Our cottage neighbors to the south (and one of the 7 AM walkers), arrived on Christmas Eve. After a week in Orlando and not wanting to spend their Christmas Day in an airport they graciously accepted our invitation to share the day with us. What a blessing it was.
Joining us on Christmas day were our cottage neighbors to the north, who also winter in sunny southwest Florida. (Yes internet friends it is indeed a small world.) We ate too much, laughed a lot, and reconnected after our time spent apart. It was a good day all around.
Our house guests were not departing until the 27th, which left only one day to show them the sights and sounds of Marco and vicinity. There was a schedule, thanks to The Kid. One that was packed tight and ran behind the entire day beginning with an early morning beach walk that began 30 minutes late.
After a quick shower, breakfast and additional time lost, we moved on to the little fishing village of Goodland.
It seems M had an collage roommate that resides in our neighboring hamlet and a reunion was the order of the day. A local marina was the designated meeting spot. While the two roomies reminisced the rest of us wandered the docks and were delighted to spot several manatee soaking up the warmth of the December sun.
Even farther off The Kid's schedule and questioning our sanity for cramming so much into one day, we moved south, into the Everglades.
Our visit to HB Williams roadside park didn't completely disappoint. At one time this little park was teaming with alligators and other wildlife. I'm not certain what has transpired over the past ten years to cause the change but recently alligator sightings have been few and far between.
Our visit to the "Glades" was rounded out with lunch (late, of course) at the Everglades City Rod and Gun Club. This little tribute to a by-gone era serves up overpriced burgers with a heaping side of nostalgia. It is worth the price of a meal to relax on the porch, ceiling fans whirring above, and take in the sight of air boats coming and going along the waterway.
We were blessed, at no extra charge, with a real life alligator wrestler posing as our waiter. Local color, super sized. Our friendly server was more than willing to visit a spell and spin a yarn or two from his youth (which, by the way, wasn't all that long ago). Fact or fiction? It mattered not. He was pure entertainment, Everglades' style.
We arrived back at the ranch with little time to spare. The boat was lowered from the lift and we all piled in and headed out to sea for a sunset cruise.
It was the perfect end to a hectic but perfect day with friends.
And finally, we were on schedule.
S & M, we're so glad you came.
See you in May.