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Off to see the Wizard

June 20, 2010

Saturday in Ft. Myers was our first chance to get a little rest and relaxation before the race.  While other racers were still going through the registration, credential check and inspection process, we were free and clear for the day.  We decided to take in a little of the local history but first…a trip to Mel’s Diner for breakfast and some of THE BEST HOME FRIES we have ever had!

Then we headed to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.  We had been told by some locals that if we had time to just do ONE thing here in Ft. Myers – this should be it.  We got there around 10:15 a.m. and explored the 5 room museum while we waited for our guided tour at 11.  At that time, we gathered with about 25 others and took a one hour walking tour of the grounds.  The day was gorgeous and hot, but we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. 

Edison, or “the Wizard” as he came to be known had at least one patented invention each year for 65 consecutive years!  (In total, I believe it was closer to 2000 patents!)  I was particularly tickled to see that anytime there was a photo of him napping the caption read “waiting for the next invention.”  If only MY sleep could be that restorative!

In the afternoon we were back at the airport for a gathering of race teams and a meeting with local girl scouts.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have many girls show up – but we forged ahead with introductions to a few of the racers who had been tapped to speak about their experiences.  Heather, being one of the few Air Traffic Controllers in the race, spoke about her experience both with ATC and flying.

We met up with my fellow Sugarloaf 99’s,as well as some friends from Atlanta.  Lots of talking.  Lots of pictures.  Lots of laughing.  In the evening there was an informal BBQ held at the airport.  Here we had a chance to meet many more teams including the three teams from Southern Illinois University and one of the Purdue teams.  Also, we finally met Judy and Sheryl who I’ll describe as “good friends we just hadn’t yet met!”  We have a common friend in “the other Bill,” as we call him, and it was great to finally meet these fabulous women.

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