Travel Florida: Food, Fun, and Friends

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Beautiful home near Pineland Marina

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Hideaway Grill and Sushi Bar

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Sunset on Windy Night from Bokeelia Pier

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Sunset on Cloudy Night from Bokeelia Pier

It’s been a week or so since my last installment of “Travel Florida.” I think that’s been because we’ve just been living the life here on this island in the sun. We’ve also been exhausted from moving our belongings into  the little place where we are living until we buy a permanent place! I guess I’ve also been resting up! I feel better now!

It’s Easter Sunday today. Something springs to mind. I’ve been amazed at how at home I feel here. I don’t consider myself a religious person. A spiritual person, yes. I thought of this quote, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” from Matthew. That’s how I feel about the people I’ve met from Pine Island. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve felt very welcomed.

We’ve had such fun here! Moving even a portion of your household is very hard work, but it’s been just as much fun as work. We’ve taken days off to explore some of the different places on Pine Island. We’ve done some house hunting. In our case, that may be condo hunting as I’m not anxious to take on a house again. We have explored the natural environment as well as the man-made environment. We’ve eaten in some day; eaten out other days. The food available here never ceases to amaze me.

Let me give you some examples. First, food. We’ve eaten brunch several times at A Perfect Cup in Matlacha, one of the five communities on/near Pine Island. Matlacha is actually the neighboring island. I’ve taken some time out to go to A Perfect Cup in the mornings and do some writing. That would not be possible at the height of the tourist season as it would be Standing Room Only (if that). We have also gone to A Perfect Cup for brunch and they simply must have the best omelets in the world.

As far as dinner is concerned, there are so many good places to eat, I couldn’t pick one if I tried, so I won’t. I’ll just tell you where I’ve been. This past week, we opted for sushi and went to Ms. Kay’s sushi place on the road to Bokeelia, Hideaway Grill and Sushi Bar. We’ve also eaten dinner at our old stand-by place, Woody’s, in St. James City, where I always have conch fritters and a great salad. Having conch reminds me of Key West. Woody’s conch is just as good.

Next, fun. Everything is fun! House hunting is great fun. We’re drawn toward Bokeelia as a community because we do want a condo and there are a lot of nice condos there. We are still trying to get our bearings so we’re only looking from the outside right now. There is never a lot of property for sale on Pine Island. People don’t seem to leave! We will take our time and hope the right thing pops up at the right time.

I’m enjoying running around taking pictures. I love to photograph the wildlife. The exotic vegetation….well….exotic to me. The ocean and the sunrises and sunsets. One thing we find to be great fun is going to the Bokeelia Fishing Pier at sunset and joining others there to watch the sun go down. There is nothing like a sunset from that pier. In fact, there is nothing like that pier. We’ve met fine people who we hope will become great friends.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Travel Florida! Watch this space.

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An Egret at the edge of the lake at our house

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Morphed

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“My God, Nathan, let’s stay out of that old house,” Karen said.

Nathan and Karen were college students doing a field study on water pollution in the Everglades in South Florida. They had spent most of the morning taking water samples from the swamp. South of Everglades City, they had happened on an old, deserted house.

Nathan went into the house, wanting to explore. Karen followed.

Nathan reached to grab the banister and Karen screamed no. On the post, there was an otherworldly green lizard-like creature.

“Polluted water isn’t all there is here,” he thought, jumping away.

 

Photo credit by Shaktiki Sharma

#23: Adventures in RV Travel – February 16, 2017

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The End of the Road

Hello everyone! Tonight, I’m writing you from our home in Kentucky. It’s exciting that now we have two homes, one in Kentucky and one in South Florida! I do love both places. The pictures above are of each place — Kentucky on the left, then South Florida. Both beautiful places to live for very different reasons.

Our RV trip to South Florida, then to the Florida panhandle, couldn’t have been more wonderful! In South Florida, we got to have a wonderful, month’s long, vacation. But, even more important than that, we got to buy a small place of our own on an island that we’ve loved for almost ten years. We love the island, the people, the environment  there. It’s a true “Jimmy Buffett” lifestyle. I feel like I’m living in Margaritaville when I’m there!

Then we got to visit the Florida panhandle for the first time. The panhandle may have the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen this side of the Caribbean. Nothing can top the beaches of the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands, but the Florida Panhandle comes close. Of course, our viist to the Panhandle was largely to see our friends, Marty and Phil, and we enjoyed that so much.

We did have one mechanical problem with the RV. For me, RV’s are like boats! It’s always something. Some small problem and there was one trip, one time (to New England in the RV) when there were several BIG mechanical problems. This time, for those of you who are RVer’s, it was the donut gaskets and my traveling companion replaced them within a couple of hours.

One WARNING to all of you RVer’s. Before you schedule a stay at a RV park, ask them if they allow you to make small on-site repairs if need be. The RV park at Carrabelle Beach on the Florida panhandle did not allow such small repairs. The RV park at Pine Island on the Florida peninsula did. It makes a world of difference if you have a problem. We had to find a parking lot as we left the panhandle and an owner who would let us stay for a while in order to make our repairs.

It was sort of a long, hard trip home. We spent a lot of time on two-lane roads, leaving the Panhandle and getting back to the Interstate where we needed to be. A good bit of that time was at night. There are very few services, these days, on two-lane roads since most services are found around the interstate highway system. We had to drive long distances to find places to stay. We were grateful when we had made our way to the interstate. Since we started our trip home late one night, we spent that night on the road and then another night, fairly close to home. We got home in the middle of the day today.

All of you RVer’s know what it’s like to unload an RV after a month long trip! It is not for the faint of heart! We have not nearly finished but we have stopped for the night. I’m going to have to get accustomed to the cold again before I can be out at night in what passes for a Kentucky winter this year. It’s 38 degrees here tonight.

I will look back on this RV trip as a huge highlight in my life! Part of the fun has been writing these blog posts almost every night for all of you. I’ve enjoyed knowing you experienced it with me. We will be traveling more and I will always include you in my travels!