Good Evening Gettin’ Looped blog followers,
You may recall from the last post that Jonell’s cousin Anita & husband Rich Cook spent the week with us. They live in Clarkston Michigan, and in addition to being Nellie’s cousin, are good Lake St Clair boater pals of ours.
It was nice to have visitors again, and we had quite the active week
Tuesday – Dec 5th (Sunny & 83f)
As we said in the last post, we treated Rich & Anita to 3 stops along the ICW (Clearwater, Sarasota, & Pelican Bay @ Cayo Costa) in route to our home for December, Fort Myers Beach.
We arrived at The Pink Shell Resort & Marina on Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach, about 3-4pm on Tuesday. After getting tied up and hooking up electric & water, we went to the harbor masters office to get signed in.
Assistant harbor master Craig gave us the low-down on the resort & 4 wrist bands for access to all the facilities at the resort.
The Pink Shell Resort is right on the Gulf of Mexico, and the marina behind the resort is right on the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway).
The resort features ; 6 buildings, 3 restaurants, 3 pools, a fitness center, a spa, and has their own section of beach on the Gulf of Mexico with complimentary chairs/lounges, and umbrellas.
Shortly after checking in with Craig, we toured the grounds, had some drinks and a swim at the main pool, and spent a few hours on our new beach. The complex is expansive and was all decorated up for Christmas. There is a major large tree trunk in the middle of the main lobby. The sand on the beach is very soft and is grated every morning in front of the Pink Shell Resort.
After gettin to know the complex a little, we came back to the boat and took some showers to clean up for the night ahead.
Later that night we went into the Times Square area of Fort Myers Beach, an area with a lot of restaurants, bars, gift shops.
We had dinner and were entertained with live music at a low-key outdoor place called Pete’s Time Out.
We then walked around the Times Square area and looked at Christmas decorations.
It was quite the full day, for our first day in Fort Myers Beach.
Wed – Dec 6th (Sunny & 84f)
After crossing the Gulf & 3 days of ICW travel, Gettin’ Looped was filthy with a salt water film, dulling her normally shiny surface.
We started the day with Mike & Rich washing the boat and Nellie & Anita doing some window shopping at Times Square.
After washing Gettin’ Looped, we all got on our swim suits and went on the longest dinghy adventure that I have ever been on (18 miles). When we checked in at the marina office, we asked what should we not miss while in Fort Myers. One of the answers was ” Lovers Key Beach” , supposedly one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Jonell & I thought we had been there a couple years ago, but were not sure. The beach was about 9 miles away, at the very south tip of Estero Island & north tip of Bonita Springs. We could have taken the Trolley, but chose to take the dinghy.
Due to the boat traffic and no wake zones on the ICW, it was about a 90 minute ride one way.
We went past many restaurants, marinas, hotels, nice homes, and a mooring field of boats. We did not get many photos because the phones were safely tucked away in the dry bag (thanks Kenny). We did however get this photo.
We also got a photo which makes all boaters sad, time to contact Boat US insurance, potential remnant hurricane damage ??
Well, after 9 miles & 90 minutes, we finally made it to Lover’s Key. Jonell & I now remembered that we were not so impressed the first time, and our impression did not change this time. Not sure what the big draw is to this beach. Our beach in front of the Pink Shell was cleaner, softer, and whiter sand.
Lover’s Key is more remote, but there were still a lot of people there.
We returned from Lover’s Key, got some fuel in the dinghy along the way, took some pre dinner showers, and later met Looper pals Derek & Laurie from vessel Donna Mae.
We went to dinner at one of our favorites places from a few years ago, introduced to us by Royal Oak neighbors Al & Roberta – Nervous Nellies.
Nervous Nellies is right on the ICW, has a nice marina, and has live music.
Thu – Dec 7th (Sunny & 83f)
We started the day with breakfast at the Pink Shell restaurant “Jacks”.
Jacks has a VERY LARGE buffet that Rich & Anita took advantage of, while the little bird eaters Mike & Nellie had coffee.
After breakfast, Thursday became BEACH DAY.
We spent the day on the Pink Shell Beach.
