Settling Into The Island Vibe – Key Largo, FL
So here we are on Island time, watching the palm trees sway and the ice in our fruity cocktail melt away under a tropical breeze. It’s a real thing this island vibe, but despite physically being on an island you might actually have to go looking to find it. You see the Keys are a bit of an odd mix and if you look in the wrong places you might not end up liking them at all.
You’ve Got To Look Past The Busy Bits…
First you’ve got to look past Hwy 1. It’s the one and only road going through the Keys and there are many places it narrows down to a single lane. So it’s packed and crazy (crazy!) busy with zooming cars. A single accident can easily cause miles of traffic jams and make a little 20-min outing stretch to hours. So, while you’re inching along in exhaust fumes you might well start to question your choices..
What the heck am I doing here? I mean, with this kind of traffic I might as well be in Miami, right?!
But if you let your eyes wander to the horizon you’ll see the pretty bits, particularly along the bridges where you rise just a smidgen above the water. Here the world is engulfed by bright green trees and crystal clear waters with neon-aqua and warm-blue streaks so intense they shouldn’t rightly exist in nature. And that’s where the magic of the Keys begin. The Coral Cays are thick as thieves with mangroves that ingeniously filter and clean the shallow water for miles around, so it’s some of the clearest water you’ll see anywhere in the US. Once your mind actually grasps that you can’t help but feel the stress of life wash away. You can’t be blue around that much blue, ya know…
Then you’ve got to look past the tourists. I mean the Keys survive on tourism so you’re not going to get away from them, and the ones you notice (just like anywhere you might travel in the world) are the loud and obnoxious ones. Right now we’re in the middle of Spring Break which makes it doubly bad with hoards of kids hanging around in tight groups, chatting, texting & posing incessantly for the perfect selfie. Plus they take over the restaurants at night. Where they get the cash to do this, I honestly don’t know. I was always totally skint in college myself, weren’t you?
But if you stop by the little hideaway restaurants outside the big eating rush hours and chat to the locals you’ll see a whole other side. You might meet the old guy at the Cuban Coffee place, dark as the coffee he’s drinking from all his years in the sun who hangs with his dog all day in the shade, or the gal from Michigan made-up to a tee, who came down to the Keys over 20 years ago and just never left. And everyone is friendly, and chatty, and they all bring a bowl of water for your dog and they all have a story to tell of how the Islands seduced them. At those off-hours things slow down and you notice the tropical breeze, and you take your time, and you *get* the whole experience.
And You’ve GOT To Get On/In The Water
Plus there’s that water again. If you’re able to find a little slice for yourself it’s close to magical. There’s not really any beaches down here, just areas of eroded coral thinned of mangroves, but the water is surprisingly chilly and oh-so clear. Get further out by boat or kayak (which you’ve GOT to do…seriously you must!) and you’ll really see the magic.
At 200 miles (322 km) long, The Florida Keys Reef is the 3rd largest living coral barrier reef the world (!) and it’s all preserved as a Marine Sanctuary. It starts just a few miles off-shore and it’s an amazing place simply bursting with colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, barracuda, sting rays and long waves of fan coral swaying with the sea current. The snorkeling here is some of the best I’ve done since Hawaii and although it took me ~12 hours to warm up again afterwards (man, that water is chilly!) it was so totally worth it!
That’s the Keys baby, or at least that’s our experience of the Keys after just a week in the Northern Section. Not a bad start, eh?
We Found Some Hidden Gems Too….
We rolled into Key Largo just over a week ago and squeezed ourselves into our site at John Pennekamp State Park (review coming) for some much-needed down-time. The original Spanish name of this island was Cayo Largo, meaning long islet and it’s the largest and most northern of the Keys, spanning 33 miles (53km) long. Plus being only around an hour south of Miami, it’s one of the most popular places to day-trip so there’s a steady influx of visitors everyday.
