Our three month stay here in Bonita Springs Florida is coming to a close. I have to admit to being a bit surprised that I didn’t feel the dreaded hitch itch affliction sooner. I think it is mainly because our stay has been broken into three distinct stays.
When we arrived in November the park was less than half full. Most of the people we know hadn’t arrived yet. As a result Sharon and I used this time to reacquaint ourselves with all of our favorite spots near the park. We made frequent trips to Bonita Beach and to Barefoot Beach for shelling, sunning, fishing and simply relaxing in the solitude the beaches offered in November. We also made sure to visit some places like Marco Island and Vanderbilt Beach which we hadn’t visited before. It was much easier in November with less people in town.
We found some neat spots for fun and happy hour during this time. Some such as Johnny Malloys, Pelican Larry's, The Brass Tap, Jack's, Fitzgeralds and Coconut Jacks along with Dollar Days at the dog track. All of them became places and events we looked forward to revisiting month to month.
Then when December rolled around we had our daughter Katie visiting with us while on her school break. The month was full of showing Katie around and taking her to all the places we had built into what was evolving as our “normal routine.” Throw in the fact that some of our friends were now in the park we also added some social happy hours and events such as Wednesday night “cornhole” games to our repertoire. Katie fit right in with our friends and routine. We made a lot of great memories during her visit. As a result December was more of a family month with Katie's visit.
By January Katie had left and the park was pretty dang full. Lots of new people to meet as well as some friends that we had met in other places now were in the park. Thus, the month of January became more of a social month. January is also the time we knew we would see great friends Jeff and Martine who stayed in a park nearby. They visited us here for Happy Hour/dinner and we went to their place for the same. It is always a good time when we are with these wonderful Canadian friends.
Also in January we went on a kayaking trip with Terry, Jeri, Janice and Terry. We met Terry and Jeri at Quartzite and then met their friends Janice and Terry here in Bonita Springs. Our friends Penny and Steve, whom we met at Betty’s RV Park in Louisiana, were also here and we have had a lot of fun socializing with them.
Loads of fun has been had with what I call our Imperial Bonita Estates or IBE family. These are the folks, mostly snowbirds, who trek down to IBE every year. We met most of them the first time we came down here but since we come every other winter to IBE we have really gotten to know this fun group better. We now have a sense of what snowbirds enjoy most about their winter homes – their extended snowbird family.
We have shuffled with our family, played corn hole with our family, gone to pubs and places to eat with them and sat around in large happy hour circles with them. Yes when we pull out of IBE on Monday morning we will miss our extended family of Vic and Maggie, Art and Betty, Del and Ruth, Craig and Kathy, Herb and Linda, Dwight and Donna, Patti, Jerry and Julie, and Mike and Dineen. There were many others we got to know as well at IBE and who knows, the next time we come back we may become closer to many of them as well. We sure plan to stay in touch through the blog and Facebook with these really great people!
There is no doubt that if we were ready to settle down IBE is one place that would most definitely make our short list. However, as much fun as it has been here it has neared the time to start the Cummins and get those wheels a rolling… look out North America here we come…