So, if I went kayaking in the morning and on a safari in the evening, what did I do in the afternoon? Oh, okay, I'll tell you. I spent my money on stupid video machines in a mildly smoky casino in Immokalee, then ate an early dinner at a restaurant called Rib City.
Ave Maria is a little town of catholics south of Immokalee and isn't on many Florida state maps! It is self-sufficient or shortly will be, as a gas station will open next month. We had to drive on Pope John Paul II Drive to get into town and we could see the back side of the cathedral (how dare I call it a church!) as soon as we entered the drive. Since we were about 1/2 hour early for our jeep tour, we toured the cathedral and circle around it. A service was just ending when we poked out heads in and one of my pictures used the flash - oh no! The buildings around the cathedral look very new and unoccupied. But during the walk around, we could see that the shops were discreet for the most part. The store called "The Secret Ingredient" sells women's fashions, and is not a bakery specializing in brownies! hehe. I was surprised to see a pub across the street from the cathedral (everything is across the street!) with men enjoying a libation while church services are being held in the town. Kids can attend school from elementary all the way through law school and never leave this town! I forget who founded it, but I bet he was Catholic!
Gavin, a very personable tour guide (manager of the company) drove us in his covered jeep, fearing it might rain before the tour was done. So the shortest of us sat in the back row and I got to sit in the front passenger seat! We saw the usual suspects found in Florida but also some white-tailed deer. We were looking for panther and bear, but weren't lucky in that regard. Gavin did see a panther a few nights ago, so it isn't such a far-fetched idea! We all loved the safari and thought it was well worth the 1.5 hour ride to it and the $35 charge per person.