It was with great sadness, we pulled out of Indian Rocks Beach, and headed south this morning. We hated to leave the town, our hotel, and our new friend Lindsey. It was a great 4 days, and we are so happy that we extended our stay from our original 2 to 4 days. Indian Rocks Beach…we will be back!
Because we extended our stay in Indian Rocks, and decided to enjoy doing nothing yesterday, if we wanted to make a stop at Sanibel Island, today was the day. So we headed south this morning, traveling I-275 over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay, to I-75, through Fort Myers, past the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, right onto the Causeway to Sanibel Island.
It was a beautiful day, and we saw some beautiful sights….then we got to Sanibel Island. The traffic on the island was beyond belief. I mean, it made changeover summer Saturday traffic at home in Ocean City look like child’s play! We’d heard that it was hard to find parking on the island, but we didn’t expect the bumper to bumper traffic to and from the causeway. So we stopped for lunch at the Sanibel Fish House. Susie and I split a Crispy Grouper Basket, and a Coconut Shrimp Basket. Lunch was good!
After lunch, we tried to drive around the island a bit, but the traffic seemed to be everywhere. We drove to the light house, but there wasn’t a parking place to be had. So, we decided to leave the island, since our day of traveling was not over.
With today’s travels, we were done with the Gulf Coast of Florida, and we used the Tamiami Trail to traverse the state from west to east. If you look at the map above, you’ll see that we crossed the Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and several smaller preserves as well as an Indian Reservation as we headed to the East Coast.
The Tamiami Trail is a road that looks to have not changed much since I was a kid, and we came to Florida each summer. One lane in each direction, little traffic, and all we passed along the way was camping grounds, entrances to state parks, picnic areas, and signs like this!
I don’t know about you, but we decided picnicking or camping was out, if there were Panthers in the area!!!
By the time we got to the East Coast, the sun had set, and it was getting dark. Susie and I both agreed that we’d hate to drive across the Tamiami Trail in the dark. Unfortunately, there was a lot of construction at the east end of the road, and the estimated arrival time to our hotel kept getting later and later. By the time we pulled in at 7:30, it was totally dark. Glad we had a reservation at Florida City’s Home 2 Suites, as there was a gentleman in front of me trying to get a room. Seems like the whole area is sold out, and he was out of luck. I’d forgotten it was the Friday of the President’s Day Weekend, so I was even happier we had a reservation.
Since we’d had a large lunch on Sanibel Island, we decided to go Fast Food tonight. Take-out Taco Bell, back in our suite, washed down with Tito’s Vodka was our meal of choice tonight!
Tomorrow, it’s US-1, the Overseas Highway, down the Keys, to Key West! Hmmm…Presidents Weekend in Key West. Mistake or a good move? Tomorrow will tell. See you then!