These pictures are from the Thomas Edison House here in Fort Myers. Edison and his family were the first Florida snowbirds and this was their Winter estate. The grounds were all lit up for the Holidays. Aptly, since we wouldn't have lights, Christmas or otherwise, without his genius.
We're going to go back one of these days to tour his lab and the museum. This time, we just strolled around the grounds, enjoying the lights and getting into the Holiday spirit. The estate is on the Calahootchie River -- the same River our RV Park is on. Our estate is a little bit smaller.
Edison liked to fish from this wharf, when he wasn't busy thinking (he was probably doing both at once).
Another day, we took a dinner train on the Seminole Gulf Railway. It's the only freight railroad in Southwest Florida; the depot is in Ft. Myers. The passenger excursion trains were added in 1991. Northbound,we had the first three courses of a good meal (this is the first) and excellent conversation with our table-mates. This special holiday trip included a holiday lights cruise, so we disembarked at the historic Punta Gorda depot where we were bused a short distance to Fisherman's Village. We climbed aboard a big canal boat to look at the beautifully lighted homes on Punta Gorda Isles. Main course and dessert were served after we got back on the train for the return trip.
It was fun to look at the lights and Christmas displays. But the very best thing about a Ft. Myers Christmas is that we are warm! And dry! And on Christmas Day we saw our first of an endangered species, the Florida Manatee, We saw at least a dozen. Once you spot them coming up for air, it is pretty easy to see their size and shape under water, but not clearly enough to snap a picture. And they don't stay above water long enough. (I have upgraded my goal of "see manatees" to "get my own picture of a manatee somehow." )
These gentle sea mammals really are huge. They tend to congregate near the outtakes from power plants, because the water is warmer and that is why there are so many at the park where we saw them. Here are two good websites to learn more about these gentle giants:
There are very nice walking trails as well at this park which is only a few miles from where we live. We'll be checking back often.
There are very nice walking trails as well at this park which is only a few miles from where we live.
We'll be checking back often.