All week I have been going back to the Beach House to pack odds and ends and clean this and that. So strange to walk into that empty clean house that was our home and see how easily the familiar and ordinary transforms into a place only of memories, suspended in the past.
Have I shown you much of the island itself, Dear Web Log? I don't think so, not much of it. The new house is only about 8 miles away, yet a vast 8 miles, distanced by an estuary that defines that little strip of land off Southwest Florida as an island, specifically, Estero Island, a little bit of Paradise, really.
Here are some shots that were part of the everyday lives of the Family Es, appropriately, as seen from my car window, kid-taken, mother-approved. Enjoy!
Coming over the bridge in the morning, the little tourist town opens up. At the bottom of this bridge is the main tourist hangout, with shops, restaurants, and of course, the public beach and docks.
Public beach, deserted in the mornings.
This guy. Every single day he sets up his little artist camp here, beret and all. Wish we could get a better shot, but we would be far, far too embarrassed! It was hard enough to snap a pic from the safety of the minivan! He is a caricaturist, and his sign reads that he sketches children for free. I think I am afraid to see what cartoon versions of my kids would look like, the real things are goofy enough.
Obligatory Yo! Taco shot. The sometime employer of the Teens of Es.
Once you pass the main strip, it's beach cottages, beach cottages, beach cottages. I love this little one above. So quaint. This is one of the last of its kind, and is just next door to this:
These huge homes will soon be all that is left on the island. Progress and whatnot.
We will visit the beach often enough, especially since the girls are still in school there, but check out these funny little things on our street, after we close the door the final time on the Beach House, we probably won't venture down again. These are typical of Estero Island in general, but all unique, and these are what make our street our street:
There are a bunch of carvings like this in people's yards, this weathered fisherman is one of my favorite.
Oh! And this guy. Me and him, memories, memories.
And of course all kinds of incredible plant life. I love this little tree, holding on for dear life, gripping its roots like talons into this barren rock, begging for just enough nutrients for survival, and somehow getting them.
I wish I could get a better shot of this. Every time I turned onto our street, I saw this ficus and this palm, at war or in love? I don't know. Is the ficus trying to pull up the palm and yank it away, hurling it into the sky, or has it wrapped and twined itself around the unfeeling palm in an attempt to win it over, or just show it some attention for once!!!
Maybe I get a little dramatic about the trees.
Behind this plant conundrum is a tall, tall evergreen, I always forget what they are called, some kind of pine. But they are tall and thin and their tippy-tops are just perfect for osprey nests. Do you see him up there? We have so loved watching him and his wife hunt the fish and the snakes, bringing them back for their noisy, greedy children.
And that is all we had time to take, all the shots we could get. I am already thinking of so many monuments I wish we had captured.
But do you want to see what it looks like driving back over the bridge as the sun rises? Quite spectacular. The geography is such that the sun sets straight into the Gulf with spectacular pinkness every evening, but it rises over the estuary, where the anchored sailboats melt in its orange freshness.
The girls both know kids who live permanently in sailboats parked just here. What a life.
Goodbye, Estero Island, goodbye.
*OH! Public Service Announcement to all moms with boys! Please check out Kathy's (9 Peas Mom) brilliant and surprising insight into raising boys, in this post here!*