On Wednesday we packed our lives into the car (yet again) and made the trip from Nashville down to South Florida. The total trip is about 14 hours so we stopped many many times, including one stop in Jacksonville Beach, Fl close to where Matt went to high school. Although we were returning to Jacksonville in a week, we (lets be real, mostly me) couldn't help but stop and enjoy a couple of hours on the beach. Growing up in Miami, I will always be partial to Florida beaches. There's just something about the crisp white sand that screams home to me. So we went to the Jacksonville beach for a couple of hours before heading the rest of the way down to Miami.
First order of business in Miami: finding a venue for our wedding next year. Matt proposed to me almost 2 months ago (crazy how quickly time flies) and, while we saw a couple other places, Cheeca Lodge was our top choice from the beginning. It's in the beautiful and underrated key of Islamorada in the Florida Keys and I have been obsessed with it for quite some time. We spent a stressful morning there, but around 2 pm the papers were signed and we officially had our venue for next June! Predictably, I couldn't help but drag Matt and my parents to every spot and take a million pictures. As usual, my dad got bored and jumped in quite a few.
We capped off our weekend by destressing on Sunday and enjoyed the Florida Keys water and weather. For my family, nothing beats simply hanging out on a sandbar together and doing absolutely nothing. I really do feel so lucky that I get to live the next year of my life like this – exploring places familiar to me and discovering new ones.
My favorite places to eat in the Upper Keys:
The Fish House - although it can be pricey its totally worth it. You won't get fish fresher and cooked better than this place.
The Ocean View Pub - quintessential laid back atmosphere that makes the keys so unique. Plastic tables and chairs, cheap drinks and food, and dog friendly all right on the water.
Hobos Cafe - awesome easy food. quick and cheap. Family friendly.
Caribbean Club - great place to relax after a day on the water. Tons of outdoor seating and a cheap bar. Usually has live music on saturday/sunday nights