Drowning our sorrow in thrift stores - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

Drowning our sorrow in thrift stores

Naples fun day

It was another beautiful morning in Naples. I was excited about the outing we had planned - driving to Sanibel Island in hopes of seeing Roseate Spoonbills in the Ding Darling wildlife refuge, doing a little shelling on a beach, lunch and maybe some shopping.

We made it out by 8:30 since we had a long drive to make - 1.5 hours. 

I was chattering along about the things we could do on the island but noticed that Don didn't seem too engaged in the conversation. I asked him what was wrong, and he said that his stomach was upset and that his system just seem "right".  He thought it was likely due to all of the seafood he'd been eating this week.

We were about an hour into the drive at this point, but I offered that it would be fine with me if we just turned around now since it appeared that he might not enjoy things. I certainly didn't want him to just sit in the truck while I did some hikes or messed around on the beach. But he said he thought he would be okay so we continued down the road.

But things soon came to an abrupt halt a couple of miles before the causeway to the island. Traffic had also gotten much worse when we made the turnoff to the bridge. Hmmm - we wondered what was up - maybe an accident? Or was it because of the sheer volume of vehicles trying to squeeze from a 4 lane highway onto a 2 lane road on the island? 

We continued to inch along and finally came to a sign stating that there was a toll booth ahead. WHAT????!!! I had no idea that you had to pay a toll to get on Sanibel. At this point, with no way to exit the highway, we had no option but to continue forward but at this rate, it would be another hour just to get onto the bridge!

At this point, we were both very unhappy about the situation. Especially when we saw from the signs that the toll booth didn't take cash or credit cards - only these special passes which we don't have. If you went through the gate without a pass, they would send you a bill based on your plate plus an administration fee. That would jack the toll price up to who knows how much. The signs weren't clear on that. 

Finally we reached a spot where we could see the bridge way ahead of us but there was a turn-off to a parking area for fishermen that looked like it would be a place to turn around. We had both decided that despite driving this far that we were going to turn around and return home. 

I was very frustrated and unhappy about this island excursion not working out but there wasn't much we could do about it. Don commented that maybe if we had biked to the island from the mainland that we likely wouldn't have had to pay a toll. There were quite a few cyclists doing that by riding the shoulder of the road. But after our experience on Marco Island with the busy roads, he hadn't wanted to do that. 

Oh well, live and learn. 

On the way back to Naples, we did make a few stops that perked us both up. One was at a Walmart that was much better stocked than the other one we had been to near the KOA. 

The others were at  a car wash and then several thrift stores where we both came away with some nice things. I bought 2 really pretty dresses and Don found a batch of cuff links to add to his collection at home. We even found 2 plastic wine glasses that had palm trees on them! Very beachy and only .99 each! 

While we were checking out at one store nearest the island, Don asked the clerk if getting to Sanibel was always this hard. She said that only if you went very early in the morning or in the off season would traffic be better. One of the other people waiting in line also concurred and when I said we had hoped to see spoonbills, she said they were few and far between this year. So it was very possible that had we made it to the wildlife preserve, that we would not have spotted any pink birds. Good information but I wish we had known that before we left Naples!

By the time we reached camp, it was already late afternoon which left us just enough time to get cleaned up for our night out at a dance. We were planning to go back to the studio went went to last Friday for their social dance. 

After dinner, we headed north again and after getting gas at Costco (much cheaper than other stations), found the studio. But when Don walked up to the front door he discovered that it was locked tight and the lights were turned off. WHATTTT???!!! 

As the dance had already begun, it appeared that despite what their on-line calendar stated, they weren't having a dance tonight. What a pain in the you know what!! After our already disappointing day trying to get to Sanibel, this just added to the frustration especially with the higher cost of gas all of a sudden. 

Unfortunately it was already 7:30 and we thought about continuing over to the Elk's lodge in Bonita Springs. But it would have been 8 by the time we got there, leaving only an hour or so to dance. Not worth the drive or waste of fuel. 

Sigh...........our experiences in south Florida sure haven't lived up to our expectations, between poor biking choices, no shelling on the islands and now no dances. At least tomorrow night we have reservations at the Elk's for their dinner dance so we know that's going to work out. Time to go home and chill. 

Strange sign at the car wash.
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Well, we couldn't seem to find roseate spoonbills but we managed to locate a Florida flamingo at the Salvation Army thrift store!
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