Still in Ft. Myers, but not for long . . .

The weather has been beautiful here in southwest Florida, giving us the opportunity to explore the area.  One afternoon we took the bicycles on to Pine Island,  just off the coast of  Cape Coral, a city across the Caloosahatchee River from Fort Myers.  Pine Island is about a mile wide and sixteen miles long.  Unlike Sanibel and Captiva Islands directly to the south, Pine Island has no sandy beaches and is basically made of the same rock coral as the mainland of Florida.  It is a very rural area with no traffic lights and agriculture the main economic activity.  We rode the bike path along the main roadway from the town of Pine Center where you enter the island south to St. James City.  To call St. James a city is a bit of a stretch, but it does have the majority of the island’s population.

The bike path on Pine Island

One thing of interest was the art work on many of the telephone poles along the path.   We didn’t see anything describing the source of the artwork but suspect one of the high schools in the area has an active art program

If you ride too far south prepare to get your feet wet as the road ends abruptly, with Captiva Island across the water in the distance.

After avoiding riding into the water, we decided to stop for a bite to eat.  Who could pass up a restaurant with a name like this?

A couple of days later, we put the bikes back in the car and headed for Sanibel and Captiva Islands, just off the Ft. Myers coast.  We visited the beach on Sanibel just after Christmas with our daughter, Jessica, but wanted to ride the bikes on the island.  After parking on the northern part of the island, we rode the bikes northward, across a small bridge onto Captiva Island.  While on Captiva, we stopped for lunch at an odd restaurant called The Bubble Room, which was recommended as an essential part of any trip to Captiva by a friend of Pam’s, Kristen Kline.

The Bubble Room Restaurant

The Bubble Room gets it’s name from the bubble lights from Christmas trees in the 1950s. It’s theme is a mixture of Christmas, Hollywood, nostalgia, and antiques.

the main dining room

The servers are called “Bubble Scouts, and sport zany hats and khaki uniforms covered with crazy buttons.

Bubble Scouts

A bubbly patron enjoying lunch

As we travel around in our motorhome we sometimes discuss where we would live if we decided to settle down and buy a house.  So as we rode along the beaches of Captiva we looked for houses where we might want to “settle down.”  With real estate prices at all time lows, it doesn’t hurt to look at a property and make an offer.  This small house caught our eye and we may submit a bid.

Turn 180 degrees and this is the view from the gate.

After some thought, we decided we didn’t like the hedges blocking the view so we decided to keep looking.

The bridge connecting Sanibel and Captiva Islands

After such strenuous biking, a bit of a rest was in order.  So we loaded up the bikes, unloaded the beach chairs, and headed for the sand.

Another afternoon  we drove about an hour north to Venice, Florida, for a nice lunch with relatives.  John’s sister and brother-in-law, Patty and Bob, have a condo in South Pasadena, near St. Petersburg where they escape the harsh winters of Erie, PA.  Patty called to let us know that our cousin Jane and her husband Dwayne, who live in Denver, were spending the month in Venice.  We always enjoy visiting with both of these couples.

Bob, Patty, Dwayne, and Jane

Our stay in Ft. Myers is quickly drawing to a close.  This weekend we move north to Lazydays RV Park near Tampa for a four day rally with other owners of a Fleetwood Discovery motorhome.  Then, it’s a short trip back south to Cortez, near Bradenton Beach, where we will enjoy a two month stay less than a mile from the beach!

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3 Responses to Still in Ft. Myers, but not for long . . .

  1. Marsha says:

    Love that paved trail in Pine Island. I like to bike for the beauty around me…not exercise. I do that at the gym. The art work on those poles would be one of the beauties I would have to stop and look at closer.
    Oh I love the name of the restaurant, Ragged Ass. How creative. How was the food? Love the view.
    How did you get all the “Bubble Scouts” to pose like that? And how were you lucky enough to get that Bubble customer to pose? What a beauty!
    I love your taste in houses. PLEASE invite us after you get it all fixed up.
    Great pictures of the relatives. What a handsome group.
    Please drive safely to Lazydays. I sure hope we can meet up one day. We would have so much in common it would take days to talk about it all!

  2. Deb says:

    Oh, I don’t know. That house looked like a nice little fixer upper with potential. You could always trim the hedge! Pine Island looks like my kind of place. By the way, John, Quiz Bowl is in full swing, and we sure could use your vocal abilities. Heath favors (c)rap. Yuck. However, we have now had a question about “American Gothic” 3 times, so Heath and I pose for them. They get it wrong every time. We are in a cultural backwater.

    Enjoy Bradenton!
    Deb

  3. Jane Salzer Richter says:

    Hello to you two!
    My first time to explore your notes and photos and degrees of suntanned skin! It was certainly a wonderful time together as we lunched with the Miano’s in Venice last January. Hope you got a great snapshot of our resident alligator, Pam, as you perched on the edge of his pond while I gasped!!! But, you, John, remained calm, therefore, I suppose it has become your lifestyle to be teetering on the brink of whatever—————it’s called “LIVING LIFE TO THE HILT” and I am happy for you.
    Hopefully, you will be coming our way this summer.
    Your cuz, Janie

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