Recently Jake and I rented an RV with all four animals (2 dogs & 2 cats) and traveled through the Florida Keys. It was definitely an experience we will never forget! We rented the RV through Cruise America for a pretty good price – it was MUCH cheaper than staying at hotels and paying pet deposits though! We enjoyed traveling in an RV as it was so convenient for us and we will definitely be RV traveling again!

Our first stop was Lake Okeechobee – biggest lake in Florida. Jake thought this would be a good halfway spot to Key Largo (he didn’t want to do 8 hours of driving in one day). We stayed the night in Lake Okeechobee and the next day we rented an air boat!

Check out our Instagram page for movies of this adventure – Simply_Shemwell!

And of course on our way to Key Largo, we had to stop at “Robert is here fruit stand.” We read so many awesome reviews online that said to stop here before you head to the Keys, so that’s what we did & we were so glad we made the stop. When you walk in, you have the option of ordering a smoothie made with all their fresh, just picked fruits.. and of course we did! We shopped around and checked out all of the neat, large and unique fruits and all of the jams, honey and spreads you could think of!

Once we finished shopping, we realized that there was a mini zoo behind the fruit stand! They had a large amount of exotic birds, turtles and goats! We finished our smoothies while petting the animals and then continued to Key Largo.

If you are interested in shopping any of their products, check out this link: https://www.robertishere.com/collections/all

Once we arrived in Key Largo, we immediately headed to the beach closest to us. We enjoyed a few hours at the beach before finishing the night with dinner and (lots of) drinks at Sundowners.

The next day, we went on a kayaking tour of the mangroves with Paddle the Florida Keys. We were extremely lucky to be the only ones on this tour as we got to experience more of the mangroves! Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable, friendly and adventurous. At first, I was a little nervous to be on a kayak since this was only my second time, but she made me feel comfortable and once we got out into open water, I was excited!

Florida Key Mangroves
Deep in the Mangroves

The next day, we checked out some locals shops and one in particular stood out. The Rain Barrel. It was a collection of small crafty shops with some very unique items. We walked around and checked out each store…until we ended up at the bar! Yes! There’s a bar in this place – so you can walk around & drink. Totally reminded us of Savannah & we loved it. We ended up staying a little longer because the drinks were SO good. LOL

My second drink & feeling goooood.
Jake was feeling even better. LOL
They have this giant lobster statue outside – pretty cool!

Our next stop was Robbies – so we could feed the tarpon. This was also a neat area as they had a variety of shops available, a restaurant & a marina to rent water toys.

buckets of fish ready for the tarpon.

This was an interesting, yet scary experience! I never thought I would be afraid of birds, but I definitely do not like pelicans anymore. They were feisty – one even bit some lady’s hand! They said to stick your hand closer to the water to feed them, but it didn’t seem like anyone was courageous enough to do so. LOL

After feeding the tarpon and grabbing lunch on the water, we stopped by the beach to let the dogs run around and play.

living the best life.
Homesless hut? If you look closely, you will see Wilson’s cousin. (top right corner of hut) LOL
Tree full of random shoes left at the beach.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset dinner, yet again. 😉

The next day we kept our adventure going and eventually made it to the popular 7 mile bridge. For some reason, I thought it would feel longer than it did, but it was neat to watch! Luckily, it was a smooth ride for us. 🙂

We finally made it to Key West! Of course our very first stop was to go to the southern most point (which later we learned wasn’t technically the southern most point), but there was such a long line to take pictures, that we just took a couple of selfies and found the nearest bar. LOL

We weren’t able to take many pictures of Key West since it’s kind of hard holding a dog leash in one hand a beer in the other. LOL

Jake couldn’t wait to recreate this – “Shitter was full” moment LOL

Our last fun adventure was in Key West and we rented jet skis and toured the island with Key West Water Tours. It was interesting to get a different persecutive of the island. We definitely saw more in those two hours than we could have the whole weekend – highly recommend doing this tour as well!

That’s the Southern most point in the background

We took a bunch of videos on our GoPro and combined them into one clip – check out our Instagram to watch!

& you get free beer afterwards!! WHAT!!

One of my favorite memories from this trip was the Key West sunset on our last night. It was absolutely magical. Not a cloud in the sky, weather was perfect and it was incredible to see the amount of people stopping from their busy day to sit down at Mallory Square/Sunset Pier and watch the sun set. I wish I would have taken a picture of all of the people, because you would have been shocked! We enjoyed a fabulous Cuban meal at Mallory Square with the best view ever. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

I think Jake and I are already looking forward to returning to the Keys. LOL If we ever win the lottery, I’m pretty sure we will end up somewhere down there.

