Staying warm in Florida, and staying a little while longer….

We’ve been hanging out here in Florida for a while now – in fact, it was a month ago that we pulled into this state.  At the suggestion of someone we met way back in August up in Pennsylvania, we chose to stay in the Tamiami Village RV Park in Ft. Myers for a few days over Christmas.  We then left Charley in their back storage lot for a couple of weeks while we met up with the Jolly family in Ft. Myers Beach for the big wedding and then gallivanted around the ocean side of Florida and in St. John before coming back to Tamiami for another week.

Cycling out on Sanibel Island
Cycling out on Sanibel Island

Tamiami is a large RV park with trailer homes in one section and snowbirds in RVs / motor homes in the other.  There is an active, very friendly group of folks that seemingly come back year after year to this place, and we can see why.  We were greeted almost immediately by our ‘neighbors,’ Bob & Nancy, who couldn’t have been nicer.  They helped us all week long with tips and suggestions on what to do while in the area if participating in Tamiami’s weekly Euchre, Texas Hold-em, and other card games, or shuffleboard, the spaghetti dinner or ice cream social wasn’t enough activity for us.

One of their suggestions for us was to take our bikes out to Sanibel island.  We biked some 20 miles all over the well-laid-out bike paths, visited the “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, had a delicious lunch – we can’t have too much seafood while we’re down here! – and finished our afternoon with a visit to the beautiful old Sanibel Lighthouse, then a dip of Sanibel’s famed Pinocchio’s homemade Italian ice cream topped off with an animal cracker – yummy!

11-mile bike ride to Mel's Diner for breakfast
Mel’s Diner – we earned our big breakfast after cycling 11 miles to get here
The schedule at Tamiami Village RV Park
This is an active group!

Another great suggestion from Bob & Nancy was to bike over to Mel’s Diner.  While this one was a lot fancier than Alice & Flo’s Mel’s Diner, the breakfast we had after biking some 11 miles to get there was delicious – another great activity while in the area.  Throughout the week we also took in a couple of movies which we have only done one other time in these last eight months, enjoyed another visit and delicious dinner with Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Bob, and generally just relaxed and enjoyed our stay at Tamiami Village.

We are sure enjoying the weather down here at this time of year – but then again, who wouldn’t?!  When we do bother to look at a weather map, we often see that we’re nearly 70 degrees warmer than back up in Chicago – not a bad place to hang out for a little while longer….

Active shuffleboard league
Like a scene out of Cocoon, shuffleboard!