Category Archives: Fort Myers

LIVE from the Six Mile Cypress Slough, Fort Myers

I haven’t been to the Slough in a while and I saw a notice on Facebook that there was an event today so I thought I’d come and check it out. Maybe I will see some gators!

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Fossil shell from Fort Myers/Lehigh



Folssil shell from Fort Myers/Lehigh, originally uploaded by Erin aka Tink*~*~*.

Someone’s digging in their garden and found this shell a couple of feet down. Who knows how it got there? Most of the other shells found here have been tiny. This one is a honkin’ five inches! Maybe it’s part of some "fill" that might have been dumped here. Or maybe it’s left from a time when Florida wasn’t Florida yet but just another shallow part of the place where the Atlantic, the Carribbean and the Gulf meet…

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Explosion in Fort Myers on Colonial

UPDATE: At least one local news agency is saying that a backhoe hit a gas line, one person injured.

Not sure what’s on fire in the westbound lane of Colinial just west of SR 82. This has been an election year construction zone for a while now.

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Fresh Planet’s vegetarian hummus pita wrap #swfl

This was a hit – and what you see in this photo is only HALF. I devoured the other half. The iced tea is unsweet- a plus in my book – and they gave me a free refill, saying, "Have a happy conference". It was $9 total and since I will get two meals out of it (it was just too much for me for a single sitting), well worth the price.

Fresh Planet Cafe is located in the Gulf Coast Towne Center in Fort Myers and I’m going to try and remember to eat there when I go to see Harry Potter on the 17th.

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Bio-break on the way to #Disney World

This is my favorite rest stop along I-75. It’s the McDonald’s in Ellenton, Florida. The bathroom is pretty clean and there’s a Walgreen’s on one side and a gas station on the other side . By the way, gas is $2.72 here – I paid $2.76 two days ago in Fort Myers. Ok break’s over – time to move out!

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Dear Governor Crist…

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IMG_5423-mingled-species-grazing-Ding-Darling

I sent an email last Friday to Florida governor Charlie Crist regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and what I consider to be the frittering away of funding on advertising tourism when we’re expecting to have a disaster to clean up. I realize people are suffering from lack of business, but I think there is other recourse to compensate them, and that it isn’t right to encourage tourists to gamble their hard-earned vacation dollars on a Florida Gulf beach vacation when we know there’s a good chance of the oil plume making landfall here.

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To: Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com
Subject: Redirect those advertising funds toward saving our Gulf shores!

Dear Governor Crist –

I moved to Southwest Florida 4 years ago from New York. I came here because of the tropical climate and natural beauty of the Lee Island Coast and because of my love for Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and the surrounding out-islands. I love the wildlife sanctuaries and rookeries along Estero and San Carlos Bays, the availability of fresh seafood all year round and our astounding beaches. It breaks my heart to think of all this beauty and abundance covered in crude oil, consequently dead and ruined for generations to come.

IMG_0362-Sanibel-sailboat-seagulls-beachThe oil gushing into the Gulf has been doing so for over 40 days. Even capped, it is still leaking. I know better than to think that any part of the Gulf states’ shorelines are going to escape some sort of impact. There’s just too much of it out there, and now hurricane season is upon us which will bring unpredictability in the form of currents and winds.

It is unethical, bordering on immoral, to dupe people into coming to Florida’s Gulf Coast, when we cannot guarantee them an oil-free vacation. We are bilking them out of their hard-earned vacation dollars. WHY are we wasting these funds on misleading advertising when they could be applied DIRECTLY to the problem? We could be using the funds to compensate the fisherman and those in the tourist industry for loss of income. We could be conserving some of it to help pay for the cleanup we KNOW we are going to need.

IMG_0385-American-brown-pelican-Sanibel-IslandWhile Louisiana’s leaders are making quite a compelling and widely publicized case for disaster funding, Florida is busy telling people everything is coming up sunshine and lollipops. By this time next week, we could be just as awash in the foul stench of crude oil and decomposing wildlife as Louisiana is right now. Anyone with even half an ounce of sense knows this is true. So why are we being deceitful with our tourists and wasteful with our funding?

