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Old 05-17-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
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Gonna do it, From Texas to the Key West...BOYDS

Having our Stream since February of this year , My son and I have decided to take a "road trip". We have gone to the KEYS since 2006 every summer for fathers day/his birthday. I thought why not take the Airstream. We have always flown. So I called today and made reservations for a week at Boyds, June 14-21. I figure two days there and two days home. So a total of 10 days. I also figured roughly $900-$1000 in diesel<round trip> plus 127.00 a night <tax included> goes for around 1700-1800. It would cost that much to fly,hotel and rent car, why not spend some quality time with my son. Agreed?

Here are some of my off the cuff thinkings:
1. Bring the generator, for staying at Rest areas/Parking lots <sleep time>for A/C. Don't want to commit to a rv park just to sleep. I also don't want to have a set area in which to stop. I like to drive until I get tired. That could be anywhere from 12-18 hours.

2. Tolls will run about 100.00 both ways.

3. Bring food to cut a little down on the "out to eat bill"

Boyds also has a cancellation policy one week in advance. Which I'm glad, because of the dreaded oil slick. If it heads that way.

Besides the obvious, since this is a huge trip for me, any suggestions?

Best route? I have lived in West Palm, Fl and drove almost daily from there to Homestead and the traffic is horrendous.
Doesn't it take a little longer but I could go through the everglades and come out near homestead , right? How much longer does that make the trip?

I have also driven SEVERAL times from Miami/Homestead to Key West, i'm aware of the two lane roads and 7 mile bridge.

Any suggestions or tips is GREATLY appreciated.

Thank-you in advance,


Shane
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #2
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advice? not really. however, we just got back from the keys less than a week ago (got hitched on the beach!). it was awesome, but... HUMID. very moist. I cannot imagine it being pleasurable in late june with it being even hotter and more humid. saw a LOT of airstreams on the way down and back.

And if you're headed to key west, checkout this little trailer park on simonton, between truman and catherine. spotted a vintage airstream, vintage holiday rambler, vintage (i think) boles aero.... someone pained most of them a tan color, so its hard to tell on some. (a/s and boles not painted...pshew...)
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Keys

If the weather plans for some rain,Try and not get the water sites.Get somewhere with grass.The sites in the 70's are great.
The ground has shell,coral and sand mix in it and turns to this really thick brew close to mixed concrete.It is not a good thing.Trust me on this.

Take the turpike,A lot faster and traffic is nice and easy all the way down.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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I recieved a pm about EL MAR resort right next to Boyds,...anyone else heard of EL MAR? Or which one is better? I undrstand EL MAR is RV only and no tents and no pool, which is fine by me.
I can Get in there, they have an opening also.

Anyone know which is nicer?
`.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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If you are doing I-10 to I-75 south probably not shortest but not using interstates once south of Weeki Wachee on route 19 would be a big mistake. I have found google mapping is pretty accurate with distances and time. Most of S. FL doesn't allow overnight parking unless in a campground.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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If you are doing I-10 to I-75 south probably not shortest but not using interstates once south of Weeki Wachee on route 19 would be a big mistake. I have found google mapping is pretty accurate with distances and time. Most of S. FL doesn't allow overnight parking unless in a campground.
Thanks...

I looked at the satellite view of EL MAR and it would be a lot less crowded than boyds.

Has anyone else stayed there?

Boyds kinda worries me on the "closeness" of the sites.

Shane
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:32 AM   #7
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Tar Balls

They already started finding tar balls on the beach in Key West.It is all over the news in south Florida.A friend E-mailed me from there.They dont know if it is from the Gulf spill so they say they sent it to a lab to make sure.That is what they are telling reporters anyways.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:50 AM   #8
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Don't know anything about El Mar - we stayed at Boyd's on our only trip there. As for closeness of sites, well, we didn't spend much time in camp anyway. We did take advantage of the bus stop just outside the entrance so I didn't have to take the truck and try to park it "downtown". The only caution about the bus is - the actual schedule is only tentatively related to the printed one. But hey - it's on Key West time, right?

