From the time I was 10 until I left for college, Ft. Myers, Florida, was home, and it is still where I say I’m from because I lived there the longest as a child. It is where I returned to visit parents, a brother and his family and to reconnect with some high school friends.
When I lived there, Ft. Myers was a sleepy town, but like most places in Florida, it has changed and now has more people, more traffic, more of everything. Even so, some remembered things are still there, and on this visit I wanted to take them in.
First stop was the Edison Home.
Thomas Edison wintered in Ft. Myers from 1887 until 1931. His good friend Henry Ford followed him there and purchased property right next door in 1916. Both homes now belong to the city and are open to the public.
Edison’s laboratory is a fascinating reminder of his many inventions
and is the site for much of his research and discovery. As I walked through the exhibits, I was once again awed by this man’s genius that led to the invention of the light bulb, motion pictures, phonograph and so many other things that to this day impact our lives.
After an early morning stop at the Edison Home, it was on to Sanibel, just off the coast of Ft. Myers. Without question, it is one of my favorite places and holds so many special memories of ferry rides, Sunday picnics, soft wind whispering through the pines and relentless mosquitos. Though Sanibel also has experienced considerable development, it still maintains its charm.
Sanibel’s beaches, renowned for shelling, are beautiful, but rather than spend time on them I chose to visit Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge which is habitat for birds, alligators and other critters.
It is a wonderful place for bird watching, and if you are lucky you can sneak right up for a photo. Can you identify these guys?
This great egret put on quite a show as it hunted for an afternoon snack.
The refuge is mostly mangrove swamp with a road running through.
It not only provides hiding places for the birds but is a popular place to cast a line. Asked what she was fishing for, the answer: Anything that bites! If memory serves me correctly, that is likely to be snapper, catfish or sheephead.
On the way off the island, I couldn’t resist stopping here where there were definitely birds of a different color!
As much as I enjoyed the Edison Home and Sanibel, they were nothing compared to a piece of good as ever coconut cream pie from Hickory Bar-B-Q. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed, and I’m not sharing!
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind
19 thoughts on “Returning Home”
Thanks for the trip Linda, I have been to Fort Meyers and it is indeed charming. The west coast of Florida doesn’t get as much attention as the east coast and there are so many wonderful places to visit and explore! I really enjoyed all your photos, you captured the spirit of the area~
Lovely pictures Linda!! So great to return home! My grandparents had a condo on Sanibel for years and I quite agree about how beautiful the island is!
Did you visit them?
Yup! I was young but it was so pretty and I loved it! Couldn’t tell you exactly where their place was on the island but they had it for years and then eventually sold it and moved to Sun City Center, FL.
Did not know you lived in Florida for all those years…spent most of my life in South Florida…love Ft. Myers…a beautiful town!
I enjoy the return to Florida but have never regretted leaving.
I love those birds, nice pics! Ooooh the pie 🙂
The pie looks delicious!
You’d think my recent class would have yielded better results, but, hey, that’s an iPhone shot. At least I was thinking about the light!
Your post is a wonderful walk down memory lane, and for me, better than the real thing. I find Fort Myers to be a place that belonged in the past. The present FM is a clogged, poorly planned mess of ugliness, with the exception of the two or three places you wrote about. I still visit old downtown, but in my head. I don’t think anyone goes there anymore.
You nailed it! Planning was not an ingredient in the present town.
That house is wonderful…I love that design with the verandah around the house. And Sanibel…that’s a proper beach. Nice post, reminding me that I should visit Florida one day:)
And I would rather be in your beautiful area!
You’ve already done all that?!?! Give your brother an extra big hug for me. Funny how I always thought you were from Florida. But now I’m treasuring your Tennessee roots!
Oh yes, Linda!! Ft Myers is still where we are from! Still a lot of nostalgia to be found on visits even though we left home in 1961! How great it still is to roam McGregor Blvd, the Beach Cut-Off and of course one CANNOT pass Old Hickory without stopping in for a Barbeque sandwich, FF, coleslaw or baked beans and the mandatory Coconut Cream Pie!!!
That is HOME! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Steve and Sherleen
What a lovely place to grow up. Glad you had a nice visit. I’d like a slice of that pie too. Looks delicious!
I know you must have enjoyed your visit back “home”. For all the years that I lived in Florida, I think I am one of the few people who has never been to Sanibel Island.
What an idyllic childhood you must have had! We’ve been to Ft. Meyers several times and my daughter just vacationed there this past spring. I enjoyed the little tour of Edison’s home…I had no idea it was there and to think he and Henry Ford were neighbors!! Wonderful post!
Hi, Buzzin Cuzzin — just a note to say how much I enjoyed your tour of Ft. Myers & Sanibel Island. I remember our family trips there vividly, and wish I could visit there again. Probably not as great as in my mind! I enjoy your writing, your trips, and your wonderful meals. Keep it up. With love, Carolyn