IMG_0642-Lighthouse-Beach-2004-SanibelGovernor Crist, I hope you will do everything in your power to stop this foolishness with the advertising campaigns and start instead and in earnest to prepare Florida’s Gulf Coast for the impact that we all KNOW is coming our way. Start working on BP to step up to the plate and provide compensation for the tourism and fishing industries and funding for the cleanup. Stop worrying about enticing tourists and refocus all that energy – and all those dollars – on ensuring that Florida is prepared to meet the beast swiftly and intelligently when it strikes.

It’s going to be bad. But you can mitigate a lot of that if you will just focus on what matters, on what makes sense and on doing the right thing, always.

Sincerely
Erin White
Lehigh Acres, Florida

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Catch a wave on Fort Myers Beach

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Sand sculpture of a surfer dude catching a wave. Just trying to be a little clever for Watery Wednesday πŸ˜‰ Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 2008

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Fort Myers Beach Sand Sculpting Festival no longer free

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IMG_7208-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-CompetitionThis is the 23rd year of the Sand Sculpting Festival on Fort Myers Beach here in Lee County, Florida. It is also the year that unemployment in Lee County has climbed to within spitting distance of 14% and may rise well beyond that by year end. So, naturally it makes perfect sense that this is the year that Fort Myers Beach decided to levy a per-head charge of $3-$5 on spectators.

IMG_7212-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-Competition Because, you see, they aren’t going to pay enough for the outrageously over priced hot dogs, burgers and ice cream cones to feed their kids. And they’re certainly not going to make any purchases at the vast open air market, nor are any of them going to belly up to any number of pool bars and fork over ten bucks for something fruity with a little pink umbrella thrown in. And hey, the people who come and cheer and support this festival can certainly make that unemployment check stretch just a wee bit further, so that they can get beyond the barriers that FMB allows the hotels to put in place at the tide line – even though NO ONE OWNS THE BEACHES, DAMMIT.

The whole thing just kind of made me ill, so I skipped it this year. Here are some pics from last year that I never quite got around to publishing. You will note there is a red water sprayer in the first picture, qualifying this post for Ruby Tuesday, where I’m sure Mary will chuckle in appreciation of my righteous indignation. The artists do an amazing job; standing there to watch them, even in the hot sun, is a real treat. Last year, each sculptor had their immediate work area roped off but otherwise, spectators could walk around freely between sites and get as close as perhaps 6-10 feet to any given sculpture.

It’s a damned shame that the people had to PAY to get this close to the sculptures this year. I bet I’m not the only one who stayed away. Fort Myers Beach, in this of all years, you should have figured out another way.

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Fort Myers Beach tiki dude



Fort Myers Beach tiki dude, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*.

I visited the pirate festival on Fort Myers Beach today. Here’s a photo of a tiki dude double-fisting some libations – found outside a place called Yucatan.

Sadly, an assortment of technical difficulties, not the least of which was a spotty signal, prevented mobile blogging while I was there. It was really a hot day too, which did nothing to enhance my mood after technology betrayed me so spectacularly. Glad to be home in the air conditioned splendor of Tinkerville once more πŸ™‚

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Lovely, now where’s my pot of gold? ;)

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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πŸ™‚ I was driving through a sudden shower, on my way over the causeway to a birthday dinner celebration for my friend Cheryl, when I happened to glance to my left and saw this rainbow hanging out near Fort Myers Beach. I pulled over at the first opportunity. If you look closely, you can see that it’s actually a double, which had started to fade by time I found a place to stop. This is one of the BEST things about living in Southwest Florida. The skies are so big and dramatic, with towering clouds and beautiful rainbows πŸ™‚

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Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge – pelican roost

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πŸ™‚ Back in May 2009, I took a cruise on Tarpon Bay with the Tarpon Bay Explorers. The cruise was a “thank you for your donation” gift from the local National Public Radio (NPR) station, WGCU, 90.1 FM in Fort Myers, Florida. The narrator is Dr. Jerry Jackson, a professor at FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) who also narrates a daily radio spot on WGCU, “Out With The Wild Things”. Enjoy! And for those in the USA, hope you’re having a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

I enjoyed the tour of Tarpon Bay – beautiful surroundings, sunny May day, fascinating speaker, what’s not to love? But I much preferred last year’s tour with Dr. Jackson on Rookery Bay. Click this link to see photos and videos from the Rookery Bay tour.

