Fort Myers and Pine Island, FL for Christmas and New Years - 12/22 - 1/24

When we came back from the Keys, Al invited us to park next to his place over Christmas. Actually, we were parked on the neighbors lot. The camper in the front belongs to Al and Marly's son Mitchell.

We stayed here until the Monday after Christmas and then moved back to Cypress Lakes RV Resort.

12/25 This is our humble Christmas tree. It may be difficult to tell from the picture, but we have 100 lights on our little three foot tree.

I think it looks pretty nice if you ask me!!

This is a group shot of a portion of Al and Marlys's family. This was taken Christmas Eve before everyone had arrived.

We had a great time spending Christmas with them. It had been many years since we have seen their kids and we have never met their grandkids.

Gary, Marlys, and Mitch. (Al and Marlys's #4 & #5)


Kim and Pam. Pam is #2 child and Kim is her husband.

On Sunday 1/2, Al and I went fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. In about 3 1/2 hours we caught over 150 fish, mostly grunts, which is what Al is holding, and some grouper (all too small to keep). We took home about 30 of the grunts and the rest we released. They are called grunts because they make a grunting sound when you get them out of the water.

It was the most intense fishing I have ever experienced. We were using cut-up squid on a hook with a lead weight about 24 inches up the line. We would drop the line in, let the weight hit the bottom, weight for about 10 seconds and then reel it in. About 98% of the time there was a fish on the line. After about 3 hours I had to stop. I was just getting too tired to pull more fish in.

We had a begging Pelican alongside our boat for about an hour. We'd throw it a fish about every 10 minutes until it finally left.

Here is a close-up of the brown pelican. About 15 of them came to the edge of the canal when Al was cleaning the fish. They ate everything we threw away. After cleaning 30 fish there wasn't a scrap of waste remaining.


1/12/00 Sue and I decided to rent a canoe and paddle up the Orange River in Ft. Myers. It feeds into the Caloosahatchee River not far from where we are staying. The alligator in the picture was sleeping along the shore (thank heavens!). It's difficult to tell from this picture, but it was at least 15 feet long so we kept our distance.

We were glad we did keep our distance once we came across this sign.


Friday 1/21/00 Today we drove to Miami airport to meet our good friend Jon Hanson. Jon has been on a mission in Columbia South America for the last two years for the LDS church. Jon was on his way to Salt Lake City with a three hour layover in Miami. Since he had no idea we were going to meet him at the airport, it was great fun for us to see the look on his face when he saw us. We spent a little over two hours with him, picking his brain on his experiences over the last two years.

This was a very small reception compared to the one he will receive in Salt Lake City. All his friends, family and acquaintances will be there to greet him.