Usually when you leave a restaurant, you might see mints or matchbooks to pick up on your way out. We were leaving Lazy Days Restaurant after lunch one day in Islamorada (79867 Overseas Highway, Oceanside), when I saw these happy fish. They were on display in a big empty aquarium, perched in coral and placed around on the sandy bottom. You couldn’t help but smile when you saw them. There were some cards for a gift shop, so I picked one up – along with my after lunch mints.
We were on a Keys dive week, as a tune up for a trip to deep blue water later in the summer. We had just finished the morning dive trip and were treating Brian, my friend / dive instructor / boat captain, to lunch. Brian is amazing in the water; we swear he has gills. That particular trip he was on a wok charred tuna kick at lunch and dinner, and so we dubbed that week the “Tuna Tartare Tour” of the Keys. Brian (aka Captain Luv) knows the location of just about everything between Key Largo & Islamorada, and can tell you who to ask for, and to let them know he sent you – but he was stumped on the gift shop card. I thought the fish were charming and was determined to find them before the week was out.
Bluwaterguy knows my standard procedure to always bring back something fun to remember the trip, and once on the trail for something I’ve spied, I rarely give up. The week was almost over by the time we found Captains Imports (99150 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037) and the glass fish from the restaurant. The shop displays them on mirrored trays or tiles and they are beautiful that way. I thought about that for my mine, but always remembered the ones I saw perched in the coral at the restaurant. I found this resin coral from Pottery Barn and was able to work it just the way I wanted. Pottery Barn has lots of different coral this year, so many more options now. I called Captains Imports the other day to ask if they still have the happy fish – and yes, they do 🙂
These are a great little gifty for someone you know who loves ocean décor. You can call and get one or two (or even my favorite – three) and I guarantee the recipient will be happy. I especially like my blue hermit crab. When the sun hits the glass colors it will even reflect back on the sand. How can you not be happy with these reef critters?
Get some for yourself or give one to someone you know. We can all use a few happy fish!