Saturday, our last day, we woke up early and drove down to Islamorada to watch the sunrise on the Atlantic side.
We had a little time to wait so we walked along the shore looking at the fish.
And the yellow spotted stingrays! Who seemed as interested in following us as we walked along as we were in them.
We walked up and down the little bit of shoreline watching the rays.
There were low lying clouds that obscured the sunrise, but no matter - it was shaping up to be another beautiful day.
We went back to Bitton's in Islamorada because as we'd left the morning before, we'd watched Michel putting out trays of freshly baked pastries and couldn't resist. I had a strawberry croissant and my husband had a blackberry, almond and cheese one, and we split a plain croissant with butter. They were all right out of the oven and amazing. This time we had café au lait, and finished breakfast with a few macarons. Yeah, okay, not health food. But perfect for vacation.
We decided to take the kayak back out after breakfast.
The water was so clear and shallow it was a little like snorkeling.
At one point, I scooped up a hermit crab with my paddle. He flipped himself upright, extended his legs, and marched right off the edge and back to his watery home.
We stayed mostly near the shore where motor boats weren't allowed, and it was peaceful.
A couple of times we ran into mangrove roots and had to maneuver backwards to get out.
Passing under a dock, roughly a bazillion seagulls started squawking in alarm.
Then back into clothes and down along the highway again back to Islamorada. We had conch and smoked wahoo chowders and a couple of cold IPAs (Sailfish Sunrise and Stone Delicious) on the screened-in porch of Herbie's Bar and Chowder House on Marathon Key..
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Florida Keys Brewing Company, where we tried two of their IPAs: Kritter (both our favorite - very hoppy) and Sun Sessional.
It was so pleasant in their beer garden that we didn't want to leave, so we ordered another (the Weedline Wheat) and stayed a while, sitting in the shade.
We had another early dinner because we wanted to be back in time for the sunset. This time it was on the big deck at the Key Largo Fisheries.
There were about a dozen or so pelicans hanging out on the pier by the boats as we ate a basket of fried grouper and a couple of Florida IPAs - the Freedive from Coppertail Brewing in Tampa and the Channel Marker IPA from the Islamorada Beer Company.
This time, we wanted to watch the sunset from the water, so we went back to our place after dinner and grabbed our favorite kayak.
Again, just a perfect day. We floated in the water, only paddling occasionally to adjust the view.
I don't ever, ever get tired of sunrises or sunsets.
When the sun finally buried itself below the horizon we headed back in to pack for the return flight the next morning and have a last glass of wine by the ocean.
And this? This is the smile of a woman who knows her odds and has decided to live NOW.
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