Monday, November 25, 2013

Life at The Groves RV Resort

Its been another fun and relaxing week for the Traveling Lemons. The Groves RV Resort in Ft Myers is feeling like “home” now. Here is where we are parked - you can see the picnic table has become a shell cleaning station!

The street where we are parked, and the main entrance

The shuffle board court (we haven’t played yet) -

The pool -

And our mail box - and a HUGE thank you to Rite Aid in Brookville for sending us our prescriptions - the only mail we get. But if you want to drop us a line or a Christmas card - our mailing address until the end of December is:

The Lemons c/o
Groves RV Resort - Site #62
16175 John Morris Rd
Ft Myers, FL   33908


We went down the street one morning to see what was uncovered during low tide, and saw lots of live shell critters, hermit crabs, fishies and birds.

 The little snails were feasting on this dead crab:

One afternoon we went over to a Bingo hall. It was a fun afternoon, but we didn’t win any money. L

Another afternoon we went to the Flamingo Flea market. Like any other flea market, there was a lot of new crap, but we managed to pick up a few Christmas stocking stuffers. We also stopped at Sun Harvest Citrus, loaded with fresh oranges and related goodies, like honeybell marmalade.

The snowbirds are arriving in droves and the activities here at the campground are beginning to take place. There was a welcome back ice cream social - we sat with our neighbors that are all here from Quebec, Canada. They are so nice, and their laughter is contagious. Those Canadians sure like to have fun!


Yesterday we went to the beach and the shelling was pretty abysmal until I started digging about 6 inches under the sand at the water line! Bingo! I found some great shells, and then stopped along the causeway to pick up some worm shells for my friend Linda. She is collecting them in order to make a mirror like this one:

Isn’t that pretty??? I can’t keep all these shells, so a box is going to Jean, to Linda and a box is going to my sweet little Alayna, who keeps the shells I gave her by her bed.

I get to skype or facetime with the kids about once a week. The little one, Layla, (2) is really starting to talk up a storm, and she loves kissing the screen to give me kisses and she gives me high fives. The smile on her face when she sees its me just melts my heart.

Alayna, 4, about fell out of her car seat when they drove by our old house and Addy reminded her we don’t live there any more! “WHAT???” she said! She wants to know when I’m coming back and always asks to talk to Noel when we have her on Skype.

Braden, 6, likes to take the computer into another room so he can talk un-interrupted by his sisters and tells me all about school and his friends and his latest video game high scores. I miss them so much!

My sweet honorary grand-babies

We met a local couple, Elaine and Rich, and they invited us over for dinner. They have a beautiful home in Cape Coral and the more I get to know Elaine, the more I’m convinced we are kindred spirits! I loved all her shells and her palm tree Christmas tree! She and I have plans to get together to go to the beach again next week, and there are lots of Christmas activities coming up I’m sure Noel will be glad to get out of - including Aurias on the beach at sunset on Captiva!

During our down time, Noel watches football while I read, read by the pool, or work on a counted cross stitch project I started, oh, about 5 years ago! We will be having our Thanksgiving dinner here at the campground, and plan to see Jason on Friday.

We have a busy month planned - lots of free Christmas programs going on, tree lightings, boat parades, golf cart parades, bingo, shopping, the national sand sculpting competition, beautiful sunsets and more sunning, shelling and football are awaiting us!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harns Marsh and the Apple Snails - sounds like a band!

Since I like collecting shells, I thought today we would go inland to find some snail shells I had read about on the I Love Shelling  blog. (  We loaded up on bug spray and took a "gator" stick (Noel's walking stick) and drove about 30 minutes out of Ft Myers to the Harns Marsh Preserve.  It was a beautiful morning and we were amazed at the number of bird species we saw, including herons, hawks, limpkins, ducks, coots, egrets, grackles, sparrows, woodpeckers and king fishers!  We are going to go back again soon just to do some birding.  But this time we were on a mission!  I wore long pants (even though its 87 degrees) and both of us trekked out into the marshy muck to find some snails.  It didn't take long to spot some and there turned out to be hundreds!

I'm ready to hunt me some snails....

