Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ft. Myers (March 4)

As I write this, we are driving north out of Ft. Myers after spending two great weeks at the Calusa Cove RV Resort in Estero. It didn’t start out very well, though. After our questionable camping experience in Key Largo, I was a bit nervous about this one. Trying to make reservations months in advance during the high season in Florida is challenging at best. The web sites for some of these places are primitive and there is a certain amount of “puffery” in the descriptions and pictures.

Calusa Cove’s site was worse than most, with the pictures mostly being stock photos of people kayaking and enjoying the beach. We arrived late afternoon and our hearts sank a bit as we drove to our site, which was at the end of a row of trailers and semi-permanent single-wides. It was a sandy and weedy clearing at the edge of a scrub Florida palmetto forest. Our neighbor, Jim, came over to introduce himself. He helpfully warned us about the fire ants that invaded their trailer one night while they slept and gave me some fire ant poison to spread around our wheels and jacks to keep the critters out. As I crawled under the trailer in the dark to make sure I surrounded the tires with the deadly stuff and felt the new bites I was collecting from the no-see-ums, I really wondered what we had gotten ourselves into.

But, you know, Calusa Cove turned out to be pretty nice overall. It didn't have nice grass or a pool or a laundry or, really much of anything. But it was right on the edge of a large wildlife preserve that extended a few miles to the Gulf of Mexico. From our trailer, we could watch the sun set knowing that no one was living between us and Mexico hundreds of miles away. We occasionally saw a local tortoise ambling about and eating weeds and never did get invaded by fire ants. It was quite beautiful and far better than being sandwiched in with a ton of other RVs.

We saw a lot of Lucas during our stay, having him over to the trailer for Mojitos and dinner several times, sampling the local restaurants, visiting his office at Gartner and going to see the Red Sox opening day of spring training in their new stadium—Jet Blue Park in Ft. Myers.
The beaches near Ft. Myers are beautiful. One day we went to the “dog beach”, which is a county facility all set up to a literal dog heaven. A short walk from the parking lot off the coast road is a series of beach and sand bars that are enclosed by water on both sides, so you have to wade through a couple feet of water (at least when we were there at high tide) to get out there. And what a place for dogs and dog people. The water was shallow, clear and warm like bath water. There were a couple dozen dogs there on this Saturday morning (Lynnae and Tucker were there Friday, too) and they were chasing each other, running in the water and generally having a great time. Tucker chased his rubber Frisbee into the water over and over. Other dogs came over to play and everyone got along great. At one point he was chasing a greyhound all around the sandbar howling like the beagle half of him loves to do sometimes.

We had heard that Lovers Key was beautiful so we went there for a sunset. Access is just north of the dog beach.

We loved seeing Lucas at work and home. Although there's no pics, he prepared and served a dinner to us and three of his friends...a delightful evening.

A few weeks back we had purchased a Groupon for the Ft. Myers Fred Astaire studio, so while we were here, we got to get a couple private lessons and attend two practice parties. It was great to dance and scrape a little rust off the swing and cha cha skills. On our last night in Ft. Myers, after spending the afternoon watching the Red Sox demolish the Northeastern kids at Jet Blue park, we had dinner with Lucas at the Sandy Parrot Tiki Bar, where we discovered they have a dance floor and live music. So we got to dance a bit more before spending our last night in Ft. Myers and packing up Sunday morning to make the 5-hour drive up to Cedar Key on “the Nature Coast” of Florida (in other words, the middle of nowhere).

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