March 2014 Our Winter in the Florida Keys

Where the sun is shining, the sky is azure, the sand is white and toasty to the toes, the palm trees sway...and we're on Island Time.
11 March 2014



Many of you have had a brutal winter so I sorta hate to tell you how delightful ours has been as we've been clad in shorts, tees, and have had the A/C cranked.  Our friends here are almost like family.  Quite a few of them have been coming here for 15-20 years and we relish the time we get to spend with them.  Our little "family group" here is a particularly social group. We're busy almost every evening and often during the day. I haven't read a book since we arrived.  Winter is the time when we do big boat projects.  I'm very far behind on mine but am torn between "going out to play" and plugging along.  We have less than 3 weeks before we must head north.  We both still have a lengthy list of items not checked off but certainly not at the risk of missing any partying.


Unofficially...The Rocket

Terry and Skip took Tom, Elinor, Bill, and me on a Rocket Ride to Key Colony's, The Island Fish Company, for lunch.  We skimmed the water at 50 MPH and I loved every second!  I love speed but we cruise on a trawler at 7-8 knots.  Go figure.

Key Largo with friends, Kim and Roger

One of Big Pine Key's small Key Deer

Kim, Roger, Bill and me at No Name Pub, Big Pine Key

Dollar bills tacked to walls and ceilings of No Name Pub

Our 2 favorite musicians--John and Joe Mama at Burdineswith a commanding view of

 the Atlantic Ocean

They make beautiful music together

Burdine's famous Fried Key Lime Pie
Sounds awful and neither of us is particularly fond of Key Lime Pie but this is some glorious stuff!

Tom took Bill and me on my very first sail ever and it was thrilling, beautiful, and an experience I'll never forget.

At Sparky's in Key Colony, Bill and I enjoyed the company of Bill and Diane who are also cruisers

While here, this is our church, Kirk of the Keys

I was able to share my morning walk .

Sombrero Beach Park is such a lovely spot

Oops!  
Who walked in wet cement?

A surprise birthday luncheon for Sally at Sunset Grill with a view of the 7 Mile Bridge where the ocean and gulf meet.

Ray, our server extraordinaire, at Sunset Grill

Bill won 1st place in his age group in the Sombrero Beach Run.  He hadn't been training and just hoped to finish the 5K without stopping. This wasn't won by default--there were many "mature men" in his age group.

Long ago, Barbara initiated what has become a tradition of throwing flowers into the wake of each departing boat to insure their safe return next season. Susie and Curt, our next slip neighbors, were the first to leave.  They've always been the last so this was the first time for them to get flowers!

Bill and I took our tender to Lazy Days for a "date" and this was our evening view 

Two wooden sculptures at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key



Fire pit surrounded by fish pond in pool area of the Hawk Cay Resort

One of the many beautiful homes on Duck Key



When a 1 bedroom 1 bath home in Marathon sells for $500,000, I can't fathom what the value must be of these estates on Duck Key.

Our hopes are that spring is just around the corner for each of you and you'll soon have dug out from beneath your woolies and can pull out your summer attire very soon.

Fondly,
Bill and Laura Bender
Kindred Spirit III
Marathon, Florida
The Florida Keys



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