Seashells by the seashore

For someone who is not a “collector” I have a lot of seashells. I came across a bag of shells yesterday from my trip to Sanibel Island last June.They were still in the grocery bag that I packed them in. I have a collection of shells at my office which I have separated in piles by where they came from. So there is a pile of shells from the Atlantic, the Gulf, the Pacific.

Sanibel is supposed to be this fabulous place for shelling but I only found pretty ordinary ho hum shells. Top row – Sanibel. The bottom row are shells from Siesta Key, FL from a few years ago.

 

I have shells in a jar and surrounding a candle in a dish.

 

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I think that I have so many shells because I love how they are all so different and unique depending on the water current and age of the shell.

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Saying goodbye to Sanibel and my week’s vacation

I will be leaving Sanibel Island and the Sunshine Island Inn Sunday. I wanted to reflect on a few things that I have enjoyed about this vacation.

Not necessarily in this order:

1. Solitude – do what I want, when I want. No one else to confer with to decide what to do or where to go.

2. The sun – although I have read that the Portland area has had several sunny days it is not yet truly summer.

3. The beach – even with the stingrays the other day. I love to sit on the beach and listen to the waves and watch people.

4. The pool – most days when I spent time at the pool I had it pretty much to myself.

5. Reading – I am on my 5th book since I got on the plane last Saturday night.

6. Not being at work – OK, I did check my work email everyday but didn’t necessarily respond to all of it. The only emails that I replied to were the ones that I could with only one or two sentences.

7. The Sunshine Island Inn – I would stay here again. It is very comfortable and Jean, the manager is a wonderful person. She only works Monday, Wednesday and Friday but was always accommodating to anything I needed. Which to tell the truth wasn’t much. If I come back to Sanibel I have found another small inn in Old Town that I would consider staying at as well.

Now to what I didn’t like about this vacation:

1. The red eye flight to get here last Saturday night. After the last redeye to get to Isla in April I said that I would never take a night flight again. The redeye was about the only way I could get to Ft. Myers without either multiple layovers or spending a night somewhere.

2. The stingrays in the Gulf of Mexico the other day that freaked me out. Thank goodness I didn’t see them my first day in the water or I would not have gone back in.

3. The afternoon thunder, lightning, rain and wind storms. Some of them were downright scary

4. Having to check out of my room by 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. But that is OK since my friend Jane will driving over from Ft. Myers and we will go out to breakfast. My choice for breakfast is the Lighthouse Café. I have wanted to eat there but had enough groceries or leftovers that I never went out to breakfast this week at all. I hopefully will walk around a bit in Old Town Sanibel and take some photos. Then I will spend the day at Jane’s apartment pool until she takes me to the airport.

5. There is only one taxi service on this small island. The minimum rate is $10.00 even if you only want to go 2 miles. I kept telling myself it was cheaper than if I had rented a car. Tonight I took a taxi to dinner at a restaurant 3.8 miles away. When I was ready to leave I asked the manager to call me a taxi and I would be waiting downstairs. He came down after a few minutes and told me that the taxi service said it would be quite awhile before someone could pick me up because all of the taxis were tied up at the airport. You would think that they could have told me there would be an issue when I called 1 ½ hours earlier to get picked up to go to The Timbers. A couple of minutes later the manager told me to come with him. He had a young lady who could drive me home as soon as she finished what she was doing. Apparently she has done this before. I told her not to argue with me about giving her the money I would have given the taxi driver. Not only was my dinner excellent but you can’t beat that kind of customer service that I received. The restaurant was The Timbers.

Here are a few more photos of the property at the Sunshine Island Inn.



Oodles of noodles in a bucket. I thought the noodles with my float in the background made for a colorful photo.

