Monday, February 23, 2015

Friends and Manatees

Rick and Kathy


We had visitors on Friday afternoon – Rick and Kathy (It’s About Time), from Ontario, Canada.  We had met them several years ago at an informal RV-Dreams gathering, and met up with them 2 years ago when we were last in Florida.

They stopped by the RV Resort where we got caught up (although we read each others’ blogs, so we pretty much know what’s going on with each other!) and enjoyed some snacks as we moved from the sun, to the shade, back to the sun . . .

We showed them around the resort, and then decided to go to downtown Ft. Myers for some pizza.  We had heard that the pizza at Capone’s was pretty good, so we decided to give it a try.

We were there by 5:30, but Ft. Myers is pretty busy on Friday nights, so there was about a 1/2 hour wait for a table.  The new thing with restaurants here is, instead of giving you a pager for when your table is available, they take your phone number and text you when it’s ready.  We chatted and studied the menu while we waited; then, when it had been more than 30 minutes, sent Tom to check on our table.  It turns out they had tried to call our phone, but the call did not go through . . . so they skipped us!  Well, that’s not a very good system!  We got the next available table, though.

Once we were seated, we ordered right away (since we had plenty of time to study the menu and decide what to get), and the salad and pizza proved to be very good.

After dinner, we walked around downtown, where there were performers and musicians on many of the streetcorners.


We found out later that this is a regular thing on Friday nights – they alternate between musicians and artists each week.  Most of them were really good!  It was a beautiful evening to be downtown!

After walking around for awhile, we parted ways with Rick and Kathy, looking forward to catching up with them again at the RV-Dreams Reunion Rally this summer.

On Saturday morning, we did something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since we got here.  Just up the road from us is the power plant, and Manatee Park. 


There’s canal that runs from the power plant over to the Orange River, and eventually out to the Caloosahatchee River, and the warm water being discharged from the power plant attracts hundreds of manatees.  










With the cold nighttime temperatures we’d been having the last few nights, we knew the canal would be loaded with manatees on Saturday morning . . . and we were right!

The park consists of a walkway along the canal with several overlooks,


ending at a fishing pier on the Orange River, and a trail along the river back to the picnic area and Visitor Center.  There’s also a canoe and kayak rental.     DSC_0339









We walked down to the water’s edge, and quickly spotted several manatees,












including a momma and a baby.


We moved further along the walkway, to a lagoon where a large group of manatees had gathered for naptime.












From our spot at the railing, I was able to get a few good close-up pictures . . . although the manatees never wanted to stay above the water long enough to get much more than their snouts!



Look at those whiskers!


This canal is man-made, and the bottom is lined with rocks, so there is no food available for the manatees.  So, although they come here for the warm water, they can’t stay long, and have to go back out into the river to eat.


The manatees can pass freely between the canal and the river, but there’s a fence that keeps the canoes and kayaks on the river side.

There were quite a few people on the river Saturday morning,


and there were also a lot of manatees swimming around with them.


The canal isn’t just home to the manatees . . . there are also a lot of birds that hang out along the shoreline.




Egrets and Great Blue Herons



This little guy reminded me of Casey when she goes into stalking mode!




We were only there for about an hour, but it felt good to be out in nature again . . . we’re definitely going to make a point of getting out and doing more hiking in our last 6 weeks down here!


The adventure didn’t stop there . . . we had more on Saturday night, but that needs to wait for another blog post!


  1. We were so happy to meet up with you again and looking forward to future get-togethers.
    Wish we had known about your Saturday night adventure as we could have gotten together for a while longer. We were there by a fluke but that's what makes life interesting.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Going to the parade was a last-minute decision for us, too, but it was fun!


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