ft. myers

we woke up on our last day of the trip, jan. 7th, and it was chilly!  not chilly enough to drag out the little space heater that we’d brought, but chilly enough.

of course it’s all relative.  right now here in lovely spfld it’s seven degrees with a wind chill of MINUS 11.

but kevin started a fire, and i really, really needed a s’more for breakfast.  all the chocolate we had left were a few hershey’s kisses, so i carefully cut them into piece.


i know i wrote about kevin obsessively washing the hubcaps of the car, but i was wrong about that – this was the morning he started in on this fun project.  after a while, i suggested that maybe we should take a canoe ride. a river flowed just a few yards from our campsite, and you could rent canoes at the ranger station, so we decided to do that for a little.

you might recall the “hike” we tried on our first morning there – i had the map to the trail, but it only ended up being about 10 minutes long!  the river ride was a little bit longer than that, but it kept getting more and more narrow, so we finally had to turn around.

you also might remember the NO FISHING – ALLIGATORS! sign, so we were a little hopeful that we might spot one.  a friendly alligator, not one that wanted to eat us.

as we paddled back, we did see a head peeking up above the surface of the water.  AN ALLIGATOR!  I hadn’t brought my camera because i was pretty sure if i did, i’d manage to capsize the canoe, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that we really saw it.  he quickly submerged again before we got too close.

it was a pretty relaxing end to our trip, and we were bittersweet about leaving – we didn’t want to go back to the cold and snow, but we did miss our kitties a lot.

we had decided to take three days to drive back instead of our harrowing two, and we took a different route this time, because we wanted to never, ever drive through atlanta or chattanooga again.

we hit the road at the crack of 9:00 on thursday, and it was a pretty good drive through the panhandle of florida; there was very little traffic and no road construction and no semis trying to kills us.

we got all the way to dothan, alabama.

it was COLD in dothan, in the low 30s, so we walked across the street to the mall so kevin could buy a winter hat.  one of his hats was buried deep in the van, but we didn’t feel like unloading the layers and layers of stuff in there.

it was a very nice mall, and we didn’t know how dothan could support something this nice, so i looked it up on my phone.

here’s what it said on wikipedia:  “Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is called “The Peanut Capital of the World.”

if you come and see the play i’m in, “the dixie swim club,” which opens FRIDAY NIGHT at the hoogland, you’ll know why this was a very interesting fact for me to hear.  also you’ll know why i found it very important to eat a biscuit at every hotel where we stopped along the way.

we had to bring the palm tree i’d bought into the hotel because it was gonna get so coooold that night.

and then the next day, drive drive drive, but not so bad, but it kept getting colder…and colder…and then we got all the way to paducah, KY (home of the national quilt museum, which we didn’t visit), and had a nice dinner and we were ridiculously close to home now but we just didn’t wanna push it.

so then, saturday, we got up and drove the short little drive home and were so happy to see our kitties!

chester was ecstatic to have a bag to lie on.

and lester…well, as always, so darn cute.

i feel that i’d like to go somewhere warm for a longer period of time next year, but couldn’t we rent a house and take the kitties?  it’d be a delightful car ride, I’m sure!

all right already, i have to get up off the couch and go do stuff now, including going OUTSIDE, which seems quite crazy, but there you go.

have a warm wednesday, if that’s even possible.

ok then,



leaving captiva…

by grace on February 17, 2015

this was day tuesday, january 6th, day 7 in fort myers, our last morning on captiva island.  we got up to see the sun rise again, and it was a little bit chilly and the water was whipping the waves around a bit.

i hadn’t thought it would be cold, so i had no warm pants, so kevin lent me his fleece jammy bottoms.  it was fun to stroll across the island in my jammies carrying my tea!

as we walked back i saw this flowering plant.  i haven’t tried to figure out what it is yet.

a banana tree!  i’d like to live somewhere where i could have a banana tree in the yard.  OK THEN!!!  there’s a good personal goal!!!

after our leisurely walk back, we sat on the beach for about an hour, then headed back to our little camper.

and here was a lizard friend on our picnic table.

as we walked around the park i was blabbering on about something and all of a sudden SNORT HISS kind of noise.  there was a tortoise!  i had scared him.

poor little guy.  but then he continued munching on the vegetation.

that afternoon, it got more and more hot – no cooling gulf breeze – so we went back to the movie!  back to the fabulous Prado movie theater, where we reclined in the reclining chairs and watched the movie “big eyes,” then stopped for delicious peanut butter chocolate ice cream.

that night kevin went to sleep early and i  walked to the bath house by myself.  reached it, no trouble, because we’d walked there many times.  but on my way back, i was busy looking up at the starry sky, and then i went down the shortcut trail back to the road where our camper was…and suddenly there was a guy standing in the doorway of some building!  what??!!!  clearly i had taken a wrong turn, and this looked like maybe the little maintenance shed we’d seen down a road?  how had i done this?  i turned around and headed back, and walked along a path in the underbrush…and ended up on the main road leaving to the campsite, waaaay far away from where our camper was.

uh oh, how had this happened?  i walked back down the road, turned the corner to our lane…and there was the guy again!  but i realized that no, this wasn’t a building, this was a mighty big trailer that the guy must have pulled into the park, and he was busily polishing his enormous harley!  i stopped to tell him that he’d confused me a lot, and he apologized, and i assured him there was nothing to apologize for, and hurried back to our camper.

