We planned to spend one month in Fort Myers. Somehow, four months later, we’re just leaving!
You might have read in my last post (The One Where We Open Up a Can of Worms) that we got a little “stuck.” Admittedly, boat projects were only a tiny part of the problem. Throw in best friends, gorgeous weather, an adorable town, good food, activities, beaches, and lots of Loopers passing through, and Fort Myers becomes almost impossible to leave.
There’s really no way to put into words how much our family loved the last four months. But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t at least try?
The days ran together in a mixture of laughter, sunsets and memories-made. Truly one month turned to four in the blink of an eye. Although in another way, four months kind of felt like a lifetime (in the best possible way!)
The only way to summarize four months into one post is to take it a month at a time in highlights.
January Highlights in Fort Myers
Celebrating Miller’s 9th Birthday: I mentioned this in my post, The One About Holidays On A Boat, but we celebrated him during our first week in the area. The day involved a lot of his favorite food, no school, lots of playtime with friends, and a pizza party dinner.
Food: During the month of January we also got introduced to all the amazing food (and drinks) Fort Myers has to offer.
Strawberry Picking: One great thing about South Florida is the availability of fresh, local fruit in the dead of winter. Several times we took advantage of a You-Pick strawberry patch close to our marina.
Brent’s Captains Class: One of the initial draws to the area was the opportunity for Brent to take classes to obtain his Captain’s license. I have no idea how he found the energy, but for 3 weeks straight he went to class every night after work. And Saturdays/Sundays. It was a tremendous amount of work, but now he’s got bragging rights and a discount on our insurance!
Big Cypress National Preserve: One weekend we took a family trip to Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s actually located within Everglades National Park (which is fairly unique.) We took an incredible airboat ride, saw tons of alligators, and ended our day at a very cool fruit stand- Robert Is Here.
Sanibel with Mimzie: Brent’s mom came to visit us in early February. We were able to take her out on a sunset cruise. We also showed her some of our favorite spots in Fort Myers before heading to the beach for the week.
Beach Weekend with Full Count: After traveling with Full Count for several months, we’d said goodbye to them just before New Years in Key West. Mid February they were preparing to head back to Michigan, and we decided we had to spend one last weekend together. We couldn’t take our boat, but we drove to Stuart where they were staying.
Boat Rides: This may sound silly since we live on a boat; However, in February we were introduced to the beauty of a center console. Our friends on Have Another Day invited us on several sunset cruises and boat trips to local restaurants on the water.
Air Fryer Creativity: While not specific to Fort Myers, in February we really got creative with our air fryer. I began making bacon in ours (life changing!) And Mary Grace and her friend, Molly, experimented with donut making. Admittedly, we got WAY to into these two delicious foods. Not coincidentally, this is also when I started walking every morning with my friends Joanne and Laura.
2-Night Staycation at Luminary: Knowing our engine access is right in the middle of our main room, we decided to book a stay at a hotel down the street from our Marina while we had some work done on the boat. The Luminary might be one of my favorite Marriott properties now!
Marker 92 with Have Another Day, Addiction, and Ocean Spirit: At the end of February we decided to anchor for a weekend with friends. It was truly perfect- filled with lots of swimming, eating, fishing, and laughter. I’m not sure who had the most fun- the kids, the adults or the dogs!
Edison Fort Winter Estate: Just down the street from our marina is the winter estate of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. We loved touring the grounds and museum. As an added bonus, both kids had studied American History this year. It was neat to see the overlap in what they’d learned, and enhance it with a tour.
Loop Friends: This could truly fit into all of the month’s highlights, but specifically in March two of our favorite Loop friends visited Fort Myers- The Lower Place and Addiction. We had so much fun spending time with Tom, Charlie and Robin. The hardest part of being on the Loop is going in seperate directions from friends- and reuniting is the best!
Braves/Red Sox Spring Training: The Red Sox have a spring training facility in Fort Myers and we were thrilled to get tickets when they played the Braves. Although the Braves lost, it was a great afternoon.
Bike Riding: In April Mary Grace got to do two very special bike rides with her friend, Molly and Ms. Joanne. On the first Friday of every month there is a nighttime bike ride through the streets of Fort Myers that covers 12 miles. A few days later, the 3 of them rode their bikes all the way to the beach and back (32 miles roundtrip!)
