Our Afternoon in Punta Gorda
We’re quick to tell folks that we’re still working – nowhere near ready for retirement; Yet all work and no play make for a boring life, not at all compatible with full-time RVing. So, we make time to get away on a regular basis – whether that be to explore a nearby park, town, wildlife sanctuary, or simply to hang out with friends. One day last week, we chose Punta Gorda as our getaway and enjoyed an afternoon with Christine and Bruce, friends we met last summer in Pennsylvania.
When in Punta Gorda, Dine Outdoors!
After a brief stop at their RV park, we set off in our car for the Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda. It’s a second story restaurant overlooking the Laishley Park Municipal Arena at Charlotte Harbor. While waiting for our table, we sat outdoors, at the bar: a converted antique truck – its working surface holding their liquor and point of sale system. Since they don’t stock any gluten-free beer, I opted for an unsweetened iced tea. (They tell me I’m a cheap date.)
Before long, our table was ready. Our view: blue sky with big, billowing clouds above the Punta Gorda Bridge, beautiful yachts and houseboats, and a long fishing pier extending into the harbor. Temperature in the mid-70’s and a gentle breeze, good conversation and laughter with friends, and a tasty meal completed the picture.
Punta Gorda Art Galleries
Below the restaurant are several small businesses, most notably the ‘Creator’s Touch Gallery.’ It features an eclectic mix of original art: pottery, cork design, metal art, wood creations, jewelry, and more, all created by local artisans. I especially enjoyed the unique fish created from driftwood. One end is a carved, varnished, finished-looking fish head, and it fades to the original piece of driftwood. It looks like the artist sees an individual fish in each piece of driftwood, pulling it out with his finishing techniques. I also liked the huge variety of lizards and frogs created in a variety of media. These were unique pieces of art, not the mass produced ‘kitsch’ we’re accustomed to seeing in so many tourist shops.
After lunch we strolled along the pier and talked to a few of the fishermen. The catch of the day was Stingray, although they were trying for Flounder.
Continuing after the pier, we strolled along the Harborwalk at the water’s edge to the Hurricane Charley Memorial. The memorial is made up of two metal sculpture palm trees, one bent over as if wind blown at a 90 degree angle, and a large sundial forever marking the time the hurricane decimated the city in 2004.
There’s much more to do and see in Punta Gorda, but the day grew warm and we were ready to head back ‘home’ to Peace River Thousand Trails. One thing about this lifestyle is that we don’t have to squeeze as much into a day as possible. We’ll be back to explore again another day.