**Attention: As of January 5 2016 the Everglades City trip is cancelled due to inclement weather forecast**
● January 9, 2016 – Everglades City, Rod & Gun Club and Smallwood Store
The bus will depart from Edison Ford at 7:30 a.m. The tour will begin with a historic, private and guided walking tour of Everglades City and the Everglades Museum by Martha Hutchinson. We will learn about the history of this secluded and remote city and the Indians and pioneers that were instrumental in its rich history.
The next stop will be at the Rod & Gun Club which is a living monument to a gilded age and will take you back into a time warp. It was founded in 1864 as a private club for some of the nation’s wealthiest, including past Presidents that visited the area to hunt, fish and relax. We will enjoy a glass of tea or lemonade on the porch.
Lunch will be provided at The Camellia Street Grill which represents the Everglades regional cooking of slow-cooked pulled pork and a variety of seafood. The casual “beach shack” atmosphere is very inviting and the locals say they have the “best alligator bites around.”
After lunch we will venture to Historic Smallwood Store which was established in 1906 and served as a trading post for this remote area. People would trade their furs and farm produce for other goods they needed to survive in this extremely isolated area. In 1974 the museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a view into the rich Florida pioneer history.
We will end the day with an airboat ride with Captain Mitch’s Private Everglades Boat Tours. Captain Mitch’s grandfather started the first airboat company in Southwest Florida and Mitch has been in the business since he
was knee-high to a bullfrog. We will take a one-hour trip through the Everglades then end the day with a special treat from Captain Mitch and his crew, including stone crab claws and some other local seafood and beverages to quench our thirst!
We will return to Fort Myers between 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. Cost: Edison Ford Members $100; non-members $110. Lunch is included.
● February 27, 2016 – Sarasota Marine Lab and Aquarium and Eco-Boat Experience **Updated February 4 2016**
Take a private tour of the lab and aquarium, see an otter show, enjoy lunch from the Deep Sea Diner, capped off by a sea life encounter cruise of Sarasota and Roberts Bays.
● March 12, 2016 – Homestead/Redlands Nurseries & Monkey Jungle
Area tours of the nurseries and agricultural areas for exotic plants including orchids and edibles, historic Monkey Jungle and Winery Tour.
● May 14, 2016 – Lakeland
Private tour and on-campus luncheon at Florida Southern College and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.