We are travelers and travel bloggers. Here at this blog, we'll tell you about places we've been that we think will be of interest to other travelers. Whether on the road in our RV, taking a non-RV vacation or simply investigating our local surroundings, we are constantly discovering new places and things to do, and we love sharing those discoveries with you.

Happy Trails!

Busy Painting

RVPainter (Dick) has been a busy little painter lately. He's alternated between being in a southwest mood, a seascape mood, and then yesterday he must have been thinking of our northern family and friends because he did this one:

Snow Comes to the Mountains

Here are a few of his latest southwest pieces:

Out to the Mesa

And one of his seascapes:


All of his paintings are for sale - most are under $150 because he just loves to paint and he wants everyone to have art in their house! He also has an Etsy shop HERE

A Punta Gorda Sunday Part II

My last post covered our Sunday morning visit to Muscle Car City diner in Punta Gorda, Florida. We spent Sunday afternoon at Ponce de Leon Park, also in Punta Gorda. It's a great little park that has something for everyone.

The park is named, of course, for Juan Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer who came to America in 1513 in search of the Fountain of Youth. The park is located at the westernmost tip of Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor. It is the site where Ponce de Leon was wounded by the Calusa Indians as he attempted to claim their land for Spain. There are several statues of Ponce de Leon around the park, and what strikes you is how small he was! He looks like a Mini Man. But it turns out that everyone was small back in those days, as at 4'11" tall, Juan was considered a Giant Among Men!

Here's one of the statues of Ponce de Leon:

The park has a man-made white sand beach. It's not a walk-into-the-water beach, because the park is on the harbor. But fisherman do wade in there, and you'll often see paddle boarders and wind surfers go in. Even though it's not a swimming beach, it serves the purpose if you want to stay local to Punta Gorda and feel the need to stick your toes in soft white sand, which I often do!

Since the park is at the mouth of the harbor, it's a great place to watch boats come and go. They enter from the canal that goes inland and connects up with other canals that wind throughout residential sections of town. So a lot of boats enter and exit the harbor here.

There's a boat launch;

A fishing pier:

A playground:

A covered pavilion with large grills - we've seen birthday parties and weddings take place here.

Here's a couple enjoying one of the swings with a view to the harbor:

There are Rest Room facilities - always an important feature in my book!

Parking is FREE - as it is everywhere in Punta Gorda - a rarity in this day and age! Downtown there are no parking meters, and parking in ALL the parking garages is FREE. I'M NOT KIDDING!

And if all this weren't enough, the Peace River Wildlife Center is located by the park. The wildlife center is home to injured birds, turtles and other local critters. You'll see Great Blue Herons in their treetop nest and hear the little ones crying to be fed. Pelicans fly from the center out into the harbor and back - there is always bird entertainment happening at the park.

The entrance to the center:

Wow look at that!!!

The thing we love about this park is that there is the beach if you want to sit out in the sun with your toes in the sand, but there are also grassy areas with trees if you'd like to stay in the shade. Either way, you sit and watch the boats come and go and the birds fly by. It's just a lovely, relaxing place to spend the day.

Here is RVPainter proving my point:

A Punta Gorda Sunday: Part I

Many RVers (and non-RVers!) like to spend winters in Florida. Punta Gorda is a small town on the Gulf Coast, just north of Fort Meyers and about two hours south of Tampa. 

Punta Gorda means "Fat Point," which I guess refers to the fact that it sits at the mouth of the Peace River where it forms Charlotte Harbor, and the land must come to a Fat Point there!

Since it is on the harbor, Punta Gorda is not so much a beach town as it is a fishing and boating town. What we like about it is that it really IS a small town, with a real town center (not like so many towns where the Town Center is actually a shopping mall!). 

Downtown shops are all small locally-owned businesses - galleries, gift stores and restaurants. It has some charm, which many Florida towns and cities lack.

Our Punta Gorda Sunday consisted of first going out to breakfast at a diner at Muscle Car City. We had spotted it a while ago but only just finally got around to checking out. The rest of our day was spent at Ponce de Leon Park, which will be our Punta Gorda Sunday Part II post that I'll put up later this week.

Muscle Car City is located on Route 41 in Punta Gorda. It's a giant warehouse space that holds the diner, an antique car museum and a store that sells t-shirts, gifts, auto supplies and even some fabulous vintage cars that are for sale. 

Here are some shots of RVPainter doing his best Muscle Man poses outside Muscle Car City:

Muscle Car City is a 99,000 square foot museum with well over 200 vintage 1950’s to early 1970’s muscle cars. It boasts classic cars and hot rods spanning 35 years of makes and models. There are GM Performance Cars, Camaros, Chevelees, El Caminos, Big Block Impalas, Pontiac GTOs, Oldsmobiles 442s and a huge assortment of Hot Rods and Antique Chevys. The owner, Rick Treworgy, has managed to maintain and collect one or more Corvettes of each year from 1954 to 1975 and several of each series from 1975 to 2006. It's a vintage car lovers dream!

There are often car shows in the parking lot and lots of events, which you can check out at the website: 

We went for breakfast at the diner, because, well, because we love diners! It was good diner fare - I had scrambled eggs with bacon, breakfast potatoes and toast for $4.95 and RVPainter had pancakes with sausage for a similar price. We liked it enough to want to go back and try them for lunch. 

Here is a shot of the diner:

And here are some shots around the store, including some of the incredibly beautiful vintage cars for sale:

This is the one RVPainter wants!!!

Come back later in the week for Punta Gorda Sunday Part II, when we'll show you Ponce de Leon Park, where we spend a peaceful and relaxing afternoon watching boats come.

Matlacha and Bokeelia Florida

Matlacha and Bokeelia are small towns? villages? on Pine Island, just north of Fort Meyers and west of Punta Gorda. The word "matlacha" means "water to the chin" and I guess that's about right because it's very much right at sea level.

Matlacha has funky shops and galleries and lots of waterfront restaurants. Pine Island is more of a fisherman's haven, as it doesn't have beaches. But even if you aren't a fisherman, it's a fun place to visit if you are in this area.

Here are some photographs from Matlacha and Bokeelia.

Colorfully painted houses and shops

Funky galleries

Wild Child Gallery - great art and beautiful sculptures, jewelry and gifts

Blue Bottle yard art sculptures and a pretty good painting of Johnny Depp!

Fun Florida Fashion

Bokeelia - at the end of the island. When you look across from here you are looking at Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island.

Beautiful gallery at the end of the road in Bokeelia.

Dick made a new friend in Matlacha :)