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by Pam Hobbs

Marathon Key, Florida: It was pure nostalgia that caused us to pull off the highway at Hidden Harbor Motel, a traditional single-storied motel such as we used to look for on family trips to Florida back in the '60s.

Built in 1949 and now restored to that era, its air-conditioned rooms have two double beds or one queen-sized. Some have a kitchen unit tucked into an alcove. There's a large swimming pool out back, a barbecue and picnic area by the waterfront. Guests can fish from the docks and snorkel off the jetty, and had we a boat in tow we could have launched it right here. The price is right too at U.S.$85 ( $95 for an efficiency) this winter, for two people sharing a double room.

But appearances deceive, for this is not your average motel supporting its owners in modest style. Profits from it pay for the upkeep of an adjoining hospital whose patients are injured and diseased turtles......