It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy 168th Birthday.

Our Location today is Punta Gorda, Florida, USA.

Upon Kathy’s suggestion last night before going to bed I set the alarm clock for 7:00 this morning. Of course both our subconsciousness must have thought this was a pretravel sleep and kept us awake most of the night. 
Edison Dining room.
By 8:20 we were on our way to Fort Myers to visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. This visit has been on our to-do list for quite some time with something always getting in the way but going today would be even more special. We’d find out as we paid for our admission today that today February 11 would have been Thomas Elva Edison’s 168th birthday. Even though we were there when the doors opened at 9:00 we still had to wait until 10:00 before the tour we had signed up for would begin. Unfortunately our guided tour started at the same time as the birthday celebration so we didn’t even get a piece of the Birthday Cake. 
The Edison winter home.
Mary Beth our guide was very informed and made certain that everyone understood just how brilliant a man Edison was. For only having a grade two education and then self-teaching himself he truly earned the moniker of the Wizard. He holds 1093 patents that helped to revolutionize the way the world functioned then and the way we live today. He started his working career and experimenting at the age of 10 years old and would continue solving engineering problems until shortly before his passing in 1931 at the age of 84. 
Banyan Tree that covers over an acre of ground.
He designed the layout of his winter home, his laboratory and the layout of the property himself. Since there were no roads to Fort Myers as we have today the materials for the home and furniture were all shipped in by barges up the Caloosahatchee River. His winter home would also serve as a place for him to continually work on his experiments. His botanical gardens were plants from all over the world that were brought to the tropical climate of lower Florida as a source for extracting information and chemicals that he used in his laboratory. 
The Edison on site laboratory with actual equipment that he used.
There is a Banyan tree that was only two feet tall and four inches in diameter when planted outside his lab that now covers over an acre of land. There would also be a Mysore Fig tree that would later be brought from India and planted on the Ford estate also to be used for experimenting. This is another huge tree that is constantly blooming throughout the year but its roots only go six inches into the ground yet this tree has weathered many a hurricane and always stayed firm while Mango trees around it suffered storm damage. 
Mysore Fig Tree.
He was host to presidents, royalty and all the elite people of his time that visited his winter home. One of those elite people was that of fellow inventor and eventually neighbor and lifetime friend Henry Ford. Edison also served as a mentor to Ford who had once worked at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit, Michigan as a mechanic before resigning in 1899 to concentrate on producing the Ford automobile. They would continue to be close friends through the remainder of Edison’s life. 
The Ford winter home.
It was nearly noon by the time the guided part of our tour ended so Kathy and I walked to Pinchers at the marina to have lunch. Their specialty is seafood but we opted for a simple fish and chip. The batter was lite and everything was cooked to perfection but the price was a little higher that we normally pay. Once lunch was finished we continued exploring the estates for a while longer before finally heading for home. We spent a little over 6 hours checking everything out.
How many faces can you see in that tree.
When we left this morning it was only 50 F (10 C) and windy so we left the windows closed. It was after 3:00 when we arrived back at the trailer and the outside temperature was only 68 F (20 C) but inside the trailer it was a hothouse so it was a mad dash to open all the windows and vents. We started making our supper at 5:30 and had to start closing up the trailer because the temperature had already dropped to 59 F (15 C) but with the northwest wind it felt a lot cooler than it was. 
Hanging out with friends.
Tomorrow is a mix of chores errands and more exploring in the area. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.


You Might Be a Redneck If

Your wife's hair color is "whatever's on special."

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