Dec 13th -21st, we stayed at Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina, which is technically located on Ohio Key, but is addressed as Big Pine Key, FL. We were in site #429 and the cost is $150.10 per night. The sites are very large, room enough for 2 vehicles. There are 900 sites total, 47 of which are premium sites, 60 Elite sites and the rest are standard. The amenities include – basketball, horse shoes, corn hole, playground, fitness center, pool, entertainment room, tennis courts & pickleball, beach volley ball, dump station, recycling & dumpster area with smaller dumpsters located at each bathhouse which there are 3, 2 fish cleaning stations, propane, bait & tackle, Keys Boat Tours and there is also a gas station & grocery store located just outside the entrance to the resort. There is also laundry which is located near the Marina which is on the opposite side of the RV Resort from us. It has 12 large capacity top loading washers & 12 dryers, half of each have the credit card machines down. The machines only take credit cards and the cost to wash a small load is $2.25 and the cost of a large load is $3. The dryers are $2.25 each for 48 minutes. The machines that are down are not clearly marked and several residents are unhappy considering how much they are paying to stay at this RV Park.
Dec 13th, we arrived just in time to see the sunset at Sunset Pier located at the RV Resort after getting the trailer parked and ready for our stay. We then went to dinner at Milagro Restaurant & Bar in Big Pine Key. We got shrimp cocktail to start which was 4 Key West Pinks for $14. I had the Niman Ranch Pork Chop with a mustard rub, maple sweet potato & carrots which came with 2 chops for $28 (there was enough leftover for lunch the next day) and Chad had the El Milagro Pizza with homemade chorizo, roasted Poblano & Oaxaca cheese for $16. Not impressed with the lack of color on my plate and that they chose to put two root vegetables together. The service & food were good, and the restaurant was nice, but thought the shrimp was overpriced for what we got.
Dec 14th, we went to brunch at Florida Keys Café in Big Pine Keys. We got the Farmer’s Skillet which is red potato, onion, red & green pepper, cheddar cheese and your choice of meat and comes with choice of toast or biscuit, $11.95 was the cost not including the coffee & juice or tip. This place is located in a run-down part of town, but the food and service are great! Though after bringing us the check the waitress never came back to get the payment so Chad had to track someone down. I wasn’t feeling great that day and Chad has some work stuff to do, but later we went to Bahia Honda State Park to watch the sunset and then we watched Because of Winn Dixie.
Dec 15th, we went to Blue Hole in Big Pine Key. We saw a couple alligators, the water isn’t very clear so there isn’t much to see besides the gators. We looked for another place that Chad had read about but was unable to find a place to put the kayak in. We saw some Key Deer, which are endangered, on our drive. We check out the marina in the RV resort and saw a shark that might have been a Bonnethead. We also saw a bunch of other large fish, but there is absolutely no fishing in the marina area.
Dec 17th, we woke up early enough to watch the sunset on the beach just a few steps away from our door. That evening we went to dinner at Big Pine Rooster in Big Pine Key. We shared the Rooster Burger which comes topped with bacon, grilled onions and peppers and comes with a side of fries, $12.95 was the cost. Chad also ordered a crab cake for $6 and was a lot bigger in size than he had expected. We had apple cobbler for dessert for $2.95 and he had ice tea to drink, $2.95 was the cost.
Dec 18th, we had dinner at Coco’s Kitchen in Big Pine Key. This place isn’t fancy but the food we had was really good and the chef is the owner who is a lovely woman in her 80’s. You could tell that this place has regulars. We had the skirt steak, black beans & rice as well as fried plantains. We also enjoyed our first piece of Key Lime pie since being in Florida.
Dec 19th, I went to Marathon for the morning while Chad was meeting with Florida Keys Mosquito Control. I went to Christina’s Consignment Boutique, which is a nice store with reasonable prices. There was a rack with items for 50% off and also a rack with items for $1. Right next door is Garage Sale Thrift Store, but it wasn’t open. There is also Nearly New Thrift Store and was a nice shop. I met up with Chad and crew to have lunch at Key Colony Inn in Marathon. Just discovered a coupon for a free piece of Key Lime Pie with your dinner entrée purchase. I had the club sandwich, $8.95 does not include a side. Chad had the special for Maui Maui (Dolphin fish) and shrimp for $13.95 and $2.95 for ice tea. For dinner that evening we went to Porky’s Bayside BBQ in Marathon. Chad had Lobster Bisque and then we shared a plate with Cuban pork, brisket, southern fried corn on the cob & veggies. We had fried key lime pie for dessert which is the only reason I would ever come back to this place in my opinion. Chad had a hard time finding any lobster in his bisque. The brisket was alright but we have had better elsewhere. The last time we came to this place several years ago the food was tasteless and the service was lowsy. I didn’t want to eat here but Chad had said how good it was when he and the crew went there for lunch earlier in the week. The waitress was new but was very attentive and she knew the answers to the questions we had for her.
Dec 20th, we grabbed 18” El Gusto pizza from Popa Jim’s in Big Pine Key for $27.95 and had enough leftover for a couple of lunches. We weren’t a fan of the crust, but it was good otherwise. They cut the slices fairly large and the crust was a bit floppy so once I cut it into smaller slices than it was easier to eat. We watched Daddy’s Home Two while eating our pizza. Since Chad grew up as a JW, he wasn’t one to watch Christmas movies so I have been introducing him to new movies each year. The resort originally had a Laua planned for the guest which was free of charge but it was cancelled due to high winds & rain.
NOTE: By the time we left the washers & dryers that were out of order had been fixed. It took almost a week to get them back up and running. As far as I could tell, it was just an issue with the credit card readers being offline.