Sterling and I started looking at the calendar, counting the days before this baby comes and looking at his school schedule and decided that we needed to do something off our Miami Bucket List this weekend while we still can!
I saw the Cape Florida Light on pinterest before we moved to Miami and I wanted to see it really bad. It is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade county, built in 1825 (probably because everything gets washed away on a regular basis from hurricanes!). I love lighthouses and have never actually been to one. I take that back--I think Aleesha and I went to one in Washington, but not inside. Anyway, the inside was a little disappointing, but the view from the top was amazing. Unfortunately, they had a 42" restriction, which meant the kids couldn't go on the tour, so Sterling stayed at the bottom while I went up. This was very gallant since we were getting eaten ALIVE by SWARMS of mosquitoes, despite purchasing and spraying ourselves with bug spray when seeing the alarming mosquito meter outside the state park that basically put mosquito levels at 'off the charts'.
|The little walkway to the lighthouse.|
|The cutest little redheaded pigtails making their way down the path.|
|Outside a window of the lighthouse.|
I tried to take a picture of the staircase leading up, but it was SO narrow--just a circular, steep staircase--and SO steep that I couldn't really be far enough away from it to give any real justice to the situation.
|Looking down at Sterling and the kids.|
Views from the top:
|That is the lighthouse-keeper's cottage.|
After that incredible view, I climbed back down and we headed directly to the beach I had just been taking pictures of. It was barely 10am and I have never felt so hot in my life. A hot that you just don't experience in Utah. The humidity just makes you melt--literally. I was dripping. I never sweat. Or, at least, I didn't understand what sweating was until today. We were trying to change the kids into their swim clothes by the van and it was just EXCRUCIATING. All I could think about was getting out of the heat and into the water as fast as possible. Poor Ruthie's face looked like a little red tomato and Will's head looked like he'd already been dunked in the water. It's just CRAZY what heat+humidity will do to you. Also, we were trying to be fast due to the mosquito issue which just compounded the problem. I don't know why anyone would want to ever go outside. Although, I must say, it turned out to be a lovely day.
This is where we swam all day. On a beautiful white sand beach that, when not scorching the soles of your feet off, felt SO soft and in view of the beautiful lighthouse. So neat. This was at 10am though. By the time we left at 2pm, it was so packed it felt like standing room only. While the white sand beach was so fun to experience, I think we'll stick to the less-cared for and, therefore, less-populated beaches for our next venture.
The water was amazing. It was SO incredibly clear that you could see these little schools of fish that were practically translucent themselves! I don't think I've ever swam in water that held fish that was that clear! I really couldn't get over it.
They have all sorts of things to do at this state park--bicycling, bird watching, picnic areas with bbq's, all the normal tourist stuff. They have a Cuban restaurant and places to rent all sorts of things. What I couldn't get over is the people barbecuing--how could they stand the heat? How could they stand the bugs? Floridians must be made of tougher stuff than me.
The water is also really warm. It is almost a disappointment. Or, at least, today when Florida hit 97 degrees (which is UNHEARD of) it was a disappointment. I told Sterling that while it felt good to be in the water, it didn't really feel that refreshing, like I thought it should. It was just too warm---what I really wanted was to sit in a bucket of ice water. Haha.
I do have to say though, we had a grand time. The kids loved it--they walked in it, they got bulldozed by waves, they jumped and swam and we took them pretty deep to play quite a few times. It was a beautiful day for the Haws family!
It's hard to tell, because I didn't want to be nosey and get any closer, but there was a wedding while we were there! Right behind us. Kind of weird. I felt bad for them because if it was hot for us in the water it must have been STIFLING in a wedding gown and suit! See the three bridesmaids in purple dresses to the left? When they were married the wedding party started clapping and the ENTIRE BEACH joined in--it was pretty fun!
They didn't want to get their picture taken, so I was trying to tickle some smiles out of them:
Will is hilarious and loves to lay in the water. We have to watch him really closely because he still doesn't really understand waves, so they will come and just wash right over him as he's relaxin' in the water.
Before we left I asked a random person to take our family picture by the lighthouse. We were sweltering again, but Sterling was the man and let me ask anyway. Will was awake for the first picture, then his head started to bob, and he was asleep before we even got the camera back. They played HARD!
I tried to take some pictures of Key Biscayne on our way out, but we were in a moving vehicle and sometimes I didn't roll down the window, but it is beautiful!
Crossing the bridge back into Miami:
|Sterling specifically likes that colorful building. It is very Miami looking.|
We definitely picked a hot, mosquitoey day to go, but it was still worth it. The water was beautiful. The sun was amazing. The beach was incredible. And I really loved the lighthouse!