The weekend, I had dinner at a seafood place Friday-Sunday. Aside from college, probably the first time I've done this, and here's why:

All you can eat peel-n-eat gulf coast shrimp, a fantastic salad bar loaded with assorted vegetables and dressings, sweet potato shoe string fries, and an 8oz. prime rib (more like 12oz.) cooked to perfection. Price-$8.99

I should also mention, the place is as big as a dance hall (decorated seafood theme)and not at all crowded. Just enough people to keep things fresh. Beer was $1.99 on draft.
Original Post
Ok, here's the deal. Just 80 miles west of Miami is the island of Chokoloskee.

Last week I purchased a townhouse on the island. It's a fishing village, and during the summer months about 95% of the island is uninhabited (many owners are retired out-of-staters who come during the winter). However, some of the big restaurants try to keep their staff working and offer some great deals.

I am now in the process of bringing my flats boat over, and buying a golf cart. More importantly, I need to learn the waters there. I am allowed 5 crab (stone and blue) traps per person too, so we'll have to get those in the water asap.

I welcome any of the south Fl. crew to come stay the weekend. I guarantee you'll feel like you just had an exotic vacation. Actually, you'll be 1 1/2hrs from home.
Originally posted by Rothko:
Wow, congrats on the new house!

Sounds like you are light-years away from the hectic rush of Miami out there.

(I was in South Beach this weekend - a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there)

Correction, that is the hectic rush of Hollywood

SSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Don't tell anyone about Chokoloskee or Everglades City damnit!!

My dad has had a place in EC since the early 70's and has been going down there since the 60's, thus I've gone fishing with him for as long as I can remember. If you need to learn the waters (which is important down there) might need to see if you'll be over there while I my dad has close to 50 yrs of experience on those waters.
Niiice Chilepepper! I absolutely agree about it being the best kept secret too. The thing is, there isn't one guy from the s. Fl crew (and Board-O when he's down here) that I wouldn't enjoy taking over there for the weekend. I am only telling you guys.

I'll be in touch when I start venturing out. I'd love to meet you and your dad out there too. For the rest of you guys, feel free to bring your ladies. It came with a private elevator, three stories, and all the "fixins" for being "out there."

I really meant to mention the restaurant, but thanx for all the well wishes everybody. I will post when everything is hooked up and ready for you all.
Originally posted by flwino:

Any good wine shops there? Wink

Nope, you'd have to traverse over to Naples for the closest..hehehe...its pretty much a beer drinkin' area. Aren't many Seminoles because I believe the Gators ate 'em! Smile

One last thing...the worst time to visit is from now till September as the bugs can be quite intense.
I've never been down to EC or Chokoloskee, and I had to Google Earth them to find them.

It looks like you are literally in the south end of the Everglades - lots of marsh islands, grasses, etc...

It doesn't look like there are white sand beaches. Much more of a inland fishing place than a snorkelling/diving and lounging on the beach kind of place.

Looks very secluded. I would imagine that the only wine you are going to drink down there is what you bring!
From Hollywood Hills, it takes me barely over 1 1/2 hrs. to get there. The are indeed lots of marsh islands, grasses etc. and the tides can be very tricky. It is considered one of the best and purest flats fishing areas in the country. Since I get extremely sea sick, (my boat usually makes it to the sand bar for margaretas,) I can finally reconcile the love I had for bass fishing as a kid. are 100% right. The "swamp angels" are plentiful before Sept. but I saw a ton of Purple Martins (birds that devour them) and dragonflys one evening. The next day those swamp angels were at 20%. I just ordered 2 Purple Martin houses for the back of my property.

Rothko...I am leaving my mask and snorkle home, but the Gulf is not far away. I may bring the tanks if I find a good place to go "bugging" (lobstering). wine shops, but I may bring my EuroCave. I am however, buying a used ice machine. I have a feeling you guys may be wanting some frozen drinks as well.

I'll try to get some pics up soon so you can things before you all come out.
Jcocktosten and MLV...I am counting on it. I am thinking we can do a pre-off line, maybe in July, before I do an "official" off-line later in the year. What do you think? really know your stuff out there! That is exactly right. By Sept. the prime rib will have doubled in price, but we will be pulling in some stone crab, snapper and red fish by then.

Board-O...when will you be down here? I won't schedule anything official until I know you're in town.
That's very nice of you. We arrive on December 24th and leave on January 4th. This is the first time we're staying over New Year's Eve. My wife's scheduling usually has us fly back on the 31st, but it's given us more time this December. Looking forward to it.

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