Chapter 3, “Conch and a 2nd Birthday!”

Morning coffee on our upstairs master bedroom porch. We are overlooking the beautiful bay as the sun is coming up to greet us.  We decide to get an earlier start today.  We are off to the Key Largo Visitors Center where we find what the “locals” suggest we do.  We had previously planned to go to John Pennekamp State Park, however it appears that it is mostly for those who are chartering a boat, wanting to snorkel or scuba dive, etc. and since the aquarium is closed for remodel, we decide we will head to a smaller park with a white sandy beach more suitable for our Lil Walter’s 2nd birthday.

Hummmm…. let’s see…. where should we go today?

But first, since some had not eaten lunch and it’s 11:30, we decide to head for lunch.  We choose the Conch House to check out the conch fritters we keep hearing about. It’s a bit of a wait, but Walter seems to be handling the wait well, so that’s good.  We eventually get a table for 7+.  We all place our orders; lobster and conch ceviche’, catch of the day panini (Mahi-mahi), lobster mac and cheese, grilled shrimp on top of conch patties and a nice bowl of clam chowder.  It begins to rain just before we get our meal.  Actually…. it’s more like a downpour.  Everyone sitting outside under the cover begins to scoot their chairs closer and closer to the middle of the covered area.  Interestingly,  it’s actually kinda fun.  Torrential rain outside, and yet here we are, enjoying the rain from inside the covered area, with people we’ve never met and will probably never see again.  But just being able to get up close to others without our 6 feet apart with masks regulation, is so freeing. 

They have a special drink; mango or key lime mimosa’s, plus locally brewed beers, so we all select our drink of choice.  We eat, order another round of drinks and by the time we are all done eating and drinking our “special drinks”, no one really wants to do anything but go back to our incredible rental home and hang out in the pool. 

The sun has come back out and we are all ready for some fun in the sun.  We split up, some of us head back (so Lil Walter can get a nap in) because …(too much birthday key lime pie and whipped cream = tired baby).

The rest of us head to the grocery store to pick up everything needed for a crab/shrimp/sausage boil for tonight’s dinner prepared by our daughter and son in law (ok, well almost son in law). 

(Side note.. I had asked each adult child to pick a night that they are responsible for cooking dinner for everyone so it wasn’t all on mom and dad.  So far, it’s working out perfectly !! )

We all head to the pool for some more fun in the sun time.  (Did you know that scuba fins work great in the pool as well as the ocean?!) 

After some sun and pool time, we all pitch in to do our small parts of helping with dinner, but for the most part, the couple who have tonight are in charge. 


Dinner… what can I say.. it was amazing!  Crab and shrimp boil with andouille sausage, onions, red potatoes, and corn on the cob.  Yummmmm….   The crab was delicious, the sausage and potatoes were cooked to perfection, as was the shrimp and corn.  All in all, a delicious and successful meal !


Just after dinner we open the birthday presents we brought for Lil Walter’s 2nd birthday. The birthday unwrapping festivities, the homemade bread that our son (the bread maker extraordinaire) made is baked and out of the oven and it smells heavenly.  We consume some warm bread and butter while we watch yet another Key’s Sunset

No wrapping paper? No problem !!! We’ll use the local newspaper and a fresh flower !

All in all, another beautiful day with family….  Loving it… 

Ps.. right now, I am sitting in a chair overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Bay, while writing this blog.  Ahhhhhh…..   It doesn’t get much better than this… 

Good night ….


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