Submitted by Hitty Gale
I must confess….I started this trip with just a teeny bit of trepidation. This was a direct result of a conversation I overheard between Shirley and her daughter, Amanda, adopted human of Hitty Amelia.
When one listens to conversations that are not intended for one’s own ears, well, one might hear something that could give one pause….sigh.
“You are joking!” I heard Amanda say.
“No, we really are,” Shirley replied.
“You and Dad have never camped out in my lifetime! I just can’t believe it. Where did you get the tent?” Amanda asked.
Shirley admitted that she could count the number of times she had camped out in her lifetime on one hand. She went on to explain that she had seen this nice little two-man tent at a thrift shop for $7 and purchased it thinking she would give it to the grandsons.
“Dad wants to enjoy the nature of the Keys…have some solitude. We wanted to stay on the water at one of the state parks. After checking online, we discovered that the state parks are booked until Labor Day. I guess if you want a camping spot at a state park on the Keys, you should book early.”
“Where are you going to stay?” Amanda asked.
“There are several private campgrounds and we may even stay in a motel. We will find something.” Shirley assured her. “Don’t worry.”
As I said, I was beginning to be a little worried myself. After all, it was a holiday weekend. Would we have to sleep under the stars on a beach somewhere?
However, in the spirit of adventure, we set up our campsite at the KOA Campground on Sugarloaf Key. After a busy day of traveling, we were ready for some relaxation.
This campground was a busy place! A live band was playing under a cabana on the beach while campers sunned themselves, played volleyball or participated in casual games of basketball. We checked out the facilities, the store and the snack bar.
As it got dark, we felt a cool breeze off the water. Even so, David hung a small, battery operated fan from the ceiling of the tent. Our day had started at 5:00 a.m. and we were ready to call it a night. Unfortunately, most of the campers around us weren’t.
Even though our inflatable beds were comfortable and it wasn’t too hot, it was difficult to fall asleep. Being made of wood, the smell of burning campfires gave me the willies!
Around midnight, everything was quiet and the campfires in our vicinity had been extinguished. I fell asleep thinking, “Tomorrow—Key West!”