It took a few days for us to ease into the “vibe” of the place and see past the craziness of the crowds, but once we did we had a blast. We also had a secret head-start on the best hideout places thanks to tips from blog readers, as well as Chuck & Debbie who we met up with in Miami last month (thanks guys!!). Plus despite dog restrictions on almost all the beaches in the area we found a fabulous doggie gem as well as TONS of dog-friendly restaurants (with just a few exceptions pretty much every restaurant with an outdoor area allows dogs), so pooch got to join in the fun too. Oh and we really just scratched the surface. Once you start living on “Island time” a week passes by awfully fast and given that you’ve got to spend some quality time chillaxing (that’s what it’s all about, after all) I can’t say we tried everything. But these were our absolute fav experiences in that time-frame:
Best Cuban Coffee -> Denny’s Latin Cafe (MM99*)
This was a Chuck & Debbie recommendation and I have to admit that once we went & tasted that first shot of rocket-fueled sweet coffee goodness we were totally hooked. Stop by the big red sign and ask for a caffecito at the open window. Once you do you’ll be swimming on a coffee high so good you’ll never even notice the Starbucks right next-door. Trust me on this. Click HERE for more info.
BRING PAWS? YES! Outside tables are dog-friendly
Best Chillax Spot For A Brew -> Sharkey’s Pub & Grill (East of MM99.7*)
This is a popular post-snorkel happy hour spot on the bay side of Key Largo and has a really chillaxed vibe with a good brew list including some local offerings. We sat upstairs with doggie overlooking the canal and enjoyed a few drinks and a meal. Beer was great, food was OK. Neat little spot. Click HERE for more info.
BRING PAWS? YES! Doggie is allowed both downstairs & upstairs in the outdoor area.
Best Sunset View -> Sundowners (MM103.9*)
The cool thing about the Keys is that they are really thin islands so you can experience both sunrise (on Atlantic side) and sunset (on Bay side) in a single day by simply waltzing from one side of the island to the the other over Hwy 1. There are several restaurants/bars on the sunset side, the most “famous” of which is probably Sundowners. The sunset view was indeed perfect and I think it’s worth a glass, but the food was overpriced IMO. We enjoyed it, but I think next time we’ll try another spot. Click HERE for more info.
BRING PAWS? YES! Outside tables are dog-friendly. Come early to get a seat.
Best Fish Sandwich/Hidden Spot -> The Hideout (East of MM103.5*)
Can a single fish sandwich change your life? Very possibly folks, very possibly. The Hideout is an off-the-beaten path little spot that serves breakfast and lunch. My advice is to bring doggie here just outside of the regular meal hours (= tourists are gone), sit outside in one of the shaded tables and order yourself a Fish Reuben. Your-mind-will-be-BLOWN…! Click HERE for more info.
BRING PAWS? YES! Outside tables are dog-friendly.
Best Snorkling Trip -> Christ Of The Abyss
One of the awesome things about staying at John Pennekamp SP is that they offer snorkling and scuba diving right from the park, and it’s really quite reasonably-priced too. We took the first trip of the morning (highly recommended = less people!) and got out to reef before any of the other boats. Our destination was Dry Rocks and Christ of The Abyss, and it was just as spectacular as I had hoped. Seeing the 4,000 pound bronze sculpture (which has a super cool story to it) and snorkling the shallow reef around it was one of the highlights of our time in the area. Click HERE and HERE for more info.
VISIT NOTES: 2-hour ($29.95) and 1/2 day ($38.95) snorkel trips are offered at various hours from the concession building inside the State Park ($8 entry fee unless you’re camping on-site). Get there EARLY to sign-up. Definitely recommend a shorty wet-suit -> only $6 to rent and really, really worth it. You can rent snorkel, mask & fins on-site too, but the price for snorkel rental ($10) is actually the same as buying one right-out, so if you’re planning more than one snorkel trip, just buy it from the shop.
BRING PAWS? NO! No dogs on the snorkling boats.
Best Kayaking -> John Pennekamp SP (MM102.5*)
OK this may not be the “best” kayaking around Key Largo. We really don’t know as we didn’t try anywhere else, but we truly enjoyed it! For only $17 we rented a double kayak and putzed around for an hour along the various canoe-only trails right near camp. Water was crystal clear and glassy, sun was warm and it was perfect. Click HERE for more info.
VISIT NOTES: Kayaks & stand-up paddle-boards are rented by the hour from the concession building inside the State Park ($8 entry fee unless you’re camping on-site). Plus you’ll need to leave a $50 refundable deposit for the rental too, either by credit card or cash.
