December 9, 2011—We drove around the Fort Myers area today. Can’t say I was terribly impressed, except for the seashells.Our intention was to visit the Ford/Edison Winter Homes and then to go shelling on Sanibel Island. We found the estates easily enough, but we weren’t impressed enough with them to spend the asking fee of $20/person. The houses are big, to be sure, but they are not the opulent mansions I thought we would find.
Recently on Wealth TV (a channel recently added to our U-verse lineup), we’ve watched tours of estates of the rich and famous who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sarasota, for instance, boasts the Ringling “castle.” According to what we viewed on the TV program, it is a site to behold, with all the extravagance that wealth could buy. But the winter homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are humble, compared to Ringling’s (which we will go through when we “hit” the Tampa/Sarasota area, probably in the spring).
The banyan trees were huge, old, and beautiful. And the grounds, overlooking the river, were immaculately groomed. Edison also had a winter laboratory here; genius apparently does not stop working just because he left New Jersey. Neither of us was that interested, though, so we got back into our car and went off looking for Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
We drove the length of Sanibel, then Captiva. We had lunch at a little restaurant in Captiva, then we found beach parking and walked on the white sand.
Because of their location, the two barrier islands are the repository of all types of shells. Jim said that after a storm, the shores are literally covered with them. I picked up a number of pretty shells, none rare, but pretty nevertheless. There was not an overabundance of them, however.
We moved on to another beachfront. After hiking about a half mile, we finally found the shore and no shells! By this time, I was getting tired, so we headed back home.
I think (no, I know) I would prefer this west coast of Florida over the east coast (Palm Beach), because more Midwesterners migrate here, and I am not partial to the New York mentality of those who immigrate to the east coast. However, I don’t find anything particularly attractive about it. If we were to stay in Florida, I would stay put in Jacksonville.Tomorrow we had farther south. We will probably stay in the Everglades tomorrow night and finally hit the keys on Sunday. I hope it continues to warm up, and that the waters will be clear, calm, and warm when I go snorkeling.
Until next time,
Your Reluctant RoVer,