Yes, it’s Christmas Eve Eve and most folks are stretched from can to can’t trying to get things done for Saturday and Sunday gatherings! Yep, that was me last year – trying to squeeze in family/friend time, work responsibilities, drive time, you name it. This year, I’m simply going to provide a 60 day update of our loop!
What I’ve learned in 60 days – in no particular order:
- Walking to the grocery store, dragging a wagon feels completely normal. It also makes you really think about the purchases – frozen foods, heavy items – and the effort required for the return trip.
- Laundromats are NOT all created equal. Clorox Wipes & latex gloves are essential items, just like detergent & dryer sheets…and the wagon, of course!
- Rental Cars are necessary when you make a month-long commitment in one place…in the middle of nowhere!
- "Sound your way in” actually means to be cautious on the approach, measure the water depth, and go slow - NOT lay-on-the-horn-and-let-them-know-you’re-on-the-way!! Language barriers happen with English speaking people too!
- Solo voyages, breaking away from the group, can be confidence builders!
- Mississippi State fans are EVERYWHERE! Driving on Marco Island we spotted a man cycling wearing a white MSU TENNIS shirt. Charlie wouldn’t turn around for a picture!
- In general, people are kind and curious. We met a couple on the Ft. Myers Trolley from Boston; they wanted to know EVERYTHING about the loop
- A light switch is a luxury item on a boat.
- It really is a small world…meeting land dwellers from our hometowns or relatives of friends.
- Sitting still can be a challenge…we have been at Port of the Islands since Dec 4th. It’s time to move & kill time in a different location – after Christmas day, of course!!
We are planning to leave a week early from Port of the Islands and head north to Naples. There we will enjoy the city docks for a few days, take a few walking tours (day & night), and then head further north to Fort Myers for New Year’s!! Backtracking a little but we felt this stay would be considered a “side trip” from the beginning.
The general plan at this point: on Jan 2 we will leave Fort Myers with a couple other looper boats and head east, crossing the state on the Okeechobee Waterway. It’s the standard west-to-east crossing route for America’s Great Loop and will provide a more direct route to the Bahamas. We are still undecided about Bahamas or the Keys – which one first, but we are looking forward to the east coast of FL!!
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we do have some social obligations, a little cooking and church service (6:00). So let me take this opportunity to wish each one of you, your families and friends a very Merry Christmas!! May you tell others or receive the free gift of Jesus.