Monday, March 10, 2014

Southwest Florida Revisited

semi-deserted island beach

conch shell wall made by the Calusa, Florida's First People

delicious crab cakes

a pair of dolphin off of Marco Island
Marco Island  Wednesday farmers' market

sunset on Marco island

docks on Goodland island

pelican off of Caxambas Park

view through the canopy at the edge of the Everglades

It has been a while, hasn't it? My excuse is that I totally immersed myself in travels and that I only returned home last Friday.  Revisiting SW Florida was the right travel choice for me to have made, and I already have a firm commitment to return there next year. With all of the places I want to revisit or explore for the first time, I really had to reflect before making a final decision.  After all, in 2014 I made five mini trips (less than two weeks each) and enjoyed them all. Why commit to almost two full months in one place?

Those of you who have read this blog before know that I have certain travel preferences. I prefer to spend a longer time in a place and get to know it, not say "If it's Tuesday, this must be....". A large body of nearby water is another key element for me.  A third factor is the degree to which you can walk, bike, or use public transportation to explore the place.  Another is the presence of  cafes or taverns where you can spent unrushed time soaking in the local atmosphere without being gouged by the prices.  A final factor is access to both the history and the natural beauty of a place.

I really lucked out when I ended up staying for a month in the Old Marco part of Marco Island, Florida (away from the high rise condos on the other part of the island).  This part of the island met all of my criteria and I will return there next year.  The photos in this blog post are representative of my month's stay, I'll make more specific posts for different aspects of the visit as time goes on and I am more able to organized my photos and thoughts (will refer to the journal that I kept).   At this point I'll just say that I found an unhurried place of natural beauty with many friendly, laid-back people...both visitors and long-term residents.  I also found what  will also be an excellent long-term base to further explore other parts of SW Florida and the Keys.

To those of you who follow this blog regualrly, thank you for your patience.  I'm glad that you took time to revist the Tavern and will return later. To all who read this, may your own travels be interesting and enjoyable. Please feel free to stop by again.