Thursday, March 7, 2013

Food, Fun and Friends. And A Visit With Tom and Henry.

Seminole Campground's West Side Trailerhood grew by two last week when Jean and Ron came for a  visit with Ken and Nancy. Their arrival called for another feast so we loaded into as many vehicles as needed to get the gang to Cactus Jack's Bar and Grill for Southwestern food.

A big rain tried to dampen our spirits but failed. We had another great night together sitting on the leaking thatch covered tiki hut looking out onto the marina.

I'll name the couples, beginning with the closest ...

Rick sits across from Louise. Then there's Mark and Janie. Barb came along as Brad didn't want to eat this early. Ron is next, sitting across from his bride Jean, Ken and Nancy are next, then Wayne sitting across from my empty seat (I am the photographer, as usual). Then there's Dale and Linda and finally, Fran and Mary, who can't even be seen.
Service at Cactus Jack's left a bit to be desired and when dinner finally arrived, it was only moderately hot and served with soupy beans. Janie and Linda's dinners got mixed up and we never did get drink refills.  My dinner did taste good though and I think everybody had a great time.  I can't remember which dishes are which, so I'll just post a few, without captions...

I think this one was mine but I forgot what I ordered. 

Mark's burger stood 6" high and contains two big hamburger patties and a fried egg.  
There's a burger even larger on the Cactus Jack's menu. That one includes two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Yeah, Ron looks like he might be drooling in the background.

Next day, Ken, Nancy, Ron, Jean, Fran, Mary, Wayne and I decided to take in the Ford and Edison Winter Homes in Fort Myers.  Camera in hand, I caught this photo of Mary chatting with Janie and Mark in the West Side Trailerhood just before we loaded into the car.

Janie, Mark and Mary
Although Wayne and I lived in South Florida for a long time and visited nearly every nook and cranny of the state, we had never visited the estates of Henry Ford and  Thomas Edison. We looked forward to seeing both homes and the grounds.

The morning was cool and overcast but by mid-day, the temperature had risen and the sun came out.

Here's Wayne at the fountain on the Edison property. 
The walkway behind him goes down to the water of the Caloosahatchee River.
In 1885, Thomas Edison visited Fort Myers from Jacksonville. He was looking for a warmer retreat from his home base in New Jersey.  In the end, Edison would pay $2,750 for this 14 acre plot of scrub covered land.  The property was brimming with an overgrowth of Green Giant Bamboo, a plant that fascinated Mr. Edison as he wanted to experiment with the fibers of the bamboo to use in his incandescent light bulbs.

Here's Wayne and me with Thomas Edison.
Gee, he's a real big guy!

In this photo, I'm listening to the audio recording explaining what I'm seeing.  Notice the large plaque to my left.
 I found I was unable to walk, look at the stuff, read the plaques and listen to the recording at the same time, so shortly after this picture was taken, I stopped listening and reading, opting to just walk and look -- and talk... as usual.

The shoreline of the Edison estate.
Thomas Edison caught fish here, or so said the recorded voice. 

This giant drooping bud was soft and puffy.
I thought I took a picture of the plant's name, but I can't find the picture if I took it.

 Edison's swimming pool.

This cute little building is called Edison's Little Office.
It was added in 1929.

The Edison Home was named Seminole Lodge

Another view of the grounds and porch of the Edison home.
From the Edison side of the estate, we walked over to see the home of Henry Ford. 

This is Henry Ford's personal car.
I think it was a 1916 model.

Henry Ford's home is so modest.

Here I am with Henry.  He seems so tall.
Darn!  A bird pooped on his pant leg.

In the museum I saw this wheelchair that belonged to Thomas Edison. I remember seeing it in pictures.
I took lots more pictures, many of the Edison and Ford home interiors, but decided against posting them here. It's better that you just go there and take a look for yourself.  For more information about the grounds, the homes, the museum, hours and prices, just click here: and enjoy your visit!

Oh yes, I did buy a new hat at the Ford Edison Estate Gift Shop.  You'll be seeing it in later photos.

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