My buddies and I try to get away for a fishing trip once a year. Our wives are all pretty understanding (I think some of them secretly look forward to it) and we try to make it as much fun of an adventure as we can. Part of that comes from trying some place new every year. Typically, it’s a cabin on a lake or nearby a river, but this year we decided to really mix it up by heading down to Key West to do some fishing there.
Before we left, I did a little research to see what kind of fishing we could do. Five minutes later I discovered it might be shorter to list what we couldn’t do. There were private all day charters that went out to deep water, party boats they stayed closer to shore, and even flats fishing, regarded by some as the pinnacle in sport fishing. Naturally, we tried them all.
Over the week, we saw more fish then we could imagine, and the stories of the ones that got away were amazing. Some of the fish was catch and release, but we made sure to get plenty of photographic proof, so our wives knew we actually fished and didn’t spend the whole time walking up and down Duval Street. And the fish we could keep, it turns out, we could take to several Key West restaurants where they’d make us dinner with it. It’s a great feeling to be on an outdoor dining patio, palm trees overhead, laughing and joking with some of your best friends eating fish you caught earlier that day.
The older my kids get, the harder it is to find time for the four of us to go on a vacation together. Their summer is full up of clubs and camps, practices and playdates. It actually seems harder to arrange their vacation time than it is for my wife and I. Since I know the time we have is limited, and soon it will be too late, we try to make sure that our destination vacations are as special as ever.
This year that destination is going to be Key West, Florida. I was a little skeptical when my wife mentioned it. After all, that was where my friends and I went to get “wasted away again” on our spring break. But my wife pointed out all of the family friendly activities that there are to do. We’ll be able to spend the day out at a historic Civil war era fort, go snorkeling on a barrier reef, try our hand at deep sea fishing and just lay on a sandy beach and do nothing.
I was surprised to find out how much there was to do on that small island. Just as importantly, when we talked to our kids about it, they both got excited for different reasons. One of our sons is a history buff and can’t wait to explore the museums and architecture, while our other son fancies himself a foodie and is looking forward to experiencing the Key West restaurants. Me? I’m just happy that Key West is going to give us a chance to spend some great quality time together, and maybe I’ll visit a couple of bars from my past. That is if I can remember where they are.