The One Where I Question Our Sanity and Whine Like a Baby



When a tour company approaches you as you board their boat offering the chance to back out with a full refund, a normal person would heed the warning, take the money and run.

But we aren’t normal.  Because we have a quest to visit every national park during our married life together.  And this quest brought us all the way down to Key West.  And we didn’t drive all the way down to Key West only to turn around and head 100 miles north without first taking a boat 70 nautical miles further west to Dry Tortugas National Park.

So, we boarded the boat with our crew of lil ones,  quickly bought some Dramamine and off we set for the Dry Tortugas!

The first hour was nice.  We ate breakfast, the kids met the Captain, did a little coloring… then, our 3 yr complained of her belly hurting.  We quickly got our supply of “bags” ready and spent the next hour losing our breakfasts.  The girls fell first.  With the 4 yr old having it the worst, followed closely by her Momma.  By the time we reached the island we were both covered in her puke.   The only one who was spared the misery was our 6 yr old.  Even our baby fell victim to the sea.  Scott held out pretty long, and truthfully, I think he was sick more from watching, smelling, and wearing all of our puke, than he did from actual sea sickness.

Ya know how on TV whenever they show women in labor, they show them angry and screaming?  Well, I am not one to scream in labor.  But, when sea sick, that is a whole other story…   Pretty much all I said during that hour was, “I’m sorry and thank you” to the incredible boat crew who kept helping us clean up and “We are IDIOTS… what were we thinking?” to poor Scott as we did our best to hold barf bags for our kids, hold our kids, and puke into bags of our own.  IMG_5835This picture was actually taken on the way home… when, with more favorable seas and a more timely dose of Dramamine, the kids slept and all 6 enjoyed a nice boat ride without feeling sick!

It was just as horrible as you might think and I wondered if the island could possibly come close to being worth the trek out there. 

IMG_5685Finally when we reached the boundaries of the park with the island in sight, our stomachs settled and we got a view of the paradise awaiting us.

Shell in the surf

Ft Jefferson was built on the Dry Tortugas in the 1800s to defend our trade routes from Britain.  Words can’t even describe how enormous it was and it truly blows my mind to think of how they got those bricks all the way out there and built it.  Here is a view of the inside of the fort.  They said you could fit all of Yankee Stadium in here.  It is massive!   And our son loved the fact that each “window’’ was intended for a cannon.Fort Jefferson

View through window of Fort Jefferson

A moat surrounds the entire fort.  We enjoyed our walk around it looking for wildlife swimming inside of the moat. 

Walking the moat around Fort Jefferson

We also enjoyed walking around the halls of the fort as well as the view from the top. 

Walking the halls of Fort Jefferson

Me and my little girlWe chose to eat our lunch at a picnic table by the shore.  Afterwards the kids enjoyed playing on the beach.  The water and adjacent islands were beautiful!  One island aptly named “bird island” had a cloud of constantly swarming birds going though there annual matting dance. Gymnastics at the beach

My son particularly enjoyed playing in the giant cannon (and pretending to fire his sister in it).

Ready, aim, fire!!!

During the boat ride home I was already telling Scott that the ride there had been worth it.  I guess I am glad we’re a little nuts! 


  1. Wow! What a great and interesting adventure!! I get motion sickness sooooooo easily! I would have been miserable just like you guys!! But, it does look like it was well worth it!!! Loved the pictures!

  2. So glad that it was finally worth the enormous effort! Great pictures of a beautiful island and park. Keep on checking off that NP list :-)

  3. Ummm...I seriously think you guys are the BEST! Way to just do it! Love the pictures and what a great memory! :)

  4. Wow.... way to hang in there!!! I'm squeamish when it comes to puke too, so I'd have been right there with Scott, puking my brains out. Glad it worked out!

  5. Man, what a trip! I'm so, so sorry for everything you had to endure on the way out. How long was the boat ride? I'm glad it was worth it, though. Even just for that picture with your kids and the cannon. My favorite picture yet! I love your sense of adventure and have asked on more than one occasion if you guys really are that crazy. The answer is usually yes. Remember that trip into NYC??

  6. A crazy, but totally awesome trooper! I would have just thrown myself overboard! Those are great pictures. So many framers from your vacation pics! I love the one of you and Scott and the one of you all of you in front of that ship is so cute!

    I'm glad the beauty of this last Ntl Park was worth all the seasickies for you guys! What an adventure!

  7. Ok, I'll start off with saying that I think the park you went to looks awesome and it's so great that you were able to experience - it really looks unique and sounds like a great memory. BUT - holy cow, that boat ride!!! I cringed the entire time reading it - it sounded so awful!!! I don't know if I would have been able to come away with such great memories after that rocky start, I'm so impressed with you guys!!!

  8. What a cool place! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think that is really cool when a family decides to go on adventures together. And it's such a great learning experience for your kids to do "field trips" with their parents. They'll never forget it!

  9. my jaw literally dropped as I read the first part- I can't even imagine how horrible that was!!!. . . and I think it is hilarious that they tried to get you to change your mind before you boarded the boat!! You really are crazy - but it did look pretty cool afterall, so I'm glad it was all worth it :)


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