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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Sadie Time

~Thursday, February 23, 2023~

Day 985

Let’s add another thing to the list shall we; the equipment list for the RV that is. The mesh screen that fits over our bathroom exhaust fan (that filters out the bugs and dust), has been broken for quite some time. You know how plastic gets brittle over time, especially cheap plastic? The clips that helped attach the screen simply broke off, so as a quick, clever fix, Jeff added a few pieces of Velcro that’s helped keep it in place for the last few months, but now that’s failing too. We’re not sure why Lance decided to put in an inferior exhaust fan in the bathroom when everything else is top-notch in quality. The motor has failed us once which was an easy replacement for Jeff, but it doesn’t quite have the chutzpah that our Dometic fan in the living space does. So we decided to bite the bullet and spend a couple hundred bucks to match the fan with the one we have in the front of the RV…..a Fan-tastic fan. Funny how a broken screen is what it took for us to finally make a switch. We’ll take a photo of it to show ya’ll before the install. There ain’t no way in hell I’m getting on a sun-baked roof in Florida to capture the install moment. But I WILL be the cold beverage deliverer to the guy on the roof 😉🍺

Well, we made it to day 5 with the gray tank. So a Blue Boy run it is. I always feel bad for Jeff that despite my offer to help in this not so fun process, he insists on doing it all himself. Some RVer’s prefer to hang their “Blue Boy” on the back of their rig. But it’s certainly something WE prefer not to look at. So way in the back of the truck it sits……..until we need it. In order to get to it, Jeff has to pull everything out of the truck (no fun on a hot, humid Florida day). Then there’s hitching it up to the truck to haul it to the dump station. The whole process takes about an hour. But hey, we don’t have the luxury of having sewer hookups at every campground, so it just comes with the travel territory.

Anyway, enough about RV stuff. Let’s talk about dogs and beaches! We decided to make it a day devoted to our Sadie girl. First it was a “spa” visit for a quick nail trim and buff (a girl’s gotta keep up her manicures you know), and then a ball/beach day at Bonita Beach Dog Park, about an hour from Collier Seminole. We were so lucky that it was even available as they just reopened the beach a few weeks ago, after all of the damage from Hurricane Ian. The devastating effects (mostly storm surge) of this hurricane are still visible on sidewalks and in the forests across from the beach. But you also have the homes and what they’re dealing with. Nearly every house, the one’s right on the beach that took the brunt of the force, had some form of damage from a little to a lot. Construction trucks were everywhere on the 2-lane road we took to get to the beach, just trying to make deliveries to the homes that are in the process of being repaired or rebuilt. And this is Bonita. Apparently, if you drive another 20 miles north, you’ll find Fort Myers to still look like a war zone, 10 times worse than Bonita.

When we arrived at the dog park, we couldn’t get to the water fast enough for our Sadie. Well, sort of. We found out that it was high

tide when we arrived which means at THIS beach, you have to tread through shallow water to get to the actual beach. After we finally claimed our sandy spot, we were eager to cool

off in the nice, warm Florida waters, able to stand in the water quite a ways from shore. We spotted a few dolphins too, having a good ‘ol feeding time, tossing fish up in the air for THEIR early dinner and OUR amusement. Then we met a really nice guy about our age, named Matt. Matt’s a local about 6 weeks of the year and an Illinois resident the rest. He lives just outside of Chicago about a few hours from where our daughter lives. Too bad we didn’t meet earlier in the day or we would have gotten to know his whole life story by the end of it. What we did learn was that he was here visiting family, most of who were at the beach today. In fact, his nephew was paddling on a paddle board that was a casualty from Hurricane Ian. He found it in a debris pile in Bonita Springs a few weeks after Ian struck.

Before leaving, we were grateful for Matt’s suggestions of a few local establishments. When he endorsed the open-air food truck row known as Celebration Park, one that we already had our eye on, we were thrilled. Evidently it’s dog friendly, but not parking friendly. By the time we arrived at around 5:00, it was already packed. There wasn’t one parking spot available, let alone one big enough for Hank. It was just as well anyway that tonight wasn’t the night since we felt sandy, sticky and gross from our beach day. But we will certainly be back before leaving the Naples area.

Once we got back, we couldn’t resist a little twilight walk with Sadie with the skies a gorgeous hint of blue, as Venus and Jupiter lined up brightly underneath a sliver of a moon. After doing a little bit of research about these vivid “stars”, I found out that Venus, the brightest planet, is climbing higher in the west after sunset each night while the second brightest planet, Jupiter, is headed the other direction. On March 11th the two planets will be in conjunction with each other where they’ll be 0.5 degrees apart. Mark your calendar for this celestial event!

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