It's the middle of summer down here, and it's safe to say that it is hot, hot, HOT! If you're trying to think of ways to keep cool in this sweltering heat, read on.
Hit the library
Our very own Fort Myers Beach Library, 2755 Estero Blvd., recently went through a gorgeous remodel, offering guests a fantastic layout, a wealth of good reads on an array of platforms (books, magazines eBooks, etc.), free wifi, a volunteer-run reused book shop and even a cafe not to mention nice, cold and refreshing air conditioning.
Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.
It's the perfect place to enjoy the island scenery while enjoying a good book. And, during certain times of the week, the library also offers children's story times, guest commentaries, journal-writing courses and other special events. Visit FMB.Lib.FL.us for a complete list.
Take a dip in the pool
We all love swimming in the gulf, but another refreshing watering hole on the island is the Fort Myers Beach Community Pool, 2600 Oak St., run by the Town of Fort Myers Beach. Enjoy special events throughout the week, like swim lessons, American Red Cross training services and water aerobics, which are offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 to 10 a.m., or just enjoy a good swim during "public swim" times, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
The little ones can keep cool in the special kiddie pool area, complete with water works features, and everyone can enjoy the water slide!
This is fun for the whole family, and also offers a wheelchair accessible swim lift. Fee to enter are $4.50 for adults, $2.50 for children 11 years and under.
For more information, visit FortMyersBeachFL.gov or call 463-5759.
Riding the waves
If you're on Fort Myers Beach, you're most likely going to hit the sand and surf at least once while you're out here. Keep as cool as you can by wearing flips flops or sandals to keep the scorching sand from heating up your body any more than it already is.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cool water. During the summer months, you tend to sweat more, so you have to replenish that loss by drinking more water. Always keep a cool bottle of water with you.
Before hitting the sand, put a bottle of water in the freezer for a good 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to freeze. That way, while you're out and about in the heat, it'll stay cooler much, much longer.
Taking a lunch cooler with you? The ice packs in there are perfect for placing on your wrists, which instantly cool the blood in your veins, cooling you down and refreshing your system.
And treat yourself to a popsicle or ice cream treat every few hours while you're out there. It's not only cooling to your body, but it's simultaneously delicious!
Keeping Fido cool in the summer heat
Pets like to stay just as cool as their human companions. Take your four-legged friend(s) to Dog Beach, 8600 Estero Blvd., to let Fido roll around in the waves and play with the other pooches in the sand.
But, make sure you're a responsible pet owner and clean up after your pet. Large trash cans are placed on-site to dispose of waste. Also, a large drinking water container and shower station has been donated and set up, to get your pet clean and hydrated before the walk or ride home.
Keeping your car just as cool as you are
While you're parked at the beach, your car is going to heat up just as much as you are. If possible, park in the shade of a building or tree. Try keeping it a little cooler (which makes for a safer place to store your things and a more comfortable transition when you're ready to leave) by using a windshield sunshade, which helps bounce off hot rays.
Use a cooler or other chilled container to store cellphone chargers, CDs, food (obviously) or anything else you don't want to hit scorching temperatures. If you don't have a cooler, simply placing these items in a shadier part of your car (like under the dashboard/glove box where your feet would go), covered with a dark towel or jacket can still help keep them at least a little cooler.
If you live on the beach, or visit/work on it regularly, change your air filter and cabin filter more often. These filters can become clogged with sand just from the island roads and a clogged filter can lower your fuel efficiency and the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Regularly check your coolant level, as Florida summers can cause it to dissipate faster, which can then affect the heat in your engine, leading to potentially fatal damage. Keep an eye on the coolant and top it off frequently.
Enjoying indoor activities
The hottest part of the day is generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. During that time, why not take shelter and hit the bowling alley (Beach Bowl), amusement park (Zoomer's), arcade or just do a little shopping. We can have real scorchers in Southwest Florida, and sometimes, it's good to just stay indoors and stay cool!