The Florida Keys was our own little paradise. We stayed in Key Largo and our hotel was right on the beach. It was the hotel's own beach and it was so good to walk out of our room and within 2 minutes be in the water. Below is the video from our time there. We miss it so much!
The Florida Keys was our chance to just relax. We had spent the previous two weeks queuing in lines, being caught in rain storms, driving many miles and trying to get to certain places at set times. In the Keys we had none of that to worry about. The weather was great! We had shops and restaurants just up the road. It was just ideal.
My most favourite thing we did was go to the Dolphin Research Centre (DRS). There are many Dolphin sanctuaries in the Keys but we chose DRS in Marathon because it is non-profit. So every money spent there goes straight back to the Dolphins. This place just stole my heart and it was also the place where 'Flipper' was filmed. They did little shows for you and also did educational talks as well. You could pay extra to touch/train/have a dip with a Dolphin but no swimming with them, which I really liked. The reason why we did not do Seaworld in Orlando is because I don't agree that animals should be 'put on show' - to me it is cruel that their sole purpose is to entertain visitors.
The DRS put on shows with the Dolphins but only once a day with different Dolphins each day, and if the Dolphin doesn't want to do it then the show does not go ahead. The workers said this can happen frequently but it does not bother them. The space was a lot more freeing too. The gulf of Mexico sea is the backdrop and if the Dolphins want to leave then they can. They are not confined to just the DRS. I really hope that one day we can go back. Also, if you do ever go just FYI it is only open for about 5 hours a day which isn't very long. This is because the people who work there are researchers and need time in the day to monitor the Dolphins to carry out the school work. It was just a very well run place and you could tell they adored the Dolphins!
It was sad to leave but it was 4 days well spent of not doing very much other than soaking up the sunshine, reading and drinking strawberry daiquiris!
I can see why you're called the sunshine state Florida. We basked in all your delights! Thank you for having us. Until we come again.