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Bush Family greeted by well wishers as they arrive for holiday vacation [Also: photos - Boca Grande]
The Naples Daily News ^ | Dec. 27, 2001 | Christine Girardin

Posted on 12/27/2001 9:24:01 AM PST by summer

Bush family greeted by well wishers as they arrive for holiday vacation

Thursday, December 27, 2001

By CHRISTINE GIRARDIN, crgirardin@naplesnews.com

A chill wind and uncertain arrival time didn't keep about 75 people from gathering on Boca Grande for a chance to catch a glimpse of the families of Gov. Jeb Bush and former President George Bush as they arrived at the Gasparilla Inn on Wednesday for a post-Christmas vacation.

Whisked up to the side of the Old Florida-style hotel in sport utility vehicles, the families arrived about 1:45 p.m. to light applause from onlookers along Palm Avenue. President George W. Bush did not make the trip.

With a wave, the governor wished the crowd a "Happy New Year," before seeing to his family's luggage. Little was heard from his father, the former president, who didn't linger for a visit with well-wishers.

The Gasparilla Inn is a three-story hotel and complex of luxury cottages built in 1913. The former president and Barbara Bush have stayed there annually since 1998 to enjoy Florida fishing and golfing. The inn is known for protecting as much as possible the privacy of its celebrity clients, but public attention is difficult to avoid when the Bush clan comes to town. In the days after Christmas 2000, the annual visit included then President-elect George W. Bush and hundreds of people turned out to watch the men of the Bush clan golf at the inn.

The cold and windy weather may have helped keep the crowd down Wednesday and the governor said he wouldn't be fishing in those conditions either - at least not immediately.

"We're gonna fish, absolutely," the governor said.

Today, the governor is scheduled to be on hand at a ribbon-cutting ceremony as the Gasparilla Island toll plaza in Placida officially opens. He is scheduled to speak at 11:15 a.m. at the Millennium Toll Plaza, 6201 Boca Grande Causeway, Placida.

The Bush clan, including the governor and his family, spent a traditional Christmas at Camp David with the president. Instead of joining his family in Florida, the president headed for his Texas ranch Wednesday to continue his vacation where he is expected to stay through next week.

In a Christmas radio message to the nation, the president said Americans were thinking of families who lost loved ones, both in the Sept. 11 attacks and in the campaign against terrorists in Afghanistan.

On Boca Grande the day after Christmas, visitors and residents were thinking of power and politics, at least for a little while.

Allison Geist, a Republican who lives in Englewood, said she brought her brother, David Barnes, a Democrat visiting from Boston, to the island for some sightseeing. Barnes, however, was convinced that she was more interested in seeing a certain family than seeing the sights. They teased each other good-naturedly while waiting for the motorcade.

"We can't talk about politics. My family was split last year. David's on the other side," Geist said.

An island resident since 1982, Joyce Stern said it was the first time she had waited at the inn for a chance to sneak a peek at members of the Bush clan, but admitted she and most of her neighbors have known for some time the family would be visiting after Christmas.

"Word travels very fast on this island," Stern said.

###

And, now, for your personal tour of Boca Grande:


Downtown Boca Grande


Boca Grande Outfitters


Boca Grande's PJ's Seagrill


Boca Grande's Catholic Church


The Lighthouse, a National Landmark


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jebbush
If you're enjoyed this photo tour, you might want to check out: the official web site: Visitor's Guide to Boca Grande.

In addition, click here for a FL Dept of Parks Guide to Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande.

Finally --

Here's the local news story reported in The Boca Beacon: "Yes they're coming. No, HE'S not"
1 posted on 12/27/2001 9:24:02 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
If you're = If you've
2 posted on 12/27/2001 9:25:19 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
FL Dept of Parks = FL Dept of Environmental Protection
3 posted on 12/27/2001 9:26:13 AM PST by summer
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To: Jeb Bush
Bumping for index.
4 posted on 12/27/2001 9:38:53 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
Was this town used in an old comedy film called "The Russians are Coming, The Russians Are Coming"?
5 posted on 12/27/2001 9:45:36 AM PST by princess leah
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To: princess leah
I know that film, and no, I don't think this town is where they filmed it.
6 posted on 12/27/2001 9:46:29 AM PST by summer
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To: princess leah
Most of the filming took place on the Mendocino coast in California.
7 posted on 12/27/2001 9:58:14 AM PST by My2Cents
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To: summer
Looks like a beautiful place; don't think I'd want to be there when a hurricane gets into the Gulf, though.
8 posted on 12/27/2001 10:00:45 AM PST by Redbob
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To: My2Cents
Thanks for the info. :)
9 posted on 12/27/2001 10:10:14 AM PST by summer
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To: Redbob
Usually these hurricanes have petered out by the time they make it to the west coast of FL, on the Gulf of Mexico.
10 posted on 12/27/2001 10:11:03 AM PST by summer
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To: Tony in Hawaii
OK, your 2nd ping! Enjoy. :)


11 posted on 12/27/2001 10:31:42 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
You're torturing me with those pictures, you really are.

Cat, in snowy Wisconsin

12 posted on 12/27/2001 10:43:18 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
LOL....actually, it is QUITE cold in FL at the moment! :)
13 posted on 12/27/2001 10:53:56 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
LOL....actually, it is QUITE cold in FL at the moment! :)

"QUITE cold" in Florida means you are contemplating putting on a sweater. "QUITE cold" in Wisconsin means your skin freezes upon contact with the outside air.

