Tuesday, February 21, 2012


With its dazzling setting and balmy weather, it promised terrific fishing and tropical relaxation for vacationers.

In 1945, a developer from Minnesota bought the 40 acres land and a couple of shacks, cistern, and no amenities. He built a 26-room inn, dining room, and lounge, a few cottages and a spacious residence for his family. In 1970, a golf course was added, along with tennis courts, a medical office, and many residential units.

After hurricane Andrew the residents bought the assets of their community and secured the right of self-governance.
Ray and Cheryl Parker hosted the 2012 Tennis Tournament and invited my husband, Sam, to participate as a partner to Cheryl. I tagged along, and for three days I had the privilege of discovering the sophisticated village, called Ocean Reef Club, and admiring its quaint and relaxed mode of living.

On Thursday night we were invited to a cocktail for the inauguration of the Tennis Tournament, and later to dinner by Cheryl and Ray in one of the many restaurants of the Reef that promote healthy food with an elegant presentation.

On Friday morning I watched Sam and Cheryl play their games and win the match.

After lunch, Cheryl lent us her golf cart. Sam gave me a tour of the Reef.

The next day, we visited the marina and I took pictures of the superb yachts to help in my research for my novel, GREEK ENCOUNTER.

During the day we attended more tennis competitions for Cheryl and Sam who well deserved championship trophies.

In the evening Ray and Cheryl hosted a lovely party for the guests of the Tennis Tournament. The theme was the Roaring Twenties. The tables were decorated with rows of beads dangling from a wide cup.

A band played Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and many oldies, while mute movies of Charlie Chaplin scrolled on a TV screen. We toasted and danced.

Thank you, Cheryl and Ray, for your invitation and lovely hospitality.

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Osiris’ Missing Part


StephB said...

Mona, I loved your pictures. They reminded me of when I visit Catalina Island in the summer with the boys with the golf carts which are the main mode of transportation. There's a golf course, yachts, tennis, fun. Thanks so much for sharing.


Celia Yeary said...

Wow, I'd love to visit there--what am I saying? I'd love to live there! Very, very nice. Your photos were great--enjoyed seeing your dh, and good for him on winning those trophies.

Mary Ricksen said...

You look fantastic Mona! I'm glad to see you up and about, even if just for awhile! What a wonderful place and talented friends...

Mona Risk said...

Hi Steph, I've never been to Catalina, but I heard the name.Ocean Reef is exactly as you described Catalina.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Celia, I don't think I'd like to live there. I'd be bored on the long run. My dh loves tennis. I am so glad he won.

Mona Risk said...

Mary, I was still in a good shape when I went there, got my problems after I came back.

Kylie Frost said...

Hi Mona, I've never been to Key Largo but this has prompted me to look it up on the map. I feel a road trip coming on :-).

Maggie Toussaint said...

What a fun getaway, Mona! Everything sounded like so much fun. I especially love the healthy sounding restaurants. Sometimes its hard to find healthy eats!

Morgan Mandel said...

How absolutely lovely! That flowered archway really struck me, and those other pictures show an entire different way of life than here in Illinois during the winter months.

Morgan Mandel

Ilona Fridl said...

What a beautiful area! Looks like you had a great time. I'm not a big fan of Florida, but it does have its good spots.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Kylie, I live in South Florida but always thought of the Keys as being the only Keys! LOL --Not very clear-- Key Largo and Ocean Reef was a nice surprise for us.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Maggie, the whole atmosphere was lovely. The community there have a theatre, sailing club, cooking school, mini-hospital,spa. The residents drive golf carts to go around the island--I'm not sure it's an island although it looks like it with so much water around.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Morgan, the place has a very relaxed mode of life. I could settle there and write all day. But it's outrageously expensive.

Mona Risk said...

Ilona, I love Florida and live there. Even in summer when you are on the shore there's always a nice breeze.

Madison Parker said...

Last summer, my girlfriends and I went on the most relaxing vacation in the Florida Keys. We found an incredible rental in the awesome Ocean Reef Community in Key Largo. Elaine knew Bob from Swenson & Ecuyer Realty and he found us this perfect condo right on the breathtaking Marina. Bob and his team provided excellent concierge service, that catered to our every needs. We did everything... scuba diving, tennis, sailing, golfing, etc.. The experience was amazing! You should check them out at or call 3053673600.