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Take the trolley to Fort Myers Beach

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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Driving on Fort Myers Beach is not a very appealing thought during busy beach times. The main drag is one lane in each direction and is easily overwhelmed with traffic. An alternative is to park in the Winn Dixie parking lot on Summerlin and San Carlos, and take the trolley. You still get stuck in traffic, but at least you’re not the one being aggravated by driving. You can read or sleep or chatter with your fellow travelers. And it’s green – reduces your carbon footprint to take mass transit. There are very few mass transit opportunities in this area, so why not take advantage of this one?

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Why #SWFlorida needs rain – desperately!



Why #SWFlorida needs rain – desperately!, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*. 10 May ’09, 12.08pm EDT PST

I’m standing on my lanai, which faces precisely west. NBC-2.com says this is burning at Ortiz Avenue, which is maybe 4 miles from my home. As more and more time passes without precipitation and the drought deepens, more and more brush fires are happening.

Fort Myers Beach Moon

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IMG_0299-Full-Moon-Fort-Myers-Beach-02-08-2009

Unable to stop
myself from stalking the moon,
I halt at each light,

roll down the window,
click away obsessively
till the light turns green

and then drive away.
La Luna Bella – preserved
on silicon chip

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Retail Therapy Skies Over Fort Myers, Florida

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_0386-sky-reflected-Crispers-windowI was out and about this weekend doing some retail therapy, and at some point on Sunday afternoon, I decided that I was hungry. So I stopped at one of my favorite casual places, Crispers. The menu is based around fresh produce, and all of their salads and sandwiches are cold, crisp and delicious. I always sit outside, and while I was waiting for my food, I spotted some puffy clouds in the window of the restaurant. I am sure that people thought I was an idiot, taking pictures of the side entrance of Crispers. A lot of you reading this are photo meme junkies too, so I bet that experience is not unique πŸ˜‰

IMG_0391-sky-in-parking-lotAfter my delicious lunch, I moved across the parking lot to Barnes and Noble side of this sprawling suburban shopping center. By this time, those very clouds that had been reflected in the restaurant window had bloomed quite nicely, and I thought they looked pretty neat hovering over the trees that provide the all-important but too few and far between shaded parking spots πŸ™‚ And there I was again, the idiot standing in the middle of the parking lot taking pictures of the sky! πŸ˜€

PS – Drat, I nearly forgot to haiku!

There she goes again –
taking pics of gawd knows what!
Must she block the road?


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Six Mile Cypress Sky

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Six Mile Cypress Sky

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IMG_1565-Six-Mile-Cypress-sky-trees-clouds

Sky so blue and clouds
so puffy, filtered through the
branches of the trees
.

SIX MILE CYPRESS SLOUGH is a beautiful strip of wetland woods that isn’t actually six miles – it’s about nine miles long and maybe a third of a mile wide.Β  The slough (pronouced “slew”, rhymes with “you” – yeah, I had to look it up!) runs alongside Six Mile Cypress Parkway, just north of Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers.Β  Migratory birds like to take a pit-stop here to fatten up for their long journeys hither and yon.Β  People come to walk through the preserve, which you might think is icky if you didn’t know that they’ve built a raised boardwalk so you’re not slogging through the swamp.Β  πŸ˜€

I use Six Mile Cypress Parkway when I am driving to or coming home from Sanibel Island, and I always pass the sign that advertises the days of the week and the times for the guided nature walks, and think to myself that I’m going to have to play sick one of these work days and just go and do it!Β  I think I will ring up my friend Snowbird for this particular adventure, as she has expressed interest in the past.Β  I’ve been through there by myself, in the hot muggy summertime; this photo was taken in the Slough July 25th 2005, which was the trip I made down here to go house hunting.Β  I had to wear a ton of bug spray, and my tour ended when the skies opened up and let loose a torrential summer rain, so typical of this area during rainy season.Β  Yep, gonna have to do this soon, before the temps turn sultry and the air turns buggy again.

