Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Part IV - Key West, Florida

As a side note we didn't get to go on the cruise that we booked. Something happened to the thrusters on the ship, and so it wasn't able to take us into the small islands that we had planned. We didn't find out about the change in itinerary until we got to the dock, and we were really mad about it at first. But once we realized that their other option was to cancel the cruise, we were glad that we at least still had our vacation. We used some of the credit money that they gave us to do a shore excursion. Kendall and I took a catamaran (like a small ship) out to the reef to go snorkeling. The adults went on the excursion while the kids stayed on the ship in the kids club. The day was cold (only about 70 degrees outside) and very windy. The water was choppy, and so the director told us that this would be more like "extreme snorkeling." This scared about 80% of the people off the catamaran, so we had a nice quiet time. 
 Here I am with our ship in the background
 My mom and I rented wet suits because by the time we got out there we really were cold. But the water was about 74 degrees and wasn't too bad. It was mostly the wind that was cold.
 I had never been snorkeling before, so I was a little bit nervous, but I didn't realize how scared I would be once I jumped in the water! I jumped in and the waves were about 2 feet high. So the water was taking me all over the place and it kept getting into my snorkel. I swallowed too much sea water and it made me feel really sick. But I also felt really vulnerable and out of control. I didn't trust the entire idea of breathing while my face was in the water and I started to really freak out. Luckily, I have an extremely patient husband who came and just held me for a good 2 minutes to help me calm down. Then he held my hand the whole time and we were on our way. The waves would take us a long way from the boat and then we would have to fight the current to swim back to the boat. I had no idea that Kendall and I were the only ones who were actually brave enough to even get all the way to the reef!! I figured everyone else was just all spread out. But apparently only about 25% of the people on the boat even got out into the water. And the ones who did get into the water freaked out like me and immediately got back onto the boat. That made me feel a lot better about my panic session.

I make the whole experience sound terrible, and it would have been if we hadn't seen some of the most amazing things!! But it was truly awesome to get out to the reef and see huge school of barracudas, tangs, and a million other things. I actually have an entire post just of the things that we saw on our snorkeling adventures. I typed it all up as soon as we got home, with the help of my marine life dictionary, and I will post that next. The fish and the plants and the reef were all beautiful. And even though the waves were carrying us up and down and it was really scary and water was getting into our snorkels, the waves also made it kind of fun because we would be kind of far away from the fish and then the wave would drop and we would be right next to the fish. It was scary and cool and amazing all at the same time. And I'm really glad I did it. I would suggest to learn how to use a snorkel though, before jumping right into 2 foot waves and "Extreme Snorkeling."
After our excursion we all over we got back on the ship and got the kids and took them out to see the town of Key West. We found this store that was a huge toy shop, but there was this free bird experience. It was the kids' highlight. Here is Avri with Peaches on her shoulder.
But Peaches decided that she didn't want to be on Talmage's shoulder. :)

 We didn't hold this bird, but he sure was pretty!
Then we saw this bird who was very friendly.
Rigdon fell asleep on my right as we were getting off the trolley that got us here, so I just had to hold him while he took his nap, so he missed seeing the birds, but this one climbed all over him. :D
And he gave Talmage a kiss on the cheek.
And the love bird was really sweet, too. It didn't like the guy who was looking at the birds with us, but loved the kids.

 The toy shop looked like it was in a sunken ship. It was very creative.
While we were waiting for another trolley to take us back to the ship the kids wanted to get their pictures taken with everything. A shark...
 a jaw bone...
and even a giant creature made out of sea sponges.
 Rigdon finally woke up and chased the pigeons around for a while.
 And he thought for sure that he could catch a chicken. Apparently, these chickens are wild all over Key West, but they are protected so you can't do anything about them. It's really funny to see wild chickens all over the place.
And while we are on the topic of birds, here is one of the pelicans that we saw on our way out to snorkel. I got a huge kick out of them. They are so fun to see in real life.
That ends our stay in Key West. Next stop, Freeport, Bahamas!!

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