We had just returned from our winter vacation in Port Charlotte, Florida three weeks ago when our neighbor asked, “What did you do for three weeks in Florida?” Well, for starters I didn’t have to shovel any snow! The weather in Port Charlotte this year was perfect for a visit from folks like us who live in the Finger Lakes – a bit cool for the natives in Port Charlotte but a perfect 65 degrees overnight and then 75 to 80 degrees in the daytime.
It was a time for us to “smell the roses “and to just enjoy the blooming shrubs and singing birds. We visited our Canadian friends who have a home in N. Ft. Myers and admired their blooming hibiscus bush; a sight for sore eye after a particularly harsh winter in Upstate New York.
We tried to eat or lunch outside at every opportunity just so we could take in the clear blue skies and warm temperatures and sun! Did I mention the sun? That rascal has been vacationing in Florida and we sure have missed him. Our Canadian friends introduced us to the Pink Elephant Restaurant on Gasparilla Island and we would return there many times during our Florida stay.
We loved the Mango Bistro in Englewood, Florida. We went there on a Saturday to see the sights and to enjoy a car show which was being held in Englewood. What do seniors do in Florida? Well, some of them restore the old classic cars of the fifties and sixties – you know the ones which we loved but just couldn’t afford! There were street rods and drag racers with ear drum busting mufflers as well as those fifties convertibles and sleek hard tops which are great for just cruising around town.
On the following Friday, we returned to Englewood with our Canadian friends for dinner and music at The Englewoods on Dearborn St. The tables are long reserved in advance and you are hard pressed to find a seat. There’s even a cover charge for listening to the bands which come on the weekend. These folks know how to have a good time.
Our neighbor recommended that we visit the Lashley Crab House in Punta Gorda. There were no crabs at Lashley’s, just smiles and a magnificent view of the Peace River and the bridge which carries route 41 traffic across the river to Port Charlotte.
We won’t soon forget the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the sun, and the blue sky at Boca Grande Island. We can’t wait to go back!