CAPE CORAL, Fla. — These re-openings never really get old, right?
At least I hope not.
As we should all celebrate whenever we get a sense of normal returning here in Southwest Florida.
All of this week, we've seen celebrations, preview celebrations and people already on the beach at the Cape Coral Yacht Club because it's back.
It's return is a wonderful moments because it's another symbol of what life was like nearly 14 months ago, before Hurricane Ian.
For my first year here, I lived in South Cape. My affinity for our beaches is well-documented but the beach at the Yacht Club was already a great choice when I didn't have the full four hours to commit to a proper boat trip.
Just zip down Coronado and Driftwood to the beach. Ten or fifteen-minute drive. Get my fix. Get on with the day.
Here is also why it's so important. I shot this drone video on our SkyFox a couple of weeks after Hurricane Ian. Boat damage. Building damage. The Boat House restaurant, all torn up.
It's been a long journey just to get back to reach this point. Yet seeing these images should also take all of us back to what life was really like. I think of the businesses there in South Cape on Coronado where the storm surge hit. The homes, the duplexes where people lost so much. If you drive to the Yacht Club, you'll pass these homes, these lives, still touched by the hurricane.
We've seen so many of our famous beaches re-opening, from Naples to Vanderbilt Beach, to Bonita, Fort Myers and up to Sanibel. It's a critical element to our tourism, our economy and our way of life. I dragged myself out of bed at 7 a.m. today, sore throat I've been battling for days because I absolutely needed to get to the beach.
I wrote about how, when you live here and if you work later in the day, it's like you're on vacation before you have to go to work. How incredible is that?
As we all head off into this weekend, for whatever awaits, definitely The Yacht Club is worth checking out. Just remember it's not a finished product as the city is looking at the long-term design plan. It's a facility going back 60 years so the storm now means that the update is coming.
As the city works it out, keep your eyes open around South Cape as well. If you haven't been to one of the restaurants on Cape Coral Parkway or Miramar that had to close from the hurricane. Maybe get a pizza or some sushi or whatever.
With this beach back open, it's still up to each of us to think about making a trip on what should be a perfect weekend.