January 8-14, 2015:
A rainy morning (again) for my flight from Tucson to Houston and Fort Myers. My scheduled arrival is 10:30 PM, I have flown into Ft. Myers many times, but always in the daytime, it's a beautiful flight when you come up the gulf coast and circle in over the beaches and into the airport. It will be much different at night, but I expect the lights of Ft. Myers will also be spectacular. I am not a relaxed flier, even though I have done lots of flying in both good and bad conditions, in small and big planes and even helicopters. I was hoping for a calm clear weather day, instead it is windy and raining, where is my dramamime ?
|It seems as if everyone now qualifies for some type|
of priority boarding
Actually the flights were all fine except for that center seat on the second flight from Houston to Ft. Myers. It was torture ! I found my way to my daughter Jessica's house and was in a comfortable bed by midnight. I might add that the bedroom is about half the size of our entire RV. In the morning I was able to look around and marvel at the size of a real house again.
|The screened in pool and hot tub is okay too !|
I usually go the Bass Pro Outfitters store when in Ft. Myers and always buy a pair of Red Head cargo shorts. That trend was repeated Friday morning and then I visited the old Ft. Myers downtown area. I remember when I first started coming to Ft. Myers around 1988 or so the downtown was really run down, half empty, almost deserted. They have slowly resurrected the downtown and it is now attracting crowds again, very nice to see.
|Seems king of rude ?|
|Fort Myers downtown|
The weekend was a huge soccer and football weekend. Morgan's team, the Scorpions, had two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday in a soccer tournament. In between games on Saturday we went to Naples, Florida, did some shopping and had lunch, then watched the pro divisional football games. After soccer on Sunday we went to Koreshan State Historic Site for a walk and the very popular farmers market there. It was then back to the house for the Dallas Cowboys versus the Green Bay Packers game. My son-in-law Jerome is a huge Dallas fan who was extremely unhappy with the outcome due to the very controversial Dallas touchdown that was reversed. I saw more football this weekend then I have seen in the last few years combined and I don't understand the silly penalties and rules in the game. There are way too many meaningless, petty, questionable penalties that change the outcome of the game.
|Granddaughter Morgan in action|
|Morgan on defense|
|Future Soccer stars|
|Granddaughter Mallory practicing|
|Daughter Jessica and Mallory at farmers market|
|Mallory and Morgan with turtle who lives in the mound|
|Mallory, Morgan and Jessica|
|I had to get into at least one photo|
I returned to Koreshan Historic Park on Monday to explore it further. It was a communal Utopian society established in the early 1900's when this was a fairly uninhabited wild part of the country. Amazing how things have changed in such a short period of time. The settlement was established by the charismatic Dr. Cyrus Teed in Estero, Florida in 1894. It was based on communal living with shared property, celibacy and equality for women. Dr Teed had a "illumination" during a laboratory experiment involving high voltage current. The practitioners believed that our world existed on the inside of a giant hollow globe floating in space. Dr Teed appointed eight women as the "planetary Court" governing council who lived in luxury rooms in a separate house. On the death of Dr. Teed his body was kept in a bathtub as they expected him to come back to life. After a week the county coroner demanded that he be buried. The community slowly died off but much was saved and eventually turned over to the state. Several great old buildings remain and there is a scenic hiking trail amidst tropical foliage along the Estero creek.
|Model of the hollow globe with our world on the inside|
A ride out onto Sanibel Island to Ding Darling Nature Preserve on Tuesday. Ding Darling was a famous cartoonist and avid conservationist who used his art to save much Florida birdlife and native wetlands. He was instrumental in getting the nature preserve protected from developers on Sanibel Island. If it weren't for him the entire Island most likely would be solid condo's and wealthy estates. I hiked the Indigo trail there putting in about 5 miles.
|Lots of birds and bird watchers|
|I need to look this one up, it's common|
|Came across a nice snake also|
|Appears to be a Blue Huron|
|Close up of a leaf|
|School children art in visitors center|
Wednesday I was off to Fort Myers beach although it was far from beach weather. I walked on the beach for a while, then had lunch at "Nervous Nellies" restaurant with it's excellent view.
|Fort Myers beach|
|You can always watch the remarkable Pelicans|
|Another beach view|
Afterwards I stopped at the nearby "Lovers Key State Park" for a walk along the coastline. It is one of the nicest primitive beach areas and has many hiking trails. In places there are no virtually no sign of human habitation, very refreshing. The area around Fort Myers is constantly expanding and filling in with development, one day there will be no open land except for parks and nature preserves.
|Sea Oats are beautiful|
|Many trees being overtaken by the sea|
|An Osprey on nest|
We all went to a school open house in the evening where Mallory is likely to attend next session. School has certainly changed since my last visit, so much technology now, so many special programs, sports, arts, internet access. The kids have tools to become so much smarter now, but with it comes more pressure and stress to succeed. Is it better ?
|Back in school|
Next stop is Hightstown, New Jersey,