Down on the gulf coast, not far from Fort Myers, is the bustling little town of Punta Gorda.
My cousin Shelley lives there with her husband Wayne and Emma.
They LOVE retirement.
They think we should try it right away.
Ha! Hello college???
But we took a couple of days to just get a taste.
They are boaters, so where other people might have an alley in back of their house
Shelley and Wayne have a canal.
Most people there do.
See this sailboat? That's Lena Bea.
They bought her in Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior.
They sailed her through the Great Lakes,
down the east coast,
and around Florida to their home in Punta Gorda.
(You can read all about it in the book Shelley wrote after she blogged the whole experience:
Adventures of a Once Reluctant Sailor. It's awesome!)
We took their smaller boat for a ride up to a fun restaurant on an inland river.
No, we didn't have gator. But it didn't have us, either, so win-win.
The next day my cousin Andra and Aunt Sharon joined us.
They are all snow birds now. Lucky.
We got to swim in their pool while we were there.
They even let us use their waterproof camera.
Awesome pool toy!
And of course we had to go enjoy the sunset both nights we were there.
The amazing thing was that even the seagulls seemed to have an appropriate reverence,
gazing out at the sun as it set.
The yellow crowned night heron seemed to share the adoration.
That part of our trip ended all too soon…
but there were other things we had to save time for!