I spent a week with my family in Florida last week. One day we decided to take a ride from their house in Boynton Beach, about 60 miles north of Miami, to Key Largo for lunch.

But once we got to Key Largo, we decided to head for Islamorada, where we had lunch overlooking the beach.

Then Marathon. Oh, what the hell, let’s go to Key West.

Well, we never made it to Key West, which is 150 miles south of Miami on US 1, but we did make it as far as the Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, just past Seven Mile Bridge, about 30 miles before Key West. Here are some of the highlights.

(Oh, and watch for more vacation photos later in the week!)

This homemade boat carried 17 people, including five children, from Cuba in 2013.

Snowy egret

Pelican in Islamorada


Under the old US 1 in Bahia Honda Key

Sailboats in Islamorada

After a hurricane destroyed the Miami to Key West Railroad (1912-1936), the Overseas Highway (US 1) was planned. On this section, the road was built over the abandoned railroad tracks. This bridge was replaced in the 1970s, but this section still stands.

Section of abandoned railroad bridge

Old and new Overseas Highway

Key Deer live on Big Pine Key, No Name Key and a few other islands. The federal government has set aside 8,542 acres as a refuge for this endangered species, the smallest breed of deer in the world.

This female deer was cautious but came close to us. We spotted her on Watson Boulevard, about three miles west of US 1 on Big Pine Key.