Our good fortune was the result of traveling with our friends Judy and John. John is a commercial fisherman in Alaska and spends a couple of months every summer salmon fishing; his friend and fellow Alaska fisherman Ricky was raised in Cedar Key and still calls the island home. Ricky invited Judy and John to visit—and lucky us, we got to tag along.
Ricky showed us a working side of Cedar Key that we wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. He has a blue crab, clam, and oyster business in Cedar Key, and took us out in his boat on a beautiful sunny day to pull crabs from his traps. That evening, he put on a low country boil, steaming up an assortment of clams, smoked sausage, new potatoes, corn, Brussels sprouts, shrimp, and blue crabs from the morning haul. The experience was casual—dump the food out onto the table, grab a beer, and dig in. And the food was outstanding.
Ricky’s boats are working boats, which means they have character. We rode in the back of his pick-up to the dock; after our boating expedition to check the crab traps, Ricky said, “Why don’t y’all just ride in the boat back to the house?” “Is that even legal?” I whispered to Judy. “Are you kidding?” she said. “This is our big chance to do the princess wave!” And so we rode in the boat back through the streets of Cedar Key, waving to everyone along the way. Ricky showed us the correct way to wave—“You were Homecoming King, weren’t you?” I accused. He grinned, “Twice!” As we pulled out of the parking lot, I involuntarily ducked down as we passed by a police officer standing on the side of the road. I just knew we were going to get busted. Instead, the cop gave us a princess wave as we passed by. I figure he must have gone to school with Ricky.
We had a fantastic time biking the island, kayaking two perfect days around the islands, and exploring the town. This trip, Eric and I stayed at Sunset Isle, a quirky and crowded RV park. Despite the fact that our neighbors were a mere 10 feet away, we liked the park for many reasons, including the fact that it’s within biking distance of town. Best of all, the park attracts excellent musicians who love getting together to jam. They were generous and welcoming, and we ended up every evening getting together to play and sing. The park is so popular that it’s booked solid for most of the winter—we’re hoping to get back down there before we leave Florida.[portfolio_slideshow]