Pine Island “Resort”

The trip down I-75 from Ocala to Pine Island showed Florida for the vast flat land it is. Miles of pines, palms, and mangrove, are interspersed with grandiose, well-landscaped gates to clubby-sounding real estate communities. These eventually lead to strips of big-box stores, that look like every other strip anywhere, and can be disorienting if you happen to get off the interstate to get some ever more costly diesel. No hills or valleys help you remember the way you came in. Uh, was Wal-Mart to the left, or was that back in Georgia? Oh, this is a different Wal-Mart, with architectural pretensions tacked on its façade, probably required by local zoning, although it seems to me that the lock on this stable door was added looong after the horse was been stolen.

Pine Island is different; more like old Florida they say, with mom-and-pop businesses, funky little food and gift shops, art galleries, acres and acres of tree nurseries, and seemingly random neighborhoods. It’s still a cyclist’s paradise of featureless flatness, but it lies well, under the sun, like a smoothed-out plaid picnic blanket. In the sky above, turkey vultures fine-tune their pinions to snag the next thermal, as well as bald eagles, with their unmistakable white heads. We’ll explore more in the next few days.

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Pine Island “Resort” is another sardine-can park, but at least our sardine is backed up to a small body of water (they call it a lake, we call it a pond). The ‘lake’ has some big leaping fish, white ibis, an otter, frog-croaks at night, geccos, and a few graceful cattails, which are waving in the hot breeze this morning. Small delights. We have our air-conditioner running, so the palms drooping and swaying out our dining window look deceptively cool, actually it got up to 80+ today.

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We’re here to fulfill one of our trip goals; to visit with Jim and Shirl, our longtime Fly Creek potter friends who have a home on the Island and have tried to get us down here for years. They’re still at a show, but will return late Sunday.

I dunno. These swaying, drooping palms are beginning to make me sleepy. Might just curl up for a nap. Last night I stayed up late working on our secret project, and got one half of it done. Could do the other half today, or nap. I could finally clip Geri and Marion’s gift of a double string of Airstream-shaped lights to our awning and take a picture for them. Or Nap. I could hang out two colorful wind-banners, Or Nap. Hmmm. Zzzzzz.

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One Comment on “Pine Island “Resort””

  1. Diane Gallo Says:

    Glad you’re out of Tin Can Alley and at a more mom and popish location. Your report of 80 degrees seems implausible given the steady wind and grey skies here, but your pictures are proof positive. Glad you’ve got AC. I don’t know if it’s the fruit season or not but I do remember fondly guzzling quarts of fresh orange and grapefruit juice at a roadside stand. So now that you’ve introduced the idea of a secret surprise only half done, I’m speculating … animal, vegetable, mineral … or a combo platter. Glad your visit with your friends is getting closer and hope you continue to enjoy blue skies. Love, Diane & Joe


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