Well it has been over a week since my return from a long awaited Sanibel "relaxation-vacation". I did some online checking in while I was there about some of things that we were doing & experiencing. However I know this will still be long!
Day 1 - July 2nd: Some of you know that I was worried about flying Spirit from Atlantic City. Check in was fairly smooth for the amount of people they had in line. Made it from car to gate in about 30-40 mins. Cant say that for Philly Int'l. Plane was quite "used" and drinks/snacks had to be purchased on board. (Was actually cheaper than snack/drinks we purchased in the airport). Good flight, arrived on time, quick to unload bags. I am glad that part went fast so we could get to the store and on the island! Made our stop at Publix for the basics. Saved a few odds and ends for Jerry's. We arrived at the small but cozy Surf Rider Beach Resort on East Gulf. Check in was quick and friendly...we were accommodated with the extra pillows we needed, but did not realize until our last day there that they had hair dryers in the office too! Lol. Groceries away, unpacked, suits on...off to see the beach! As soon as I hit the warm sand I felt my tension release, I was finally here again! Not many shells that day. But we picked quite a few minis. Spent some time stooping. Hubby found a live Venus Clam (My avatar pic) that set a great tone for our shelling adventures! Cleaned up for dinner at George and Wendy's. The service was really good and we were seated immediately. Found the food to be just okay. Could have been our selection, but once was enough this time as there were other places we wanted to try during our stay.
Day 2 July 3rd: Home made breakfast, beach, shells, pool, lunch at Island Cow! Short wait to be seated but again great service. Buffalo Shrimp app was YUMMO! I had the pulled pork BBQ platter and it was good as well. My daughter had the seafood gumbo but was a little freaked out when the plate came complete with crawfish! Overall good meal. After that we headed to Blind pass for a look at the Captiva side that we had never seen. It is amazing how all that sand is clogging up the water way! The last time we were there the Shelling God was still pumping the sand & shells out! Pulled out a few nice shell from surf and shell line. And of course the sunset was breathtaking<3 Picked up a pizza from Island Pizza, it was pretty good.
Day 3 - July 4th: I was so excited for the parade (I am a dork like that!) I rushed everyone out of bed and into their festive 4th attire so we could get a good seat before they closed the roads. We snagged a nice spot in front of the Chee Burger area. We met a wonderful local woman who had moved there many years ago with her late husband. The spot was the same spot she and him watched the parade many times. If anyone one knows Becky from the John R. Wood Real Estate office, the nice lady we stood with was her mother. Such a sweet lady, 80+ yrs young!!! Had lots of hugs and nice words for us and the kids. Although it was hot we had a blast seeing all of the floats and water gun fights. Our kids got more candy and treats thrown to them than they gather on Halloween! But their favorites were the little bags of shells and shell necklaces:) After the parade was done we were quite hungry and had a satisfying late breakfast at Over Easy. Nice server, good food. Coffee (decaf) was eh.
Day 4-July 5th: We managed to bike to the Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast. A little bit of a wait, but delicious food. The preserves are quite delicious on toast! Spent the rest of the day between the beach and pool. Dinner at Hungry Heron was the best food we had our entire trip (other than the Buffalo Shrimp at the Cow) I can remember everything we ordered! Hubby had the Hollywood and Vine (Check out the menu), crab dip appetizer,I had the Portabella sandwich (super yum!) and dd had shrimp scampi & scallop linguini. (We went back to the HH for our last dinner on Friday, but made poor menu selection. Surf and turf was no where near as good as our first meal there. Found out it was a newer cook. Will still go back!)
The rest of our time we cooked/grilled at the Surf Rider (will review them in separate post). Spent plenty of time stooping, scooping and sifting. Pulled some nice shells (see photos-will add more soon). We went to the Light house and Blind Pass a few times. Had incredible rainstorm and saw an amazing rainbow at BP after we waited out the storm in our car. Winds were crazy on Thursday! I couldn't believe there were people in the water at BP with those ferocious waves!! After being windblown and rain-soaked I finally got my caramel coffee from the Bean<3
We made it out the first night to try our hand at night shelling (neg tide) but it was scarce. Found quite a few live banded tulips. On Tuesday I had the girls down at the beach as the tide was rolling in and had a small shark swim by (not to freak anyone out, but I was only standing knee deep at the water's edge) So out and to the pool we went! Glad hubby was not there...not a shark fan at all. We were worried that the rain would spoil our last two days, but Friday was way better than expected. Took a short HOT surrey ride to the Periwinkle Campground to see the wildlife and spent a glorious afternoon of exploration on the beach near our resort. Found the most live and quite large creatures rolling in the surf at the shell line. Although we didn't find a big one to take home, we did get the chance to look at and hold the live ones!
It was a wonderful week, all I had hoped for. Even the day and a half of rain didn't ruin our vacation. I cannot wait to be there once again. Next week starts the lottery pool at work and who knows, maybe I will be lucky enough to win so I can buy my own little piece of Paradise:)