BRING PAWS? NO! No dogs on the kayaking boats.
Best Dog Beach -> Anne’s Beach (Islamorada MM73.5*)
It took us a while to track down a beach to take doggie. First of all there’s not much “beach” to speak of in the Keys, anywhere at all. These islands mostly consist of mangroves with paltry slices of coral sand. Secondly most of these areas prohibit dogs. We didn’t actually find anything (at all) on Key Largo so we had to look further afield and we hit the jackpot around 1/2 hour south on Islamorada in a little spot called Anne’s Beach. It’s a gorgeous little calm (bay-side) stretch of water with hidden pockets of coral beach, shaded picnic huts and a nice boardwalk, all 100% dog-friendly. The perfect place to take doggie for a shallow dip. Polly LOVED it! Click HERE for more info.
BRING PAWS? OH YES!!! This is the spot!
We had a few other neat experiences including some super-fresh, super-cheap fish from the Fish House (MM102.4*) just down the road from Pennekamp (can you say $7 for two big Ahi tuna steaks?), a cute little semi-permanent farmers market (Island Market MM101*) and lots of biking along the pleasant biking trail that parallels Hwy 1. But the rest of the time we really just hung out at our (very) quiet RV site, chatted to the locals and enjoyed the slowed-down vibe.
Yeah we’re living the Island life now, and all this just after a week in Key Largo. I hear the closer you get to Key West, the better it gets so there’s waaaay more goodness to come.
Next stop -> Marathon Key. See you there….
*NOTE/ What’s With The MM’s?? You might have noticed a few MM numbers in my post. What they refer to are Mile Marker numbers along Hwy 1, and they run from south to north. So MM0 is at the very southern-most point in the Keys (Key West) while MM110 is way up at the northern end of the Keys (Key Largo) exactly 110 miles away. Knowing which mile-marker an attraction is at makes it easy to figure out exactly how far away it is and many stores/places use them down here. It’s a Keys thing 🙂
Useful External Links:
- The Florida Rambler Keys Milemarker Guide – key attractions by milemarker
- John Pennekamp Guide – main visitor website for the State Park
- Dog-Friendly Florida Keys – great little guide on the best places to go with paws
- Snorkeling the Florida Keys – fabulous guide of all the main snorkel areas
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Oh that water…..I agree with you, that color blue is almost unnatural but oh so wonderful.
I also agree that the snorkeling there is fantastic. You’ve hit the feel of the place right…..its all about your attitude. Tourists exist, ignore them and sight see on off hours and you’ll have a wonderful time.
There was one campground on Key Largo, some years ago at least, that had two white sand beaches attached….one for people, one for dogs! Sadly for us, its gone condo and only allow one animal per site, and under 40 lbs so we’re not able to stay there anymore…..
What a bummer about that campground! Pretty much every campground we’ve looked at in the Keys (even the private ones) don’t allow dogs on their beaches. I understand the restrictions (the beaches are so darn small down here), but I can’t deny it’s a bummer for those of us who like to take a dip with our paw-pals.
In Marathon key there is a place called La Niña – a little hole in the wall Cuban cafe. It had very good food. mamey shake was very good also.
Enjoy -I love the keys. reminds me a lot of home.
YES!!! We went there yesterday so we’ve already found it. Great little spot!
Sandy Krueger says
Good morning, l’m loving all the great tips from your followers we’ll have to check out La Niña love Cuban food.
Did you know about the Marathon Key seafood festival today? How bad could live music, seafood, and beer be mile marker 49. There is a $5 entrance fee but we thought it would be worth checking out.
Curry Hammock state park is just a little slice of heaven, we hope to do some kayaking later today. They do have kayaks for rent if have the time you might want to check it out.
Enjoy your day!
Paul tried the Cuban sandwich at La Niña yesterday and declared it “authentically good”! So that’s a big endorsement.
We heard about the festival. We may well drop by. Cheers!
Marilyn Dennison says
If you make it to Key West to eat, an authentic Cuban restaurant is El Siboney on the corner of Catherine and Margaret. Remember two women’s names. It is not fancy and off the beaten path.