it was a beautiful, warm, lovely night, and honestly, i could head right back there RIGHT NOW.

only one more day in warmth and sunshine…

ok then,

mrs. hughes, already here on the backside of FEBRUARY, for pete’s sake!


after returning from our walk down to the beach with our giant piece of delicious orange crunch cake, we…went back to the beach!  to see the sun set, of course.  i don’t often to get the sun rise and set in one day.

looking through the photos, i realize that both of us were sitting there taking pictures…my friend erica recently went to hawaii and took almost no photos at all.  she found it annoying that people were taking so many photos and videos that they didn’t bother to actually look at things.

i see her point, but on the other hand, i feel that it doesn’t take much time to take the pictures, and then i’ll have the memories all the time.  because with my memory, i’d be lucky to remember much of anything most of the time.

i could look at these little birds all day long.

notice the throngs of people on the beach watching the sun set!  there were rarely any other people at all.

these are all kevin’s sunset pictures.

here’s our collection of shells, which are still sitting in the pringle’s can in the other room.  i’ll put them somewhere just as soon as some empty surface shows up somewhere in the house!

mmm, orange crunch cake.  it was pretty darned good, and maybe i’ll make one this weekend.  i think you just use an orange cake mix, and add stuff to it, so it’s easy.

and so good…and so good for you!  well, good for you if you’re on a weight-gaining program.

and that’s finally that for our full glorious day on captiva.  i’d sure like to spend more days there; my bags can be packed and ready to go in about five minutes.

ok then,

mrs. feels like six below here right now hughes.


CAPTIVA! day 6 continued…

by grace on February 11, 2015

we saw the sun rise, we watched manatees, we sat on the beach, went to the bubble room fabulous fun restaurant…and then we went back to the bubble room to get a giant delicious piece of orange crunch cake.

we walked all the way up to the north side of the island, and then walked back on the beach.

here’s a bird of paradise along the main street.

there were almost nothing but rental houses up and down all the streets, and most had so many beautiful flowers everywhere.  really, let’s go back!  soon.

we loved it that this person planted all these poinsettias in front of their house.  i wish i could do that with our poinsettias – people give them to me, and i don’t really want or have room for them to begin with, and then i can’t bear to just let them die after xmas, so i keep them all year and now i have these giant poinsettias hanging around all the time.

we stopped at the old little cemetery and church.  the cemetery was really something, with so many old gravestones in the sand.  we’re so glad we stopped there, because it was such a quiet and peaceful place.  not that there was anything raucous about the island anywhere else…

this really old gravestone belonged to a confederate soldier.  we couldn’t make out the name.

here’s the darling little church, with the trees festooned with so many holiday lights.

i wonder why kevin had to carry the bag of orange crunch cake the whole way home?  probably cause i’d had started eating it as we walked!

inside, the church was rustic and charming and made me want to go to a service there, which is pretty extraordinary for me since i don’t have any of the religion.  we’ve been to different huge and ornate churches in many locales, but none of them ever made me feel that sense of peace.

of course, none of them was on this darling little island, either….

soon,  i will conclude the many photos from this fun-filled day.

right now, i have to go out into the neverending gray day right here.

ok then,

mrs. grace hughes.


captiva! day 6, part two, of many posts on this fantastic day…

February 9, 2015

so…we’d seen the sun rise, we’d watched the manatees, we’d walked on the beach and picked up many shells…and then it was off to the beach for some serious sitting on the beach time! have i mentioned that i love the waves?  kevin took some of these pictures. i brought so many books and magazines, […]

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Ft. Myers day 6 – captiva captiva captiva!

February 6, 2015

This was Monday, January 5th – one whole full glorious day on captiva island, sunup to sundown. which meant we had to get up early to see the sunrise.  not THAT early, because the sun was scheduled to rise at, hmm, something like 7:16.  i got up right before 7, in time to make a […]

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day 5, part two…captiva island, i love you

February 2, 2015

part 2 of sunday, january 4th – as i wrote yesterday, we got to check in to our hotel an hour early.  we drove over to jensen’s marina to check in – the jensen brothers have two properties, the marina with their twin palm cottages,  and jensen’s “on the gulf” beach resort.  i’d thoroughly looked […]

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day FIVE in florida, and how the time flew…

February 1, 2015

this was sunday, January 4th, and i, personally, was very VERY excited because we were going to captiva island to stay at his wonderful place!  a hotel, but our own little cottage! it was a busy day, and we took such a ridiculous amount of photos that i must divide this up into two entries. […]

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day 4 in Ft. Myers – saturday, january 3rd

January 31, 2015

we had booked a hotel on captiva island for sunday and monday nights, so on saturday morning we decided to get ready for that little trip. well, for some reason kevin decided that the best use of his time would be to thoroughly, and i mean THOROUGHLY, clean the hubcabs. yes, HE CLEANED THE HUBCAPS. […]

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the calabash conondrum

January 31, 2015

i posted a picture of a calabash tree when i wrote a few days ago about going to the edison & ford estates.  i thought i’d take a moment to look up the calabash, because i knew nothing about it. well, wikipedia had lots and lots and LOTS of information about the calabash, many many […]

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