There is nothing more exhilarating to me than that feeling you get as you pay your toll and head out on the causeway! Yes! You look ahead - there it is in the distance! A little slice of heaven! Honestly, my heart starts beating faster the closer we get to the island.
All in all we had another fabulous family vacation. Our 28 month old son did as well. I am sure he will remember this years trip, the last two years he was too small to remember.
We got in pretty late in the day and headed out to VIP to pick up our key in the lock box. This was our first time renting through them and it was a very excellent experience! Once we had our keys in hand we headed to Jerry's for some essentials. Our son was mesmerized by the birds! We had to make a few trips back just for him to 'talk' to them. On the way to the condo we picked up a pizza from Island Pizza. In all honesty it was just 'okay'. I remembered a much better tasting pizza last year so I was surprised and honestly a bit disappointed. Since we were tired and had travelled 12 hours that day from Canada we decided to get some rest.
In the morning we were woken up to the sounds of Osprey's right outside the window. DS was amazed! We headed out to the beach and had a wonderful day. We spent each and every day just relaxing on the beach making sandcastles, and shelling. My husband was a doll and too over toddler duties every morning to our mama-clingy boy so that I could get out on the beach for a long power walk. Nothing like the Gulf, the sun and music to get the day started. My son loved the low tides and was amazed to be standing so far into the Gulf! We found many beautiful live shells during the low tides, our son was simply amazed. We explained to him that we had to put these back because there was an animal living in there and that we could not take his house. profoundly later in the day we found a rather large empty conch and he piped out "No animal house"!
We ate at a few places AFTER the long weekend. We walked to Grandma Dot's (we stayed at Bandy Beach) and we all three had the mesquite grouper sandwich. Very good! We also went out to Captiva for dinner one night and ate at Key-lime Bistro. I had the fungi risotto and it was delicious! And HUGE! You definitely could have shared that with someone. I did pack up half and bring it back to the condo. I also had the keylime pie - it was GREAT. I am still craving more of that pie - so good!! We enjoyed the live music as always. I was rather surprised to see that there was so much parking. We have never been to Sanibel/Captiva so late in May and-the crowds really thins out after Memorial day. We also came back to Captiva on our last day as we had much time to kill and had the grouper sandwich. Very good and better than Grandma Dot's in my opinion. We did go to Timbers one night and I had the three shrimp dish. It was okay. i thought I remembered better food there. Our son was happy with his calamari and butter penne. I wish they would not have brought him those goldfish crackers - they just ruin his meal. I forgot to remind her to not bring any until she placed them on the table and then it was game over.
We enjoyed The Bean as usual. The coffee and peach ice tea is ALWAYS great. We made the mistake of going on Monday and they were short staffed. It took 30 minutes to get my husbands milkshake and son's ice-cream (one scoop of vanilla). Nothing should EVER take so long much less a toddlers ice-cream cup - he was beside himself in tears. I do hate how they make everything in series so you are waiting for a drink until the sandwich of someone ahead of you is made. We waited patiently but there were some very rude and angry people. We tried a bagel this visit and although it was very good - I wish they would have had some grain bagels (multigrain etc). I ordered wheat and it was a white bagel. Anyway - it was still good. We took our son over to the new park across from The Bean. I don't remember it being there last year so it must be new.
We did go to Pinnochios 2 times for ice-cream - I just love their homemade ice-cream! It was very good. And we were so surprised that they were open until 9pm! I didn't realize it was under new ownership. I was happy that they were staying open so late in off season. It is right in the plaza at the end of our condo street so it was nice to walk there.
I only got bit 2X - my husband and son did not get bit at all. Usually I am bit all over by noseeums and mosquito's but I was wise this time and wore Avon skin so soft.
We did do a walk to the lighthouse via the road/wooden deck. It didn't have the allure that it once did.
This year was the first year we actually cruised the island looking at other rental places. It was nice to get a feel of different places ie. east vs west side. I did run out to the beach at casa ybel and thought it was nice. It was nice to see where all these condos I contemplated going to were. I was surprised to see how quite the west side was. I would definitely be interested in possibly trying it out next time.
We did also do a car ride through Ding Darling. Saw a lot of birds and fish. The alligator area was sectioned off so I am wondering if they park people didn't want something disturbed or if it was dangerous?
We had a wonderful trip, too short of course. My husband could only go for a week this year due to work obligations so it was a different vacation going for a week - I just felt like I didn't get enough. Next year I guess!