February 1 to 15, 2008 - Fort Myers Beach, Florida

We continue to enjoy being in Fort Myers Beach for the winter.  The weather has mostly been quite good and watching the weather in the rest of the country we are very happy to be in South Florida.

We again went to Fakahatchee Strand State Park on February 1, Part 1, Part 2

Bill, Helen and Helen's sister visited us for lunch on the 3rd on their way to the Keys by car.  We met at Sunflower Cafe and it was a hit with them.  Bill and Helen's travel journal is http://goodsamclub.mytripjournal.com/sodaks.

On a day trip to Venice we saw this converted school bus at the rest area.  I am sorry but this is ugly.

February 5th the campground had a nice dinner and we enjoyed it.  For $5 each they supplied chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and the rest was a potluck.

We continue to enjoy the birds we see in the campground.

A little bird we can't identify in front of the motorhome.

One day these black vultures were hanging around up the pond from us.

We often see both white ibis and glossy ibis like these.

A bald eagle landed on the other side of the pond and took off before Bill could get a good photo of it on the ground, but he did catch it flying off.

A great blue heron.

Brown pelicans also hang out.

A male anhinga drying his wings.

A great egret on the hunt.

Cormorant, great blue heron and a brown pelican.

White ibis and a great blue heron.

We have also seen wood stork, doves, grackles and a belted kingfisher from our motorhome and around the campground.

February 12th was a stormy day but we thought it was over by the morning of the 13th.  Then we looked out and saw some scary looking clouds.  By the time Bill got his shoes on, grabbed the camera and went outside the clouds had already become less defined and not as scary.

With over 2" of rain from the storms the retention ponds in the campground were definitely higher.

February 14th is Valentine's Day but it was not a happy day in our lives since Bill's sister, Tanya, died.  We put a tribute page together for her here.   She is definitely missed.

On an odd technical note we have been having some problems with our Hughes.net satellite internet and the modem said it was the "LAN" causing the problem.  The LAN in our case is a wireless router.  Normally when a router gets sick it dies instead of being flakey.  Bill swapped in a wireless access point we had on hand and the problem went away.  Score one for the Hughes.net modem, it was right.

We met up with Ken and Martha at The Hut, a giant Tiki Bar and restaurant northeast of Fort Myers because the reviews on the internet were quite positive.  We knew we had done well when after driving through a rural area for a few miles we found the Hut parking lot full on a Thursday evening and had to wait for a table.  It was a very good meal and great company.  Here is their travel journal - http://www.mytripjournal.com/wiseman10.

One day Jim and Jane came over to ask us about our trip to Alaska.  They are new full-timers who found us through the internet.  We hope to meet up again on the road somewhere.  Here is their travel journal - http://www.mytripjournal.com/RV-VISION-QUEST.

The morning of the 15th we had a crisis for us coffee addicts, our espresso machine died before we could make the first latte!  The machine was a Krups pump machine that was about 10 years old so it had served us well.  Bill drove to Dunkin Donuts and brought back two lattes to get us through the morning but now we had a mission to find a new machine.  We knew that if we couldn't find a machine anywhere else that Starbuck's sells a quality pump espresso machine for $300.  We thought we had seen a machine at either Wal-Mart or Target so off we went.  Wal-Mart did not have one but we found a DeLonghi pump espresso machine at Target for $80.  It is not as good a machine as the Krups was, but will do the job.  We save a lot of money and aggravation making our own lattes so the machine will pay for itself quickly.

On the 15th we decided to try the Red Robin in Estero for lunch, in the same complex as Costco and Bass Pro Shop.  We had not seen a Red Robin since leaving Washington and it sounded good.  The food was decent but not up to the level of the Red Robins we have enjoyed in the West.

We also ate at Iguana Mia again during this period.

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