Sunday, February 24, 2013

More FLA with Friends

We continue to explore the Gulf Coast of Florida with Mike and Sherri with visits to Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The weather has continued to be shorts and tee shirt quality.
Sanibel is all about collecting shells and here are Sherri and Nanc doing the Sanibel Stoop looking for the treasures in the water while Mike enjoys soaking his toes.
They were not big, but Sherri did find a few neat shells.
A must see on Sanibel is the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The variety of birds in one place is stunning. Here are white pelicans, a variety of gulls and others all gathered in a good feeding area.
While we were watching three spoonbills flew in to join the others. Ding Darling is a great place to easily get up close with many birds from the comfort of your car or it's a great bike ride if you so desire.
We visited the Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.  I love this huge banyan tree that was only 4 feet high and 4 inches in diameter when it was planted by Edison in 1925.  It now covers more than an acre even after it was trimmed to conform with the insurance company requirements.  This tree was part of an Edison, Ford, Firestone project to find a new source of rubber for car tires. 
Edison built a winter home here in 1886 and Ford purchased the adjacent property in 1916.  This is the Ford home.
Here is Mike with Henry.  Mike is a big Ford fan who has owned a Model A, still has a 1950 beauty and drives a Fusion. 
Edison's home included a main house and identical guest wing that are connected by a breezeway.  Compared to other homes we have seen, including Ringling's, these winter homes where very modest.
Here is Tom by the banyan tree.
The Edison  Museum includes many of his inventions like the phonograph, generators, movie projectors and a juke box.  Edison truly was a brilliant man.
Here we are with Mike and Sherri at a rooftop restaurant in Fort Myers Beach where we went to enjoy the sunset.  It sure has been great having visitors to share our lifestyle.
I am a bit behind with the blog.  After Mike and Sherri left we tried to hook up with our PA friends John and Patrice who were in Florida, but it did not work out.  We moved to the Escapees park in Bushnell where we gave Opus a much needed washing and waxing which almost instantly brought rain.  Oh well, as least it was clean, so the rain was not a big deal.  While there we got together with Nanc's sister Judy and her husband Bill along with their friends, Velma and Joe, but I failed to get a picture.
We did get to spend some time with Wallace and Wanda.  They were the very first Escapees who greeted us with big hugs at RV Boot Camp in 2007.  It is always fun seeing them and we had a nice evening at our own happy hour and dinner.
As I write, we have arrived at Betty's in LA for a two month stay.  We got here in only two days from Bushnell, including a day of driving 430 miles, a new personal record for us.  We only did it to beat a weather front that was moving in and it was the right idea as the next day would have been windy and rainy.  The fun times have already started here and more posts will be following soon.

1 comment:

Ray/Wendy said...

Hi guys, Wendy and I did Dings and Sanibel a few years back, but I see we left more to see another time.
Boy time really flies when your with friends.)