Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ft. Myers Trip, Day 8

RECAP:    My husband and I both grew up on the river.  Literally.  The river was just footsteps outside of both of our front doors.  We love the water.  We love the beach.  So when we decided to start venturing further than a day's drive away from our home for a family vacation, we chose the beach.  Ft. Myers Beach, FL, to be exact.  Here's what we did on:

Day 8:
     Our last full day in Ft. Myers began with everyone going to daily Mass.  Still impressed by the ability to leave for Mass with only 8 minutes to spare, and be early enough to quiet ourselves before it began, we loaded the van at 7:52 and headed south to the church.  After Mass the morning plan was to head to the north end of the island to visit the pier.

   Our son and I rode the bikes to the pier while the rest of the family drove.  We beat them.  Have I mentioned before how horrendously slow traffic is on Estero Island?  The north end of the island was packed and the pier and shopping area were loaded with visitors.

Throughout the week I discovered a new-found love of pelicans.  Watching them soar up and down the shoreline and  dive-bomb into the water in search of food, totally fascinated me.  So my favorite part of the pier was of course the resident pelicans hanging out there, who were so accustomed to the crowds that they did not move no matter how close you got to them.

I am pretty certain they would have let me touch them, but THAT was against the rules, so of course I did not try!

The bridge to Sanibel Island, taken from the pier:

Checking out the view!

 The trip was getting a little old for the guy on the left!

In Times Square, where all the shops are and the pier begins, I spotted what I thought was a very appropriate statue of a man on a bicycle.  How appropriate, I thought,  to have a statue of a bicycler here on the island where everyone gets to where they need to go via bicycle!  A while later I looked up to see the statue I had been admiring chasing people around and chirping like a bird.  What?!!  This talented man looked so authentic in his disguise.  I would have never known he was not a real statue, which was exactly his goal, I guess.  What great entertainment.  One of our sons is a real joker, and I wanted the man to "get" him, so as soon as he and my husband reached the area we sent him over to: "check out the cool statue." 

Here he is approaching the "statue."  He was still in full pout mode (see picture from the pier) so he wasn't too excited, but I was eagerly awaiting and anticipating his reaction.  I was certain I would see a grand jump followed by laughter when the man got off his bike and startled him.

As it turned out he was a little more shocked than startled, and apparently jokes aren't quite as funny when they are played on you instead of others.  He did not laugh and was less than enthusiastic when we sent him back to the statue with our tip for the performer.  He shuffled his feet in slow motion and lethargically dropped the money in the bike helmet.  The donation delighted the man and his response finally caught the attention of our boy, who then took the time to unabashedly stare in amazement at this mind blowing site!  And for the record, he admits that he was indeed, scared.

 My favorite picture of the pier.  Isn't my husband a great photographer?!!

The kids had some ice cream and then it was time to head back to the house.  This time it was our daughter's turn to ride the bike, while our son took her spot in the van.  This was by far the windiest day of the trip and we were riding against the wind on the way back.  It was a much more difficult ride and we definitely did not win the race back home!

We spent the rest of the day on the beach, and with the increased wind came larger waves.  The kids were finally able to have a little fun boogie boarding.  Dave and I relived our days of living in Charleston, and did a little boogie boarding ourselves.  The kids had a blast and so did we!

She found a sport she likes!!!!

Learning the virtue of patience...waiting for the perfect wave pays off!

The two little guys were totally over the beach, and we the adults, were totally not.  We wanted to spend as much time as we could on the beach especially since it was our last day.  So....we resorted to piling frosting in their bag of plain animal crackers.  This yummy surprise kept them quiet while eating, with the added bonus of the many minutes it took for them to lick the sticky mess off of their fingers!  

 We worked together on a family sand castle and in this picture, it is almost finished!

 Of course, it HAD to be a Christian sand castle!  We built it out of the reach of high tide and were all surprised to see our cross still standing later that evening!

It was overcast most of the afternoon and there was no good view of the sunset that night.  We spent the night cleaning, doing loads and loads of laundry, and packing up.  None of us were quite ready to say goodbye, but you can't stop time, so we faced the fact that it was time to pack up, leave the heat, and go back to the cold!  I traded moods with our son and became the resident pouter.

Here's what we did on :  Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4 Day 5Day 6Day 7, Day 9

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