Tales of Camping Trips Past: Key Largo


I’ve been scanning old family photos this week and I’ve found several from family camping trips.

The second most memorable camping trip (for me) was our trip to Key Largo, FL. Never one to get homesick, my only concern was whether or not Santa Claus knew where to find me. Somehow he knew I would be sleeping in a pop-up camper in Key Largo, FL, even though I had not written to tell him.

It took a long time to drive that far south, so we spent a night or two in motels along the way. I remember we always stayed in some place near a Waffle House so that we could walk to breakfast. Now that I think about it, my aunt and uncle walked a lot. If the destination was within eyesight, it was, “Let’s just walk.”

If I ever traveled anywhere, it’s because these two people stole me from my parents. They’re my aunt and uncle — they didn’t really steal me.

On this trip, we drove through all of the Keys. Well, I didn’t do any driving. Uncle Hayden drove us everywhere. I don’t remember my aunt driving very much.

I loved bike-riding through the parks we visited. The pavements were always so smooth. No helmet. No shoes. No hands!

I was a happy camper.

The next picture was taken early in the morning. I am preparing my bowl of Bran Flakes. The raisins had to be added (see the box on the table). This was breakfast with my aunt and uncle. I never recall being asked what I wanted for breakfast. It was Bran Flakes or nothing. Unless, of course, they were having something else.

Notice the box with our Christmas tree. Also, notice the large bag of oranges. One of the most memorable moments came when Uncle Hayden asked me to slice an orange for him. The oranges were lying near the giant lemons, which looked very similar to the oranges. (You can probably tell where this is going.) I sliced a piece of citrus for him and passed the plate. He took a huge bite, expecting a juicy, sweet orange. Instead he took in a mouthful of lemon! He nearly had a heart attack from the shock. His whole body seized up and convulsed all of a sudden and we had no idea what was wrong. My aunt panicked a little bit until Uncle Hayden could speak again. It was actually pretty hilarious.

We visited Key West one day. After we finally crossed the longest bridge ever, Uncle Hayden parked the car and we spent the day walking. We went from one end of the Key to the other on foot. We visited shops, museums, and Ernest Hemingway’s home. The main thing I remember about Hemingway’s is that there were what seemed like hundreds of cats everywhere and they all had six or more toes on their paws. I have a picture of me at the southeastern tip of the US, but I can’t locate it right now.

Obviously, I didn’t pack a hair brush.

My grandparents went on this trip with us. Well, they didn’t actually go with us. They were retired and driving around the country in their RV. Since it was December, they were spending their winter in Florida City, FL, which is very near the Keys.

This trip took up my entire Christmas break. Tomorrow I’ll share pictures from another Christmas break camping trip.

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4 thoughts on “Tales of Camping Trips Past: Key Largo

  1. Oh, I love this! Sounds like it was a good time had by all. The lemon story is hilarious, as well as the bran flakes and raisins. (that I can relate to) 😉

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  2. Oh my! I too went on a trip to Florida during Christmas and was VERY concerned that Santa would not be able to find me–he did! :-)You’re making me long for a camping trip!

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  3. What a great post. I love reliving memories through old pictures like that. :-)Ironically, I grew up in Key Largo and my aunt and uncle used to steal me and take me to Georgia to stay in their cabin during the summer! LOL

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