Friday, January 15, 2010

A Warm Sanibel Friday

The temperature was down to 53, but got up to 73 today. Woo~Hoo! A few days of warm weather will hopefully help the wildlife get back to normal again.

Went out on another bike ride this afternoon. It was partly cloudy, but very nice and warm to be out. The bike paths were not terribly busy today, I think most tourists were on the beach soaking up warmth before they have to go back to cold weather.

I'm sad to report that today I became one of those bikers that I talk about as I drive down the street. Really a sad situation. I was going West on the path on Periwinkle Way, when I decided to cut through the Bank of the Islands parking lot. Therefore avoiding the up-coming intersection, and continue on Casa Ybel Rd to Algiers Lane and the Gulfside City Park for a beach visit. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! As I made my left turn from the path into the bank drive, someone in a car coming from the west, decided to make a right turn into the bank drive. So, there I was, and they had to wait until I was out of their way. But hey! I was there first! Now, that's not the worst part. I rode through the parking lot without any problem, but when I was going out from the lot onto Casa Ybel Rd, a car came flying in that entrance (well maybe not exactly flyin') and I was, once more, in their lane. :-( It was at this point that things went wrong! I was going pretty fast (for an old person) and my bike was going faster than my brain could decide where to go, or what to do. Overload!!! I rode straight into the curb and fell over sideways onto the grass. But, that wasn't embarrassing enough; the lady in the car sat there until I got up and moved from that spot. Now, there was plenty of room to drive past, because when I fell, the bike and I, were out of her lane. When I got up, she waved and went on. I suspect she was laughing so hard, she had to compose herself before driving on. I climbed right back on, like a brave biker and started to go on the path, when two men came riding past. One of them looked at me and said, "So, ...... how's your bike treatin' you today"? I had to laugh, and told him, not too damn good! I just started on the path and I had to stop, get off, and pull both the fenders away from the tires because they were making a loud scraping noise! All is well, thank goodness I landed in the grass and not really very hard. I'm still able to walk upright without assistance. :-)

The ride on to Algiers Lane was very nice. Well....except that part where I was looking toward the area where I had seen the big box turtle one time, and ran off the bike path nearly turning over again. Ugh!! I didn't allow myself to look anywhere except straight ahead from there on. Just a thought, but maybe my coordination isn't as good as it used to be.

We rode to the Gulfside Park Preserve, and I saw the old historic cemetery that I had never seen before. Next stop was Gulfside City Park and out onto the beach for a while. If you are looking for a nice place to park and go to the beach, this would be a good choice. It's nicely landscaped, has picnic tables, restrooms, barbecue grills and parking $2 per hour.

This site used to be called Algiers, and was named after, an old Mississippi River paddle wheel boat, that had been used as a car ferry. It was purchased and placed on this 25 acre site in 1959 by Lathrop Brown. The boat was renovated into a 150 ft mansion that he planned to use for a winter home. There were a total of 13 rooms; 5 baths with gold fixtures, enclosed decks, restaurant kitchen,pool and a Picasso painting on the wall. Shortly after it was completed, he died in Fort Myers, Fla., November 28, 1959, from a ruptured gall bladder. For the next 23 years a caretaker lived on the Algiers, with Dobermans patrolling the acreage. The boat's stacks were landmarks for boaters until it was bulldozed in 1982.

Brown was a millionaire, had been in the real estate business and a Congressman from New York. His wife Helen Hooper of Cambridge Massachusetts, had become an heiress, at the age of 15, to the extent of $10,000,000. She traveled a lot after his death and lived in Bermuda, Tahiti and Hawaii, but never lived on the Algiers. She died in 1978 after living the last several years of her life as a recluse. (There are a few more facts that I find interesting: The Brown's homes were mainly in New York and Long Island. Lathrop Brown was a close personal friend of FDR from being Harvard roommates. Brown was best man at the wedding of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905. Brown got involved in politics, his close friendship with FDR continued during the time of FDR's presidency as well. There are a lot of pictures (one of the Algiers being moved to the Sanibel beach), and very interesting and historical information about the Browns and Roosevelts in five installments of Lathrop Brown interviews. Follow the link, then on the right sidebar, scroll down to Lathrop Brown and FDR: Endgame, then go back to choose the installment below that etc.) Brown Family Info.

I had read about the Algiers in several Sanibel history books, but never really found enough about it to satisfy my curiosity. I think it has now been put to rest. :-)

The ride back to Periwinkle Way was smooth and uneventful. (Insert cheering smiley here!) After making a stop at McT's, where I had the best Grouper Bites ever. I continued on, to arrive safely at home, and perhaps ride again another day.


The clouds began to look a little more threatening.

The Grouper Bites were yummy!!


ღ Alice ღ ™ said...

Oh my Im so glad you are ok. You are very lucky :) You must have fell hard if it bent the bike some. Are there still dead fish washing ashore? We love that park,it always has good shelling for us. Anyway,again...glad you are ok & be safe :)

Gayle said...

I am so sorry. I laughed out loud. Did you hear me? I am convinced I am way to old to ride a bike and I'm quite sure I would kill myself on one. I just have lousy balance these days. I'm really glad you weren't hurt. And hooray for warm weather! Enjoy the weekend.

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Finally some warmer weather. We will have to give Algiers a chance this year. Went down there once last year but nowhere to park.
Glad all you suffered was perhaps a bruised ego in your bike wreck!!

Caroline said...

I am sure McT's would help the recovery from any skinned knees or bruised egos! Boy, does grouper sound yummy, and I haven't had breakfast even.

Tootie said...

If I didn't expect you to laugh, I wouldn't have told the story. :-) I know I sure did my share of laughing. I was very lucky, didn't even get a skinned knee or elbow. :-)

sue in mexico mo said...

Yikes! I'm glad you weren't hurt. I wonder if you will be sore tomorrow. . . I fell on the ice last week and the next day I could hardly move. Thanks for the tiny view of Ocean's Reach.