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Sat. Dec. 10 Everglades to Fri. Dec.17 Bradenton FL

Saturday- The weather has changed; a cold front went thru and it is now cooler and less humid. We pulled out our jeans and jackets.  Right after breakfast the electric went out in the park. We turned on the inverter and had electric, but had to turn on the generator to be able to take up the leveling jacks and to bring in the slides.

We left at about 9:45 and traveled west on the Tamiami Trail, Hwy. 41, to Naples. Below is our drive out of the Everglades.


We turned north on Hwy. 951 for about 2 miles, then drove onto I-75. We traveled about 54 miles north and returned to Hwy 41 and entered the Alligator RV Park. This is a very nice PA park.

The office was closed, so they had left us a packet with a site number and map. We will pay on Monday. We set up and then put Bob’s bike in the back of the car. We drove north to Punta Gorda and left Bob’s bike at the local bike shop. His seat keeps falling down. If he had not tied the bike to the bike rack, it would have fallen off the MH.

We stopped at Walmart for groceries and to buy me a new bell for my bike. Then we returned to the MH. I started and completed several loads of laundry.

We went to dinner at the Fishing Village Restaurant and Lounge. There was a long wait for a table, so we ate at the bar. Bob had the Sam Adams winter brew and I had a Flip Flop Moscoto. Dinner was very good and reasonably priced.  Below is a picture of a Christmas tree at the pier. Definitely Florida!


The restaurant was located in a nice shopping area right on the pier. So we wandered through the stores.  I continued to do laundry, as we were not able to do laundry at the NPS camping ground.

Sunday-  We did our usual tasks, then at 10:30 we left to drive about 20 miles south to the Camping World. We needed a 12 amp fan for over the bed. I had accidently broken our previous one a few weeks ago. We use this to dry laundry.

We returned around 12:00 and ate lunch. Bob took the towels over to the laundry while I washed the sheets. Then Bob installed the new fan while I worked on the blog and we were both watching the Redskin game. We ate dinner at home, watched TV, read and went to bed.

Monday- We went to the office to officially check in and to pay for the site. We are here for 5 nights, using PA, at a cost of $20.50 with tax, per night. Not bad for a 50 amp FHU site on a concrete pad. This is a very nice park, although we seem to be bringing down the average age. We also picked up our packages which had arrived prior to our arrival. We left and drove south to Ft. Myers to visit the Edison House & Ford house.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

On arrival we paid $20 each to enter. Above is a statue of Edison.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Model T, Edison House, Ft. Myers FLEdison House, Ft. Myers FL

We walked thru the museum. Edison and Ford both had a lot of patents. While Edison was an inventor, he also improved on a lot of various items/ideas. Above is the car he drove from NJ to FL.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

We walked over to the Lab.

Edison lab, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison Lab, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Goldenrod, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL Goldenrod, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above is Goldenrod, which he used to make various items. Glad it is useful for something, as I am very allergic to it!

At this point I was starting to feel ill. I had not slept last night and I became very shaky. I thought I might need something to eat, so we went to the BBQ trailer that was at their little restaurant area. The BBQ was not ready at 12:00. So we each ate a Grandma’s cookie. It helped a little, but not much.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above are Banyan Trees which are a good source of rubber. Edison worked with Firestone to make tires.

We walked across the street to the houses. The first house on the left is the Edison House. The second house is the Guest House and the third is Ford’s House.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

We stopped to look at Edison’s study,  which is in a separate building. Then we walked out to the water.

Edison's Study, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison's dock, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

There are three the large houses, his study, plus two houses for the help. 

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

First, Edison’s house.

Edison's House, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Porch, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Living room, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above is the enclosed porch. Below is the bedroom.

Edison;sbedroom, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above is the family den. Below is the living room.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

The wicker furniture is on the back porch, facing the road. There is a walk through to the guest house. This flowering plant was there. In the picture the flowers appear  more washed out than they were. The colors were more vivid.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Next was the Guest House.

Ford House, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Ford dining room, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Ediison kitchenmEdison House, Ft. Myers FL

View from house, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Hnry Ford, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above is the Henry Ford statue.

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Ford House, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Above is the Ford House. On the left side are the maid and secretary’s rooms with their own porch. They shared a bathroom, but the views were awesome from their porch.

Maid's room, Ford house, Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

Secretary's room, Ford House

Ford kitchen

Ford living room

Ford Living room

Street side of Edison's house

Above is the street side. Below is the street side of Edison’s house.

Street side of Edison house

Edison House, Ft. Myers FL

We walked in on the sidewalk in front of this bush/tree. We had no idea it was so big! Bob had even stopped to sniff the flowers! Below is a DSCN7542-001


Bob infront of this tree

You can tell how big it is with Bob standing in front.

I was getting really shaky at this point, so we left and walked to the car. Bob drove us to a restaurant. It was closed, we went to a second, and it was closed.  Many of the restaurants in Florida are closed on Sunday and Monday.

By this time I had become very ill, shaking and breaking out into a cold sweat so we headed back home. We stopped at an Arby’s on the way home, at it was almost 1 pm.

We arrived at the MH and I drank some Propel, then I took a 2 hour nap. Bob went to pick up his bike and to pick up another package which had arrived at the park.

He returned and we hung out. I still did not feel very well, but at least better. I kept drinking the Propel. We ate dinner and settled in for the evening.

The reason that I had not slept well last evening is that we have been having a problem with Karlie. She refuses to drink water before we go to bed, and gets up to drink during the night. She then cannot get back on the bed. So she wakes me up to get her up., and I cannot go back to sleep.