Mike Clendenen says
The Keys are awesome! Lived in Marathon as a kid (my Dad worked at the Voice of America station there). Myself and my wife went down for a two week tour (tent camping no less) a few years back. We loved the state parks the most. Our favorite beach is Bahia Honda (MM 36.8 I believe). Go for a biplane ride while in Marathon if you get a chance. Wonderful view of the Seven Mile Bridge!
I know it’s touristy, but you’ve got to stop and see the “African Queen” boat at MM 99.7…just saying
We’ve got reservations at Bahai Honda coming up soon so I am SUPER excited! Cheers for the other tips too.
Linda Merriss says
Please don’t miss a seaplane ride to Fort Jefferson to snorkel…. or maybe sail there yourself!
There’s something about an ocean sunset or a gentle paddle in beautiful blue water that brings clarity to the mind. Ah, and to snorkel again! We used to visit St. Thomas/St. John every winter for a little snorkeling. Good times and add some amazing coffee, I’d say you’ve got it made.
Marilyn Dennison says
When you return to the mainland, real world stop at Shivers Bar b que in Homestead.
28001 S. Dixie Hwy
Homestead, Fl 33033
Their brisket is amazing. I ate there last week after picking tomatoes and strawberries in Redland just west of there.
Enjoy your time in my wonderful area. We are truly spoiled.
Marilyn in Dania Beach, FL
Malcolm Callister says
It is always a pleasure to read your blog posting they are the inspiration for our next adventure. Last October we took in the Alberque ballon Fiest, Grand Canyon, Walnut Canyon and the red rocks before crossing the US/Mexican at Nogales. We will be heading back to the US from Mexico on March 29th with our 5th wheel after a 5-month drive down the east side of the Sea of Cortes to La Penita, then across to Lake Chapala. We will spend 14 days crossing the US and be back in Ontario by 15 April.
What an AWESOME trip! We’ve yet to take “the beast” south of the border although we’ve been there many times ourselves. Definitely want to do that drive someday. Continued good travels to you!
I’m loving your trip report. Our trip to Key West last year was one of the best trips we ever had. Check out Alabama Jacks just north of Key Largo. Fun food and atmosphere.
We were there in May and the water is so much warmer. We’d spend hours in the water and never got cold.
Warm water….ahhhhh. I can totally dig that. Have to admit the water is chillier now than I thought it would be, especially given what a hot winter we’ve had, but hey…can’t complain. Any day on the water is a good day.
Bobbie A says
The No Name Pub on big pine key is a neat little place. The Looe Key Reef resort on Ramrod Key had a nest tiki bar, short bike ride from their house. Was a great escape when there was too much togetherness with the mother in law. My inlaws retired to the keys in the 80’s until they started having health problems. The hospital in Marathon is about the only place around besides Miami so stay well
My favorite tourist spot in Key west is the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville restaurant. Neat shop on Duval street was Fast buck Freddie’s. Think it’s still there. The museum in Key west with all of the Atocha artifacts is pretty cool. We were there shortly after they found the motherload and saw them stacking up the bars of gold off the ship. Was pretty neat.
The have the chain drink place with the slushy liquored drinks Fat Tuesdays, very refreshing on a hot day. You can walk down Duval street with drink in your hand,no one cares, there’s bigger fish for police to catch. I love the keys, can feel my pulse slow down as you just look out over the gorgeous water. My husband would stop at isamorado and I would have s couple rum runners before we made it down to his parents house. Makes a much more pleasurable experience. Enjoy !!
Peter McDonald says
Thanks so much for continuing your blog. The information you have shared has been extremely helpful to folks like Nannette and I who are new to RVing. We have retraced many of your steps, although years later. I am doubtful we will retrace your “Keys” visit for reasons you ave previously stated but it is wonderful to hear about your adventures and gives me insight as to how to improve on ours!
We started from WV December 28th, headed to Jacksonville for two weeks before heading across the country to Tucson. Made it back to WV last Sunday just in time for some real cold and a little snow, just to be sure we didn’t miss all of winter!
Take good care,
We took our kids camping at Pennekamp back in the 1970’s when they were in elementary school. They learned to snorkel when we went on the El Capitan that left from the state park. We’ve had many fabulous meals at the Fish House. Such good memories. Years later we started going to the lower keys and spent a lot of time around Big Pine Key and in Key West. The pizza at No Name Pub and the tiny Key Deer are worth a trip to Big Pine Key. It’s been over ten years since we were there but I would highly recommend going snorkeling to Looe Key with one of the dive operators on Big Pine or Little Torch. Enjoy the Keys!
