We've returned from our week's stay outside of Fort Myers, Florida -- having had a wonderful time catching up with our friends, Marge and Dave who now live in San Diego. Luckily, the actual trip south on the 26th was not a harbinger. We were to have boarded the plane at three PM, but never did until 4:30. With all the mammoth delays of the past two weeks, we weren't even mildly irritated with this. What unnerved me was the fact that the flight was full, we were in the next to the last row, and when I opened the shade -- learned the engines were outside the windows; I could see nothing, nada, rien. I'm slightly claustrophobic and sat convincing myself that it was okay -- only a two and a half hour flight. I continued to breathe deeply and was on the road to okay when the engines started up. I could hear nothing but the shirring of the jets, including any announcements and the ubiquitous safety speech. In fact, I couldn't hear out of my left ear for about 48 hours. The boarding passes should have come with a warning.
We had a great week relaxing poolside, reading, taking walks and conversing with the very friendly Canadians from Ontario who spend the same two weeks at this resort every year. The license plates from Ontario outnumbered Florida plates at least two to one!
Marge, Dave, Richard and I are 'foodies'. We travel far and wide visiting restaurants all over the country. Their son, a graduate of Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park was a saucier at A. R. Valentine's at Torrey Pines in La Jolla until August when he took at job as sous chef at The Jolly Cricket, a British pub, in Naples, Florida. We ate there on Tuesday night. The fish and chips are exquisite. (NB: None of these restaurants have remunerated me for mentioning them.) The other restaurants we visited are:
2. The Prawnbroker -- a fish place in Fort Myers. The food was good (I had fried oysters), the service okay. It was kind of ridiculous when the server dropped one dessert menu on the table for seven of us and told us to share it! (We didn't.)
3. Bella Rosa, an Italian place not far from the airport, had one of the best marinara sauces I've ever tasted and a great salad with oranges, mesclun mix, hazelnuts.
4. Sweet Melissa, a relatively new place on the island of Sanibel was wonderful. Their wine list was extensive and the owner and chef, Melissa, takes great pains in preparation, presentation, and service. My favorite course that night was the cheese course that was served with sliced, toasted raisin baguette and truffle honey. The cheeses were three that I've never had before. Our waiter, Chris, was attentive, kind, funny and unobtrusive. No one got upset when Marge accidentally set her dessert menu on fire. They even gave it to us as a souvenir.
5. On Wednesday night we dined at the very elegant Veranda in "Old" Fort Myers. This restaurant, where the waiters dress in tuxedos, was listed in the top 200 restaurants in Florida and held up to its name. The food was excellent. I had yellow tailed snapper (a Florida specialty), Richard had veal piccata, and David's brother had ostrich, which he said was very good, but tastes nothing like chicken.
6. New Year's Eve's dinner was at Cru -- again in Fort Myers. I'm only sorry that they're not local and we cannot frequent the place. Our dinner was flawless. Marge and I had wild salmon, David had a cowgirl steak, and Richard had Ahi tuna. Their coconut cake is yummy.
Our flight home was much nicer and although left Fort Myers on time, were 20 minutes early returning to BWI/Thurgood Marshall. It's good to be home.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.