Our last dive trip was in August 2011. We found out we were expecting a Hamish a couple of months later, which put a hiatus on diving. Then we moved. And moved again. And lived out of our car. And moved again.

But over a delicious birthday dinner this year we started talking about our next dive trip.

This would need to be a different kind of dive trip. No week-long boat trip for Hamish. So we texted our favorite dive buddies that night--who recently welcomed Stetson (her pre-birth-then-internet identity a la "Hamish")--and proposed a family-friendly dive trip.

My first thought was Bonaire, but there were a lot of unknowns in this trip, and Stetson didn't yet have a passport, so we decided to keep it Stateside. The goal was about a week in the Florida Keys, taking turns watching the girls and diving for three days (6 dives each), trading off at lunch each day.

I'd say it was a great success. Hamish and Stetson loved each other. Stetson is the most cheerful chunky monkey baby ever and she breaks into the most awesome smiles when you look at her. She and Kyle were fast friends. She even took a marathon nap for him one afternoon.

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Hamish added a new word to her growing vocabulary: baby! And she only smacked Stetson in the face 5 or 6 times (OUT OF LOVE). She especially enjoyed picnics every day since our rental house didn't have a high chair.

And she liked the house because she got to play in one of her favorite spots: under tables!

Oops. Stuck.

And Stetson brought really cool toys. Like these teething rings. I mean, bangles.

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We rented a three bedroom house through VRBO in Key Largo, which gave the girls plenty of room to play, and it let us put them to bed each night and hang out together. We went out some nights, grilled/cooked some, and ordered pizza one night. Kyle and Tim went on a late night Key Lime pie run our second night and bought a whole pie that we ate on for the rest of the week.

The house was just a short walk to the community marina and beach, but we only hung out there one afternoon, though we took regular walks beside it. The sun was strong late into the afternoon. Our beach was on the bay side of Key Largo--so no waves--but it was Hamish's introduction to salt water and sand. She liked it.
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On Saturday we drove 100 miles down the Overseas Highway to Key West, had Cuban sandwiches on the beach, and introduced Hamish to the ocean proper (though still hardly any waves). Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
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While Hamish and Kyle played in the ocean, Kristen, Stetson and I enjoyed the shade.

After lunch in Key West we wandered around town for just a little bit and got ice cream before going to a gallery exhibiting the work of Andreas Franke, a diver and photographer whose "The Sinking World" project has some really haunting multiple exposure images on wrecks. Franke took images while diving on wrecks in the Keys (including one Tim and Kristen dived) and then exposed studio shots on top of them. Those results are interesting enough, but then he mounted the finished product back on the wreck--under water--for divers to enjoy. He removed the mounted images, now encrusted with algae and microorganisms, and displayed them at a gallery in Key West. We saw one original and several prints.

On Sunday, we were done with photography and ready to get get in the water ourselves. Good thing Hamish and Stetson are such good buddies.

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