Kayaking in Florida

Mullock Creek Marina in Fort Myers, Florida is one of those places only the locals know about.  My friend who lives in Fort Myers hooked us up and we had a wonderful afternoon kayaking through an estuary (for those of you who don’t know exactly what that means…”An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea”).  It was a steal at $25 for an all day rental.   Partly cloudy skies and light winds made for a perfect afternoon.

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I took my camera in a large Ziploc bag to protect it.  Here are my friends…

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Here’s Wayne catching a large Tarpon fishy…

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Another Day at the Beach

Yesterday, my friends and I headed to Ft. Myers Beach for some fun in the sun.  We went farther South this time and picked a spot that was less populated.  This pelican was diving for fish…

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The ladies taking a nice long walk on the beach…

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More birds…

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First Few Days in Florida

My two girlfriends (who are sisters) and I drove the 16 hours from Ohio to Cape Coral, Florida in two days and arrived on Monday afternoon.  Back in the day, we would’ve driven straight through.  To take advantage of the remaining sunshine, we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the pool.  A friend who is like a relative very generously allows me to stay at her condo which is near Ft. Myers.  There is a small stretch of beach with a fun restaurant bar called Cape Coral Yacht Club about five minutes from the condo.  After relaxing for a bit at the pool, we headed there for a casual dinner and to watch the sunset.

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Tuesday, we couldn’t wait to see the beach…

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Road Trip to Florida

I’ll be heading to the Fort Myers area of Florida this weekend to spend the month of December and I’m so excited!  You may remember when I visited two years ago during my six-week Couchsurfing road trip through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.  I’ll have my Nikon D5100 with me this time, so I hope to capture some amazing sights!  Here are some photos from 2012.  Most of these are from the Rosemary and Seacrest Beach areas on the Gulf…

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This resembles a spine…

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Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Museum

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Museum are well worth the $25 per person fee to have a guided tour!  This Banyan tree, one of the largest in the U.S., was planted by Edison on the 20 acres where the Estates, Museum and gardens are located.

Thomas Edison purchased the property in 1885 because bamboo trees are plentiful and he used them in his light bulbs to extend their life.  He built two homes on the property.  Henry Ford was one of his good friends and bought the property next door.  They’re located on the Caloosahatchee River.  They both loved nature and planted a wide variety of flowers, trees and plants.

The views are gorgeous!

The entire place is camera friendly and although you’re prohibited from entering the homes, there are areas to view some of the rooms.

As you can see, they’ve decorated for the holidays.

The museum was impressive…not only with the knowledge it conveys, but also in its aesthetic nature.

An “electric pen” looks like fun!

There were lots of family photos and movies to watch.  Edison was a workaholic, so it’s nice to see him enjoying time with his family.

My “artsy” shot…

Hope you enjoyed your “virtual” tour!  Bye, bye!

What to do on Sanibel Island

Located 10-15 minutes from Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island has lots of fun things to do!  After paying a rather pricey toll charge of $6.00, we devoured a freshly caught grouper sandwich at Grandma Dots restaurant.

Located at a marina, it’s cute and casual!

Driving just a few minutes down the main drag, we arrived at the lighthouse beach and paid $4.00 for two hours of beach time!  Today it was warmer…almost 80 degrees…so we took a dip in the ice cold ocean and went for a long walk on the beach!

These paddleboarders were fun to photograph!

I have to give credit to my husband for this photo…

Here’s the bridge we crossed to go back to Ft. Myers/Cape Coral…

Not all beaches are created equal…but I love them all!!

Lee County Dog Park, Kayaking to Lovers Key State Park & Bicycling

If you live in Florida or travel with your dog…Lee County Dog Park next to Ft. Myers and Lovers Key State Park is a fun..fun place to take your dog!  We arrived about 7:30am to meet a friend who took us kayaking and checked out the Dog Park while we waited for him to arrive.

One of the dog owners told us that the place becomes quite busy with dogs and their owners on the weekends.  Depending on the tide…you may have to wade through a foot or two of water to get to the little island where the dogs are in the photo below.  It was a bit chilly this morning to do that…50 degrees.

I spotted this bird while we were watching the dogs…

I’m becoming obsessed with reflection shots…

I have my down jacket on for the beginning of the kayaking experience.  We paddled about three miles total and even ventured out into the Gulf from the coastal waterway.  We stopped at Lovers Key State Park and walked around.  I’ve only been kayaking once or twice before…so this was a lot of fun!  Thanks Wayne!!

Yesterday, the lumberjack and I went and bought a couple of used beach cruisers to leave for the family members that let us use their condos…and for anyone else that visits.  We purposely bought these type…you know…the old style where you push back on the pedals to stop and only one gear…forward!

We took a ride this afternoon.  Of course, the lumberjack would have to ride by me and screech his brakes really loudly to scare me…which worked…but also made me angry!  This was after the chain fell off…preventing me from being able to stop…which was scary!  But…I had fun!

We’re headed to have a drink at the small beach nearby and a bite to eat…while we watch the sunset.  Lovin’ Florida!!

Listen to the Whispers of Your Heart

This past week has been a wild ride.  After being dropped at the Cincinnati Airport to travel to California for a Symposium, where mass interviews took place, I realized I was at the wrong airport.  How does that happen to someone who is as detailed and organized as I am?  I believe I wasn’t supposed to go and I was ignoring the whispers of the universe/God/my heart!  I had tried to back out of going a while back and people talked me back into it.  And actually—that sign from the Universe was yelling—not whispering!

I’m frantically calling my husband repeatedly to come back and pick me up—to no avail—he had turned his cell phone off because people kept texting him while we were having a rather heated discussion on the way to the airport.  Everything was aligned against me going.  The next flight through that airline to Sacramento wasn’t until Tuesday and flights through other airlines were too expensive.

While I was waiting for my girlfriend to pick me up at the airport, having cried and feeling at one point that it was the end of the world, a handicapped man hobbled past me and a new perspective hit me.  So what, I missed a flight.  That happens some times…it had just never happened in all of my travels…to me.  If I really wanted to be a Tour Director, those are some of the kinds of things that happen while traveling.  I also remembered a conversation I had with my boss’s girlfriend the day before leaving.  She said the universe guides us if we listen, which I knew, but had forgotten.  I spent the day helping my girlfriend pick out décor for remodeling her bathroom, had a couple of rum and coke and spent the night at her house.

My husband picked me up the next day—on Sunday—and I asked him if he’d like to drive to Florida for the week.  I had a friend that had offered her condo for us to stay in at Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.  After checking with his boss, it took all of 2 hours to unpack winter clothes, pack summer clothes and hit the road for the 17-hour drive.  On the drive down we stayed at the same motel in Macon, Georgia, my mother and I stayed at in March, when I drove her down before she died from Cancer in June.

The weather was glorious…80 degrees and sunny every day.  I jogged every morning, took 3-4 mile hikes on the beach and read by the pool!  I’m glad I chose to not sulk—to seize the moments!

Here are some photos from the trip—

CAPTIVA BEACH…FLORIDA

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GREAT IDEA!!

As Marilyn Monroe has said…”Sometimes Good Things Fall apart so Better Things Can Fall Together”.  I can’t wait to see what the Universe has in store for me next—I have a feeling there are some adventurous times around the corner!