got very choppy.
Kal and I both ended up throwing up. It was miserable. We had some nice help from strangers though. Shared suffering has a way of bringing people together! We were really thankful when we arrived.
You’re able to tour the island as the boat parks for three hours. They even give you snorkling gear. I’m a bit afraid of heights and Gabe wasn’t even two, so daddy took the big kids up to tour the fort. There are no rails and I’m told it’s a little uneven up there… maybe we’ll go back someday when everyone’s older and I’ll explore more. As it was, watching Gabe was a full-time job there, he made it challenging to get many pictures that day.
It’s a pretty amazing place!
The boat ride back was much better! Thank goodness.
Our last day was spent relaxing at the condo… and taking lots more pictures.
Gabe still didn’t want to get in the water, but found his own kind of fun. Chasing lizards and dumping water on his siblings.
That’s all! What National Parks have you been to? Where should we go next?