Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Florida Panthers

No, not the hockey team....Florida's state animal. More about that later...We decided to explore Marco Island today...I might be able to rent a kayak and check out the manatees later this week, but then again, Fort Myer has a Manatee Park..guess the manatees like to hang out by the water treatment plant (?) because the waters are warmer. Doesn't sound like an ideal place to kayak to me, manatees or not! Eldy likes to drive around and research areas a bit before making a decision about something, if it's not too far to go, so we'll probably check out the kayaking first by car. That's a good thing, sometimes it helps avoid disappointments in meals, accomodations or attractions. We checked out Marco Island today and decided it was a beautiful place to visit, but we probably will visit the beaches closer to us instead. Last night we went to an area just before downtown Naples, called Tin City. It looked very cool from the outside, it was all lit up on the water..this is a mini mall of about three separate buildings filled with shops and a couple of restaurants-Pinchers Crab Shack, a chain, for one...the shops are very touristy---shirt shops, shell shops, unique gift shops, candle shops and a lot's an old mini mall and it just didn't appeal to us. Guess we have had our fill of tourist attractions when it comes to gimmicky gifts...but I bet you could find something very unusual and interesting if you looked harder than we did.

Sugden Park beach
Today I checked out Sugden Park just a few blocks down the street from our RV's has its own beach, a REAL outdoor butterfly garden, and the usual picnic and grilling areas. Just a nice, quiet little park with a beautiful beach. I rode down further down the sidewalk bike trail and got a good ride in this morning, about 8 miles. Eldy went exploring on his own on the bike and walked a bit, so he is starting to get back in shape for riding and hiking. Later today we visited an outlet mall and I found THE's perfect for kayaking, it looks more like a sports tank top and short shorts...something you can walk the beach in or kayak in....and if I fall in the water,  no problem!  And NO, you can't see a photo of me in gals know how that goes! I look like a manatee when I wear a swimsuit, so there ain't gonna be any photos of me in my suit!

Here's something you don't see very often on your travels: a panther crossing sign. We've also seen a "panther crossing" sign. The panther, a.k.a. a puma, cougar or mountain lion is exclusively known as a panther in Florida. They think there are about 80-100 of them in southern Florida. The panther is the Florida state animal. They can't roar, but instead they whistle, purr, chirp, growl, or hiss. I did not know that! Know what they eat? white tailed deer, armadillos, birds, rabbits, while hogs and, gonna have to watch out for not only alligators but panthers now if we hike.....Naples is not really known for hiking, they are known for SHOPPING! So guess we don't have to worry about that....see you tomorrow night in downtown Naples...we're just going to be window shopping. They have their own "5th Avenue" which is New Yorkese for EXPENSIVE. However, we are probably going to eat out Saturday night on 5th Avenue because they have some TERRIFIC dining and early bird specials going on right now because the restaurants are really hurting for business it seems....see you then!


  1. been there and done that too at tin ciy. love naples.never went to marco island. we went to sanibel island. the area you are staying at looks really nice. I thought the shops in naples are really nice have fun don't get to much sun. that happened to me when we were in clearwater the first of october

  2. A couple of guys, here in Texas Hill Country, saw a black panther here the other night. They were out scouting the property next to our RV Park when they saw it. No walking for me after dark now.

  3. We lived in Naples for 33 years. I am glad that you are enjoying the area. It is fun to "see" the area through your eyes.

    A small correction: The Manatee Park in Ft. Myers is NOT at a "water treatment plant". It is the warm water discharge for the Florida Power Light electrical generating plant located across the street.

    An interesting side note: FPL has the technology to reduce the tempature of the water discharge from the plant, but will not, as it would adversely affect the warm water for the Manatees.