Happy Holidays 2021 | 2022!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Twelve Leaping Lizards
Eleven ibises wading, ten Mangrove snappers, nine egrets nesting,
eight Key deer grazing, seven turtles hatching, six dolphins playing, five coral heads,
four parrotfish, three Key West hens, two manatees
...and a pelican in a palm tree.
Merry Christmas to all
What a year it has been! Despite Covid, or perhaps because of it, we were super busy at Keys Boat Tours in 2021. It has been pretty much non-stop since the Keys opened back up in June 2020. It feels as if the Keys is the new Caribbean, choosing to visit here than go abroad. It's been so busy and crazy with Covid that I am mixing up years, and what happened when. But, here's what I do remember...
We were glad not to have cruise ships in Key West for a first time in years due to Covid. But, the Keys made up for it in visitors and tours, perhaps over 250 tours for us. And, we had over 1200 rentals too. Allison worked her tail off with rentals. And, Brian was out on fishing or snorkel tours with couples and families most days.
We both worked pretty hard but that’s all about to change. Or, maybe I should just say that we are soon to see many changes: a new home in 2022, a new resort base on Big Pine Key, a new temporary home rental on Upper Sugarloaf Key, a new live aboard boat on Summerland Key, named Allison Lee, and good bye to our mobile home of 12 years, and our workplace of the past 4+ years, Sunshine Key. A very difficult decision is whether we should take our shop cat, Barney, with us or leave him where he grew up. We can always visit.
Our mobile home is to be demolished come mid January, and replaced with an elevated 1100 sq ft, federally funded modular, thank you very much! And, we are leaving Sunshine Key for Big Pine Key Resort. Now, we have to figure out where our tortoise, Shelly, will live. But, she will likely come with us. We might have to take our box turtle visitor, Little Girl, along too, as our yard will be in excavation mode.
Allison enjoyed a visit to her mom, Esther, in May and again in November. We both enjoyed two visits to New York in June and July to celebrate Brian’s mom's birthday. And, we made it back again in early November. We look forward to get back for more quality visits. One very special visit that stands out was Allison’s grandma Lee’s 100th birthday. Happy 100 Lee!
Our plans for 2022 will be tours only, and no rentals. We have so much to sell: appliances, kayaks, etc. Otherwise, our belongings will be held in a pod until the house is complete. Going forward, we will try to offer just one tour per day rather than two, likely limited to 250 or so, and take time off as we see fit. We look forward to enjoy our brand new home, and take some overnight trips on Allison Lee. Our box truck that Brian refers to as our "land yacht" will be used to enjoy FL Keys State Parks, (see photo). It was a fun project that turned out pretty great.
In 2022, we look forward to fish (mahi and tuna), bike, and work a bit too. But, not like the past 23 years: bar owners, Upstate NY dwellers, house renovators, Bistro and Inn caretakers, art gallery owners, and let us not forget the food truck, Tortillaville. Or, Truck Shop, a fleeting effort of a shop in a truck, but it was cutting edge, and cute. Fortunately, we documented many of our experiences with four books to date. Good times mind you, but exhausting too.
We are rested, tanned, and ready for 2022 - we hope, and vaccinated and boosted, and tired of Covid too. May it soon be behind us. We expect to move into our new home around September or October, and start anew. We are looking forward to less hard work, and good times ahead. And, to your eventual visit. Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Brian and Allison