Have you been to the Florida Keys? If so, please share your memories with us!

Surprise me, Daufuskie!

Since it’s my first “throwback Thursday” I thought it would be fitting to share the one of the first trips we had together. It was my first birthday spent with Jake, so I was really hoping it was going to be a good one! As the date was approaching, Jake told me that he had a surprise for my birthday, but couldn’t tell me where we were going or many details because he didn’t want to spoil the surprise. I immediately got excited and nervous. Are you one of those people who feel like when you’re not in control, things aren’t OK?! I am! So, while I was excited and eager to find out what the surprise was, I was also miserable inside not knowing what to expect. “What do I bring? What kind of weather will it be? What kind of clothing do I bring? What if…etc.” Gotta love anxiety, right?! Jake of course did give me some hints as what to bring, but he didn’t want to give it away, so he kept it to a minimum.

On the day of my birthday, we packed the bags in the car and had a delicious breakfast at Collins Quarter. I then became confused and excited when we ended up at Bull River Marina. I really did not know what to expect, that was until the Captain of the boat spilled the surprise. Jake was a little disappointed, but I was super excited to find out that he was taking me to Daufuskie Island, SC! We have both been wanting to go for awhile, but knew it wasn’t easily accessible. For those who aren’t familiar with Daufuskie Island, it’s a small island accessible by boat between Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC. This isn’t your typical island, there are only a few roads, one or two places to purchase groceries and the popular method of transportation is golf cart. It’s such a beautiful,intriguing, mysterious island — I highly suggest you make a trip to visit. For more information about the island, click this link:

Once we arrived on the island, there was a van waiting for us to bring us to our golf cart so THEN we can head to our cute, little one bedroom cottage. It was just what we needed for the weekend since we knew most of our time would be spent outside. We quickly toured the property and hopped back into our golf cart to tour the island.

As we drove around Daufuskie, all we could keep saying is “Daufuskie is gorgeous” and how friendly everyone is. At the time, there were 3 restaurants on the island and it happened to be around lunch time, so we stopped at Old Daufuskie Crab Company. We had excellent service as our server kept providing us with (free) “wrong drink orders.” LOL So you can imagine how great of time we were off to as we were sipping on Scrap Iron on the river.

We adventured around the island, touring the few shops, museums and schools — there is so much history to this island! Did you know that Daufuskie means sharp feather in the Muscogee language because of it’s resemblance?

Our first night, we stayed in due to the nasty storm that occurred, but it was lovely to be in this cozy Daufuskie cottage watching movies and cuddling with Jake. I woke up to breakfast in bed the next morning and was surprised when Jake mentioned that we would be taking a stroll along the beach… on horses! Due to my excitement, I rushed through breakfast and we headed to the horses. Unfortunately, the company that we used is no longer operating on the island due to the hurricanes that came through, but we had such a wonderful experience as you can see. We rode through trails which lead us to the beaches — it was an experience that I will never forget!

We spent the rest of the day on the beach that we had to ourselves! Can you believe that? Not one single person on this beach… it was awesome!

We had dinner at a restaurant that is also no longer operating on the island due to the hurricanes, but it was delicious! After dinner, we headed back to Old Daufuskie Crab Company to enjoy a night of scrap iron and music on the river as we enjoyed this atmosphere better.

The next morning, before we had to head back to Savannah, we took a tour of the Daufuskie Rum Company and had a “few” samples of their rum. We learned about their history, how they make their rum and why their rum is different from most! It was a great experience, the owner was wonderful and we left with a good buzz. LOL

Once we returned our golf cart, we were taken to our ferry which was waiting for us at the dock and brought us back to Savannah. On our ride back, I remember seeing so many dolphins – we couldn’t believe it! It was a great way to end to one of the best trips I’ve ever had. We made so many wonderful memories that weekend that we decided to get married a couple of years later on Daufuskie! That’ll be a blog for another day. LOL If you ever have the opportunity to visit Daufuskie, I highly recommend it — it’s such a fascinating island that is away from the hustle and bustle.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we had horrible cell service the entire weekend which made us connect even more. I guess that’s why we love Daufuskie so much, because we escape everything and focus on just us.