One of the joys of our Great Loop adventure is sharing the experience with family and friends. We were blessed to have our daughter, Erika, with us for several days after Christmas and into the New Year.
One of the stops on our way to Ft. Myers was beautiful Boca Grande. It is a lovely island featuring The Gasparilla Inn and Club, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more than 110 years, the Inn has hosted notables including J.P. Morgan and Henry DuPont. The current owner is a DuPont heir and maintains the property with vintage-style rooms and shared space. It is a taste of Old Florida!
We were on Boca Grande only one evening but enjoyed a nice golf cart ride around the island and dinner at the retaurant overlooking the marina.
Our next destination was Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach. What a beautiful spot….and our slip at the marina gave us privileges at the beach and resort. One afternoon Erika was able to catch up with some friends from Grand Rapids who were vacationing on Fort Myers Beach, so Rick and launched our dinghy and explored a nearby island with our marina neighbors. Fun!
After church on Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, we had lunch at Izzy’s, an oyster and fish house downtown, and then drove to Lee County Manatee Park to see if we could catch a glimpse of these “sea cows”. When the temperature in the Gulf waters drops below 68 degrees, the manatee swim to warmer inland bays and rivers. That day, we were lucky to see four manatees up close. Louise, a very knowledgeable and devoted volunteer, shared her expertise and answered lots of our questions.
To top off Erika’s last day with us, we drove to Sanibel Island to see the lighthouse and beach and then further out to Captiva Island for the sunset at the Mucky Duck.
All-in-all, a wonderful visit and sweet time with our girl!