Ramrod Key.

Ok, I sorta feel bad.

1. My coffee machine isn’t working. My pre-vacation self didn’t bother to fix it before we left. Damn her.

2. I gloated on social media about being in the Keys. We all did. I blame the rum.

There is a family reunion held in the Florida Keys. It’s always over the 4th of July. This family reunion is a little different. The families that reunite do not share a last name. Most of us don’t live in the same state. It started out as a group of South Florida friends traveling to the Keys with their children to celebrate the 4th of July.

This is the 20th year. The children have children. And the parents are grandparents.

The group knows too much about each other to be considered friends – we’re family. We have seen each other in our best swimsuits. We have seen each other with our worst hangovers. We’re never pretty. We are sunburnt, covered in bug bites, and tipsy by lunch. Hey, a nip slip can happen to anyone. Some of us smell like coconut sunscreen and some smell like dead fish. We all smell like rum. The house tiki bar never closes. No one talks about their problems they left behind. But we do know who is on team vodka, team tequila and team whiskey. The kitchen is always stocked with homemade food. The backyard is the Atlantic ocean, ready for anyone to hop in.

Or flip in
Scott uses the quickest route possible.

The family reunion is held 90 miles from Cuba.

photo-29
Kate won’t smile for Cuba.

I lied. Key West is 90 miles from Cuba. Our home base is Ramrod Key, about 110 miles from Cuba. Ramrod Key is a sleepy, little fishing town. She wakes up when her once-a-year crew arrives.

'MERICA!
AMERICA!! How much do you love us, T. Jefferson??

Of course, you can get closer than 90 miles to Cuba. I caught this handsome beast looking Cuba in the face. That’s right, I said AMERICA!!

Bull dolphin.
My big catch! A bull dolphin – also called mahi, Kansans.
I'm so proud of this thing.
We eat well in the Keys.
Fish taco, anyone?
Each dolphin was reeled in by a WOMAN with the men cheering them on.

We’re luckier than most to have a family like this. If it wasn’t for the company, pictures of palm trees and water on social media would be pretty boring.

I don’t feel bad for posting our pictures anymore.

photo-33
2014: Ramrod Key crew boarded on the Loose Cannon.
I love these women.
Team Whiskey, Team Vodka, Team Tequila, and Team Whiskey. Until next year!

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