Just returned from a 3-night stay in Paradise. We stayed at the motel part of Shalimar. The room was an average motel-type room but the location couldn't be beat. We were on the second floor right at the top of the stairs. We walked out of our room, down the stairs, stepped off the sidewalk onto the beach. They provided beach chairs, which was very convenient. It was h-o-t (uh, I know, it is south Florida in August) but there was little to no breeze on Friday. That resulted in lots of trips up and down the stairs for cooling beverages :- ) The shelling was scarce; I bagged very few this trip. I shelled on West Gulf and also a couple of times at Blind Pass late evenings, never made it to the lighthouse this trip. Hubby fished and had an up close and personal with a couple of manatees when he was waist deep casting. He said they just hung around, so close he could have touched them with the tip of his fishing rod. After about 20 or 30 minutes they drifted off down the coast.. Saturday evening we went on the sunset catamaran sail via Captiva Cruises. They took us through the channel out into the gulf and cut the engines. The first mate hoisted the sail and the magic began. There were about 20 folks on board, music was flowing, wine, beer and soft drinks were available (first one complimentary) and everyone was chillin. The wind felt wonderful, the sunset was nice, the sky was gorgeous, and I couldn't help thinking of how lucky I was to be in that place at that time with the love of my life. Best food this trip was at Traders (again). I guess they have now become my favorite restaurant on Sanibel. We also ate at Grandma Dot's, Matzaluna (first time for us, we liked it), Doc's, and brunch at Over Easy. Every day there was thunder rumbling in the distance, but we never had rain except once during the night/pre-dawn hours. Even though I used my Cactus Juice, the Noseeums loved me this trip; the feeling is definitely not mutual! All around it was a great trip, just way too short. I'd definitely recommend the catamaran cruise to anyone who hasn't tried it before. Hoping to head back when the weather at home is cold and the warm sun is shining on the shores of Sanibel.