Dennis Hunt says
Was just there the first week of February. Were able to book for next year for 2 weeks. Take a tour at the Key largo Fish Co. and then eat out on the patio. They have a blt where the “B” is Ahi Tuna. In Marathon did the bi-plane ride at the airport which was really neat. Stop at Bahia Honda SP, great beaches. One of the best Key Lime pies was at Publix a couple of blocks from Pennekamp and they also sell snorkel gear for like $10 bucks. Go luck with the rest of your trip. The further south you go in the keys the tighter the campgrounds get as the price goes up. All of the sp have walk up sites that you might be able to score for a couple of days. By now a lot of the snowbirds will be getting ready to head home. Enjoy
All great tip, cheers!
Angie Kuklinski says
Great post… thank you for sharing. We are planning to head down next year in our 40 ft RV and we are trying to decide between John Pennekamp or Baha’i Honda state park since we don’t have time to hit both. I’d be curious which you like the best and why if you can share back at some point.
Thanks much and happy travels! Angie
We haven’t started our stay at Bahai Honda yet, but from what I’ve heard from others everyone speaks very highly of the park and the area. So, I’d recommend Bahai Honda. You’ll be closer to the lower end of the Keys, 7 mile bridge and some of the best snorkeling in the area. Plus it’s only an hour to Key West from there.
Thanks!! I enjoyed reading your blog. We loved Bahia Honda so majestic!
Anne S says
Lovely article, thank you. I was in the Keys for the very first time in November, and I was amazed. I was there for a family thing and my expectations were low (crowds, kitsch). Yes, there’s that, but so much more. I was completely taken. I spent most of my time on Marathon. Watched the sunset one day in a local park, and as the sun went down, the crowd started singing. Magic.
Roni Lehmkuhl says
We are currently based in Homestead and have made several day trips to Key Largo and one very long trip to Key West 2 days ago. Loving the Keys.
Jenn Barry says
I love this! We were just in the Keys over Christmas and had such a wonderful time. Sadly, I got a horrible cold, so we didn’t snorkel or kayak in Key Largo. Clearly, we missed out. This will all be helpful info when we come back for another winter. Thank you!
Bummer that you missed it, but on the other hand I always say that’s it’s good to have a reason to come back somewhere. The snorkeling here is definitely worth it!
David Michael says
As always, a great blog post. Thanks so much for sharing!
I spent 5 months in my RV (20 ft. shorty) in the key’s 20 years ago. I also managed to Boondock in Key West most of the time. I doubt one could get away with that now. In fact as the winter went on it became a bit trickier. I loved it there. So much fun and it feels like you are in another country in a way. Such friendly and interesting locals. I worked part time at the Hog’s Breath in Key West and realy enjoyed it.
Of course I am sure you may have already heard of the nightly sunset celebration on Key West? IF you make it to that , I would be very curious to know if the the guy with the cats still performs at it. Domestic cats . Puts on a great show. Of course he would have different cats now. I can’t remember his name now but you will know if you see him.
Was it hard to reserve now at the state parks??? I used to drive up and spend one night a week or so at Bahia Honda so I could dump the RV and fill up water, etc.. There is no place that will let you dump unless you are staying with them. Anyways, I dont recall having to reserve a mid week space there back then.
Hi Susan. It’s funny. As soon as you said the man with the cats, I knew exactly what you were talking about. It’s the crazy cat guy and he yells loudly all the time to his audience. He makes you laugh so much and I don’t know how he gets his cats to do all those tricks. My husband and I just got back from Key Largo after spending an awesome theee weeks in that wonderful weather and came back to MD in the snow with my flip flops and shorts on. Lol. WishI would have seen this blog earlier It has some great tips.
Yes, that is him. His name is Dominique. Just remembered his name. He is very funny too ! He told me all his cats have been rescue cats and he looks very ones that are very inquisitive.
Your best review (& advertisement) ever! 🙂
The Florida keys tourism bureau really ought to be paying you for this, it look great. I’m sitting here wondering why I’m here & not down there right now.