I know the blogger manual says “No one cares what you had for lunch” but…

Since I have been on vacation on Sanibel Island now for 6 days I have eaten only one real meal out.
Sunday night after an all night flight I just had a salad from the grocery store salad bar.
Monday dinner was a pizza delivered
Tuesday because there was a horrible storm I ate leftover pizza in my room
Wednesday – The Bubble Room on Captiva for a great grouper dinner with the leftovers for lunch on Thursday.
Thursday – due to the big storm I stayed in and just ate a turkey and cheese sandwich
So Friday I decided to splurge. I ate dinner at the Jacaranda. I had 2 dirty martinis, an appetizer of blackened prime rib with a crushed pecan barbeque sauce (a bit spicy and FABULOUS!), the best Caesar salad that I have had in years and a grilled grouper entrée with grilled veggies, a baked potato and a glass of chardonnay. I have half of the prime rib and half of the grouper, potato and veggies for leftovers. I probably spent more for this dinner than I have since the last time I splurged on a really expensive dinner in Las Vegas. Sorry but I won’t reveal how much I spent. But since I have not been eating every meal out it will average out OK. Also taking a taxi to dinner instead of renting a car has been worth the price since I would be paying $40 – $ 50 for a daily car rental but only $20 roundtrip for the taxi.
If you ever go to Sanibel Island the Jacaranda is a must dinner place.

Sanibel Island 50’s Retro Cottages

What a long night and day getting to Sanibel Island, FL from my home in Portland, OR. Late afternoon brought heavy rain and thunder and lightening.
The cottages where I am staying are really very nice the room is pretty good size however the bathroom is tiny. There is a small kitchen. I just had to take this photo because this is just too cute.
Two burners, sink and behind the door is the fridge. Very 50’s retro looking.

Whoo hoo! I am off to Sanibel Island for a week of vacation!

I am packed and ready to go explore a new beach vacation spot. I leave tonight on a redeye flight to Fort Myers. I have never been to Sanibel Island before. A few years ago I was going to go to Sanibel but a hurricane hit and made it impossible. Instead we went to Siesta Key. I have a bunch of books to read and other than walking the beach looking for shells this will be a totally go with the flow vacation. Actually most of my vacations are that way since for the most part they are usually beach vacations in Mexico or Hawaii.

A friend that I met almost seven years ago on Isla Mujeres, MX lives 8 miles away from Sanibel and she will be picking me up one night to go to dinner. I have only seen Jane when we have been on Isla at the same time. I asked if it wasn’t too touristy could we go to The Bubble Room on Captiva Island? She said sure, that they have interesting scenery there.

The cottages where I will be staying have wifi so I will write some blog posts and upload photos while I am there.
I can’t wait to see the sun. The last week or so has been the Portland Rose Festival. It is the biggest city celebration of the year. There is a carnival, a couple of parades, a queen’s coronation, US and Canadian Navy and Coast Guard ships in town and much more. The local joke is “that don’t worry as soon as Rose Festival is over the sun will come out again.” It has only been in the mid to high 50s and today snow fall was predicted at 4,000 feet.

Summer vacation is planned – Sanibel Island, FL

Next month I will be going to Sanibel Island, FL for a week of vacation. I did a lot of research to find just the right place for me to stay. I do not want to hassle with renting a car. Once I narrowed it down to about 5 accommodations I called them and asked these questions.
1. How far to restaurants?
2. Is there a grocery type store nearby?
3. How far is the beach (if the place wasn’t on the beach)

The last place I called Island Sunshine Inn I got their answering machine. Not a minute later my phone rang with the caller id showing the inn I had just called. It was Jean the inn’s manager apologizing for missing my call. Wow! Now that really impressed me. So we talked for about 10 minutes about the inn, nearby restaurants, stores and did I really need a car. She told me that many of their guests are single women who do just as I plan to and have a great time.

And what exactly do I plan on doing you ask?

Read by the pool, go shelling, eat some good local seafood, walk on the beach and just relax.

I am looking forward to seeing this

After I return from this trip I will post with photos and observations.