Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Of Sunsets and Salt Air

Of Sunsets and Salt Air

I am crafting this post on the last evening of our stay at the Kon Tiki resort in Islamorada. Mike and I stayed here last year for our honeymoon. This year is our anniversary trip. One of the things I love about this place is the fact it is not a fancy-schmancy high-rise hotel. 


Kon Tiki is a cluster of villas on the Florida Bay side of Islamorada. (Islamorada is one of the Florida Keys) The unit we stay in reflects what Mike and I tend to call “old Florida”…and we love it. It is the bathing-suit-and-cutoff-jeans sort of vibe we experienced in high school.

Yep, that's our villa
in the background.

We came prepared. We brought everything we needed. Swimsuits and sunscreen. 


I’m pretty sure we used very little sunscreen in high school, but we certainly do now.  Of course we packed a few other necessities like beach towels and clothes to go out to eat. 


The eating thing is interesting. The unit we stay in has a kitchen, but we’ve yet to cook anything except our morning cup of joe in the Mr. Coffee. Hey, it’s a vacation from … well…everything. Even cooking. And… the food here is incredible. 


We hit Lorelie’s for breakfast (one of Mike’s traditions and fast becoming mine). We love to sit outside by the water on the Florida Bay. The rest of our meals have been at places like Hog Haven (incredible mahi tacos) and Lazy Days for dinner. The place has delicious food and great outdoor seating on the Atlantic side. We found a new place called Papa Joe’s. We loved it so much we ate there twice. It is the first time I’ve ever had malted vinegar infused aioli sauce instead of ketchup on fries. No more ketchup for me, thank you. 

(Well, as soon as I figure out how to make malted vinegar infused aioli sauce, that is.)


We boated for three days, visiting the sand bar on the Atlantic side and exploring some of the passes and channels on the Gulf side in the Florida Bay. We also managed to do a few new things. 


On Sunday we decided to take a break from the sun and engage in a bit of touristy sight seeing types of experiences. We went to the Hurricane Monument, the Florida State Geological Park, and we visited the History of Diving museum. Curiously, we both agreed that the Geological park was our favorite. It was an interesting hike and a bit warm, but packed with information on how settlers used the island resources to meet their needs. They have a park ranger managing the indoor (read “air conditioned) museum part of the site. Such a nice man. It was a very good day. Many firsts for both of us.

A Poisonwood Tree
on the trail...


While eating lunch at Hog Haven that afternoon, we could see across the water to the sand bar. We grinned and had to pat ourselves on the back for choosing to not visit the sand bar that day. There had to be over two hundred boats anchored out there.  


Mike has been enjoying Islamorada for twenty-five years now. I’m on year two. I have some catching up to do. But I’m willing to give it a go!


In the meantime, Islamorada has inspired me in my writing. There is something in the salt air. Something in the peaceful rustling of palm tree fronds as the breeze pushes them toward the open water and back again. 


Relax on the Florida Bay

It’s watching a manatee and a saltwater crocodile swim together, the manatee rolling over to clean scales from his back on the ridges…keels… of the crocodile. They have a comfortable relationship. 


Can you see the manatee? 
I tried to upload the video, but failed...

It’s sharing a sunset with someone you love. Someone who encourages you in your writing and pulls you away from it long enough to ride the waves of the ocean for a few days and breathe in the salt air. 

Another beautiful sunset...
And...yes...that is the crocodile
swimming away.

And finally, a special SHOUT OUT to Deborah and Hugh who do an incredible job managing the resort! Click here for their website!



  1. Our family never stayed on Islamorada but we spent many years camping on Big Pine Key. Whomever could make the trip joined us. We spent many hours reading under the umbrella and watching the Key Deer wander through the campground. Over the years we found many “Old Florida” spots to enjoy and people watch or snorkel with local guides. My boys have many fond memories of spring break relaxing and fun filled days exploring the Keys.

    1. What fun! Camping often creates the best memories. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Beautiful story. My husband Bob and I too love the Keys and spend time at Key Colony Beach, Marathon. We visit your favorite places too for wonderful meals. So happy for you and Mike.

  3. Thank you, Cathy. We already made reservations for next year!

  4. ! am so happy for you and your new husband and the great adventures you are enjoying! Love you, Mary Lou Parsons

    1. Thank you, Mary Lou! It is certainly unexpected joy!


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