And after we do that, maybe I’ll play hookey again and we’ll do the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary down in Naples, Florida.Β Β  πŸ˜‰Β  It’s an Audubon site!

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Eagles from the Florida Gulf Coast

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Eagles from the Florida Gulf Coast

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A couple of weeks ago, I saw a bald eagle hanging out in a dead tree on Sanibel Island. I was only able to get a few shots, most of them no good, before it took off. I was told that the eagle had been collecting sticks out of the tree to make a nest.

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This got me thinking about some other photos of eagles that I’ve got in my archives. Here’s the big Anheuser-Busch topiary eagle. It can be found in Busch Gardens “Africa” up in Tampa.

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The other eagle I found on my hard drive is made of sand. I photographed this particular eagle at The 2008 American Sand Sculpting Championship Festival. The detail is amazing, and I find it a real treat to watch people create beautiful tableaux from a pile of ordinary sand.

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Bald eagles have spent some time on the endangered species list. Use of the pesticide known as DDT had a huge negative impact on bird eggs until it was banned in the early 1970s. The second largest population of bald eagles in the United States is now in Florida (first: Alaska).

I’ve written about the effects of DDT poisoning before, when I cruised Rookery Bay with Dr. Jerry Jackson last spring. Dr. Jackson is a wildlife biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University, and has a radio spot on the local NPR station, WGCU 90.1 Fort Myers. The eagles have made a significant comeback since the banning of DDT, but encroaching civilization represents a new threat. Deforestation in Florida has resulted in a loss of habitat. Very often, people will point to eagle nests coexisting with human neighborhoods, such as the one by the Dairy Queen on Sanibel, as evidence that the eagles will be fine, and that they have adapted. Dr. Jerry Jackson says that situations such as the Dairy Queen nest have not existed long enough to know whether or not coexistence is really a success.

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Southwest Florida Rent-A-Cows

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Southwest Florida Rent-A-Cows

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IMG_0157-cropped-Calf-Fort-Myers-Florida-01-18-2009 I get a kick out of the sharp contrast between the word “city” (as in, “city of Fort Myers”) and the presence of cows grazing unconcernedly on the empty parcels of land that are sprinkled between new building boom developments, university satellites and the ever-encroaching strip malls. In my mind, Tampa is a “city”, for Tampa has a “downtown” with sky scrapers. Fort Myers? No sky scrapers, therefore not a “city”. My Long Island-bred eye sees this “city” as more of an area of wannabe suburban sprawl. I’d remove the word “wannabe” if it were not for the rent-a-cows.

IMG_0158-White-Cow-No-Trespassing-Fort-Myers-Florida-01-18-2009Actually, I recently discovered that it’s not the cows that are rented – it’s the land. Property taxes are drastically reduced for those who pasture cattle. If there’s a guy that owns land but no cows, and a guy that owns cows but no land, then a lease agreement can’t be far behind. The cattle owner will pay the land owner to use the empty land as pasture for the cows. I always thought it should be the other way around. The land owners should be paying the cows for giving them such an awesome tax break. Probably, the landless cattle owners should rise up, form a cow cartel, and turn the tables on the guys who are getting the awesome tax breaks. I just hate to think that the cows are performing such a valuable service to the land owners, yet in the end their only reward is landing on someone’s plate. It just doesn’t seem fair.

