We’ve been settling in here at Curry Hammock State Park for the past week and half, and so far, it’s just as wonderful as we had imagined. We’ve been visiting Marathon for the past few years, never staying longer than a week and never getting to experience this part of the island. The beach that is just right outside our campsite is gorgeous and crystal blue. The weather has been good, a lot windier than I had anticipated, but the breeze feels nice on those 80 degree days. As I’m sure any of you RVers know, when it’s windy, you’ve got to worry about the awning (definitely do not want to shell out $1500 or so on a new one), BJ has been on awning, tents and all other loose objects outside, patrol, ensuring no casualties.
So how’s the hosting going…….GREAT! This park is so well managed, with an amazing staff and even more amazing hosts. Sandy and John the other campground hosts that trained us have been hosting here for over 15 years (back when the park only had compost toilets, which would have been a deal breaker for me, but just shows their dedication), and Charlie and Gigi, almost as long. These folks have so much pride in this park and truly treat it like home. They know it all when it comes to hosting, working the park and living in a RV, and have taken us under their wings. They all have been such a pleasure to work with. Too bad they leave at the end of this month 😦 keeping our fingers crossed for another great bunch. Not only have they been helping us on the in’s and out’s of hosting, but also the good happy hour spots (it’s all about saving $$$), the best fish sandwich in town, places to hit for some good music, and so much more! These folks have been priceless to have around for our first month.
(view from our first happy hour spot, 7 mile bridge and all, The Sunset Grille & Raw Bar…$.35 peel ‘n eat shrimp, $.59 wings, $2 beers and well drinks)
More specifics on the hosting, we work fourteen days a month, a few days on in a row, and a few off. We clean the bathhouse daily, which is practically brand new, so it’s a breeze. We clean up sites as folks leave, so far we’ve had nothing but good campers, so no real messes. Recycling is of huge importance here, which I love, so we make sure it is separated and collected and bins are emptied, making room for campers and day use users to responsibly dispose of their trash. The campers we’ve met so far have also been coming for years and years, they’re from all over the country, but they’ve all become this adorable Curry Hammock family, making sure to book for next year together, and keeping in touch throughout the year when back home. It’s nice when even the campers understand the importance of this little piece of paradise and treat it as such.
(picture above: the adorable little Curry Hammock family I refer to above)
We made it down, just in time for the Original Seafood Festival in Marathon, going on 40 years. Only $5 gets you in, beer in a souvenir mug for $5 with $3 refills (such a deal), all profits benefiting a local youth charity, so a win win for everyone. Live music all day, all kinds of food (we split a lobster plate for $20, which I forgot to snap a photo of because I was too busy chowing down), and then walked around checking out the vendors. Majority of the booths were local artists, the one that stuck out the most, Steve Diossy (check out his website to see what I’m talking about). His paintings were just so clever and fun and it didn’t hurt that he and his brother were super nice guys. Our favorite of his work, the overweight shark in floaties, hands down! We walked away wishing we had a beach house to fill the walls with some of those happy and non-pretentious pieces of art, unfortunately, there just isn’t enough wall space in the RV. This seafood festival is a must if you’re ever in the area!
(waiting in line for food at the Marathon Seafood Festival)
On a scale from one to ten, our first week in the Keys has been a definite ten! Can’t wait to get out and explore more. We’ve already done some fishing, motorcycling and biking. This week is BJ’s birthday so what we do on our off days is totally up to him, maybe a trip down to Key West or a day out on the kayaks. Who knows?!?!?