Day 228 – 4/15/21 Moving day and Exploring Key West by bike.

We had a good moving day and awesome afternoon biking around and exploring Key West.

Today was moving day, and we moved to Key West.  We were all excited to go there, and especially to visit Dry Tortugas National Park on Saturday.  Today was also my sister’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Carol! S2

We had a good morning move routine today.  I did some writing and a few things online, and around 8:30 got the girls up and started packing things outside.  Our goal was to leave around 10, and since I had packed away most everything, it would not take too long to be done.  Carol was up just before the girls, so we put some of the living room things away as well, and got the bedroom ready.  Soon after the girls were ready we could pull the slide out in, which helps get the outside done faster.  I took my time outside as I was way ahead of schedule.  I also did a walk through of the path I’d be taking with the trailer inside the campground, and confirmed there is a very tight spot because there is a truck that I think is in the wrong place and on the way of larger RVs, it’s a right turn immediately after a left turn and the truck is right in the middle of the second turn.  More on that later.

The girls got changed, ate breakfast and started school.  Then we got their stuff in the truck, got the hotspot to the truck, and had them continue school from the truck by ten.  And, we were all ready to roll by then.  I asked Carol to go in the front, on foot, to help with the tight areas, especially around that one truck.  All good until we got to that spot, then even trying to make the most wide turn we could, it did not look like there was a way to clear that truck, and there was no room to maneuver the trailer around to make it work.  Fortunately, the owner was outside and we asked him to move it, which he did, and we were all good from there.  I was able to make it out then, and just stopped after the outside gates to put the weight distribution bars on as I had not put them on due to the tight turns we’d be making.  Carol had gone to the front office to return the key card and met me outside.  We also got lucky as we hit the road as I had to make a left turn across traffic and within a minute of me pulling up to the stop sign there was a nice gap of vehicles on both sides and I made it through.  We were out on the road in good time, it’s a 90 some miles straight shot to Key West.  The girls were in school and all was good.  We made one stop a little over half way, even though there are not many places to stop with an RV, I found a boat ramp area that had a pull out spot.  It was a no parking zone, but I just needed to stop there for a few minutes while the ladies used the restroom.  The drive is beautiful and easy.  There are a lot of keys on the way to the last one, which is Key West.  There are a lot of beautiful places, and the views are amazing.  The water is so clear you can see the bottom from the road.  We really enjoyed the ride and scenery, with clear blue water and sometimes sandy bottom.  

We arrived at our campground and checked in.  As the lady drew on the map the way we’d have to go I was like, what?  It was a crazy loop around of one way streets.  Fortunately, there was an escort guy to help find the spot, and even better, he helped back in to that kind of tight spot we had, and it was easy.  I am glad he helped because that would have taken Carol and I a few extra minutes to figure out.  He helped and we were in on the first try.  We have a nice spot, pretty level, with trees around us and near the water.  We are not in front of the water, but we are a minute from the pool and the ocean.  We started setting up and as soon as the truck was free Carol went grocery shopping.  I continued setting up while Bella continued working on her school stuff.  When I was done setting up, I had also taken the bikes down so Bia and I went for a bike ride around the campground. 

We went the long way towards the pool, so we biked in front of the whole water front of the campground.  I had done a lap just before and had seen a bus with a popcorn machine in front of it, so I pointed that out to Bia and she was amazed. Ahahaha… the owner was outside so I made a comment that that was a big popcorn machine, and he replied “thank you, help yourself, that’s why it’s here”.  Bia was a bit shy at first, so we kept going and stopped at the pool to check out the water.  She said the water was great and that she wanted to go to the pool later, and then said she changed her mind and wanted to go get pop corn. 

We went back there, and told the guy we’d take him up on his offer and then chatted with him a bit.  He’s retired, he buys pounds and pounds of pop corn and makes it every day and offers to whoever.  It’s his thing.  He was finishing a brand new batch, so we waited a bit and chatted.  In the meantime, he offered Bia lollipops and asked her if she had siblings, so he packed a box full of lollipops for her and Bella.  When the popcorn was ready, he filled a big box, and had Bia go season it to her liking.  The only problem from there was that we were on our bikes, and taking a big open container of popcorn was going to be hard.  The guy dealt with this before, and immediately offered to take it to our campsite right away on his golf cart.  I told him where we were, and we left, and he went the long way due to the one way streets.  Sure enough, a minute later he pulls up and delivers the boxes.  That was pretty cool!

Bella was finally done with her school work, so I took her for a ride around the campground, and showed her everything I had showed to Bia, including popcorn guy’s place. 

By time we got back, Carol was back and we worked on lunch, ate it and hung out outside for a bit.  Then we decided to go on a bike ride all together, and go into town, so we packed things up, got all the helmets, and left on our bikes.

Our campground is actually in Stock Island, which is right after the bridge that connects Key West to the rest, so as we left, we made a left turn and immediately crossed the bridge into Key West.  I had setup the GPS to go to Mile Marker 0, which is where Highway 1 Ends, or begins.  We biked on the right side of the island as we rode in, went passed a park, a marina, some stores and then were kind of downtown. 

Most of the way we had nice big sidewalks, and were taking our time, riding slow and just enjoying.  Everyone was feeling good and happy we were biking.  Once we hit the more downtown area, we had to go on the street or sidewalks, which was also fine as we were going slow and the girls got pretty good at going slow and watching for people, cars, etc.  We had a great ride and great time, and made it to our destination with plenty of sunlight yet.  We took some pictures, and a guy offered to take ours by the sign, which actually turned out great. 

The girls had asked for Ice Cream, so I gave Bia the GPS and told her to find a place, so she found a place called Gladiator Ice Cream, which was near Mallory square and Duval Street.  We biked there, parked our bikes by a parking lot and I put all the locks on the bikes.  We got their ice cream and just found a spot to sit and enjoy.  They were happy! :).  Pretty much up to here we were in the business district, and now that we were ready to go back, we decided to go back through the other side, by the beaches.

Then, we biked to the buoy that shows the southernmost point in the US.  We got there and there was a big line to take pictures, so we just stopped, talked about the spot, I took some pictures from where I was, and we kept going. 

Now, we were on the other side of the island, by the beaches, so the ride back was super awesome alongside the ocean and beach.  The girls did amazing on this ride.  No complaining, just enjoying, and talking.  On the way back, Bella was talking the entire time.  The bike ride was so awesome that noone even felt or complained that we biked almost 22km (13 miles), and we were out, including stops, for over two hours.  This was the best bike ride we’ve done together so far.

After we got back, everyone was quite tired, so we worked on showers, dinner and just relaxing, watching TV, or whatever one wanted.  The girls didn’t have school next day, so we let them stay up late, but it was not too late as we were tired.

We had an awesome first day in Key West, riding our bikes downtown and getting to know the island.

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