IMG_0160-Cattle-Egrets-Fort-Myers-Florida-01-18-2009(To read more about the business of raising cattle in Southwest Florida, check out Florida Weekly’s recent article called “Local Beef…it’s what’s for dinner someplace else“)

We even have cattle rustling here in Southwest Florida! Early in the new year, 10 head of cattle, including a valuable Angus bull, were stolen from a “rent-a-pasture” in Charlotte County. The rustler was unfortunately not very bright, for he drove the contraband bovines to an auction and tried to sell them, apparently failing to notice a rather prominent and totally identifying brand on the hide of each of his ten hostages. The authorities were summoned and the cow-napper was apprehended (“Deputies Arrest Suspected Cattle Rustler”)

IMG_0163-Red-Cow-Fort-Myers-Florida-01-18-2009I found the cows in these photos pastured on an empty stretch of land adjacent to the new Kohls/Sports Authority/Circuit City strip mall on Six Mile Cypress Parkway. This field is pretty close to the intersection with Colonial Blvd. in Forty Myers, Florida, and used to be much larger, able to accommodate many more head of cattle plus a “watering hole” of sorts – but then the Kohl’s/Sports Authority/Circuit City strip mall was built. I’ve only lived here three years, and I’ve already seen a lot of this sort of thing. Formerly open spaces are now covered with housing and retail developments. A stand of woods is leveled and cleared to make way for a new chain pharmacy. Literally, they’ve “paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. I’d object more strenuously than that, but that would make me a hypocrite. Five years ago, a tangle of wilderness reigned where my own house now stands.

IMG_0166-Strip-Mall-Former-Pasture-Fort-Myers-Florida-01-18-2009I can see that someday, the intermittent open spaces where the cattle currently roam will be gone. The bottoming-out of the housing market has slowed, but not permanently halted the inevitable. Someday, the land owners will have sold all of the open spaces to developers, who will erect yet more townhouses and supermarkets upon them. I wonder where the cows will go when that happens?

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Fort Myers Beach Window Dressing

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title goes here
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG00328-Lobster-sun-catcher

Lobster sun catcher hangs in the window of the Beach Seafood Market in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. September 14th, 2008

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The Best Of My Mobile Adventures 2008

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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The Best Of My Mobile Adventures 2008

It’s been some year. I’ve migrated between blogging platforms and had three different mobile blogging devices. I’ve been to beaches, festivals, theme parks and foreign ports of call. I’ve strengthened and fortified existing friendships and forged new ones. I’m a founding member of a crawl, for cryin’ out loud! πŸ™‚ Yes, it’s certainly been some year.

I completed an entire year of blogging in mid-October but waited until the end of the calendar year to do a “best of” post. The way I figured out what my “best of” was is this – I took a look at my SiteMeter statistics, not for how many times the page was viewed, but how many times it was viewed whereby the referer was a search engine. So, anyone who visits because I posted a link to Trip Advisor or The Dis or Wordless Wednesday – I love you dearly, but this is a measure of whether or not my blog is pulling unsolicited traffic. And guess what? It is!

Here, therefore, are my Top 12 Posts of 2008. They are pretty evenly split between Disney-related and SW Florida-related, with a couple of totally un-related thrown in for good measure.

12. Cyber Monday – SHOPPING!

Cyber Monday is the Monday right after Thanksgiving, and it’s supposed to be the internet version of Black Friday. Get online, everyone, and stimulate that economy! It’s sort of like Grandparent’s Day or Secretary’s Day. We love grandparents and secretaries, but let’s face facts – Hallmark made up those holidays thereby expanding the gifting industry a bit. Anyhow, on Cyber Monday, I debuted some of the items on my own Amazon Wish List. I’m actually surprised that the post did as well as it did, considering it has not been out there for very long. However, it appeared on just the right day, and I got hits from a number of search engines besides Google.

11. More Disney Characters in RED

This was a Ruby Tuesday post that I did as a follow up to #03. on this list. It did well enough to score in the Top 12, but still miles behind the original in terms of views. I think people liked this one because it starts off with Pooh πŸ™‚

10. Red Stuff from Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Another Ruby Tuesday post. This time, a different part of Florida is featured. I’d picked up my friend Kim aka Saniholic aka Angel Wings from the airport, and before making the perilous crossing over to Sanibel, we stopped for some fresh shrimp over near the San Carlos Blvd. bridge in Fort Myers.

