I’m switching gears from last week’s Winter in Philadelphia post to a sunny Florida post today. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I moved to Philadelphia from North Carolina, and my family actually recently moved from North Carolina to Fort Myers, FL. A couple of weeks ago, the whole family got together for a few days to hang out and soak up some Vitamin D, and the timing worked out perfectly because I got to escape Philadelphia right after a big ice and snow storm! (You can view photos of that on last week’s post). Even in March, temperatures in Fort Myers, FL got up to the 80s during the day, which was a lovely change after skating around on ice covered sidewalks.
I was only there for a few days (but since my family lives there, I’ll definitely be back and will take more photos), but we managed to squeeze quite a bit in, including lots of time at the beach! The three main places we visited were The Burroughs Home, the beach, and Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and I have lots of photos of all of them (which probably isn’t a surprise to anyone who knows me!). We even managed to squeeze in some time to watch some Roger Federer matches because he’s our favorite (hence my fun fact #5).
Side note, anyone in the Philadelphia area who wants to travel to Fort Myers, FL, plane tickets from the Philadelphia airport to the Fort Myers airport can be outrageously expensive (my round trip tickets to Italy were way cheaper!). I found a direct flight from the Trenton-Mercer airport to the Punta Gorda airport (only about a 30 minute drive from Fort Myers) for under $200! Traveling a little extra distance can be a bit of a hassle, but saving hundreds of dollars on the plane ticket was worth it.
The Burroughs Home
The Burroughs Home isn’t a major attraction in Fort Myers, but it’s a beautiful house and worth visiting! My dad is a professor and a foundation that he works with, called The Uncommon Friends Foundation, manages it, so he arranged for a tour for my family. If you happen to live in Fort Myers, the home is also available for weddings and events, and as you can see, it’s a beautiful place to hold events right on the water!
For a little history, it was built in 1901 by a cattle rancher from Montana, and a few different families lived in it before it was owned by the city in 1978. The Burroughs family was the last to live there. It was a pretty significant home throughout the decades, and the “uncommon friends” that the foundation is named for, Edison, Ford, and Firestone, were known for visiting there. You can read more about the history here.
I love old typewriters 🙂
Do you know the origin of the phrase “put a sock in it”? I didn’t until our tour! The gramophone could be pretty loud (they played it for us so I can attest to that), so when they wanted to have quieter music in the background, they would “put a sock in it” to muffle the noise!
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
There are lots of parks and nature reserves around Fort Myers, and I went to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve with my mom and sister-in-law. We went right after sunrise, which made for some beautiful lighting, but it also meant that it was too cold for some animals to be out, so we didn’t see some of the animals there. I had already seen some alligators when we drove the Alligator Alley the day before so I wasn’t disappointed, but if you want to make sure you see alligators, I would suggest going when it isn’t 50 degrees out. 50 degrees was also too cold for most of the Floridians and mosquitoes (but coming from the snowstorm, I was wearing shorts!), so we had a nice, quiet walk with only a few other people out!
I love a good pun 🙂
Winter is the dry season, so in the summer, all the plants are under water!
There is a Fort Myers beach, but the beach in Bonita Springs is much less crowded, and it also isn’t too far from Naples if you’re visiting that area. We had great weather for going to the beach, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful the water was! The water was a bit chilly, and not many people ventured into the water other than us “northerners.” We didn’t see too many sea creatures, but my parents have seen dolphins and my dad even swam next to a whale once!
One day we went was perfectly calm and another day was really windy, which was perfect for kite surfers. Some of them would fly up 20 feet in the air and it was really fun to watch (I have photos of them below). This beach is also a great place to find cool shells, and we even found a starfish. There are lots of birds, and one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen were two birds begging like dogs for fish from a fisherman! They were acting just like Annika and her buddy Burt when they want food. The birds did get a treat, and I took lots of pictures of them!
If you’ve read my posts on Daufuskie Island and Chincoteague Island, you know how much I LOVE sunrises and sunsets at the beach, and the Florida sunset did not disappoint! I loved all the bright, beautiful colors. One surprising thing, when the sun starts to set, it goes down FAST so you don’t have much time to snap some photos. If you want to get some sunset photos, make sure you get there in plenty of time so you don’t miss it.
Can you believe how turquoise that water is?
This guy was first in line for the fish
See the little guy snagging his treat?
We found a few shells with sea creatures living inside!
If you’re planning a trip to Florida, I definitely recommend visiting Fort Myers instead of more touristy places like Miami! It’s such a beautiful place and I’m excited to explore it more! 🙂