Key West Wonders

Boating through the backcountry

Boating the backcountry

I treasure many moments from our recent getaway to the Conch Republic, including a kayaking tour, a romantic sunset dinner at the famous Latitudes Restaurant, and to my honey’s delight, an early morning fishing excursion.

Sunny Key West Morning

Sunny Key West Morning

I’m not exactly a morning person. Okay, I’m most definitely not, and vacation is the perfect excuse to savor a lazy wake up. But we had so much fun fishing with Captain Ron a few years back on our first Key West charter that I agreed to do it all over again. This time out, I promised myself I would remember how to cast a line and I was determined to bait my own hook and learn how to handle any fish I caught.

Sailboat neighbors

Sailboat neighbors

You see these sailboats floating around on the gulf side of Key West? People live on these vessels, some full-time in the harbor and others staying anywhere from a week to a month before moving on. Imagine how much thinking, writing, or reading you could accomplish without all the distractions. I wonder…

Jack and Me

Jack and Me

I loved every part of the experience, from watching the sun rise as our skiff motored through the channels to the backcountry fishing spots to learning about the different baits, lures and eating fish, to catching  our lunch and releasing my first-ever fighting fish–a beautiful jack.

The competition

The competition — a brown pelican

For four beautiful hours we were part of nature, the warm sun at our backs, the waves lapping against the skiff, and exotic birds landing near us as we waited patiently for a tug on our lines.

An egret

A Great White Egret

I hope to travel to the southernmost city in America again one day soon. The waters are calling me. I’ve added Pilates to my routine in preparation for our next adventure–paddle boarding.

Our Catch -- feed us and guests at Turtle Kraals

The catch we shared with fellow guests at Turtle Kraals

What’s one of your favorite memories from 2013?

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcia
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 18:11:34

    Gorgeous pics, as always, Jolyse! I’m not an early riser nor am I a fishing fan but I love experiencing it through your posts. My favorite memory of 2013 would be the outpouring of love and support from my online friends, as well as my local friends and family, after being diagnosed with cancer. All those folks are partially responsible for how well I’m doing since my spirits were kept high and my positivity continues to soar.

    Wishing you a fabulous new year, my friend!

  2. jeffjesszach
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 18:34:53

    Hi Jolyse and happy new year year! We paddle boarded this year in key west for the first time. It was so fun and so humbling. You will enjoy it so much. Cheers to the new year!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Dec 30, 2013 @ 19:17:04

      Happy New Year to you and yours, too, Jeff! We have heard so many wonderful stories about paddle boarding, but that it’s deceptive in that it looks easy and it’s not. I definitely need to strengthen my core before attempting that activity. LOL Cheers!!

  3. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 22:50:49

    Happy New Year Jolyse. Hope you make it down there real soon.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Dec 31, 2013 @ 12:03:06

      We haven’t made our 2014 KW plans yet, but I certainly hope another getaway happens. It would be even better if you were there to enjoy it too. 🙂

  4. davidprosser
    Dec 31, 2013 @ 02:08:59

    Health, Wealth and Much Happiness for the New Year Jolyse. May you make it as memorable as 2013 has been for you.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Dec 31, 2013 @ 12:04:26

      Little steps each day with the hope it adds up to something big. 🙂 Enjoy the New Year and many blessings to you and your beautiful family in 2014. (((hugs)))

  5. Jill Weatherholt
    Dec 31, 2013 @ 12:48:17

    Wishing you and your family peace, joy and good health in the New Year! I look forward to reading your book!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Dec 31, 2013 @ 12:52:07

      Enjoy your New Year’s, too, Jill! How’s the weather there? I think NY is in for a long winter, considering it started a few weeks before the season even officially began. LOL

      • Jill Weatherholt
        Dec 31, 2013 @ 13:19:00

        Thanks! It’s been overcast and chilly, in the low 50’s. I heard you all might be getting some snow later in the week. Stay warm and think good thoughts of sandal season!

        • Jolyse Barnett
          Dec 31, 2013 @ 13:25:34

          Sending you sunshine from Long Island. You heard right about our forecast. I can handle the cold, as long as I can get my dose of sun. Talking about sandals, I’ve already begun my pre-bikini-season exercises here. (For some reason, I have to begin earlier and earlier each year.) LOL

          • Jill Weatherholt
            Dec 31, 2013 @ 13:32:11

            I’m the same, if there is some sun and no wind, it’s tolerable. You’re not kidding about starting earlier and earlier each year. I have to go year around now to keep up! 🙂

  6. Tuere Morton / YA Author
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 05:14:33

    I always love your pics from FL, Jolyse! Meeting, getting a book signed and taking a pic with one of my favorite authors has to be the top highlight of 2013. Happy New Year! 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 22, 2014 @ 16:21:36

      Thanks for the kind words, Tuere. I am so excited for your moment. I share that sentiment, having met one of my absolute favorite authors at RWA13 and actually talking with her a little bit. Great memory!

      Here’s to a prolific and prosperous 2014. 🙂

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