Tag Archives: snorkeling

Birthday Trip to the Florida Keys

4 May

I turned 30 this year and wanted to take a trip somewhere warm. When Chris and I found out in February that we were expecting again, I knew it would be a family vacation and somewhere nearby would be perfect. I love the Keys and was excited to go back!

We stayed at Hawks Cay on Duck Key (right before Marathon). It was a perfect set-up for us and was a lot of fun. The resort was nice, especially for the Keys where places can be a little dated. This was no exception. While there were some really nice things about the room and place, some other areas needed work. We opted for a 3 bedroom villa in the Harbor side. We were bringing the boat and got a boat slip right outside our room. That was a huge bonus for us.

We arrived Thursday and didn’t get to do much other than a Publix trip while the kids played in the kiddie area. First tropical drink of vacation (not the same without alcohol).

Dinner with a view

After dinner, we stopped by to see the dolphins. They could stay there all day long.

Friday morning, we headed out on the boat later than we wanted.

We went to a reef, Coffin’s Patch, nearby. It was ok, nothing too fancy but fun because Kyler tried to snorkel for the 1st time! She didn’t like the taste of the salt water so she didn’t last too long.

We stopped at a nearby sandbar on the way back. I almost stepped on this guy!

So a boat is the baby whisper for Hudson. He passed every single boat ride and the seas were ROUGH Friday and Saturday…funny kid.

View on the way back

We stopped by a restaurant on the way back… Kyler loves boat drinks.

Hudson is a happy but crazy little guy

Play some music for this girl and she loves to bust a move!

In hindsight, we should have headed to the reef I really wanted to go to but we didn’t realize how rough it would be Friday or Saturday. Cruising down to the 7 mile bridge. After lunch, we attempted to head out to Sombrero Reef but the seas were just too rough so we had to turn around. Bummer.

Best buds ❤

Since we ended the boat ride early, we played in the lagoon and the pool for the rest of the day!

and then there were 3 Jenkinson kids!

We headed back to the restaurant on the water and had dinner. Kyler fed the fish so she was a happy girl.

We watched the sun set over the water and it was so pretty!

My mini ❤

This tiny thing jumped in our boat. Chris and Kyler tried to put it in the water but it was stuggling. They put it back in the bucket and we took it back to the resort with us. We assumed she was on the side of our boat and jumped in the second she had the chance. We put Minnie, the name Kyler gave her, back on the rocks where she most likely came from.

More pool time! This kid is a FISH and just wants to swim, swim, swim!

We headed down to Key West for my birthday for some shopping and dinner. We stopped by Sunset Pier on the way out.

It was a great trip (minus the colds Hudson, Kyler and now myself have) and loved spending time with my family! I love the Florida Keys and can’t wait to go back (just next time not pregnant!)

Turks and Caicos: Family Vacation Part 2

15 Jul

Since the post was turning into a long one, I decided to break it up. Read about the first part of the trip here (mainly focuses on the resort).

The island of Provo was really nice too. It is pretty expensive, however. The water and beaches are clearly THE reason to head there as it’s just too pretty to describe. The island isn’t too big and there wasn’t much beauty on the island itself. That is okay though because again, the beaches are FANTASTIC. The weather was unreal. Even in the 90s, the ocean breeze kept it comfortable and I found myself “cold” sometimes coming out of the water when the clouds were around. When it rained, it poured quickly and the sun was right back out.

The resort sits on the famous Grace Bay Beach. It’s beautiful. Look at this beach and water!

 Kyler had a great time in the water!

and a great time playing in the sand!

Beautiful sunset ❤

We rented a car one day and went exploring…not the best idea. Normally, we find our way around just find but there are practically no road signs there and the map given to us wasn’t much better. I had read about all these other beaches but couldn’t find the access point to them. Fail. If you decide to do this, research well!

We did come across some great look outs from other parts of the island!

View from Turtle Tain, on the South part of the island.

 

Chalk Sound- wow, what a view!

 

We ate lunch at a place called Bugaloo’s which is in the Five Cays part on the South part of the island. They specialize in conch (the island speciality). The guys at the restaurant were just pulling in the day’s catch. He showed us how they get the conch out and even cut off a piece to me to eat fresh!

Doesn’t get fresher than that!

I bought a shell off of him for $10 too. Excited to add it to the shell we found in Bora Bora during our honeymoon!

View from the restaurant

Snorkeling the reefs right off the beach was definitely the highlight of my trip. I love me some good ole nature and it didn’t get much better than that. I really wanted to get certified at the dive shop at the resort but we didn’t want to stick Kyler at kids camp too much or make my parents watch her the entire time. I hear diving there is unreal so maybe we will try that another time.

Snorkeling the Bight Reef

The Bight Reef was about a 10 minute walk down the beach from out hotel. It isn’t a huge spot, however, there were plenty of things to see! The middle part is roped off so people don’t damage it. It did get a little too crowded at times for my likely but it was still worth the walk. We went snorkeling 4 times at this spot since it was so convenient! We hit this spot up at all different times. I was so damn determined to find a turtle that we snorkeled at 7:30 in the morning on our last day…. and it was our best trip yet!! We saw much more fish since we were the only ones there. Fish were everywhere!!!

We saw so many Lionfish when it was just us there!

Yellowtail Snapper school

 

 

Big ole Barracuda. Not a huge fan of these guys but ran into them on about half of our trips.

Little Stingray

 Manta Ray about 15 feet down

 

Trumpet fish

 Parrotfish

On my LAST trip of the vacation (8 snorkel trips to find him), I FINALLY found my little Sea Turtle!!

Walk back to the resort.

 I had read that Smith’s Reef (the other reef right off the beach) was a great area to snorkel. It was about a 30 minute walk from our resort (and that was practically speed walking). There are no marked off areas and it’s super hard to find once you’re in the water. The first time, we didn’t see very much but that is our fault. We (mainly I) underestimated the time it would take to walk there and my parents were watching Kyler so we rushed ourselves. Note to self, don’t do that. The 2nd time we stopped by here, we drove in a car and that was much better 🙂 The water was a lot rougher than the Bight due to the wind directions at this spot. It’s also located near a marina so you need to pay extra attention to the boats and buoys. There was no one there when we were there both times which made it nice. I was a little nervous since I had no idea where I was going (and you can get pretty far from the beach since it’s so massive) but it was worth it. Less fish than the Bight but the coral was really pretty!

Longggg walk back

 

 

 

 

2 other snorkel trips, we headed out on the boat provided by the hotel. They didn’t take us too far out at all but there are so many little reefs around to explore so it was fun!

Chris found this Flounder just hanging out.

 Pretty coral

Reef Squid!!

 Lobster hiding in there.

 Hi!

 

 

 I LOVED Providenciales (kept telling my parents we should buy a beach house there… in my dreams). I can’t wait to go back and explore the island even more!

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We had an amazing trip and I HIGHLY recommend trying it out 🙂

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