I took this trip to Southwest and Central Florida, in December 2021. I took flights to Fort Myers on Friday, December 24th. I rented a car at the airport. The first place I went to after leaving the airport was San Carlos Bunche beach preserve. It was 78 degrees (Fahrenheit) when I arrived. 3:12pm is the time I paid for parking, the time on my receipt.
On Saturday I went to Audubon Corkscrew Preserve – I had an advance ticket. Then I had time for Six Mile Cypress Slough preserve. Audubon Corkscrew had half the people as six mile Cypress preserve and was quiet because it is far from the main roads. Six mile Cypress preserve is close enough to main roads that you hear the distant roar of traffic and it wasn’t crowded but had 2x the people as Audubon Corkscrew. I saw more wildlife at Six mile Cypress Slough.
Sunday I went to the Edison and Ford winter estates. That is why I went to Fort Myers. Maybe it wasn’t a good reason. It is like a memorial to the two and a place where they preserve rare tropical and subtropical plants. It is underwhelming compared to the Henry Ford museum and Edison laboratory at Greenfield village.
Monday I drive up to Sarasota and went to the Ringling museums is Sarasota – it has a museum with John Ringling’s art collection – that took about half my time there; the first floor of his house; a building with a model of a circus with thousands of pieces and circus-related museum - you could spend an hour there if you read all the descriptions; a 4th building that I saw but didn’t bother looking at closely, has circus-related artifacts and artwork. I spend that night in Sarasota
Tuesday I had advance tickets to the Salvador Dali museum; I had time for the St Petersburg museum of fine art and the Dale Chihully collection – his works are big glass sculptures shaped like plants and random twisted and spiraled tubes. Then I had time for a glass-blowing demonstration.
Wednesday I went to the Tampa art museum – they have a collection of ancient Greek and Roman painted pottery, along with an unimpressive small collection of recent drawings. Then I had time for the Henry B. Plant museum – is it a museum about a former luxury hotel. Then the Florida museum of Photographic art – earlier I didn’t think I would have time for it but I saw that I had the extra time for it. Then I made a last minute decision to stop at Whedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg – I walked on a boardwalk and went to the top of a 3-storey wood observation tower that overlooks some calm water and an expanse of plants and marsh with city skylines and a power plant in the distance.
Thursday I drove to my last of 4 hotels in Winter Park. I had an apartment in part of a house – the apartment had a separate entrance; it was nicer that I expected or feared... before arriving at the apartment I had time for the Albin Polasek House and Statue garden, and the boat tour.
Friday I had time for the Charles Hosner Morse museum of American Art – the place features glass lamps and stained glass windows made by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio; other sorts of works his studio made; other random drawings and watercolors by various artists. Then the Cornell Fine Art museum at Rolling college – it only occupied me for a half hour, it is rather small, then I got a good view of the lake and part of Rollins college campus, then I had time for a park called Meade Botanical garden, then I walked along streets in the downtown shopping district and past a city park, in Winter park. I didn’t buy anything.
Saturday, January 1st, was my flights and taxi ride home. All my flights boarded, took off, and arrived on time. The weather was perfect. There was no rain. High temperatures were about 77 to 82. Remember this trip was in 2021, more than I year ago.