Edison also had a love for all things green. The prolific inventor had a huge botanical garden, and brought in plants from all over the world. My favorite was a 400-foot (122m) wide Banyan tree from Calcutta, India. Its expansive shade is just the thing for a warm afternoon.
We spend our last Florida evening on the wide shores of Fort Myers Beach, a favorite draw for tourists and locals alike. We buy ice cream cones near the boardwalk at Times Square and then sit down on the beach to eat them.
There is hardly any surf at this time of day, and we watch a group of local boys running and riding their boogie boards like skate boards across the water. This strange sport appeals to our six-year-old son, and within minutes he has joined them, skimming on a borrowed board across the water. I watch, trying to stifle my fear that he’ll fall on his head.
Eventually, we continue our stroll down the beach, walking through ankle-deep tide pools warmed by the sun. The sun begins to dip on the horizon, casting its golden rays across the sea, and I stop to take a few pictures of this gorgeous scene.
Seeing this, a woman passing by offers to take our picture with the camera slung around my neck. So we pose, standing in the water, the Florida sun reflecting in our smiles.
Someday, all too soon, I know my children will be grown. I often wonder what they’ll remember from the trips we take. But I hope at least two Florida images will remain in their memories: being together as a family and playing beside the sea.
If You Go
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
800-237-6444 (US and Canada)
239-338-3500 (Outside of the US and Canada)
Other kid-friendly attractions
Imaginarium — This hands-on museum for kids is a perfect place to spend the afternoon if you’d like to slow down and cool off. There are dozens of exotic animals to see up close, from iguanas to turtles to sharks.
Manatee Park — Pack a picnic and take the kids to see West Indian Manatees in their natural environment (the season runs mid-November to mid-April). You can also rent kayaks and head onto the Orange River.
Sanibel Lighthouse Boardwalk — This historic lighthouse has been a treasured landmark since 1884.
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