Coral Reefs and Key Lime Pie

Continuing on in the saga of South Florida travels, my friend Angeline and I packed our Saturday full yesterday. We drove south on a spider web of freeways and exited at Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo, the first of the Florida Keys. We picked up some tickets for a glass-bottom boat tour, and then wandered through their aquarium and beach areas before our tour left.

We boarded a boat named The Spirit of Pennekamp with several families, and a large group of senior citizens who appeared to be traveling together. The blues of the water and the sky blended and contrasted with each other creating beautiful variations of tourquise, aquamarine, and the usual color that I think of when I hear the phrase “deep blue sea.” We watched the land slip away and about 45 minutes later, we slowed down and hovered over Molasses Reef. Here, we saw lots of different corals and fish, including parrot fish, angel fish, barracudas, and trumpet fish. The most impressive coral structure was a giant brain coral whose top was accidentally destroyed when a careless individual dropped anchor on it in the 70s.

After our coral reef adventure, we drove further south in the keys, stopping eventually at a place called The Key Lime Tree, where we gazed upon several types of key lime cookies, beauty products, and souvenirs, all somehow related to the Key Limes that this section of Florida is known for growing. We selected a slice of the classic Key Lime Pie, and drove back for some dinner and an art show at my friend’s church in downtown Miami.  We found a roadside advertisement for an eatery with a giant mermaid in front, so I felt compelled to take a photo there with it.

We rested a bit and picked up Angeline’s husband at home before heading out to Sparky’s Roadside Barbeque and the art show. I ate a delicious pulled pork sandwich with guava habanero bbq sauce, complemented with some sweet waffle style fries. It’s meals like this that make me glad I’m not a full vegetarian, as much as I otherwise tend to swing that way. The art show was fun, presenting 26 artists with a variety of styles and mediums. The day ended with a few hours dedicated to watching the movie Braveheart  on TV, and a short call back to a couple of my good friends in California. Whew. I’m not sure if I can keep this pace up, but we’ve got plans for today, and it’s time to start getting to them.