January 1 to 15, 2010 - Fort Myers Beach, FL

Watching the weather we knew we were in for some cooler weather than normal here.  What we did not expect was about 11 days of below normal weather with a frost on the 11th.  Getting cold for here a couple days is not unusual, the long stretch was unusual and a lot happened.  The water from our cold water tap was quite cold, cold enough to hurt, so we think the pipes are not buried very deep.  Fish died in the lake in front of us, mostly non-native ones. Plants were damaged.  For us, it took away much incentive to go explore since what we like to do is see wildlife and the wildlife was trying to stay warm.

Here are some photos of hibiscus on our lot with some rain water on them.

January 2nd Bill and Helen met us in Bonita Springs for lunch.  They were on a two week swing into the Keys and back and stopped in Naples for a few days on the way back north.  We had not seen them since August in Minnesota.

Here is where we ate, a beach "joint".

Heading out to the beach all bundled up because it was not warm.

It was still a beautiful beach.

Lots of shells.

And shorebirds.  These are probably sanderlings.

One day we had a flock of crows all over the motorhome, our neighbors, the trees and the ground.  Evita was very stimulated.

Video of Evita chittering at the birds, not good video but good sound (1.15MB WMV)

Video of Evita and a bird in a tree (1.76MB WMV)

January 9th rain:

Damage to some of the plant life.

By the 15th it had warmed back up to normal so we decided to go to Shark Valley in Everglades National Park, about 110 miles away.  We packed picnic lunches. 

We had lunch at Williams Roadside Rest and then took photos.

Then we drove to Shark Valley.  The parking lot was full so we had to wait for about six cars to exit before they would let us in.

Shark Valley Photos and Videos, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

On the way back from Shark Valley we had dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse in Naples. 

Critters Seen in Gulf Waters the first half of January, Part 1, Part 2

Because of the cooler weather we did not do a lot during this two weeks but we did have a few meals out.  We added a local breakfast and lunch chain, Skillets, to our list.  We added Zorba's Greek in Bonita Springs to our list.  We also had another nice meal at the local Red Robin. 

We also stocked up on high quality food for Evita at Paws, Claws and Tails in Bonita Springs, which we remembered from two years earlier as having one of the best collections of "no byproducts" pet food we have seen anywhere.

The Haiti earthquake disaster happened during this time.  What a mess with incredible loss of life and huge numbers of people hurt.  Something like this makes any of our complaints seem so minor.  We donated money to help Haiti.

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