Tag Archives: Marathon

Long Key State Park

We arrived at Long Key State Park mid afternoon on Tuesday.  Today is Friday and I’m wishing I never had to leave this park.  It is truly amazing.  Our camper butts right up to the water.  The water  is shallow for yards and yards out.  It is warm and clear and underneath is a world that I would never had guessed was there. 
Snorkeling seems to be the prevalent past time here and for good reason.  Because of the shallow warm water even young children can safely swim and snorkel.  Myself I have always had a deep fear of going under water.  I watched Jim last year go under in his mask and snorkel and was so jealous.  This year he talked me into going to a dive shop and trying on prescription masks.  The guy at Discount Dive in Marathon, the first shop we went to, was very kind and helpful.  I explained my situation and he told me how to ease into it.  We didn’t buy from him however only because the mask he had didn’t fit quite like the one I ended up buying from Tilden’s Dive Shop / Hawk’s Cay Resort Marina. 
Once I became comfortable with the mask and snorkel I truly fell in love with this place, because not everything is visible to the unmasked eye.  I will hopefully later be able to post some pictures I took with Jim’s underwater camera.  I will save that for a later post.
I would recommend this park for anyone looking to really relax and have fun.  There are about 50 sites, some just for tents and others for campers.  They aren’t extremely deep but we had very little trouble backing in and setting up.  Be aware the sites are sandy. 
Anyone that knows us also knows that we love biking.  There is a bike trail that runs off and on throughout the keys.  The one that runs in front of Long Key State park is a little run down but from what we could tell they are working on repaving the trails.  At least in parts of the keys they are.  Hopefully the one here is on the list.  We have only ridden in the park so far but perhaps we can ride later today and have a more positive report on the trail than what we can see from the road.
The only other real negatives are sand spurs and no see ums.  Definitely bring some Avon Skin So Soft as that does work.  Bring a fan to set up outside too to help deter the little buggers.  Otherwise ENJOY!

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Rain, Rain, Rain

Its raining. Its still raining. Its still raining and is continuing to rain. When its not raining it is threatening to rain. (Can you tell we’re getting a lot of rain?)

We are stuck here in Marathon, waiting to see what the weather is going to do. apparently, there is a low front over Mexico’s Yucatan (sp?) and another over the lower Florida peninsula that they are watching to see if they combine into a tropical depression. In the mean time we are in the middle of both and the weather doesn’t know what it wants to do. Occasionally a small patch of blue sky forms just long enough to give us hope, but then disappears like a bad joke leaving rain.

One of the nice things about a sailboat is that its like a cocoon, in that the weather can be nasty outside but inside you are safe and warm steamy hot. It slowly cooks you until you finally don’t care if its raining, frustrated you go outside anyway to get cooled off. (Oops, Cabin fever must be setting in!) We have decided to hangout here until we get a couple of good days and can head to Key West.  Kaelin has been having a good time. yesterday we visited the Turtle Hospital and he got to see the turtles up close and feed them. Today we ventured to Tilden’s Dive shop where I purchased a new dive mask and fins. While we were out, the Hurricane Bar and Restaurant seemed an apropos location to have lunch and wait out ….more rain.  Lunch ws pretty good and it rained like crazy. Lesa and I figured the weather gods must have decided to live up to the Hurricane name since we were in the Hurricane Bar.

When we returned to the dinghy to go to the boat, the Dinky Dan had gallons of water in him, so he had to be bailed out. It may not sound like much of a job, but you try emptying your bathtub one cupfull at a time and see how it feels!

Wish us luck, and please do a rain dance where ever you are (hopefully it will pull the rain clouds away from here!) 

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Restaraunt Reviews

Part of sailing is, of course, visiting nearby land and exploring. We go ashore every couple of days for supplies, sometimes showers and laundry, and the occasional restaurannt meal. I dedicate this section to those places we eat a meal different from boat fare.

