Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tuesday, Shrimp Shack and Wednesday, Home- November 28 & 29, 2017

Yesterday, Tuesday, we didn't have any plans for anything.  We had seen a place that appeared to be a citrus processing plant with a some sort of sales center that we thought we would check out.  They do package fruit to be sent from Florida and have a gift shop.  We were able to look into the processing area through windows in the gift shop.  When first walking into the gift shop we saw some ladies standing by tables with chairs.  Both of us thought at first they were waiting on a group that might be coming there for a luncheon but we soon realized they were there to help customers fill out forms for fruit ordering.  We looked but didn't buy anything.  From there we decided lunch was in order so checking for restaurants in the area we came to one called Shrimp Shack and thought we would try it. Tom and I both got the cod stuffed with crab meat, said to be like Maryland crab.  We were not disappointed but not quite Maryland style crab, although not bad for Florida.  Before returning to the campground we drove out to the beach area and walked along an area of Fort Myers beach.  It was a beautiful day of bright sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70's/low 80's.

This morning we packed up the motorhome and by 9:20 am were on the road headed for home.  By 1:30 pm and 224 miles of travel we arrived back to the storage lot with the motorhome.  I had the car packed up with most of the things that needed to be taken to the house.  So quickly cleaning out the refrigerator, backing the motorhome into it's slot and disconnecting batteries we were ready to get home.
 






Monday, November 27, 2017

Sand Sculpture and Edison and Ford Winter Estates- November 26 & 27, 2017

Yesterday, Sunday, we made our way once again to Fort Myers beach for the Sand Sculpting Championship but this time we were earlier than the day before so traffic was not nearly as heavy.  These sand sculptures are so impressive.  We had been down this way last year and attended this event then.  So much work goes into these beautiful works of art it seems such a shame that immediately after this event the sand is leveled and the art is gone.  All that remains are photographs and memories.









Leaving this area we stopped for lunch at a Pinchers Seafood Restaurant where we both had softshell crabs, almost as good as in Maryland.

After lunch we walked to a dock next door to see what the Pelicans were going after.

  A charter fishing boat was cleaning the days catch and throwing the fish remains to them after filleting the Groper and Red Fish that were caught on the days trip.

Today we drove into the older area of Fort Myers to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.  We choose a guided tour as oppose to an audio tour.  The tour was about an hour long and moved along at a nice pace.   Edison and Ford homes and caretaker's home were viewed from the outside looking into rooms from doorways.







  The buildings and grounds are well maintained.  A banyan tree planted in 1927 is reported to be the largest of its kind in the continental USA and is one of over 17,000 plants that was used for rubber research.
  Today we had lunch at Iguana Mia, a nice Mexican restaurant, followed with dessert at a Rita's which we don't have in the area at The Villages.  It was cooler today and mostly cloudy.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sanibel, Captiva, Emergency Room and Six Mile Slough Preserve- November 24 & 25, 2017

Yesterday, Friday after Thanksgiving, and no we didn't go shopping.  We went to Sanibel as the were having an art festival.  There were some nice pieces of art work offered but we didn't buy anything, just looked.  From there we drove on to Captiva and found a little Mexican restaurant, Captiva Cantina, where we had lunch as we were surrounded by walls covered in dollar bills.

Returning back to the motorhome, as evening progressed Tom started experiencing some breathing issues.  By 9pm we decided we better go to an emergency room so we drove over to Cape Coral ER.  These breathing issues are nothing new as he has been treated and continues treatment for this problem but when shortness of breath occurs he usually is in need of further treatment.  So we were in the emergency room from about 10 pm until 2:20 am.  He received some breathing treatments and medicated so was feeling much better when we left.  It was 3 am until we were able to be in our beds.   Long day!

Today, Saturday, we slept late and ate a banana only breakfast.  Our first order of business was to find a pharmacy to have prescriptions filled from last night.  A Publix was located and we soon had the prescriptions filled and returned to the motorhome with the medicines.  We left again to head to Fort Myers Sand Sculpture Championship festival on the beach.  We found ourselves in a long line of traffic headed the same direction and decided maybe not today.  Our sister-in-law had told us about a place in the area called Six Mile Cypress Preserve. So we turned around and headed in that direction.  We stopped at a Bahama Breeze restaurant for lunch which we enjoyed eating on the restaurant patio.  We did then go to the Preserve which was a really nice afternoon.  The Slough is a wetland preserve of over 3500 acres.  A variety of plants and animals are protected here.  A very nice 1.2 mile boardwalk allows visitors to walk through the preserve.  It was a beautiful afternoon for doing this as the temperature did not reach 80 degrees.  In the pond areas we saw an alligator and numerous turtles.  Cypress trees, ferns, some palms and airplants were in the vegetation areas.  This is a county facility and the only charge was for parking $1.00 per hour or $5.00 for the day.  An interpretive center with a small gift shop is also located on the grounds.