Since I was in such bad shape, Bob decided to stay up with Karlie until she drank. She never did. So now, he did not get a lot of sleep. We have decided to take the water bowl up after their after eating their dinner meal, around 8 pm and put it down right before we go to bed, so that they both drink after they go out at 10 PM.

Tuesday-  We had an RV tech scheduled to visit this afternoon, so we ran to Arcadia to Jenson’s Fruit Farm. It states on the brochure that they do tours. None today ! They also have samples and sell fruit. Only fruit samples, no samples of their other items.


We bought a 1/4 lb bag of naval oranges, then drove to Punta Gorda. We went to lunch at John Ski’s Breakfast and Lunch Restaurant. We both had great meals.

We left and ran around old town Punta Gorda looking at the murals.



As we were driving around, we found this. What a cool idea!








This last one was my favorite, as it had this three dimensional look!  Here are some more murals.



We stopped at Radio Shack for new batteries for the tire monitors then drove over to GNC for a few items.

We returned to the MH and took a nap. We were awakened by the RV Tech who called to tell Bob he could not be here until Thursday. We are leaving Thursday. The Tech told Bob to flip the breaker on the Hydro Hot. He did and it worked, so end of issue, we hope!

We ate dinner, then left for Port Charlotte to go Square Dancing. We had a great evening dancing with the Maple Leafs Square Dance Club. They were glad we were there, or they would not have had a full square for the Plus square.

We returned home at 10 PM and went to bed.

Wednesday- Taking up the water bowl seemed to work. When we had arrived home last evening both dogs drank water and Karlie stayed in bed all night.

We left and drove south of Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, stopping on the way at Costco for gas, $2.06. The rest of the area was $2.26 to $2.29.

It was very foggy, so we did not see much on the way to the Sanibel Island. We stopped at the visitor center were Bob snapped this picture at the entrance.


We stamped our Lighthouse Passport and picked up some information. We continued to the Lighthouse.


Sanibel Island Lighthouse



We drove north on the island. It is a very busy place, with lots of traffic. We stopped at the National Shell Museum.



We received a $2 discount for our AARP card, making the cost $13 each.









Above is a Mother of Pearl chest.







Yes, that is Perry Mason. He had an interest in shells and was instrumental with forming the museum. He had an exhibit of his shells in the museum, but at his death, his family came and took the exhibit. We watched the 1/2 hour movie.

We left and went to a restaurant called Rosie’s Café and Grill which the guy at the Visitor Center had recommended. We had a nice lunch and they had ice creams samples. We sampled the Peppermint Oreo ice cream, which was excellent. The mint was not overpowering.

We left and continued north to the NWR.


As a National Wildlife Refuge, it was free with our Geezer Pass. We went into the building and stamped our NPS passport. Then we drove the 4 miles 

Our first stop was at the lookout tower. We climbed up and took a look!




There were a lot of flying fish, but I was unable to catch a picture of them. In the upper picture, the water is sort of disturbed where they were.

We left and continued on to the  shell mound. The Native Americans who lived here, lived off the fish and shellfish. They made mounds of the shells. As the mound increased in size, they lived on the mound. We walked this path, looking for the mound. We finally figured out that the mound was in the center of this big circle, but it was so overgrown that we could not see anything. What a waste of time!


We continued north to Captiva Island.


Captiva was basically all very expensive houses, which you could not see well from the road. Oh well, been there, done that!

We returned south and stopped on the way back at Rosie’s and had a scoop of the Peppermint Oreo Ice Cream.

We returned home. At least crossing over the bridge at this time, we could see the bay as the fog was gone.

I developed a sore throat. Ugh, I think I am coming down with a cold, which I must have caught Square Dancing. We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

Thursday- We drove west on Hwy. 64 to the Desoto NP.

Desoto NP

Desoto’s armada of 9 ships arrived in Tampa Harbor. They are not exactly sure where he landed, but this is where the park is located. He had 700 men, 350 horses, packs of bloodhounds and Irish greyhounds, a herd of pigs and a profusion of arms and equipment. He was in search of gold.

Desoto had pillaged in Mexico and gotten very rich. He had returned to Spain, bought a villa, and stayed for a couple of years. He became bored and decided to fund his own trip to the New World. He was trying to repeat his pillage of Mexico. So he marched his men all over the place, killing Native Americans and taking slaves. Below is the path he took.

Desoto NP

Desoto NP

Above is a re-creation of the landing. Here is a re-creation of an Indian dwelling.

Desoto NP

Desoto NP

Above is a Gumbo Limbo Tree, which is suffering, from the looks of the branches.

We went to the visitor center and watched the movie. Desoto was horrible. As he move his troops around, many of them died, as did the slaves. The chiefs of the Indian tribes, would tell him that the gold was just a little farther north, to get him to move on. The Indians fought hard, but they did not have a chance against his guns and crossbows.  Many Indians were slaughtered and villages decimated.

Eventually, Desoto realized it was futile, after 4 years of this stupidity! Eventually Desoto died, succumbing to a fever. He second in command took the troops back to Mexico. So it was all a waste of time and Desoto’s fortune.

Desoto NP

I thought this shell was interesting, after our trip to the Seashell Museum.

Desoto NP

Desoto NP

Can you imagine trotting around the southeastern US in amour? Below is a view of Tampa Bay.

Desoto NP

Desoto NP

It was about 12:30 and we went to Bella Mia Italian Restaurant for lunch. We highly recommend this restaurant. We had an excellent pizza, and they also served garlic butter knots to us which were unbelievable!

We returned to the MH and I took a 2 hour nap, as I was starting to feel worse.

Friday- I felt awful, so we stayed home today. Bob did some chores, we did some laundry, and we binge watched Star Was episodes 1, 2, 3. We ate leftovers for dinner. The weather is hotter than normal for the area, with temps in the high 80’s and very humid! 

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