My daughter came back down on Mon and left late AM today. We were always busy but never hectic and it was nice to have the option to do things on a whim and to do some non-kid things. We went out to eat in restaurants where we wouldn't go with the kids. When she arrived mid-afternoon Mon we hit the beach for a bit. Had an early dinner at Timbers (smoked salmon & local shrimp for apps; snapper & tuna for entrees). All good. Back home just after sunset but still light enough for a walk on the beach.
Tues-- shopping in AM and early PM, both for us and kids. Gotta love Friday's Child. Lunch & hightail it out to McCarthy's Marina to meet Brian Holaway for a shelling trip from 4-8 pm. It was a lovely time of day. We went to N Captiva & Cayo Costa. Brian is great-knowledgeable and helpful but not in your face (if I'm making any sense). Fortunately it was dark, because we changed into warmer clothes in the car before heading to dinner at Doc Ford's. I know, we weren't at our normal high standard of elegance but I told my daughter if I got all the way back home and showered, I'd be climbing into my pj's not going out to dinner and I wouldn't be preparing dinner either. So Doc Ford's it was, in our post-shelling finest. I'm sure we're not the first. We were chilly, so dinner consisted of: clam chowder, conch chowder, taco con pollo salad, panko fried shrimp (minus the panko of which they had run out), and that yummy brownie with ice cream for dessert.
Wed--We started out for a bike ride and didn't even make it to Bailey's when Jen had a flat tire. Unfortunately this was her own bike, not a rental and she didn't have a spare. So I rode back to the condo, got the car and picked up her and her bike. This may have been the day we went to the shell museum gift shop and bought a shell book and puzzle. We've been to the museum with the kids before, but it was a couple of years ago so maybe when they come back down in a week. We also had to search numerous stores for the correct sizes of the Sanibel Triathalon t-shirt. Had lunch at the Sanibel Deli (I think) on Palm Ridge. Jen had a chicken salad sandwich; I had a veggie wrap minus the wrap (I don't like wraps so I had it as a sandwich). Next time I would ask to have the bread toasted, otherwise it was fine. The coffee was good, too. Another place for decent coffee is Dolce Tesoro in Tahitian Gardens. There must have been some beach time in here somewhere. For dinner we went to Il Tesoro. Jen had carpaccio, a Caesar salad, pasta duo which was gnocchi with two (three, I forget) cheese sauce and spinach ravioli with a tomato sauce, and an apple tart. I had pears (either roasted or poached) and wrapped in prosciutto and served on some greens, an arugula salad, and braised short ribs with gnocchi and a leek sauce. The food was great. The music (not live) was a little odd. It would switch from one genre to another. Keeping us guessing.
Thurs--got up to Blind Pass relatively early to get a parking spot. Walked and shelled down to Clam Bayou and then back over to Turner's Beach. Spent all AM there. On drive back condo, stopped at Tarpon Bay Explorers to see what we might do with the kids. Some errands and thought we might just stop in Lily's Jewelry Store. We had never been in there before. One could do some major damage. Dinner tonight was at the Mad Hatter. Jen had goat cheese in phyllo pillows, a salad (I don't remember what), grouper (I should have taken photos to remind me), and cheesecake. I had foie gras, octopus & beet salad, scallops in a light panko type crust, mashed potatoes, & asparagus, ménage a trois (creme brûlée, dense chocolate with chocolate whipped cream, & vanilla ice cream with red wine reduction sauce).
Fri--beach time in the AM. We even got out some beach chairs and just sat still and read. Back inside to grab a sandwich, back up our stuff and head out to McCarthy's Marina again. This time for Captiva Cruises Shelling Cruise to Cayo Costa. 1-3 PM, I think. I think the boat can hold 48 passengers, but we were only 18 so not at all crowded. We didn't find much in terms of shells, but it was a lovely, sort of deserted island kind of trip. In fact, most of the passengers brought chairs and established themselves on the beach where the boat had anchored. We walked up the west side. Just so peaceful. And for our last supper we went to Sweet Melissa's. At the advice of our waiter, Eric, we shared a grilled Caesar salad. Good thing-- it is really big. Jen had the yellowtail tuna as an app; I had the pork belly. The pork belly is entree portion, in my opinion. Entrees come in small and large sizes. We both chose the small size plate pompano, which was served with fingerling potatoes, oysters and a cream-based sauce. For dessert Jen had a banana pecan something and I had a cheese plate.
Sat--finished the puzzle. Last of beach time before Jen took Sanibel Taxi to the airport. I packed up more shells to take to Pak-N-Ship. Went to Sanibel Day Spa to get my hair cut. Was getting way too shaggy. Now back to my quiet routine until Fri when it's anything but and they all return. And then all too soon we go home. And read the forum and visit Sanibel vicariously.