The Island Apple Snail is an invasive species, but the rare Everglades Kite and the Limpkins have adapted to add these to their diet.  Once eaten, the empty shells are scattered about, some as big as a small apple, and they are really pretty! Obviously, there are some well fed birds - these were all in one spot.  Like a snail snack shack!

Noel was helping me!

See why I wore long pants?  Those little burrs are sharp!

Some of the birds we saw, including the rare Limpkin!

After collecting several dozen, we squished back in our soggy, stinky shoes, drove home and immediately showered!  The shells are now soaking in some bleach-y water for me to clean them all out and send some to my friends Jean and Linda, keeping one or two here in the trailer to remind me of our fun "Snail Adventure - 2013".

See how big and pretty they are?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Our TENTH week on the road - Time flies when you are having fun!

It's been a fairly busy week for the Traveling Lemons'!  We are finding lots to see and do in the Ft Myers area.  A friend from high school (since reconnected through Facebook) had let me know she was going to be in this area and asked if I had wanted to get together.  Of course I said yes!  Noel and I met Sheri and her cousin Elaine Carter (and her hubby Rich) over on Sanibel for "Taste of the Island", a wildlife fundraiser held on the golf course.  We tried lots of yummy food, including lobster rolls, shrimp, crab-fennel bisque and of course left room for key lime pie and salted caramel ice cream.  It turns out that Sheri's cousin Elaine and I have a lot in common, including a love of sea shells and photography.  We've since gotten together to do some shelling, and its so nice to have a friend here that loves the beach as much as I do (seeing as how Noel is not much of a beach person).

Sheri and I at "Taste of the Islands"

One thing Noel and I BOTH like are farmers markets and thrift stores - and those are in abundance here!  There has been no shortage of fresh tomatoes around here, and the next good read is always at hand.  They even have entire Goodwill stores that are just books!  Heaven!

Noel had read in the paper that the Sanibel library was looking for a maintenance man, and since he really, REALLY, misses working, we went over to the island so he could apply for the job.  Unfortunately, they really want someone to work for the entire season (through March).  He was bummed!

While on the island we rode our bikes a bit, and came across this young gopher tortoise.

They had the coolest water fountain at the nature center we stopped at - you can refill your water bottles!!

Afterwards, we drove through the Ding Darling Nature Preserve, and was excited to see these white pelicans (they have a 9 foot wingspan!) -

some Roseate Spoonbills

a tri-color heron

lots of Anhingas, crabs and other shore birds


On another day, we drove to Naples to sightsee for the day.  I know the economy is bad in places, but obviously not in Naples!  So many nice stores, expensive cars, chic restaurants and lush landscaping.  We window shopped at all the expensive places ($36,000 diamond necklace anyone?), then stopped at a few consignment shops on the way home looking for a more comfortable chair for the trailer.  We couldn't afford the consignment shops in Naples either!  We also stopped at a Farmers Market, where I thought $6 for a bag of cracklin's was a bit high, but the produce was affordable, so we stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies.
Various pics from Naples:
cute Christmas decoration

cool bar

farmers market

beautiful glass

lush archways

palm tree lined streets

nice architecture

adorable shop

funky flowers

On another day we went to a fine art show, but I hadn't been feeling well, and I finally had to admit I was going to need to go to Urgent Care.  I have Interstitial Cystitis, so I often have bladder pain, and its hard to tell the difference from the regular bladder pain, especially if I have eaten something that is an irritant, from bladder infection pain.  Good thing we went - I had a raging bladder infection so now I'm on antibiotics.  Geez, always something!
We've been eating a lot of fish and seafood, but no Noel, we don't have room in the freezer for this one!
I forgot to show you one of my finds from shelling in Sanibel - I found this fist sized heart cockle, and was about it throw it back (no room in the trailer for big shells!) when I felt it rattle.  Inside was this perfect, and un-occupied banded tulip!  The cockle must have eaten the little guy in the tulip, and then something else ate the cockle!  How cool!!  Had to keep it after that just for the novelty of it!
While on the beach with Elaine the other afternoon, we saw the "Sanibel Thriller" going by - I zoomed in with the camera to see what they were all looking at, and there were dolphin jumping behind the boat!  Wheeeeee
(you can click any of the pictures to make them larger)
The skies here are always so pretty in the evening...
that turned into a beautiful full moon.....