***** = best ever $ =$15-25 for all 3 of us to eat, $$ = 25-35, $$$ = 35-45, $$$$ = over 45

Fresh Market / Dinner Key: Panini sandwiches mine was an italian, Jim’s was roast beef, and Kaelin had a turkey. They were very large on a toasted italian or cuban type bread. We were starving so it made sense to eat there before getting groceries. The store had an immense selection of premade foods; like I’ve never seen before. You would think they would have an area inside to eat at, but no we had to go back outside under a canopy. The sandwiches were okay. Bread was hard for me to chew due to recent dental work. Kaeliat his inside out but thats what 3yr olds do. Jim liked his. The left overs werenot good the next day, became fish chum. Our rating 3 stars ***$$
Hobo’s Cafe / Key Largo: Again heading to get groceries. On the way I saw Hobos and suggested we eat. As it was already past lunch time and we had not had breakfast (very common on the boat) Jim was all for it. It was very crowded, nice waitresses, but honestly food was not good. Jim and I both had fish sandwiches. Thhe fish was grey and very strange tasting. It was also on toasted whole wheat bread which I find doesnt go well with fish. I love tarter sauce and theirs tasted weird. Jim said they probably make their own sauce to hide the taste of bad food. Kaelin had spaghetti (way too much for little guy!) Kaelins was
good but what he enjoyed more was a video of ocean life playing on the t.v. we give it a *** only because it was airconditioned and the video was cool.$$$
Roccos Dockside Bar and Grill / Boot Key Harbour Marathon: Jim treated us to this meal after
a tiring 5hr sail on rocky rolly waves. At first I was a little disappointed as it was outside but
it turned out to be my favorite so far. Jim had blackened fish on linguine. I had a taste of it
and was sorry I didnt order it. It was delicious. Kaelin was given a neat goody bag and juice box to go with his hot dog and fries. I had delicious fish and chips (fries). The fish was white, mild and lightly breaded. Excellent meal. To top it off I had 3 rum runners. They were more rum than runner but very refreshing and needless to say I was rather “happy”. I think Jim gets a kick out of seeing me tipsy. They also had a gentleman playing 70’s music on a guitar and singing. He was pretty good and Kaelin enjoyed bouncing his head to the tunes. ****$$$$
Hurricane / Marathon: this was a welcome relief from the rain. Very air conditioned. It had an awesome Lego display of Miami Beach that Kaelin looked at for a long time. The food was okay, better than Hobo’s but not as good as Docksides. Jim had a fish sandwich, Kaelin had pasta and I had an Oriental stir fry. Mine was not great. the rice was quick cook rice and that just goes against all I believe in. Jim said his was okay and Kaelin liked his. *** $$$

Dinner at Rocco’s Dockside Bar and Grill

 

Cracked Conch Cafe / Marathon: This is an old favorite for Jim. He has been waiting for some time to revisit this place. I love it when Jim gets the “man” mode going and orders for us both. He ordered the Cracked Conch Cafe burger plate. I had never eaten this before so it was a new experience. The conch is beaten, breaded and fried then eaten on a bun like a burger. It had a decent flavor, didnt taste like fish. I did have trouble eating it as it is chewy and again my teeth arent being nice to me. For me it was good but not great. Jim loved it! Kaelin had a nice plate of pasta with butter and garlic and a side order of veges which Jim and I kept pilfering. We all shared a piece of keylime pie. It was good but not tart at all. Jim said the resteraunt has changed since he was there, more run down, less Keysey. **** the one waitress was cranky just like reviews on their website said. To funny. $$$

McConnells Irish Pub /Key West:  after walking all over Duval Street , tired and sweaty Jim decided we would head back to this gem of a restraurant.  We looked at the menu for awhile unsure what to order as everything looked good.  Jim wanted the lamb kabobs but then he also wanted the corned beef and cabbage so I suggested we share the two that way he and I could try both.  Both dishes were delicious, especially the corned beef and cabbage.  i miss having cabbage and it was cooked perfectly, not cooked to mush.  Kaelin had mini corn dogs if memory serves me.  He also ate a lot of our veges.  Jim had a Guinees then switched to a lighter beer.  I started off with  a rum runner (I’m comparing the different ones( and then at the suggestion of our waitress, Maria, had a Key West Sunset.  Both drinks were the best I hsve had so far this trip.  I really like the sunset drink, yummy.  We of course also shared a slice of Key Lime pie.  Our waitress was not Irish, but was very sweet and patient.  This was by far our favorite and would recommend it to anyone looking for some wonderful Irish food. *****$$$$