There's a difference :-))

14 posted on 12/27/2001 11:07:50 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
True! Thought you might enjoy this photo as well. This is Gasparilla Inn, where they are staying (with very heavy security).


Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, FL
15 posted on 12/27/2001 11:19:40 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
#11 is great!
16 posted on 12/27/2001 1:41:48 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: summer
I didn't know there was a Boca Grande, FL. I keep imagining "Del Boca Grande" and thinking of this guy:

17 posted on 12/27/2001 1:54:22 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18 posted on 12/27/2001 2:50:23 PM PST by summer
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To: freeeee, onyx, GOPJ
Thought you'd enjoy this thread! :)
19 posted on 12/27/2001 2:50:53 PM PST by summer
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To: mountaineer
Actually, that was "Del Boca Vista" a fictional retirement development community in Boca Raton, that was featured in Seinfeld.
20 posted on 12/27/2001 2:52:09 PM PST by summer
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To: mountaineer
And, BTW -- everyone in Seinfeld was residing on the EAST coast of FL. Boca Grande, where the Bushes are vacationing, is on the WEST coast of FL, and known around the world for its tarpon fishing, as explained on the Visitor's Guide link I posted in my reply #1, excerpted here:

Fishing Boca Grande

Boca Grande is known throughout the world for its fishing. Especially in the spring and summer when Boca Grande Pass is filled with tarpon. In fact, Boca Grande is known as The Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World.

The island has a long fishing heritage. The Calusa Indians of centuries ago built a civilized culture based on fishing. The first white settlers of our area in the mid 1800s were fishermen from Cuba, Key West and the Bahamas who created a profitable commercial fishing industry on Gasparilla and the surrounding islands. Around the turn of the century anglers began to discover the rich sportfishing potential of local waters, leading to a sportfishing industry which today pumps millions of dollars into the island economy annually.

From the Gulf of Mexico to the backwaters of Charlotte Harbor, our waters teem with plentiful game and food fish including flounder, pompano, snook, grouper, redfish, mangrove snapper, spotted trout, sheepshead, bluefish, kingfish, mackerel and of course, in the spring and summer, the mighty tarpon.

Whatever your taste in fishing, or your level of expertise, you can find your fishing niche here. You can fish from piers and seawalls, in the surf and from boats. Do not fish from bridges. There is a fishing pier on the bayou side of the island between 14th and 15th streets. Two other fishing piers are close by: Gasparilla South Pier at the north end of the island. Look for the sign just south of Gill's Grocery & Deli at the Courtyard at Uncle Henry's. The off-island Gasparilla North Pier is located next to The Fishery Restaurant east of the entrance to the Boca Grande Causeway. You can use your own boat, rent one, or hire one of our many local fishing guides.

If you are between the ages of 16 and 65, you need to have separate licenses for saltwater and fresh water fishing. Fishing is free for people under 16 or over 65. Florida residents may fish from land or any structure affixed to land without a license; non-residents must have a license. Licenses are valid statewide and are available at the county tax collector's office (located at the Charlotte County Annex on San Casa Drive in Grove City) or at many of the mainland marinas. If you fish with a licensed guide, you are covered under his or her fishing permit and you do not need to buy your own fishing license.

Rules and regulations regarding size and bag limits are strictly enforced. Penalties for keeping undersized or too many or prohibited fish are stringent, and ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse by local marine patrol officers. You can pick up a copy of fishing regulations at local marinas or call the Florida Marine Patrol for information at (941) 332-6966.

21 posted on 12/27/2001 2:55:40 PM PST by summer
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To: anniegetyourgun
Re your post #16 -- thanks, annie! :)
22 posted on 12/27/2001 2:56:25 PM PST by summer
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To: Dick Bachert
Thought you might like seeing this thread! :)
23 posted on 12/27/2001 2:58:05 PM PST by summer
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To: mountaineer
Also, here is a map showing only the WEST coast of FL, here in SW FL. They are vacationing on Gasparilla Island, which is marked below:



SW FL, the WEST coast
24 posted on 12/27/2001 3:00:55 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
Please do not post anymore pictures of Florida, unless you show alligators hiding in the snow drifts. As a resident of this state who cannot get on a golf course, or even shop without being trampled on by tourists, I am tired of seeing all those photos which show the place as if it was paradise. Also mention about the babies who are snatched from their cradles by giant egrets.
25 posted on 12/27/2001 3:10:08 PM PST by scouse
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To: scouse
LOL...you need to see the real FLorida, and get out of whatever town you are currently pretending to LIVE in! There is a lot of variety in this state. Ever been to a little, tiny town called Matlacha, FL here on the west coast? Try it! :)
26 posted on 12/27/2001 3:26:45 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
I live in Sumter County and I have indeed seen a great deal of our state. In fact my first visit to Boca Grande was back in 1959. And I can still live without the snowbirds.
27 posted on 12/27/2001 3:36:10 PM PST by scouse
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To: scouse
Well, if you have not been to Matlacha lately, you should visit there. You'll feel a whole lot better. And, BTW, the tourists and incoming migration into this state are not going away anytime soon, like it or not. :)
28 posted on 12/27/2001 3:46:47 PM PST by summer
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