True to its reputation, the reef was fabulous. In addition to the fish already mentioned, we saw parrot fish, butterfly fish, angel fish, puffer fish, barracuda, nurse sharks, and many, many other species. The reef looked healthy, the water was clear, and it was absolutely beautiful. One of the barracuda was close to five feet long and was quite a spectacular fish. Everyone got back on the boat feeling good about themselves and the day.
We came back to the townhouse and met up with friends who were also visiting from Palm Beach Gardens for the break, the Nicholau’s. They are staying at Hawks Cay, a property I had a great experience with, but they were very disappointed. When they walked in to our unit, they said, “This is what the Internet said we were going to have…but it wasn’t.” They too were quite impressed with Indigo Reef, the view, the upscale furnishings, and the cleanliness.
The kids and the men again loaded up the boat with tubing gear, and the women stayed behind to sit on the porch and watch the boats. As always, the kids had a fabulous time tubing and came back hungry and tired. Or at least temporarily tired.
I whipped up some ceviche, crab salsa, and set out some cheese and crackers. The kids grabbed water balloon and had a girls against boys fight in the open field on the property while the adults cheered them both on.
Eventually, we grilled burgers and hot dogs and sat outside and ate. The kids ran around playing tag, pickle, and a combination of games with loose rules and the adults sat on the porch and watched. We finished with some brownies compliments of Kailey, the Nicholau’s went home, and we all happily crawled in to bed, perfectly content with the day, each other, and ourselves.
Day 6 — One Last Day
Today was scheduled for a relaxing, get stuff together for the last day, day.
We woke up late and headed for Coco Plum beach, which the guide book described as a “funky patch of sand” with “a ribbon of shells near the water line.”
Simple advice: don’t go. Again, do not come to the Keys for beaches. It’s just not the thing down here.
Any Keys’ beach probably will disappoint, because it’s not what you’re thinking. Coco Plum is sand meeting water, so it’s a beach, but it’s not…beachy. We walked about 20 feet, turned around, and headed for Kmart.
A local who met us in the parking lot and warned us not to walk to the left confirmed my lack of enthusiasm for the place. He said there are a number of men who expose themselves and it has gotten to the point that the police have stationed an officer permanently on the side streets. Again, don’t waste your time going. It’s small and dirty.
If you want to go to a beach, try Sombrero Beach, which is at least a larger patch of sand.
We bought supplies for the return trip – a DVD for the ride and chapstick. Then we went to “The Shell Man” for the requisite souvenir.
All those Keys shops are the same, but we liked the people who run this shop, and their Great Dane who greets clients when they walk in. We also really liked the sign in the parking lot which warns potential clients it’s hot here in the Keys, so don’t leave your dog in your car. The sign says to put a leash on him and bring him inside.
How great is that?
We spent the afternoon at the pool at Indigo Reef. Small complaint, but there are no pool towels. Really not a big deal, but something they should probably provide.
It’s 6:00 now and we’re in for the evening. The kids are tired in a happy way, and I have transitioned to thinking about everything I have to do when I get home. I guess that’s the end of the vacation…
Editor’s Note: For the record, Lisa and her crew practiced the friendly “catch and release” theory in their fishing. The ceviche was not a result of the day’s catch!
Read Part One and Part Two of Lisa’s Indigo Reef vacation.
Lisa Ruth is a talented writer that loves to skip ore’ the waves and enjoys living in the vast Florida playground. She is also associate editor for Donne Tempo Magazine.