IMG_6768-Disney-Minnie-Mouse-Magic-Kingdom-Halloween 09. EPCOT Lights of Winter (by special request)

Back to Disney – I’d been conversing with some folks on The Dis about the holiday display at EPCOT, and posted these photos of the Lights of Winter especially for them.

08. How Disney’s Magic Kingdom Decorates For Halloween

Alternative title: “Halloween Spits Up All Over The Magic Kingdom” πŸ™‚ No, seriously – Disney really does it right for Halloween, and I especially love the character statues that are set up in the hub before the castle. Well done, Disney!

07. Yesterday’s shelling haul from the Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Island

This post chronicles the results of a late-ish August visit to the beach after a storm. Found tons of paper figs and other smelly carnage at the Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island.

IMG_6189_Sanibel_Shells_09122008 06. Plunder from the 2:00 AM sea shell raid

This was not really one of those middle of the night “booty calls” from Tootie and Gary. We actually arranged this one ahead of time, after figuring out what time the tide would be going out. They’d been to Blind Pass (between Sanibel and Captiva) the night before and there was a huge shell pile there, so we figured the high seas would spit more up onto the shores during high tide that night – and we were right!

05. Santa in the Sky! at the Tween Waters Inn, Captiva, Florida

Taken on Thanksgiving, this is another post that one would think has not been out there long enough to do well. However, I picked up a lot of hits on Christmas Eve – people were googling around to find out what time Santa could be seen in the sky and they kept ending up on this page πŸ™‚

04. Holy cow, I was quoted in an article on BlogHer!

I ran around to every place I post, including Twitter, hollering “OMG Blogher just quoted me – w00t” I was SO excited! πŸ˜€ However, this is not THAT traffic – it’s search engine-referred, which means people google around for Blogher a lot. The best part was when the author who quoted me stopped by and left a very gracious comment. w00t!

03. Disney’s Ladies in RED

This is the little post that could – it just keeps on generating traffic. Who knew that so many people would be interested in Disney ladies who wear red? I also get a lot of traffic from Google Images searches, people looking for Disney characters with red hair. Who knew?

02. Sea Shells – Labor Day Gifts From Gustav

The URL was posted to Trip Advisor, which generated a ton of interest – but I’m only counting traffic from search engines in this “best of” synopsis. It’s amazing how many people hit this post after googling for information about Gustav’s effect on the beaches and the tides and such.

01. 7 Things To Do In Walt Disney World On Halloween (except THAT!)

Ah, the number one post of 2008 – and all because Chez Bro could not get tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! This is one of the few times I’ve attempted to do an instructional post, and it seems to have been really well received. People are always doing a search for stuff to do at Disney World – I’m STILL getting hits on this one, long after Halloween!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

So there we have it – the top 12 posts, the Best of My Mobile Adventures 2008. My wish for all who read this is for a healthy, prosperous and happy 2009.

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Sanibel Island Causeway on a Blue Sky Thanksgiving Day

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11272008419-Sanibel-Island-Causeway-Thanksgiving-Day

The view from the “happy lane” looking toward the lighthouse and Fort Myers Beach. Sanibel Island Causeway, Lee County, Florida. November 27th 2008 (Thanksgiving Day).

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Sand Sculpting Contest on Fort Myers Beach – earlier pics

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

Since my AT&T 3G phone service was messing up early in the day, there are some pics you guys didn’t get.Β  I’ve sent them up to Flickr – you will find just a few of them here –

CLICK to see some more pics from Fort Myers Beach today

I’ll try to get some more up there soon.Β  I took lots later in the day at the Holiday Inn, some ofΒ  which I already sent to this blog earlier today.Β  Right now I am super tired and I have not packed yet.Β  I might just go to bed and get up early to pack.

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Wordless, Sunday April 27th 2008

Wordless, Sunday April 27th 2008
“But… why?”

