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Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

San Diego...
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Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

After dithering for a week I finalized my little getaway and boy did I make the right choice! Not only did I have great weather every day, but I totally missed the blizzard back home. I managed to miss the flight problems too. And the neighbor plowed our driveway!

I flew down on Monday night and picked up my rental car (flight was about an hour late) and drove to the Hilton Garden Inn by the airport (separate review pending). I was able to use HHonors point stretcher so it only cost 18,000 points. Plus as a gold member I got a king suite and complimentary breakfast. It was a nice hotel and worked out great.

Tuesday I drove over to Sanibel and went straight to the Holiday Inn (also review pending). It was early afternoon and I lounged by the pool while I waited for a second floor room. After I got in the room it got a little cloudy so I went over to Bailey's and picked up a snack lunch. I do admit that I spent some time looking at the orange crunch cake but finally decided it was far more than I could handle alone!

Then back to the hotel and ate my lunch in one of the cabana chairs after being literally attacked by seagulls when I tried to eat it on the beach. Spent some time lounging then when it got near low tide I did my first shelling walk. I was very lucky that the low tides were about 7 am and 6 pm or thereabouts so I didn't have to buy a lamp (I'm really just an amateur). That night I took myself to Cheeburger Cheeburger just before it closed and had a nice cheeseburger and malt while I read. I had been to the one in Naples and learned that it is now closed. I had also been to the restaurant where Cheeburger is now so it was all quite familiar.

Wednesday I got out at 8 and shelled some more, then had breakfast in the room. Back out to the beach; basically I spent most of the day on the beach doing just about nothing which was my goal. Shelling again before dusk. I went over to Jerry's, bought a few souvenirs, said hello to the parrots, and got a TV dinner since I was really tired. (I went down to Florida with a cold and came back with it - didn't cough at all on the beach thanks to that nice damp salt air!)

Thursday I got up at 8 and drove out to Blind Pass, remembering it as a good shelling spot. I didn't know that the Sanibel side beach was almost gone although I should have suspected when there were no other cars in that lot. So I just walked over the bridge and shelled on the Captiva side which was fine. Then I drove back to the Sanibel Cafe for breakfast (coconut french toast) and admired the tables. Last winter I made a shadow box like those tables so I felt quite artistic. I did a little window shopping then went to She Sells Sea Shells for a couple more souvenirs and got some post card stamps at the post office. Then back to the beach and pool for more nice relaxation and of course shelling. I ate the Sunset Special dinner at Courtney's at the Holiday Inn - lots of people getting in before the 6:30 deadline for that. I had a nice Chicken Francese for $12.95 with bread, salad, pasta, and broccoli - good food and service so I was quite happy. After dinner I went back to Jerry's and picked up a huge slice of Lemon Merinque pie. My husband was in New York for the week and we compared dinner prices. I won! (His Lindy's cheesecake was $8; my pie was $3.59.)

I got a late checkout for Friday so was able to keep the room until 12:30. With a slightly later low tide I was able to walk a sand bar for an hour. Then I spent the rest of my time just relaxing on the beach, watching the waves and listening to the seagulls and painting a mental picture to last the rest of the winter. After checking out I drove to the Lighthouse Cafe for lunch, did a little window shopping, and went over to Lighthouse Beach for another stroll. By mid-afternoon I was getting tired so just headed back to the airport where I spent a few hours reading and eating until my flight. Then back home to a happy cat.

I wasn't sure how I would feel on my own but it worked out OK; I didn't really like eating dinner alone but otherwise was fine. I talked to lots of nice people wherever I went and the hotel staff were friendly. I wanted to just relax and that's what I did - I did feel a little guilty without my husband. But without him I didn't have to bike, didn't have to kayak, didn't have to pack up and go to a different beach every day....just walk out to the beach and lay down! I didn't find any really exciting shells but had a good time searching and got lots of pretty little ones - I'll post a list when I have a chance to look them up. Before I left I promised myself not to bring home more of the same ones I already had but apparently I lied to myself!

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Brandon, Florida
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1. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

You "painted" a wonderful picture of what a relaxing holiday should be.

Keep warm up there.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

Really enjoyed your trip report. Sounded like all went well...easy "go with the flow" type getaway.

You truly did "luck out" with the timing. Quite a contrast to cold, snowy Illinois!!

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Hell, Michigan
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3. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

Great, i'm so glad it all worked out. I think Sanibel is the best place for some alone time.

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Sanibel
Sanibel
Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island...
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4. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

Thanks for the nice report. Glad you had a good time.

Saint Paul...
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5. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

Your trip sounds like it was just what the doctor ordered...for both your cold and the opportunity to miss another midwest snowstorm! Glad you decided to go and share your report with us. Thanks!

sanibel island
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6. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

You should enter your trip report to Webster's Dictionary as the perfect definition for "R&R". Sounds like a winner to me!

7. Re: Solo Trip Report Jan. 31 -Feb. 4, 2011

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