People are generally creatures of habit commuting daily routes and visiting familiar places. It can sometimes be difficult to appreciate where we reside without a tourist’s perspective of visiting a new place with open eyes. Every town has a history of how it came to be that is left just waiting to be discovered. My husband has become a regular inhabitant of Fort Myers, Florida on his business travels but hasn’t had the downtime to explore the area while working. Since I traveled along over Spring Break, we looked for ways to spend time together outside of the workday that he otherwise wouldn’t do on his own.
On one occasion, we squeezed in a walk over the lunch hour to the Bonita Nature Place in Bonita Springs, FL where we observed the movements of a homemade beehive and followed the path of a Gopher Tortoise to his hole in the ground. The Mount Bonita trail was a charming location beneath the canopy of flora and fauna.
The adventure continued in downtown Fort Myers on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. We downloaded the Big City Scavenger Hunt app and visited the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford for our first clues. http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org
We were given questions to answer based on our locations’ historical signs and physical features. The app counted down a timer for the available points remaining as we chose our answers. When each question was completed, we were off to hunt down our next site for additional puzzles.
It was amazing just how much we could learn by exploring the neighborhood on foot. We walked all over Fort Myers stopping at places like the historic Edison Park Elementary School, Fort Myers Courthouse, and an art center that was once the original “fort” of Ft. Myers in the mid-1800’s.
We worked as a team to complete the game as quickly as possible for a competitive score. This experience required us to be so actively present in the historical locations that we completely lost track of the time. Our scavenger hunt took roughly two hours with about five miles of walking before we finished the final challenge by the waterfront in downtown Fort Myers to take in the sunset. Try going out for a walk around your “neck of the woods” and see what you might discover in its local history.