Enjoy your stay.
When we were headed to Key West a few years ago we stopped at Key Largo and loved it there. We kayaked and walked the dog at a park. Kayaking through the mangroves was great ,like trails. We actually liked Key Largo better than Key West. We did camp at a koa before Key West and it was nice. Yes there are no real beaches. We did like the fort at Key West.
Michael and Imkelina says
Wow…your best list offers enough reason for us to pack up and start driving to Key Largo. Fun times for sure. Another wonderful post with alot of cool information. Your pics are perfect “lures”. Thank you!
Jodee Gravel says
Your pics really capture the island vibe. I didn’t realize there aren’t really beaches there……was always a part of what I saw in my mind for sure. Enjoy your slow time amid the spring break madness, I swear it gets longer every year!
Before I came down here I thought much the same thing. I guess tropical islands just always invoke long stretches of white-sand beaches in my mind. It wasn’t until I understood that the Keys are coral cays (exposed ancient coral reefs, covered in mangroves) that it became clear to me. They are such an interesting and unusual geology.
Don Thompson says
You guys are fantastic. I have camped at most of the state parks in the keys, with my dog, Banjo, and never had as much fun as you two. Now, I can’t wait to go back and check out the places you’ve liked. Thanks for your blog. (BTW, Banjo is now guiding a blind lady in Denver. I’m confident the keys experience has helped him.)
Vincent St. Angelo says
Me thinks your next stop will be Curry Hammock State Park. Excellent if it is. This is a compact but as “beachfront” as one can get in an RV. Be sure to look south in the evening for the Southern Cross near the south horizon.
Second big thumbs up for “No Name Pub”, we never miss a visit when down in the Keys. Continue down the road and across the bridge to an isolated island full of Key Dear (protected species).
If you get to Key West, gotta try El Siboney, excellent Cuban fare.
I am envious…enjoy.
Sadly we were not able to get into Curry Hammock (I wish!) but we’re staying close by. We’ll definitely be hitting No Name Pub after all those recommendations.
Peter Scarnati says
“Skint” — very, very well played. A great word!!
Any insect woes thus far on your Keys venture?
I almost hate to say it in case I jinx anything, but so far NO insect woes at all! I’m really surprised because I expected the worst, but really it’s been absolutely bug-free so far. Let’s hope it lasts!
Allan Kirch says
When you head back north, try Shipwrecks in Key Largo.
Vicki Schaefer says
Loving your posts
on the Keys! We second the recommendation for the No Name Pub – and if you have left-over pizza, the Key deer will be waiting in the parking lot, eyeing your take-out box.
We prefer Bahia Honda to John Pennancamp or Curry Hammock. It’s got an actual BEACH and is a lot quieter on weekends. Some of the sites are tight, tho…and we’re only 31 feet.
In Key West, check out the Truman White House and the Hemingway house.
Anne’s Beach brought back memories. Last season there was a great – but short-lived – series called Bloodline, staring Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, and the Florida Keys. Kyle Chandler had a very dramatic and realistic murder scene that took place on Anne’s Beach. (Then the show was cancelled for being too violent. Too bad.)
Reading your post makes me want to head back to the Keys…just as soon as the snowbirds head north. It’s a special place.
Steve Bradshaw says
Wow. What a find. I’m so glad I came across this page. Love the tips on Sharkey’s and Denny’s Latin Cafe. Can’t wait to stop by them. The tips on snorkeling were helpful, too. I just was looking at SnorkelingDives website for Key Largo snorkel spots, so I’m ready to head down again ( https://www.snorkelingdives.com/?city=Key%20Largo ) . Thank you so much for the inspirations!
Cheers for the snorkeling page link! Love that you’ve put all the dive/snorkel locations on a map. We only managed 2 locations while we were in the Keys (Christ of the Abyss and Sombrero Reef), but I’m dying to go back and try more.
Jim Brennan says
I think I know the guy sitting at the red picnic table with the cup of coffee in one of your photos. Let me know if you know who he is. (hint: my brother)
No way! What a small world we live in. Tell him we loved the area, and I hope he doesn’t mind that he’s in a photo of the place (I will remove the photo if he does, of course).