  Very nice place to visit.
Before returning to the motorhome we did stop at the Love Boat ice cream shop for ice cream cones, homemade ice cream of a huge variety of flavors and reasonably priced.  Tom's breathing issues seem to be resolved for now.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 at Fort Myers, Florida- November 23, 2017

Yesterday, by 9:20 am, we were loaded up and pulling out of the storage lot in the motorhome with the Jeep tagging along behind.  We traveled most of the way on I-75 which had lots of traffic that moved along well.  At 1:46 pm we were at Indian Creek RV park, Fort Myers, Florida where we plan to stay for a week.  After setting up and eating a late lunch we took a drive out along the Gulf coast where the opposite route of traffic was congested and  slow moving that we continued on in an more inland route back to the campground.

Today, Thanksgiving Day, I got a turkey breast into the crock pot first thing in the morning and by noon on high the turkey was ready to eat.  Dressing and twice baked sweet potatoes (potatoes baked and the insides scooped out, mashed with butter, salt and pepper, and little milk and then shells refilled with shredded cheese on top) were baked in the convection oven.  Gravy and broccoli were cooked on stovetop.  Cranberry sauce had been made at home.  An apple pie, a gift from our real estate agent, will be eaten later this evening.  A good meal cooked in the motorhome but we both ate too much.
It has been cloudy today and this afternoon the rain is here.  Good day for just relaxing after a big meal and pausing to think of all the things we are thankful for.  We did walk this morning before the rains.  Who knows what we may get into tomorrow- an art festival?  sand sculpture?- lots to see and do in this area.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Good Day of Traveling Home - September 13, 2017

We were underway this morning, Wednesday,  a little before 8 am.  Leaving northern Florida we apparently were ahead of folks coming from farther north as we had a much easier driving day than yesterday.  We had a short stint on I 10 and then went south on SR 19 to Crystal River and then west SR 44 to Wildwood.  From there to Fruitland Park where the storage lot is located.  We did see some trees blown over, some wires down and branches broken off as we drove south.  There were more caravans of utility trucks also going south but not to the extent that we saw yesterday.  At the storage lot, the owners told us that there was no electric and no water in their shop and they were going to lock up after we left as we were the last one expected in today.  As we drove into The Villages we saw ponds that had expanded over the normal boundaries with trees standing in the water and there were ponds that normally are not ponds.  Debris from palm trees, the old dried lower fronds mostly,  was everywhere.  Spanish moss that hangs on the southern oak trees was scatter on the grass under the trees.  Landscaping crews were working everywhere raking up this debris into piles to be picked up.
When we got home we found everything to be in order and no problems.  Our area did not lose power but some areas still are without electricity so we are told.  It is good to be home.  We are so glad that we made the decision to go away from here during this hurricane.
Forgot to mention that numerous gas stations were out of gas and those that had gas had long lines of cars waiting to gas up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Heading For Home- September 12, 2017

A little after 8am (CT) we were leaving Biloxi heading east toward home.  Travel through Mississippi and Alabama did not go too bad on I-10 but Florida was another story.  Almost every interchange caused a back-up along with a couple accidents.  It seemed we just went at a snail's pace.  Tom had tried calling a couple campgrounds last night without anyone answering and had left messages but no call backs.  We were going to a Corps of Engineers park in Chattahoochee but the streets had no name signs posted so we missed our turn and turning around was not possible for miles further down the road.  Another park in Quincy looked promising but our GPS had us making a turn into a gas station.  Finally a call to Tallahassee RV Park a campsite was located due to a cancellation.  After 338 miles and about 10 hours later at 7:30pm (ET) we arrived at the campground.  We did stop for a late lunch at a KFC restaurant.  A long day!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma Has Left the Area- September 11, 2017

Today, Monday, we woke up to start reading on facebook if there had been any problems in The Villages.  All the reports looked positive, minimal power outages but not in our area and very little destruction.  We hopeful that all will be fine when we get home. Other areas in Florida did not fair as well.  Here in Biloxi we have not had any rain but the wind has be blowing about 16mph,  Tom finished cleaning up the outside of the motorhome while I did vacuuming inside.  Did ride out for some ice cream this evening and then had a stroll on the beach.  We plan to leave in the morning.  Attempted to call campgrounds to make reservations for tomorrow night but couldn't get anyone to answer.  The area we hope to get to was probably having some tropical weather issues this evening.