I spent the first half of spring break in Florida with my friends Becky and Sunny, and we had a lovely few days. The time was divided between a couple of nights at S’s parents’ house near Tampa (one on the way down, one on the way back) and a couple of nights in Fort Myers with trips out to Gasparilla Island/Boca Grande and Sanibel Island.
I hadn’t been to the beach since 2007, and hadn’t been to a sunny, warm, southern beach since years before that. I was definitely looking forward to spending some time with my feet in the sand. Mission: Accomplished. Here are some of my favorite photographs from the trip:
Boca Grande and Gasparilla Island State Park:
We saw the lighthouse on the island — how different from most lighthouses I’m familiar with, like this one at Heceta Head in Oregon! — and walked the beach, enjoying the shells and the friendly birds and the absolutely gorgeous water and sky. So lovely here.
Sanibel Island and J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge:
Here we rented bikes for the day so we could ride through the wildlife preserve and stop to see all the birds. My friend Sunny is an avid birder, so had some birding binoculars with her, and I captured these photos with a 55-200mm zoom lens on loan from Becky. The biking was quite fun for the first half of the ride, when a gentle tailwind helped us pedal ourselves and our full baskets of stuff even on the single-speed cruisers. Riding back to town in a ripping headwind was, let’s say, less leisurely. It’s kind of hard to pedal when your entire torso is all upright like a huge sail and you don’t have any gears. Oy. Nonetheless, an exciting day, finishing with some lounging on the beach watching the stand-up paddle boarders.
Fort Myers, Hotel Balcony Sunsets, and a Very Old Banyan Tree:
Sitting on the hotel balcony every night watching the sun go down and drinking wine was probably one of my favorite things about the trip. Our view was spectacular and nature put on a great show for us every night.
All in all, a fantastic trip and definitely worth spending many, many hours in the backseat of a VW Beetle. Coming home and back to reality was less thrilling — a story that will have to wait for a later post.