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Trip report - May 17-26

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Springfield, IL
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189 posts
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Trip report - May 17-26

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.

LINCOLNSHIRE ENGLAND
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1. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

I love reading everyones trip reports - I can imagine myself back there. You sound as though you had a great time again. I will also have to wait 2 years for my next visit - my husband and I will be going for our 25th wedding anniversary. On our previous visits we have stayed at Sundial and West Winds which we loved but think next time we will rent a cottage or similar - it sounds so relaxing. Thanks for taking time to share your holiday thoughts.

USA
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2. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

Enjoyed reading your trip report. No place like Sanibel. Thanks for writing.

Bellefonte...
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3. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you had a great time.

What beaches did you find most successful for shelling? We'll be there 2 weeks from today and my children are quite anxious to "treasure hunt." They are actually more excited to go to Sanibel than Disney!

Sanibel Island...
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4. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

Thanks for the trip report. Glad you had a nice time. As for the alphabet cone that is a little faded, you may want to consider placing it in a 50% solution of bleach for a few hours. After it completely dries, you may want to lightly coat it with a mixture of lighter fluid and mineral oil (twice the amount of lighter fluid to the amount of mineral oil). Do not over do it, but the lighter fluid will reduce the thickness (or viscosity) of the mineral oil, which will help the mineral oil to soak into the surface of the porous shell. Over the years this method has enhanced the appearance of many of our shells.

Springfield, IL
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5. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

Thanks MK for your advice on how to revive our alphabet. Will definitely give it a try. I soaked it in a weak bleach solution when we got home and it looks better.

Irish - most of the shells we found came from Blind Pass during low tide or from the beach right by our cottage (West Gulf Drive). We didn't have very good luck at Lighthouse Beach except for the tiny wentletrap I found and a couple bubble shells. A few years ago we took our then 9 year old granddaughter to Siesta Key for the day as a break from Disney. On the way back she asked if the next time we brought her to Florida could we just go to the beach and forget Disney. Those are words to my ears! I'm sure your kids will have a ball on Sanibel.

Bellefonte...
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6. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

Blind Pass Beach.....That definitely sounds like the best place from everyone I have heard from. I am staying in Sanibel Arms West. Is that by the lighthouse and does anyone know what shelling is usually like there????

7. Re: Trip report - May 17-26

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