I’ve previously written that the Curse of 2020 and COVID-19 struck our home rather hard over the last month. My husband bravely fought the virus, we lost a very dear family friend to the virus on Thanksgiving, and my 10-year-old son was diagnosed with COVID-related depression. And after four weeks of Winter Lockdown v.2.0, we made the decision to come to our home in the Florida Keys rather than sheltering in place in Michigan. First on the agenda upon our arrival…SANDBAR SUNDAY!
Because the draft on our boat is too deep to navigate the backwaters of the Florida Keys, we rented a pontoon boat on Sugarloaf Key to take us out to the sandbar. While there is a larger, more well-known sandbar near Islamorada, we prefer the quieter sandbars of the Southern Keys where we can safely socially distance from others but still have some social interaction. It takes about an hour-long pontoon ride to get to any of the sandbars from Sugarloaf Key. But once we arrived, we made a full day of it!
The pontoon boat we rented on this day had a roof for sunbathing and a SLIDE which made my son very happy. (We actually had some adults – complete strangers – come over and ask to slide as well!). However, we had about a five-foot nurse shark show up to the party. She stayed for about an hour before she had enough of us and moved along.
Sandbar food and drinks are a must! I packed a picnic basket full of Chicken Caesar Kabobs (photos to come), pinwheel turkey sandwiches, hummus and carrots, and of course…PRINGLES! I don’t know what it is about boats and Pringles but they just pair well together.
Plenty of water for everyone, CapriSun for my son, and a bottle of WINE for the adults! I generally tend to stick to cool and crisp Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc for boat rides. But for some reason I packed a bottle of buttery Chardonnay for this trip. While I am generally a fan of this Chalk Hill Chardonnay, it was just a little too much for a hot day in the sun. I will save this bottle for dinner next time.
It was a day well spent – one that our COVID-battle-weary family desperately needed. Sunshine and Vitamin SEA are great for healing!
As always, the Florida Keys are OPEN: open to travel, open to tourism, open to dining, and open to outdoor living. Come on down – plenty of space to socially distance and escape lockdown!