Travel: Flight out of Buffalo (wayyyy cheaper than out of Syracuse) on time , nice, direct flight. Went to pick up our rental car with National and they were out of Sienna mini vans. Other options were too small so we had to wait about 20 min. for them to quick clean one that just returned. Off to Sanibel!
Groceries: Stopped at the liquor store near Jerry’s for some beverages and stopped to say hi to the birds. Had groceries delivered through Bailey’s, so we were set for a few days.
Condo: Stayed at Sandpiper West in unit 2 again this year. Beautiful, spacious, gulf front condo. The pool is on the small side, but with only 6 units total and I believe #2 is the only rental, there is never anyone in it. The condo has a little cabana at pool level that holds all the beach chairs, beach toys, pool toys. Even has a little fridge you can keep a few things in and not have to run back up to the condo. Highly recommend if you need a 3 BDRM option. Also has a garage with garage door opener, so nice to drive right in, close proximity to elevator if you have your hands full, also great place to be able to store bikes.
Weather: Not cooperative this year!! It really was cold. We only had one day that we were comfortable in shorts, but still had to have a light jacket on. We had the heat on in the condo every day. A little disappointing, but we love Sanibel and will be back next year.
Fun Stuff: Sanibel Thriller! Definitely a must IMO. Fun ride, see tons of dolphin and learn interesting facts about the island. Saw the birds at Jerry’s and went to visit the ones at the campground (trailer park).They even have lemurs! I don’t know if they are new, but this is the 1st I have seen them . Took a drive through Ding Darling and saw a nice variety of birds, more than usual. Boys had a fishing trip with Rob McKay scheduled, but they decided to cancel because of the cold. Hopefully next year the weather will be warmer so they can go.
Shelling: I would say fairly good, but you definitely had to work for them. The surf was on the rougher side most of the week because of the wind. Going out at low tide was the easiest option even if it was at 10:00 & 11:00 at night! This was the 1st time we went out at night to shell, but what a blast we had. And we were not alone!! We just had reg. flashlights but there were people out there with headlamps on! We will definitely be better prepared next year! No junonia’s for us, we’ll keep trying!
Restaurants: Doc Ford’s- still my favorite, love the fish tacos. We had called ahead and when we got there we were taken right to our table! No wait and it was busy, nice surprise! McT’s- went here for the 1st time and had a great experience, great food, great service . Matzaluna’s- had to wait an hour!!! even with a call ahead, but still good food and service. Island Cow- After last year’s bad experience I said I would never go here again but it’s what the kiddies wanted, so we went. No change from last year and we ALL agreed this time, we would not go here again. Bad service, below average food and expensive for what you get. Grandma Dots- have not been here in years and wish now that we did! Great food, a little rushed with the service, but they’re busy for a good reason, and they have THE BEST Key Lime pie!!!
I think that’s it! We love Sanibel more every year! It really is a special place. I would consider going again another time during the year but worried about those noseeums! They would hunt me down! And finally, we managed to leave Sanpiper West #2 unscathed! :)