Big Pine Key (and an update)

The Big Pine Key Video, watch now!

Y’all this trip was from July… I finally made the video for it about 2 months ago but my blogging skills are YUCK. When you have a travel blog, and you rarely travel, its hard to sit down and write. Plus, real life kind of hit us back in April of 2017 when we moved back and its been nuts every since. Learning to be an American again was harder than I thought. ¬†Our oldest boy, 5, started Kindergarten, our youngest just blossomed after moving home ( what a personality!) and my husband had taken a job that had him working 4th shift so he is like a raccoon, sleeping when we are awake and vice versa. Just the other day we thought, wow we have been in Flagler Beach for going on a year. We moved into our small but gorgeous one bedroom condo right on the beach that we renovated. I would complain about its smallness but when you look out the windows and see the ocean, its hard to care. Life’s had its up and downs and if its okay with my readers ( if there’s any left) I’d like to kinda take a walk back and go through some things that have happened and start writing. A blog in reverse… which is fancy for “I haven’t been writing, I gotta catch up”. We had a trip to the Keys, the Mountains of NC/SC, and well thats pretty much it. We had a hurricane that tried to ruin our home, a brain tumor that tried to take out my mom at the same time, random snow in Charleston, but mostly pretty tame days.

Many of you might wonder why I keep the name “Collins Life Abroad” , or many do not care.. but one thing is for sure… you never know…

I also have thought really hard about starting a food blog. I think I;ve decided thats a ridiculous idea. Between this, and the Wedding Website I run and trying to write books its too much. So if its okay, I may start adding some of my favorite recipes on here. I just dove into the Chrissy Teigen cookbook called ” Cravings”. She’s kind of my hero the way she likes to eat. So be on the look out for some yumminess mixed in with the travels.

ANYWAY, back to Big Pine Key. So BPK is actually a camping site. ( I know, Taylor you camped??) Well yes and no. When I was about 12, my brother and I thought it would be a great idea to camp in the backyard. We got flashlights, blankets, a tent, and went outside. To this day I can’t believe my parents were actually gonna let us sleep out there or maybe they knew we actually wouldn’t. Logan hit me in the head with a flashlight and that was the end of my camping experience. Well not totally, I once fell asleep outside in a tent on a friends property with “Bombs of Baghdad” song playing on repeat from a car stereo as loud as it would go. I was in high school and even then couldn’t wrap my head around sleeping outside when you have a perfectly good home.

The Big Pine Key Video, watch now!

So camping is the wrong word, “glamping” is better. My mom-in-law just bought a brand new camper so basically it was a tiny house. Showering in a campsite was probably the worst, mainly bc I kept forgetting my nice shampoo and people steal shit… Im still angry.

The point of camping at BPK is to enjoy mini lobster season. Now, I don’t like to poke at huge sea creatures that look like a spiny underwater cockroach while holding your breath but I did enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labor. I also enjoyed sitting on the boat sunning myself as well. With two kids though, it wasn’t always fun making sure they didn’t go off the edge of the boat. Only once did I get a little seasick, right before my husband forced me to jump in jellyfish infested waters. Needless to say, jellyfish suck. While it was the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen, this magical land underneath the water, having fish sting you and a barracuda come swimming at you wondering if your food… I’m just not about that life. I gave it another try later and though it wasn’t as pretty as the first site, snorkeling is pretty amazing. It is terrifying not knowing what could swim up beside you but watching these fish dance around the brightly colored reefs is astounding. If you ever do go snorkeling here’s my advice.

  1. Get your own gear. You want a mask, fins that fit, and a wet suit top and bottoms. I do not like fish trying to get cozy with my leg.
  2. Maybe do some working out before you go push your body underwater that can’t even run up the stairs.
  3. Go when the water is most calm, otherwise its just a battle to not die.
  4. Jellyfish are assholes and there is ¬†nothing you can do about it. So bring some meat tenderizer on board unless you prefer a golden shower…
  5. Take your sparkly jewelry off. Barracudas love that shit and will try to eat you.

This was my first trip the Keys, I never realized how beautiful it was. Not long after we left, Hurricane Irma did massive damage and they are still in the process of recovering.

The key deer were probably my favorite part. One morning I was studying (for the real estate test) and one came up and sniffed my book. I had never been that close to a wild animal. Then he walked away after he realized coffee isnt something he wants for breakfast.

We also took the RV down to Key West and had dinner and walked around. I could totally live there. Its like a tiny Charleston but more tropical and everyone is way more drunk.

The turtle hospital was pretty amazing as well. Sea turtles are constantly getting hit by boats, tangled in trash, or some other crazy way to almost die. The hospital took in turtles, rehabilitated them before releasing them back into the wild ( if possible)

It was such a great trip with family and I honestly cannot wait to go back! Check out some pictures and the awesome video on youtube.

The Big Pine Key Video, watch now!

Make sure to subscribe to the youtube channel and check out other videos!


Key Deer

Ready for boating!
gorgeous rainbow
Get us some dinner!
poor lobsters
eating good tonight!
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This was at Publix. Totally normal.
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lunch on the way back home.
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killing it at limbo.
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The best meal you will ever have, at the Square Grouper
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my jellyfish sting
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the water was always shades of turquoise or green
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sunset at Big Pine Key
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too cool for school
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