Finally Some Warm Weather

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, March 4, 2007

After a night in Melbourne we tried again to contact Jack and Ramsey but kept getting the engaged signal.  Oh well they must be on the phone so we jumped in the car and headed across Florida to Cape Coral.  On the way we tried a couple more times at pay phones, but alas the same engaged signal.  After a text message to Rick's parent's we found out the area code had changed, so after trying again we think we got their answering machine, but weren't sure as they didn't mention their name on the machine's message.  Arriving in Cape Coral we wandered around a shopping centre to kill some time and tried their number again.  Rick left another vague message hoping he had the right number.
As it was getting late we decided to find a place to stay, but figured why not drive over the bridge to see if we had the right address.  Rick recognised their house, even though he hadn't been there in over twenty years, and decided to leave a note on their doorstep.  As we were pulling out of their street a car was driving down the road so we thought we'd wait and see if it was them.  As the car took the corner next to us Rick said "That's her!  That's Ramsey!"  Now what to do?  We couldn't just rock up on their doorstep saying "Hi!  We're here!"  How embarrassing.  So after driving around the block and figuring we'd just better bite the bullet we went back and pulled into their driveway.  Rick got out and greeted Ramsey as she was getting out of her car.  We had arrived un-announced and were very embarrassed, but Ramsey thankfully ushered us inside and everything was fine.  Thanks guys!
Their house was awesome, with a pool overlooking the canals.  We work up late and Rick had one of their lovely home grown ruby grapefruits for breakfast.  Grapefruits back home are normally yellow and really sour but these were really nice.  After getting ready we headed down to the post office to send some stuff home.  After about an hour of stuffing around we finally got everything boxed up and on its way.  Our packs will be a lot lighter now with out the souvenirs and winter woolies.  On the way home the girls wanted to do some shopping and swap their books at a local bookshop.  That night we had a lovely dinner at Jack's Golf Club, just down the road.  Rick even got to try a real Key Lime Pie!
We decided to head south the next day and drove down to Everglades City.  After some lunch we sought out an air boat ride and some local alligators.  The air boat ride was great, gliding across the water.  At one stage "Captain Jack" went through a huge mud pit and we all got sprayed in mud!  We saw a few alligators and had a great time scooting around the mangroves swamp.  Driving back to Cape Coral we had a lovely dinner to look forward to; Ramsey was cooking salmon.
Getting up at a reasonable time Ramsey drove us out to St Petersburg (hey haven't we been there before?  Ah that was in Russia!) so we could all have lunch with their kids, John, Alissa and Chrissy and their partners.  The last time Rick saw them (except for Alissa when she came down to Australia a few years back) we were all kids in primary school.  It was great to see them all again this time with their partner's and John's two boys.  The place we ate was at Dan Marino's restaurant.  We couldn't stop thinking about the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and "laces out" as we'd never heard of Dan Marino apart from that movie.  After the meal we all wandered down to the pier, though it got pretty cold and was nicer inside.  Saying our goodbyes (Guys don't forget you've got a place to stay in Melbourne when you come!) we headed back to Cape Coral.  After a pizza dinner we figured it was time to drive across Alligator Alley to Fort Lauderdale.  We had an early flight to Mexico the next day and figured it'd be better to be there in plenty of time.  We had a great time at Jack and Ramsey's place and thank you for your kind hospitality.  Again sorry for just showing up, we're still embarrassed.
The drive across to Fort Lauderdale was pretty easy, this time with Megan at the wheel.  Arriving we tried to find a place to stay for the night.  Now you'd figure it'd be pretty easy with so many hotels and motels in town.  We after driving around for about two hours and trying every possible hotel we could find we gave up.  Rick even tried one place that looked like it was rented by the hour, that's how desperate we were.  It looked like a lady of the night and her client got their last available room.  We did find one pace that had a free room, but at $270 USD per night we decided to pass.  We then pulled into the car park of one of the nicer hotels hoping security wouldn't kick us out, wound down the windows a bit and went to bed for the night in the car.  Not recommended but we did manage to get a few hours sleep, before driving to the airport and returning the car.
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