Florida, Day 5

New things today! Some firsts for Karl, and some revisits and firsts for me as well.

 There is no shortage of things to do in Florida, even when you concentrate on one region of the state like southwest FL. Today, we had the great pleasure of venturing a bit north to Ft. Myers Beach to visit our friend Tommy Drummond. Tommy, of Tommy’s Tonka Trolley back in Excelsior, Tommy of the most generous heart and spirit of anyone I know. Tommy who has a BOAT on the water down here!

 We met at his marina, Salty Sam’s, and hopped onto his beautiful boat. He took us for a cruise through the back water areas and the beautiful homes and boats, then then we ventured under the causeway and out in the Gulf. It was so fun to chat and catch up, really have the time to talk about all sort of great things. He’s an expert captain. Karl was in his very relaxed glory on that boat, and he got to see the big view of Lover’s Key, Ft. Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and how it all fits together here. And the weather was stunning!

 After we left Tommy, we drove up to Sanibel for Karl’s first time and my first in quite a while. We had lunch at the Lazy Flamingo. Just how many peel and eat shrimp can one woman eat on one vacation? I’ll let you know. Then we went to the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach and enjoyed yet more hot sun, sand, swimming in the ocean and some good shelling. We never seem to tire of the beach. I’m more of a walker, Karl more of a sitter, but we do both and then we both LOVE being in the water. We’re a good beach match.

 NOT heeding the advice from Tommy to stay out of Ft. Myers that evening, we decided against dinner on Sanibel or Captiva and instead thought being part way home was a better idea. Tommy warned us about traffic and a parade, all centered around some sort of boat racing event. What we stumbled back into in Ft. Myers Beach seemed on par with NASCAR in terms of demographic and craze. Do what you will with that statement, but OY, we were in Trump country.

 The parade consisted of a variety of very large vehicles pulling really really big racing boats. Dr. Freud would have had a field day processing the subconscious of the nature of those boats, but damn, they were big and long. The town was packed and we couldn’t find a bar to have a drink, until we got away from the craze and ended up in a dive bar open to the water, right next to the Ft. Myers Pier. It was quiet and breezy and had that perfect beachy vibe. We ordered slushy drinks and watched the sunset and enjoyed yet another slice of bar culture.

 It took us an HOUR to get to Doc Ford’s for dinner, and both of us were fed up with the traffic that wouldn’t move and the chaotic crowds. We thankfully chose a quiet place in the marina area away from the noise and had a really great dinner. We shared oysters, salad and paella, a bottle of wine and the actual best key lime pie of my life. Our tab came to $83. I’m not kidding. Yes, we could hit the fine dining places and spend $56 for a piece of fish, but I’ve learned in all these years that the freshest seafood and best experience is often found at beachy places or seafood houses.

 There’s nothing like a shower at 10:30 at night and falling into bed a bit sunburned, full of food and fun, and drift off into no-cat-no-alarm-no-stress sleep.  It was really a perfect Florida day, and different than the one before.

Boat Karl, enjoying the Gulf

Boat Karl, enjoying the Gulf

Jill Holter