Don’t you just LOVE surprises and being spontaneous?? What started out as a turkey hunting trip quickly turned into a beach vacation! You could not have had five happier people.

Two excited women hunters...memories made!

Now that all three of us had harvested our birds and one successfully on video, all in the first hour of hunting on our first morning hunt, we were left with decisions of what to do with the rest of the weekend. We decided to eat lunch with Dave at The Freezer, where we dined on boiled shrimp and baked Talapia topped with garlic sauce; which was absolutely divine.

Dave Mehlenbacher and Richard packing in the decoys....the hunt was over as quick as it started.

I know Richard was glad for a short hunt manning the camera. He was getting warm in long sleeves, thick pants and snake boots.

One idea was to FIRST and foremost–SLEEP. We were definitely sleep deprived with Greg having to drive over 10 hours to Alabama the prior day and then all of us leaving around 7 p.m. for a 6.5 hour drive (basically all night) after a long day at work, coupled with the fact that we lost an hour due to a time zone change. We couldn’t do that all weekend. Well it didn’t take but a few minutes to decide that we would take a much-needed nap. Several ideas were thrown out before the guys retired and then they left it up to Billinda and I to make the decision.

So Greg and Richard headed to bed while Billinda and I went outside to the back deck to lay on the deck for a nap. The accommodations that we were set up with at Woodland Guides Outdoors were so unique. The 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house was on the water with a cool nautical theme, including an INDOOR Coy pond, real ship port windows, a bar, a sun room, and a dock right out the back door.

There were so many neat things in the house like this Indoor Coy pond. In the background you can see the ship port window.

We didn’t sleep long before we were woke up by the sun. Billinda pointed out some big turtles in the water. Shortly before we started back into the house I spotted something odd in the water. I couldn’t quite make it out because it was about 80 yards down the slew. It finally made its way close to our dock and it resurfaced, slowly and descended back into the murky brackish water. I had no clue what I was looking at. The creature resurfaced again and this time there were two. Billinda quickly said, “Manatees!!” Two or three manatees were swimming in the slew. I had now seen my first wild manatees.

It was definitely a hot day but the light breeze made it comfortable.

Since the guys left it up to us to decide what to do, we decided we wanted to ride to Cape Coral and stay at Greg and Billinda’s condo, dine in some of their favorite places and make a trip to the beach. So we were packed, loaded and on our way further south.

This was my first trip to Cape Coral and I found it beautiful....the palms were magnificent.

We had such an enjoyable time in Cape Coral. We ate at some awesome places, walked the beach, watched dolphins, we even went to Bingo where three out of the four of us won…and Billinda won TWICE on her first time ever playing in a Bingo Hall.

Beach fun!! Richard taking a pic of Billinda and Nancy Jo.

The photo Richard took of Billinda and Nancy Jo.

We picked up some shells to put in a vase and ran across this little fellow.

Birds flying by from the dunes.

The Dolphin were feeding real close to the shore and at one point were within 10 yards of Billinda.

Afternoon snack at the condo before going to play BINGO...Billinda promised to make this for me if I ever came to visit.

We could not have asked for a better turkey hunting trip or weekend. It was so relaxing and sharing it with good friends was a true blessing and definitely for the fact that is was totally unexpected and spontaneous the joy was tenfold. A heartfelt thank you to Greg and Billinda for allowing us to share a little piece of their heaven in Cape Coral; the down time was surely needed and much appreciated.

Billinda sleeping on the way home. I think the weekend tuckered all of us out--she did kid around saying that she didn't think she was going to be able to hang; she did well.

Life in Camo 2011 Turkey Hunt!!