To the keys // Day 2

Our first real day on vacation was a success. We started in Miami and ended in the Keys. It was bright and sunny. We got some seafood in us… and closed the day tucked into bed by 10 pm. Another far cry from our previous Miami trip when dinner reservations were just getting started at this time.

We grabbed a quick to-go breakfast at the Fontainebleau and hit the road. But not before having a hard time recognizing my Hertz rental car at the Valet stand. I literally had to look up the Hertz email to confirm that I had rented a gray Nissan Elantra. No big deal. The drive to the Keys was not short but completely flew by. It was just under 2 hours from Miami Beach to the Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada. 

Amara Cay had a nice little elevated beach that was moderately sheltered from the wind. We sat on the beach in between our meals and got some minimal sun on our faces. It feels so amazing to need sunblock. The elevated beach allowed us to see the “wildlife” without getting wet. We saw some crazy jellyfish with insane camouflage. They turn over on their “heads” and look like anemones. I also saw my first ever sea slug. Those suckers are big. We overheard some guy talking about how he got stung by a sting ray… so they are there too.
Since tomorrow is our “big activity” day with an adventure to the Turtle Hospital so today we really just relaxed in the sun and ate our meals. After watching Bloodlines last night, we felt compelled to eat at Morada Bay Café which was the family home and inn on the show. Since it was crazy windy (like 25 mph), we sat inside for our lunch. The décor of this restaurant is super cute with bright colors but without being distracting and cliché. I can only imagine how amazing a meal would be here if the wind wasn’t trying to remove me from the face of the earth. There are cute bulb lights strung between the palm trees, a sandy beach area, and palm trees so cute they have signs asking you not to climb on them. A Pinterest-ers dreams come true. M and I had the conch fritters for an appetizer and I ate the crab cakes for lunch. 
Given that we had Italian for dinner the previous night and local food for lunch, we were a bit stuck for dinner. Combine the cuisine challenges with just some general confusion about what would make for a good dinner place. I wouldn’t have expected to need dinner reservations on a Saturday night in Islamorada but it was apparently required. As a result, we ended up on Kaiyo Grill for a 6pm dinner. Kaiyo was a pleasant surprise. It was a true melting pot of people in there. Young couples, families, dates, friends and guys fresh off work in hoodies. We also learned was hogfish was from our waiter. Despite being the most well-known fish in the keys, it is apparently “threatened” according to its Wikipedia page. I attempted to rationalize this to M as it was only the “lowest grade of threatened” since our meals were already ordered. The last time we were in Miami, I almost ordered Chilean Sea Bass before getting a lesson in fish scarcity and death eyes from M :).

All in, a win of the day in my book. We tucked ourselves into bed before 10 … and probably 9:30 to be honest… to an episode of Bloodlines. I can already feel my blood pressure rising. This show is intense. 

Tomorrow? THE TURTLE HOSPITAL.

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