Six Mile Cypress Slough ~ Fort Myers, Florida ~ July, 2005

First rainbow of 2008

As I drove into my own town, it began to sprinkle less than 5 miles from my house. I looked up and saw a double rainbow in the sky, the first I’ve seen in 2008.

The upper level of the double rainbow is starting to fade out.

It really had a nice arc to it! It faded the closer I got to home, and I went inside happy that it was raining for the THIRD day in a row. We’re making progress toward wiping out the deficit and getting out of this drought.

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I was going to abandon this idea, but…..

I was driving home from a shopping expedition this afternoon, approaching the I-75 overpass up on Colonial, and I noticed a bunch of construction on the other side of the interstate. Looked like hotels – wanted to confirm that and tuck it away for future reference for when Bro No. 1 comes with the family. He likes to dump the kids here and take himself and wife off to the hotel. I’m ok with that!

Anyhow, I made a right after going under I-75. Fairly new-looking road. I did see three buildings back there. One was the office of a home builder – probably their design center (it was fairly large). Right next to it, a new Candlewood Suites; however it does not have a pool, so I don’t know how Bro would feel about that.

And at the end of the court, a tall, broad building that says “NOVA Southeastern University” on the side of it. Lots of construction vehicles sprinkled around the unfinished parking lot, but the building looks like it’s nearly completed.

So I quickly call my home phone and leave an answering machine message for myself, so I don’t forget to find out what this is all about. Turns out theres a BIG campus of this school in Fort Lauderdale, but there are all these “distance learning centers” sprinkled here in Florida, and as far flung as the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Las Vegas. This is apparently one of those “distance learning centers”.

I found the page where they tell what programs will be offered here; one of them is Mental Health Counseling.

I was seriously thinking I wasn’t going to do this. I loved school; it also damned near killed me, seeing as getting my BA in Psychology coincided with the most difficult years of my career at the Firm, AND with my “other career” singing with the opera company on Long Island. I look back at those days and shake my head. How did I cram it all in? Where did I find the time? AND, I was still an ABC Daytime and HBO Sunday Night junkie back then too – I watched HOURS of TV in addition to writing papers and memorizing performances in other languages! Why did I do that to my life? What was I thinking?

But, you know, the initial supposition that originally led to my going back to school in the first place is still valid. I am not going to be able to retire the way my parents did. I’m eventually going to become obsolete at the Firm. I’ve had a good run, but my years of service are starting to add up to the point where I’m going to be entering that category of folks who are candidates for “early retirement” (translation: here’s some cash, get thee gone).

I’m going to NEED a second career.

My other choice for second career would be horticulturist at Disney. However, I’d have to move to landlocked Orlando – ok, there are worse things, but I’m REALLY enjoying being near the beaches here. You might have noticed. LOL

Well, they aren’t done building it yet, even. I can make the same deal with myself that I made for the BA. Be back in school learning SOMETHING by time I was 40. I went back when I was 39, in fact. So now, I can say, “be back in school for 2nd career by time you are 50”. I’m 47. I have some time.

Eat At Joe’s

Just down the street from the park is this restaurant on the river. It smelled divine. Will have to try this place next time someone comes down to visit from the frozen north. There’s a quasi-wrap-around porch outside with a good view.

OK, so this concludes my outting to Centennial Park. It gave me the opportunity to post some miles to Shipshape (I’m guesstimating a mile and a half), and it kept me from sitting home and fidgeting because I don’t smoke any more. Day 19, woo hoo!

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Play time

Above and below, a couple of play areas for the kiddoodles. Notice the open space; they do fireworks over the river on the 4th of July, and I bet it gets packed with people for that event.

Below, more artsy fartsy stuff – I thought the sky looked cool through the labyrinth of bare branches, seed pods and new green growth.

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More sights

Above, we have some amazing cloud formations serving as a backdrop for the majestic high-rises. You can see from the palm tree that there was a fairly good breeze coming in over the water, which was a good thing because it sure was hot today!

