It felt so good to be back on Sanibel. Our last trip was 3 years ago so we were really anxious to enjoy some R&R (and of course shelling)! We stayed a Beachview Cottages which is where we stayed last time. Just like our last trip, the folks at Beachview were very friendly, from LIsa at the front desk all the way to the housekeepers and maintenance guys. The cottages were all freshly painted outside in the vibrant colors they're knows for. Our Maltese, Jasmine, joined us for this trip. Beachview is very pet friendly.
We mostly ate breakfast and lunch at our cottage then would go out for dinner. Some of the places we ate were Doc Ford's, Island Cow, Sanibel Cafe, George and Wendy's Corner Grill (our favorite!), Lazy Flamingo (another fave), Over Easy Cafe, Sanibel Bean, and Cheeburger-Cheeburger. We thought every place had good food, some better than others.
This trip was more laid back than the last one (when we did Key West Express and a Captiva Cruise). This time we did go to Ding Darling one morning and took the tram tour. Mari was our guide and she knows her stuff. She even found two alligators for us to observe! One day we took a trip to Matlacha (Pine Island) for a few hours. It reminded us of a small scale Key West with several colorful shops. Island Visions was our favorite shop. We ate a late lunch at Bert's Bar and Grill - great fried shrimp and homemade chips. But the best part of our trip was checking out the Sanibel beaches, shelling and relaxing. The water was beautiful, warm and some days pretty rough but the shelling was good, at least these midwesterners thought so. We found the usual fighting conchs, tulips, whelks, jingles, turbans, augers and olives. This trip we were lucky enough to also find paper figs, a nutmeg, bubble shells, sea urchins and hubby found a couple moon shells (moon snails??) up high on the beach in older shell piles. At Lighthouse Beach we didn't have very good luck finding much but I did find a very tiny (about the size of a grain of rice) wentletrap. I was so surprised when I spotted it. Then hubby, on our last day, went out to shell one last time and here came a 2 1/2 inch alphabet shell rolling along in the surf. It's a little faded but otherwise perfect. We also saw lots of live shells this trip at Blind Pass - starfish, lightning whelks, olives and fighting conchs.
Noseeums were bothersome for us, even though we used Cactus Juice.
Shopping was done at the usual souvenir places (Winds and Mango Bay for the grandkids). We also shopped at Cedar Chest (I got a Sanibel charm for my Pandora bracelet), Wilford and Lee, Sanybel's Finest and Island Paws (Mz. Jaz needed new bling - AKA collar and leash). We brought a few provisions from home but we used Jerry's and Bailey's for our perishable supplies.
I'm sure I've forgotten something, but basically we had a great time on the island. Our next trip won't be for two years (30th anniversary!!) but it'll be here before we know it. At least we have all the great folks here on TA writing trip reports and giving good advice to keep us filled in so we don't miss being on Sanibel too much.