Looking forward to updates on your road trip.

Pat
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #9
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We were in the Keys the last week of April, staying in state parks. We spent one week at Bahia Honda (MM 37) and then overnighted at John Pennekamp (MM 102.5) on our way out. I did take note of a few private campgrounds that you may want to check out. I'm only mentioning the ones in the Lower Keys as that seems to be your interest. I think you can google all of these and find their web sites.

Geiger Key Marina (MM 10.5) 305.296.3553 is what I imagine that the Keys used to be like; we enjoyed an afternoon there at the restaurant/pub, were entertained by F18s flying out of the air station at Key West. I'd definitely recommend hanging out there for an afternoon/evening -- you don't have to stay there to enjoy the ambiance. They have a web site.

Bluewater Key RV Park, Sugarloaf Key (MM14.5) 305.745.2494 This place looked pretty amazing. Takes camping to a whole new level. You'll see what I mean when you check it out.

Lazy Lakes Campground, Sugarloaf Key (MM 19.5) 1.800.354.5524 I did not check this one out but is listed in some info that I picked up.

Sugarloaf Key KOA (MM 20) 305.745.3549 Did not go there but is listed in some Keys info that I picked up.

None of the places appeared to be full at the time we were there.

There was one place that appeared to be a really good value (I just can't do the $100+/night campsites!). It was at MM 33 -- Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge. Their full hookup with tv was $51/day; $321/week. Full hookup with tv on the canal was $57/day; $359.10/week. The downside (for us) would be no pets.

I hope this helps. Feel free to pm me if I can answer any questions.

Debbie
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:30 AM   #10
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On our trip to The Keys a few years back, "closeness of the sites" was typical of the private RV parks and not at all enjoyable. The state parks in The Keys are wonderful if you can reserve them eleven months in advance and the minute they become available. Out of the question in your case. Along the route there are a couple of overnighting options for parking including CrackerBarrel Country Stores and WalMarts. WalMarts are pretty much out of the question in most of Florida I believe; however, WalMart does have maps online that will indicate which ones allow overnight parking. Florida does have some great state parks along your route. They are fairly inexpensive and are wonderful for the most part. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:56 AM   #11
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For the trip, I-10 to I-75, then South to the Turnpike at Wildwood. If something happens and you can't go on the Turnpike, you can take I-75 all the way down the West coast, and across Alligator Alley. It's the long way around, but a viable alternative. If you want to do a little research, I know the state of Florida runs/ran a "park" on the old Sunshine Skyway bridge, and you could dry camp on sections of it for a nominal fee. I have heard rumors they may be stopping this, so call first.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:37 AM   #12
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Well I cancelled BOYDS. I hear the sights are too close together. Not really a worry, just don't know whats next door.

I have made reservations at EL MAR RV RESORT. No ammeneties like Boyds, but only has 11 sites. Full hookup, including sewer. With a water View. So I can back up the stream and be looking at the Ocean. I looked at the both from Google earth and this site seemed to be more secluded and quiet. Less than a 1/4 mile from Boyds.

ANY reviews of EL MAR RESORT?

Thanks,
Shane
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:44 AM   #13
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Boyds also has a cancellation policy one week in advance. Which I'm glad, because of the dreaded oil slick. If it heads that way.

Shane
I stayed at Boyd's once spur of the moment. I was in Naples and gave them a call. They had room for me in January. Very little room. I had a very difficult time parking my 31ft trailer.
It is a nice location. Very easy access to downtown Key West. You can ride the Bus if you like. The staff was nice and the internet access was dial-up. This was 2 or three years ago.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:33 PM   #14
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One more thing. If you've never pulled through The Keys, the traffic is congested (two lane) and the pace SLOW so just plan for it, put on a little Jimmy Buffet and enjoy the journey. "Fins Up"
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