Friday, April 8, 2011

Ft. Myers, Naples & Everglades

Well we have been so busy that I just haven't had time to write.  We get up at 7 a.m. and get home around 9 pm and we are just pooped!  When we got to Ft. Myers we just drove around and looked at RV places just in case we decided to come back and stay a winter.  With my sprained ankle it is making my beach walking and other walking impossible...darn it!!  It is till very swollen but I can hobble around on it but I am still bummed.  We went to dinner on Ft. Myers Beach using a Groupon coupon.  Groupon is really helping with this trip along with our Passport America discounts for camping.  Otherwise we could never be doing this trip.  If you are interested in signing up for Groupon could you let me know and I will send you an email that will help us earn some free coupons...thanks.
Using Groupon I had a massage schedule for Tuesday on Ft. Myers Beach, it and Ft. Myers are two separate places.  When people refer to Ft. Myers they usually mean "Beach".  After my fall it was nice to get a massage but sure wasn't long enough but it helped. The day was cloudy so we drove out to Lover's Key State Park, but it started raining so we just made a quick trip through the park.  It is a very popular place to go.  That rain was all we got this week, but it helped me stay off my foot.  The town of Ft. Myers Beach is very layed back and very popular for Spring Break.  Again we found that parking for the beach area is very difficult and that you still can't drive along the Gulf water like you can the Pacific Ocean on the West coast because of all the hotels and condos.  Still having a Groupon to use we went to a Pub for a late lunch.  Dusty ordered some Nachos to go with the beers and they were huge, we never had a actual lunch!!  We had fun talking to the bartender and locals and during a conversation expensive drinks came up and a regular told us about a expensive Scotch that cost $50 a shot and tasted like barb-a-que smoke.  Now I had to see what he was talking about but no way was I paying the price!  Smiling nicely I asked the female bartender for a sip...I got a full shot and right away Dusty and I recognized the smell as that of "peat".  When we were in Ireland we learned that years ago not having access to wood the people would cut the peat that the Island is made of and burn it.  They no longer have to do this but the tourists expect it so many places will still burn it in the fireplaces and it does have a distinctive smell.  You could taste it too and I could see why the man hadn't liked it and I would never have paid $50 for it and I do like good Scotch.  But we had a fun afternoon there and then headed back to ice my foot.
On Wednesday we drove down to Naples.  My oh my, what a beautiful, beautiful town!!  Definitely for the Rich and Famous.  I mean why do people need such huge homes these days??  They looked like castles.  I couldn't get good pictures of them as there were always cars behind us and No Parking signs everywhere.  Very limited access to the beach unless you live there.  There is a very nice State Park there that would be the best place to go, but since we are travelling to the Keys...Yeah...while I write this and icing my foot...I can't get to the information of the name of the park. The nice thing about the Naples area is that they have left the coastline natural so there is still trees and palm trees and plants that you see from the beach.  So you kind of get an idea of what it looking liked to the Spaniard's when they landed here in the 1500's.  Did you know Spain sold Florida and some other parts of the south to us for only 1 penny???
Yesterday which was Thursday the 7th we decided to do a Airboat ride since I couldn't do much walking.  The day was perfect, blue sky it.  Anyway we went to Everglades City and went out with Robert from Speedy's.  They take boats out that only hold 6 people so we were able to go through Mangrove canals and out to the open grasslands.  What a thrill!!  This was definitely on Dusty's Bucketlist and it didn't disappoint.  Robert didn't spend the time talking but gave us a real ride and it was cool to even be able to float over the land.  When we were done we went to the National Park area for the Everglades since we were there to ask about a canoe trip.  But since we have no experience they didn't recommend it.  But a large patio boat was getting ready to go through the Everglades out to the Gulf so we hopped on.  It was a good decision and we learned allot, like that Manatee's have very little fat even though they are huge..there body is made up of 70 o/o bone which is Ivory..just like an elephants tusk.  I asked the Captain why and he said I am just a dump Captain..I don't know.  LOL  He did pass around a rib bone from a baby Manatee and it sure was heavy.  Even though he said we probably went over 100 one never surfaced enough for us to see.  But when we got to the gulf we did see some dolphins playing.  They put on quit a show for us, and swimming right up to the boat.  We had our own little "Seaworld".  He sped up so they could play in the wake and boy did they have fun chasing us, jumping out of the water, not only did the kids on board have fun so did us adults. 
The captain told us of a little restaurant so we went there for lunch.h It was a Cuban one and having heard Bill Rayl talk about how much he loved Cuban sandwiches we decided to try one and Dusty also got some Mahi Mahi.  We agree with Bill they are delicious.  From there we went to a little roadside walkway and saw some Alligators, large turtles and very large fish.  We also went on down the road to a State Park and started to walk a ways down the path.  There on the bank was an Alligator about 6 ft long.  The people said there had been a baby one climbing all over her earlier, we waited, but it didn't come out of hiding even tho we coud hear it clucking.  I told Dusty to get close so I could take a picture..he said .."So I can get bit?"  I said no I just wanted one so people would know we were in the natural sitting and not at a farm.  Unfortunately he got eaten so I have no pictures to show you.....NOT.  He just hasn't had time to download them so they will be on later.  My foot wasn't allowing me to walk much further so on our way back I decided to have my picture taken with her.  Just after that a group came up and were talking...Hey I didn't know an Alligator can run 27 MPH for about 50ft!!!!  I asked the man if he was sure and he said he was a tour guide on his day off and Yes he was sure!!! more pictures with that Alligator.  On our way home we rode over to Marco Island, again unless you live there very hard to get to the beach, nice place but not nearly has beautiful as Naples.  I must say Naples is one of the prettiest towns I have ever seen, I am talking along the water and the old town of Naples, not out along Hwy 41, that is like any other town.
The main thing so far is we are loving this trip and even though it took us 3 years to get here- we did and are having fun in spite of this stupid foot!

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