A visit to the Florida Keys 2 weeks before Hurricane Irma

November 09, 2017


This past August I was fortunate to have been able to travel down to the Florida Keys just a few weeks before Hurricane Irma struck. 

I thought maybe you all would like to check out a few of the things that enjoy photographing when I am not covering weddings so here is a quick photo review of my recent trip to the Florida Keys. By the way, not every one of these photos was taken with my SLR's because honestly sometimes it's just more convenient to whip out my phone to capture a moment then to lug around a somewhat heavy camera. For the photos that were included as a part of a photo assignment, I used the Canons but for all of my other shot's I just used my lovely iPhone.

My family and I hit the road in the GMC at around 7 pm and since I was towing my RV the drive took a wee bit longer than usual. It is admittedly a bit scary towing 10,000 lbs of trailer behind you at times. It was great that I was able to take turns driving in shifts with my husband. 

At one point, we passed a tractor-trailer hauling a house on Rt.95. It was a tense few seconds as we squeezed past the rolling domicile at 65 per hour!

Finally on that 7-mile bridge that everyone always talks about.

The water in the Keys is an impossable shade of blue on sunny days like this.

By the time we arrived at our destination, the Bluewater Key RV Resort, I was exhausted ( but excited!) after what ended up being a 23-hour non-stop drive.  The Resort was super gorgeous and Gregg and I were shocked at how nice the place was, even though we hadn't made it to our driveway. I mention this because we had made our reservations online and hadn't visited the property before. The price was surprisingly affordable (as compared to a hotel) and we were just thrilled with our surroundings as they totally exceeded our expectations.

And then we found our driveway, complete with a freak'n Tiki Hut. Yup, a TIKI HUT! 

This was amazing! Somehow when we made our reservations I missed the fact that our RV parking space came included with a furnished Tiki Hut.

As soon as we arrived the very first thing we did after parking our RV was to jump in the pool. Exactly what I needed after being on the road for so long!

This is what I saw while laying in a beach chair looking up. Pretty sweet view, simple.


Fishing from the dock of the canal dock in the backyard.



This is the end of Rt. 1 in downtown Key West. I've got a bit of affinity for Rt.1 as this is the road where I met my husband in Virginia a million years ago. Well not actually on the road, we met at an office located on Rt.1 in Woodbridge, haha! 

This is what is inside that turquoise house at the end of Rt.1. It is gift shop, yep I got a T shirt!  :)

Key West is apparently filled with wild chickens and I am not ashamed to say that I love that this kind of wild& urban place exists still here in the US.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Here is a view from my parasail ride.

Luckily I was able to get outside and go on a few nature hikes while we were there. I am a sucker for bird photography opportunities so I was hyped when I somehow managed to spy this Britten hiding in the mangroves with my lens.

Spanish moss is very pretty!

There are Pelicans everywhere in the Florida Keys and they all have this expression on their faces.

I sat outside in the hot sun for about ten minutes waiting to get this shot of a ring-necked dove taking off. It was like 95 degree's (with matching humidity figures) outside but like I said, I love photographing birds so no biggie, haha!

Now this guy, a white-crowned pigeon, he was a real challenge to photograph. From 50 feet above me in a tree, that bird would peer down at me and the instant I'd try to photograph him he would turn his head away. Got 'em tho!

So, the other thing you have to know about the Florida Keys is that these islands have Iguana's crawling around all over the place. They are amazing!

A few of the Iguanas are huge (like small dog sized) but most of the ones around my campsite were about a foot or two long.

This is a photograph of the observation dock at Blue Hole in the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge. It might be tough to see from this pic but there was an alligator sitting right below the dock. This is one of the rare places within the Florida Keys island chain that still holds fresh water reserves. This particular location used to be an old mine that was flooded out with ocean water during a prior hurricane. The hole was filled with saltwater initially but has since turned brackish thus it supports an interesting mix of both saltwater and freshwater fish.


That fish looks like a mini Tarpon.

There are crabs here that always look like they want to fight!

Here is a Key Deer doe on Fire Island.

This young doe licked my fingers! Key Deer are absolutely enchanting creatures.


A Trigger Fish.

A Cormorant.

Another White Crested Pigeon. 

Anoles are kinda cute. Love his little red dewlap.

Had an excellent dinner one night at the Stoned Crab in Key West.

I was at a stoplight and looked to my right and say this out my window. Had to capture beautiful lighting of this scene at the marina.

Driving south on Rt.1 in Key West during the green moment just after sunset.

I also enjoyed a stellar meal at Fish Cafe.

This was the view standing on the back porch of the Fish Cafe.

Here is a photo of the sun setting in the Gulf of Mexico at the Southern Most tip of the United States.

This is the view from my dinner table downtown on our last night in Key West.

What a nice way to spend an evening!

Tried a quick long exposure shot while walking around downtown.

I wanted to stick around longer to try and get some better shots but time was not on my side.

Boats are really pretty at night in the marina.

On our last evening in the Key's it was super humid outside and the fog began forming at a very low altitude. The moon was out and looked really cool as it was rising behind the palm trees so I just had to try and get a photograph or two.

So foggy!

That Tiki Hut lit up at night was bananas!


This ended up being my last shot of the week. At the time, I was struggling to get some photos because my lens kept fogging up due to the humidity but somehow I managed to capture one special image of that silvery moonlight reflecting off of the palm fronds which were blowing in the breeze. It's a happy memory for sure that I am so glad that I've got now to look back on!



Hope that you enjoyed the photos!






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