2020…I don’t think anyone came out of 2020 saying BEST YEAR EVER! If you did, i’d love to hear from you! haha All jokes aside- it was a tough year! In the grand scope of things- we were VERY VERY blessed! So many people lost jobs and their businesses. We do taxes and as they say- there are only two things that are certain in life- death and taxes so needless to say- we still had work.
Nonetheless, it was tough! What was expected of parents, especially working parents in dual income families was nearly impossible. I was suddenly expected to be a stay at home mom, teacher with no experience teaching two different grades, and a CPA. Everything happened right before our March 15th deadline, which by the way, the IRS held us to, and i’ll never forget thinking to myself that I had a deadline to focus on yet I found myself building leprechaun traps with the kids for an assignment. It was crazy. I am one of those moms that can say I had moments where I ended up locking myself in a bathroom and crying because it was all so overwhelming. I’ve seen other moms post on social media that they were somewhat sad to send their kids back to school in person- I cannot relate to that at all. I want to keep things positive on here so I won’t go into a rant about how bad I think the whole virtual school situation was. If I did want to go into it though it would probably require it’s own post because i’ve got strong feelings on it! haha There was also the quarantining and the lack of socialization, we missed our family and friends and there was also the loss of all the plans we had that never happened. Natalia didn’t have a kindergarten graduation, we had so many concerts and events on our schedule, a trip to Key West Cinco de Mayo, Austin for the Formula 1 race in October, amongst so many other things. None of it happened.
Despite all the bad though, I can say something amazing did come out of 2020! Somehow we had convinced by parents to buy a boat back in 2019. The day the boat came home I told my mom that they had just changed by children’s childhood. She laughed and thought the comment was a little dramatic but to this day, especially 2 years later, I stand by my comment! In fact, back then I didn’t even realize to the extent it would change their lives!
My parents and I had never understood the appeal of the keys, we also never had a boat. Now with a boat, we decided to give the keys a try. My cousin had also bought a boat that year, to be honest it was what inspired my mom to want a boat too, and we all planned a trip together to Hawk’s Cay. Unfortunately, we did not have great weather for boating and the obsession with the keys was still a bit of a mystery to us. At the end of the summer though, we booked a trip to Key Largo to give it another shot. The only way I can describe that trip is that for me it was MAGICAL! This is where my love affair with Key Largo began! We stayed at the beautiful Mariners Club. We had the PERFECT weather! Barely any rain, no wind. We couldn’t have asked for more! I’ll never forget going fishing the first morning and I was so impressed by the turquoise waters. When we threw the chum bag in and all the fish started to come, you could clearly see them because the water was so clear and it was so calm. It looked like a giant aquarium! We then visited the beautiful mosquito bank! Until this day I had NO IDEA we had water like the water there in Florida. It looks like Bahamian waters. Key Largo has amazing restaurants and i’m sure over the weeks i’ll share about some of my favorites. At the end of the trip it was decided that we should look into renting something for a month in 2020. Key Largo is only an hour from Miami so we could maybe stay a week or two, drive back for work since we couldn’t take a whole month off, and come on the weekends.
Then 2020 happened. 2020 brought so many lessons, one of them being that we could work remotely. I was actually already working remotely for the most part but until 2020, Peter barely did. Our office is small and although he only worked from home full time for about a month, to this day he works from the office in the mornings and comes home at lunchtime to work from home. When the discussion of renting the house in the keys for a month in the summer came up, we realized we had no reason to drive back and forth and ended up living down in the keys for almost 6 weeks!
2020 may not have been the best year ever, but it does hold one of the most beautiful summers of my life! Definitely the best summer since my kids were born and the only summer I can think of that battles it is the summer of 2012 which is the summer we had our wedding, all related festivities (shower, bachelorette party) and our European honeymoon!
I think the best way to describe it is that life in the keys is much simpler. I know many of us realized in 2020 when everything shut down and we were told to stay home that before all of that we were going a million miles an hour. If you read my previous post Daytona Beach and why I want my kids in competitive activities you know that I do embrace the chaos and the weekends full of activities and events but it was also nice to have a break. We were away from Miami, away from everything and had our boat on the water so it was easy to take out. If you’ve ever trailered a boat in Miami you know it’s a bit of an ordeal and if you want to go out on the weekend, you better be at the marina early before it gets full! Sometimes after working we’d just take the boat for a cruise on our canal and have a drink. Easy peasy. Everything is laid back here. You can go out to eat at great restaurants without getting super dressed up. I don’t bring a pair of heels or a blow dryer here! Miami can sometimes be all about the designer clothes, shoes and purses and I’m just not about that. Here in the keys everything is casual. The kids learned to snorkel, we went fishing, and of course they got plenty of time in the ocean which I think is so good for the health. I also feel we became more comfortable with boating and I know I learned a bit like how to throw an anchor and how to tie some nautical knots. The kids learned a bit about how to tie ropes too! Some of our friends have vacation homes here in Key Largo and we had some family and friends visit so although we were away, we didn’t feel so isolated either and still socialized plenty! After all the time at home, the change of scenery was also so nice! The kids were even better about entertaining themselves so we could work than they are at home! Although unfortunately I have not done anything at home with this knowledge, I also realized that we have too much stuff at home! Messes are minimal in the keys house because we don’t have as many things here and the kids don’t have as many toys. After everything that had happened that year- it was just we needed!
So yes, 2020 was rough, but for us it also changed the way we will spend our summers! I can list things I don’t like about my career (hello- tax season) BUT one of the advantages that it has is that you can work from anywhere at any time and that is a major advantage! We are here again in Key Largo for the remainder of the summer and I look forward to sharing what life here is like!
Thanks for visiting!