Like I mentioned before – the beach is very clean, has soft white sand, and is maintained every day with a tractor and sand grating fence. If you are early enough – you can create the virgin footprints for that day.
Jonell & Anita went ahead of Mike/Rich and got a set of 4 loungers & umbrella set up with the assistance of the Pink Shell beach attendants. You are allowed to take your own coolers out on the beach if you wish to, but you can also order drinks/food via the Pink Shell attendants on the 4-wheeler carts. We did take our own beverages, but did order lunch from the cart girl. To order food/drinks, you simply raise a flag located on a post near the lounge chairs.
Later during the day Rich made a Christmas postcard to send to his buddies in Detroit.
We also went for a long walk on the beach. Rich found a dead horse-shoe crab washed up on the beach.
Later that afternoon, we went to the south side of Estero Island, to watch the sunset at a place called The Lani-Kai Swing Chairs (Thx Chuck Wolfe). The Lani-Kai is a pretty rough college kid beach hotel, but the swing chairs on the rooftop are cool. We had some drinks & appetizers, and waited for the sunset that was ultimately uneventful due to clouds.
After the Lani-Kai, we went to a place on the ICW called Mantanzas on the Bay, and had great pizza and listened to a good female acoustic guitar musician.
Fri – Dec 8th (Sunny & 83f)
On Friday during the day, Jonell & Anita went shopping at Times Square.
Mike & Rich killed time at the Blowfish Bar within the Pier Side Grill.
After gift shopping, we returned to the Pink Shell and had POOL DAY.
We spent the day at the more quiet, adult pool.
Rich made a little friend, anybody need auto insurance, I think Rich’s friend has an accent too.
During the evening, we visited the Edison/Ford Winter Estate Complex, a well know tourist area in Fort Myers City, along the Caloosahatchee River . We went on a 90 minute guided tour of the grounds, and listened to all the history and looked at all the Christmas decorations.
The story has it that Henry Ford was enamored by Thomas Edison, who was about 20 years older. After they became friends, Henry Ford purchased a winter estate right next door to Thomas Edison. The tour walked us thru both of the side by side winter vacation homes built in 1886 (Edison) & 1915 (Ford) . Edison and Ford were also pals with big wigs Harvey Firestone & John Burroughs. Evidently they were hunting/fishing buddies and went on trips together for about a 10 year period. The 4 of them were know as the “Vagabonds” . There was a very cool photo of the 4 of them together, in the museum.
The tour of the 2 Estates was also very cool.
The Edison Winter Home
The Ford Winter Home
After touring the Edison/Ford Winter Estates, we went into downtown Fort Myers and had dinner at a Tex-Mex place called Los Cabos Cantina.
After dinner, we walked around downtown Fort Myers, watched a street band, and then had nite-cap drinks at a rooftop bar called “The Firestone Sky Bar”
The crowd at the Sky Bar was quite the diverse group of ages, and was a very lively group. We captured some video to share with you. The stars of the video are; excellent dancer “joey bag of doughnuts” , cigar lighting sam. and the Murphree’s & Cooks.
Sky Bar Video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkKKdVJ3ETo
Sat – Dec 9th (Boooo = Rainy & 65f)
Saturday was get away day for Rich & Anita, but their flight was not until night time.
The weather sucked Saturday, but we were thankful for an awesome weather week during their visit.
We occupied most the day with ; Breakfast @ Jacks & a Liquid Lunch at a place called Dock Fords on the east side of the ICW (Linda Spragg & Lauri Scheller, you may remember gettin’ looped at this place).
After Dock Fords, we returned to Bongos for the tearful bye-bye drinks.
The fun week was over, I think I need a new liver.
The next post will not be for over a week.
Our children Ashley & Dan will be coming in later this week on Dec 14/15, and staying for about a week.
Ashley & boyfriend Dave will fly in on the 14th (Dan’s birthday).
Dan & fiancée Megan will arrive by car on the 15th.
The kids will spend the days with us at the Pink Shell, and will spend the nights at a hotel on the south side of Estero Island – The Outrigger Beach Resort !
We love our kids, but 43 feet of fiberglass is not enough room for a weeks visit, and the rooms at the Pink Shell are very expensive.