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Now that the heat is starting to break (at least I hope it will soon…), it’s time to resume the Smart Tour of Florida!!!!

Mark it down on your calendars!!! The trip will take place on Sunday, November 8th and will originate from the parking lot of the Prime Outlets in Ellenton, FL.

We’ll plan on meeting at 7:45 and will leave at 8am. The mall is located at exit 224 on Interstate 75. From there we’ll make an hour run to the rest area at exit 161. If you live south of Sarasota in North Port, Venice or Port Charlotte and would like to meet up with us at this point please plan on being at the rest area by 9am. Once at the rest area I’ll have maps and directions for all should we get separated on the caravan down to the restaurant.

For the second installment of The Smart Tour of Florida, we’ll be taking a trip down to the Ft. Myers area of south west Florida. For many years of my childhood I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time on Sanibel and Captiva Islands off the coast of Ft. Myers. The islands have a unique culture and atmosphere with beautiful beaches, world renown shelling, shopping, amazing wildlife (wild flamingos are regularly seen in winter) and some of the most interesting and quirky restaurants you’ve ever seen. They truly are a treasure of Florida and something that everyone should experience at least once.

There is a $6 toll to get over the bridge to Sanibel Island. Sunpass works if you have one… if you don’t I would strongly encourage you to purchase one before the trip as the line to pay cash can get quite long at times. Sunpass’s stickers are only $5 and can be found at Publix or CVS.

The plan for the day includes lunch at the Mucky Duck Pub on Captiva Island at noon. This is a unique beach side English pub that has some of the best fish and chips you’ve ever had. From there, there’s shopping and a wildlife drive through the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge amongst other ways to fill the afternoon. We’ll plan on meeting for dinner back on the mainland around pm at a yet to be determined restaurant and then head back to the Tampa area.

I do need to give The Mucky Duck a count on how many people will be coming so if you can make it please let me know by November 1, 2009. Hope to see a good crowd there!!
 

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Good evening everyone!!!

We’ve had a great response to Part II of the Smart Tour of Florida. There has also been a change of venue for lunch. It turns out that The Mucky Duck has changed their hours and are no longer open on Sunday so we’ll be dining at The Bubble Room… which is basically across the street.  Due to the change we now have a hard cap of 30 people that we can fit into the room for lunch. Here is the list of attendees I have so far:

Ken and Vicki Wagar
Bill and Jennifer Hitchcock
John Kidd
Ed & Kathie Grimsley
Nick Petry and Dayna Murakami
Bob and Karen Hodgen
Angel Hance and his wife(I’m sorry… can’t remember the name for the life of me)
Roger and Pam Hanson
Tom and Patty McCarthy
Janet Ellston
Tony Morton +1
David Piper +1
Hans(HGB) +1

So we’re up to 24. If you’re planning on attending please let me know!!! Look forward to seeing everyone there!!!
 

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The weather forecast for Sunday shows cloudy and 82 degrees. Hopefully some breaks in the clouds. It was nice in Gulfport today when I took this picture of my car and an old Lincoln.

Can't wait till Sunday.
 
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