It’s March 1st 2021 which means everyone in the next few weeks is about to hit a one year milestone since the pandemic started. March 13th is that date for me. That was the day our office closed. But before that, in what is the most amazing stroke of luck, we took a vacation!
I only have cousins on my Mom’s side and 3/5 of them are girls and we are all 6 months apart- so we are pretty close. We decided after three consecutive years of weddings, we were overdue for a trip together. Schedule wise, late February was good and that only left Florida warm enough (on a 3 hour or less travel plan for all of us). No one had been to the Keys except Ryan so we found a resort that offered villa rentals and off we went.
We commented- “Did you see people with masks on your flight? So silly- this will blow over.” How naive.
The only bad luck we had was that a cold front hit Florida just as we arrived, dropping the temperatures to the low 60s, for exactly the 4 days we were there. At the time I was really disappointed. All that blue water and it was too cold to go snorkeling or do some of the other activities I had planed. A year later I look back and think “Who cares! We got to go!” One week later and we probably would have canceled as the virus started spreading.
We were there for four days. Our first day we took it slow, some of us stayed at the resort, taking in the private beaches. Ryan and I went with Izabel and her husband Matt to Curray Hammock State Park where we were treated quiet beaches and low sandbars. Perfect for a picnic and drinking with our feet in the water. We also explored the resort- getting some hot tub time and a massage for all the girls. The next day was our big adventure to Key West. We made a whole day of it, stopping at a state park for more water views and then on to be tourists for the day. We did the obligatory photo at the southern most point which was a big deal for Ryan and I since we had just been at the southern most point in Hawaii – meaning we visited the two most southern points in America (geographic and contiguous) in a span of 2 months! We then went to the Hemingway house- a specific request from Ryan. Some fast friend making in line helped us score a group rate! After all, we already had 7 people! We explored the grounds and I took special note that they were setting up for a wedding. There will be a significant discount for anyone who books a wedding there and hires me!
On to lunch, cigars for the boys, and then a quick google search led us to an ocean view bar for happy hour. We had dinner reservations at 7pm and a show to catch at 10pm. It was everyone’s first drag show and Duval street did not disappoint! We had a blast at Aqua Bar- definitely worth the late drive back.
Our final day was quiet as we packed up and drove back to Ft Lauderdale for our flight home. I guess there was one other spot of bad luck. By the time we got on our flight, Ryan had started to burn up. The next day we learned he had caught the B strain of the flu, which was the nasty one (he actually tested positive fo the flu so we know it wasn’t Covid). That took him out of commission for almost 2 weeks while I hunted down the last Clorox wipes in the state of Maryland. By the time Ryan was better, the world had shut down as Covid had arrived.