Easter: We celebrated a special Easter with our friends from Ocean Spirit and Have Another Day. (More details in my recent post, Holidays on a Boat.)
East Coast Loopers Reunite: In April we reunited with two of our buddy boats from the East Coast- Chasing 90 and Howaho (technically Howaho flew into Fort Myers for the reunion. Their boat is in the Great Lakes.) It was incredible to see them after so many months. We went our separate ways after navigating the Erie Canal together.
CLT Friends Visit: We also got visits from a couple Charlotte friends who spent their spring break close to our area. It was so much fun to introduce both families to boat life and take sunset dinner cruises. When we dreamed of Looping, we imagined that we’d be able to see friends all the time. Unfortunately, Covid put a bit of a damper on that so it’s really nice to see travel ramping back up. We’re hoping to have lots of friends and family visit our boat this summer! (PS. Consider this your invite. We LOVE having guests, so come on!)
ECHO Farm Tour: Some boaters in our marina, Front Page, invited us to a very special farm tour. ECHO teaches sustainable farming methods to missionaries who then take the training to far parts of the globe. This allows families to provide for themselves and their communities. It’s a special place and if you’re ever in Fort Myers, I can’t recommend visiting this place enough.
Brent turns 40: In true Brent fashion, he spent the day helping others and working. The kids enjoyed eating Brent’s cake almost as much as they enjoyed baking it. We ended his birthday evening with a dinner at Twisted Vine with Laura and Ben. But continued celebrating later that weekend with a day out on the water and barbeque.
Batteries Arrive: Separate post coming soon, but the arrival of our new Battle Born batteries makes the highlight reel.
Final Fort Myers Highlights
I guess technically we stayed into May. Our last week in town we tried to cram in about a million “one more time” moments. One more weekend on anchor, one last meal/drink at our favorite spots, one more movie night with friends, etc.
There were a lot of tears during our last week. I’m not sure how you can spend so much time somewhere and still feel like you didn’t quite get enough. Mary Grace and Miller both tried to negotiate staying. (They didn’t care if Brent and I stayed- they were happy to move onto our friend’s boat.)
Really, the only thing encouraging us to untie our lines is the desire to cross our wake. We can’t wait to hang a gold flag and have bragging rights on such a huge accomplishment.
But, Fort Myers, we’ll be back soon!
As always, thanks for keeping up with our adventures. This particular post was a long time coming. We’ve obviously been in one spot for a while. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram for more current updates! And, you might also enjoy reading:
The One Where We Decide To Live On A Boat
10 Things To Do In The Orlando Area Besides Theme Parks
The One Where Our Journey Begins
*This post may contain affiliate links. By making a purchase after clicking through a link, Mom With A Map will receive a commission.
I’ve only been to Fort Myers once and it was yearrrrsss ago. We are hoping to head that way later this year.
I had no idea how much I would love it. There is so much to do there and the weather couldn’t be more perfect!
Hope you get to visit soon.
It sounds like you guys had a blast. I’ve always wanted to ride in one of those airboats. Looks like a lot of fun. I wouldn’t want to leave!
So I had no desire to ride in an airboat, but my husband insisted. And I LOVED it. We had a blast!
wow what a super cool and fun experience for your kids! everyone looks so happy
Definitely an amazing few months they won’t forget!
I adore Fort Myers too and would pick up and move in a heartbeat if I could! So glad you enjoyed your time there.
Agree- it’s my new favorite place!
Nice write-up. I’m sorry we missed you in FtM (other than waving from across the anchorage at Glover Bight); the midges just drove us right out both times we tried to stay there. I’m sure our paths will cross again.
Thanks Sean! Oh the midges…I’d almost forgotten. They, most definitely, did not make the highlights! We’ll look forward to crossing paths one of these days.
This looks like an amazing trip!
[…] we put it off as long as possible (see The One In Fort Myers.) However, with hurricane season looming, it was time to move. Most insurance companies charge much […]
[…] we spent several subsequent months in Southwest Florida and Brent eventually got past the bad […]
[…] made our reservations almost a year in advance. We spent time here last year during our Great Loop (The One In Fort Myers) and fell in love. While a million different factors made planning our life difficult, picking a […]