Friday, January 19, 2024

Fort Myers, Florida: Worth a Visit

This was a very laid-back trip. Our internal clocks are still trying to reset after our whirlwind trip to Cyprus.

We landed Sunday evening at RSW, the grandly named Southwest Florida International Airport, a modern county-owned facility. We caught an Uber for the 30-minute drive to our hotel.

The Banyan Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, was formerly an IHG Indigo,, Coincidentally, our most recent extended hotel stay was earlier in January at an IHG Indigo in Larnaca Cyprus.

It’s a pleasant property with a few quirks.We were assigned a large suite that was more than roomy. It lacked a bedside table on one side, so we improvised with the luggage rack covered by a jacket.

The bathroom included a huge walk-in shower, but the water pressure varied, every so often dropping to trickle-strength before recovering.

The Banyan is in the River District. The neighborhood includes a lot of restaurants and touristy shops. We spent a lot of time here reading menus. Food by our standards is reasonably priced and decent quality.we found nothing spectacular but nothing awful, although our Chinese lunch was mediocre after a promising start with some excellent hot and sour soup.

 Back home our neighbors were dealing with cold weather, a lot of snow, freezing rain, and dangerous roads. All we had here were overcast skies and generally only a few drops of rain, although we saw and heard some spectacular lightning and thunder one night, and it rained a couple of times, including our Friday departure for home.

Our main expedition was walking about a mile down McGregor Boulevard to the Ford-Edison Winter Estates, where the two famous innovators, after developing a friendship based on mutual admiration, built summer homes on some gorgeous waterfront property.

We started with the museum and viewed Ford Model Ts and other antique cars.

Below is a Model T owned by Thomas Edison.

We also took a guided tour of the grounds, including a peek inside the houses.

We spotted an Edison gramophone. Beside it are some of the cylinders used before discs..

Here’s a statue of Henry Ford.

And Thomas Edison in front of a Banyan tree.

At this point, we were frankly preoccupied after being notified by Alaska that our nonstop flight home Friday, RSW-SEA had been canceled.We spent a lot of time on the phone changing a three-day later rescheduling to that traveled the same day.

Alaska is in a mess right now, as a significant percentage of their Boeing 737s are MAX models. Alaska has been canceling flights only a couple of days in advance, leaving employees and customers scrambling. 

What did we end up with?

We departed RSW around 1:00 PM on an American Airlines Airbus 321, flying to DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth). We were back in Row 27 and noticed it took us about 10 minutes to deplane.

We had to ride the Skylink train to the next terminal for our DFW-SEA flight on Alaska. We found a friendly little AA Admirals Club in Terminal E, although it was a 10-minute walk to reach it.

We’d accepted Alaska’s invitation to volunteer for a bump, but it was sadly not to be. On this flight we were seated in the Premium section up front, but in middle seats one behind the other. We survived it.

We first thought we’d at least earn an extra few hundred miles for flying RSW-DFW-SEA. That totals 2,680 miles.

But wait! Flying RSW-SEA non-stop is 2,620 miles.

That’s right. That stop in Texas only added 60 lmioes to our total for the day.

Update: Alaska rebooked us in Y so we earned 2,670 EQMs just for the DFW-SEA leg. We’ll pick up another 1,020 EQMs when the AA RSW-DFW leg posts. That’s some consolation for our less-than-stellar flying day.

Tomorrow we’ll pick up 500 elite qualifying miles,?the minimum, for flying the 93 air miles from Seattle to Bellingham.

We’re canceling our trip to Quito, Ecuador, as a consequence of the government state of emergency.We’ll see if there are any other bargain destinations open in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, it’s back to some challenging weather at home.

Update: Back where we belong (ha ha!) for our final SEA-BLI 23-minute flight of the trip…


Anonymous said...

Very interesting U2 Road Warriors... welcome back to the Great White North.

Kathy and Brian said...

Driving home from the airport, the temperature was a mild 43 F, the highways and roads are bare, and we parked in our garage without a problem. We don't know what people have been complaining about! ;-)