Above, some tiled detail of a pavillion, under which there were some women and children setting up a meal on picnic tables, which they’d covered with brightly colored plastic cloths that flapped in the wind.

I only took the picture above because I wanted an excuse to hover nearby and listen to what was going on with reference to the sign below (took that pic surreptitiously). There was a semi-circle of people, probably 20 of them, sitting around discussing the bible. They all apparently brought their own seating, for the semi-circle consisted of a wide variety of stools, camp chairs, beach loungers, and even a few metal folding chairs. It did not feel it right to take their picture while they were at their Sunday worship. But I thought it was pretty cool that they have their services outside in a beautiful setting, and I found their conversation interesting. It was all about what temptation means in this day and age.

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I guess it was a low tide

There were some exposed mud flats close to shoreline/promenade. I peered down and saw some fiddler crabs waving in a threatening manner at one another – “look girls, my claw is MUCH bigger than his!” – but no king’s crowns, alas! It would have been pretty easy to clamber down there and retrieve them, had I spied any.

Dontcha just love mangroves? They are so weird! some of them that are just starting out sending down roots sort of look humanoid, but once they get more than two, they don’t spook me out much any more.

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Out on the pier

Decided to take a walk out onto one of the fishing piers. On advice of the above signs, did not jump in for a nice swim.

My attempt at artsy fartsy perspective shot.

From under the closer bridge, there is an amazing series of high-rises, standing majestically against the sky. Unfortunately, due to glare, I could not see the screen and chopped off the very tippy top of one of the buildings here.

More artsy fartsy perspective attempt.

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Battle of Fort Myers statue

I had to google (yeah that’s a verb now) and found out that Wikipedia calls The Battle of Fort Myers is known as the “southernmost land battle of the Civil War.” Coincidentally, it looks like tomorrow is the 143rd anniversary of the battle!

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City Seal and Clock

In keeping with my mood to capture trash can art and such these days, here’s the seal of the City of Fort Myers (above). There’s also an old-fashioned street clock down there, and it was actually keeping the correct time.

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More "uncommon friends"

Here’s more of the “Uncommon Friends” fountain. The flowers are part of the sculpture – they’re totally fake! Note there’s a cute little otter statue, too.

Here are some manatees; I looked in the river for some, but didn’t find any.

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Three Fort Myers Dudes

Speaking of cute, how ’bout that baby petting the turtle, above? πŸ˜€ Below, we have Mo, Larry and Curly – oops, I mean Edison, Ford and Firestone. I passed the Ford and Edison estates on the way home (I took McGregor); I guess that will be another outting I’ll need to take soon.

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Florida panthers

Here are some cool statues of panthers, which sadly do no live around here any more. I’ve read that a male panther needs contiguous roaming area of 100 square miles, in which up to 6 females + cubs can also live. We definitely do not have that much contiguous forest any more ’round these parts. This is why they’ve taken down the “panther X-ing” signs on the road to the airport. Anyhow, I like the little baby panther in the last picture below – he’s cute!

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Centennial Park, Fort Myers Florida

I needed to get out of the house today to try and walk off cigarette cravings, so I decided that since I’ve been living here nearly two years, it was high time I visited Centennial Park, which is on the Fort Myers waterfront. Above, I’m driving down Hendry Street toward the Caloosahatchie River.

Above, I’m still driving. I’m not sure how many bridges there are, or which one that is, above. It might be the one that’s part of I-75???

I parked in non-metered parking in the post office, which is across the street from this event center. No clue what sort of “events” take place there.

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Just trawlin’ the decks

Just traversing the ship, checkin’ out the sights. I didn’t really anticipate doing Johnny Rockets here, as I have a Johnny Rockets right in Fort Myers that I can go to any time I wish. I think it was at this point that they called out for us to report to our cabins.

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Lunch before we go

Kelly came to drop Mary off at my house. After the grand tour and some standing around and bullshitting, Kelly left and Mary and I stopped at the DQ Grill for sustenance before heading out to Alligator Alley.