After a fun couple of days down in the Keys, C-Lo and I spent Christmas Day with some good friends. We then did some more adventuring on Saturday, driving out to the west coast of Florida. Our first stop was in north Naples at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. One of my favorite hikes in Florida, I knew C-Lo would love it there because of all the cool birds, which she loves to watch. And it did not disappoint this time either, despite the cool temperatures and cloudy skies. The birds were more than happy to show off to all the birdwatchers along the 2-mile boardwalk. After a couple hours there, we made our way farther west to Sanibel Island.
I wish I could say I’ve been there more often, but this is only the fourth time I’ve ever been to Sanibel, with the last time being about 6 years ago. So I was pretty excited to go back, and not only for its great sea-shell collecting but also the cool lighthouse. And even though it was a bit chilly, we still enjoyed a beautiful sunset. We then had dinner on the island at Timbers, a popular local seafood restaurant.
We then spent Sunday back in the Ft. Lauderdale area going to a few of my favorite local parks. We first hit Secret Woods Nature Center, which offers some great hiking along a couple nice boardwalks that go along the New River. They also have a small but pretty butterfly garden with many differents types of plants and herbs. Since C-Lo was up for some more hiking, we then drove southwest to Tree Tops Park. Highlighted by a 40-foot observation tower, this park is full of fun hiking trails that meander through the woods, and includes a 1,000 foot boardwalk above a freshwater marsh. The park also features a natural area with more hiking trails called Pine Island Ridge. It was a great end to a fun week of touring around Florida with C-Lo, who flew back to Virginia on Monday.