Right now we are in Englewood, Florida, but by the time you read this we’ll be on our way a little further north for a week’s stay in Madeira Beach, which will pretty much wrap up the trip with the exception of a two day stop at a friend’s house in Sanford. The weather, while lovely, hasn’t really been hot enough to go to the beach every day (I know. Break out the violin) so we’ve been taking the opportunity to see some area attractions or check out RV resorts to see where we might like to return next year. We’re finding that resorts book up to a year in advance, and many of the resorts we like we may not be able to get into, but I’m hopeful it will work out.
Now about the resorts. Some of them you truly feel like you’re in an actual resort, with beautiful club houses that rival Spanish style mansions, while others are very basic with few amenities. Some are huge, with over a thousand sites, while others have fewer than fifty. Something for everyone it seems. We’re thinking we’d like to give a few different places a try, rather than book one for the entire season. That in itself limits the parks we can stay in as many restrict your stay to three months or more during peak season.
Back to the trip…
On our way northbound from Key Largo to Englewood we stopped off in Naples to check out some resorts and to see the town itself. It’s a beautiful area, especially the main street (5th Avenue) and it’s immediate surrounding area. We had a traditional English tea at the most adorable place called ‘Brambles’, located in a little side street complete with ornate tables for two and terraces with flowers overflowing out of window boxes. Of course, I had to listen to Fisherman act like Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility, complete with raised pinky, for the entire time. *insert eye roll*
Not to confuse you, but these next few pics were taken in the Keys. Islamorada to be exact, at Theater of the Sea. I was a little hesitant about going here at first. I’m not a huge fan of places that hold animals captive for our ‘entertainment’, but this is more like a sanctuary where they take animals that are injured for the most part and provide a safe haven for them.
The color of the blue fish was so bright I wish you all could have seen it in person. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, but hopefully you get the idea. Notice the turtle in the bottom right corner. You can’t tell, but he had two flippers missing (is that what they’re called?). One in the front and one in the back, but he was doing just fine. The workers at the park said the number one cause of injuries for turtles are boats. 🙁
There is a part of the facility that houses nearly 50 cats that have been rescued. Here’s one that was exceptionally beautiful (don’t let the spooky eyes fool you), and that’s a yawn, not a hiss.
There was also a nice collection of beautiful orchids in the garden. Orchids are in abundance here, and you can buy them for a fraction of what you would pay up north, as little as $6!
On the way back, we stopped to pick up a little lobster for dinner ;).
Once we got settled in Englewood, we did a bit of exploring. Sunday we went to the beach and they were having a sunset celebration. Apparently every Sunday hundreds gather on the beach and form a large circle and play drums while other people do the hula or dance inside the circle until the sun sets. Unfortunately I didn’t capture a picture of that event but I did manage to get a beautiful sunset.
Monday we visited friends in Venice, had lunch and went to two RV resorts, one of which we liked and may book it for next year. Tuesday we took a ride to a beautiful area called Boca Grande where we did some biking and enjoyed the best cappuccino we’ve ever had. On Wednesday we went to Ft. Myers, which is about an hour south of us. It’s a vibrant, colorful place with lots of restaurants and shops and it’s fun to just walk around and people watch. Notice the bridge in the background. Even that’s a pretty color blue! I can’t imagine the amount of maintenance that must entail, especially with the corrosive nature of the salt air.
This guy was so cool looking! He looked exactly like a statue, and when you put some money in his tip urn he would play his guitar for a few seconds. Fun to see!
While we were in Ft. Myers we paid a visit to 5 RV resorts. Many of the resorts have an abundance of permanent or semi permanent homes that share space with RV’s and one of them was having an Open House for a few of these homes. Although we’re not interested in buying a park home, I thought it would be fun to see what the inside of one looked like. We went to the door and knocked but no one answered so we went inside anyway. Now keep in mind this was an Open House and for all we knew that was standard procedure in Florida. We called for someone more than once but it didn’t seem like anyone was there. We ended up separating while inside and then I heard Fisherman’s voice say something. He then came into the room I was in and said ‘I just saw the owner taking a dump’. Now, you have to understand something. Fisherman has a sense of humor akin to Chevy Chase, so I assumed he was kidding.
We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
On that note, I will leave you with another beautiful sunset, my favorite time of day.
In other news…
We keep hearing horror stories of the terrible weather up north. We’re not looking forward to returning, but Fisherman has jury duty and I suppose it’s time to face the music. I may not put up a post until after we return, depending on the wi-fi connection at the place we’re staying (it’s a bit sketchy here in Englewood). So until then keep warm my friends and Happy Valentine’s Day!