Monday, June 23, 2014

Sanibel Trip 2014

This year's trip to Sanibel Island was low key and relaxing.  We had 5 glorious days of warm and mostly sunny weather, with a few afternoon showers thrown in here and there.  It was usually just enough rain to cool things off and we were quickly back on the beach in hot pursuit of shells.

As always, I had my copy of the Sanibel Captiva Handbook along.  This book is indispensable.  When I want to know something about one of the restaurants, I can quickly look it up.  When I couldn't remember the name of a souvenir shop we wanted to visit, I whipped out the Sanibel maps and quickly located it, complete with name and phone number.  This book is so handy.  If you missed my review on this years edition, go back and read it here.  Better yet, buy a copy for yourself.  It's also available for instant download on Amazon too.

One of our favorite restaurants on Sanibel is the Fish House.  I had a lobster roll that was excellent - stuffed full of flavorful, sweet lobster.  Chablis likes their seafood pasta.  But the real reason I go there is to get a slice of their key lime stuffed cheesecake.  It is out-of-this-world delicious.  I must confess, we took some back to our hotel on 2 different nights.  I can't stop eating it!

 Evenings this year were overcast, so we never really got a colorful sunset.  One night the tide was pretty low and we had a lot of beach area to wander.  We still enjoyed the birds flitting about and we were treated to some golden tones on the horizon.

This year we tried a new restaurant for us - The Green Flash out on Captiva.  We will definitely be going back.  It was a little more upscale than the restaurants we generally eat at, but the location has a killer view and we had a window table.  Our waiter was one of the finest we have ever had - very attentive and pleasant.  Our meals were top notch and beautifully presented.  I had the stuffed grouper and it was fantastic.  I think it was the best meal I had the entire trip.

After dinner we parked at the last public lot on Captiva and went for a long sunset walk on the beach.  We had some gentle rolling waves that evening and we found many nutmegs and olives.  I found this one shell half buried in the sand and liked the way the light was hitting it....

Again we had a cloudy sunset, but we returned with pockets full of shells, so we were happy.  We stopped at The Bubble Room and took a slice of Orange Crunch Cake back to the hotel for a little late night snacking...

We enjoyed the beach on Captiva so much the night before that we decided to return the next day and we walked all the way down to Red Fish Pass. 

It was a long walk and we made several stops to swim in the water, have a snack or just rest.  Once we reached the pass we had the beach area to ourselves.  I was disappointed in the lack of shells out there however.  After about half an hour a man and his 2 pre-teen boys climbed over the rocks and were strolling the beach near us.  The 2 boys felt it was necessary to keep picking up handfuls of sand and whipping them at each other while they ran around screaming.  The father kept drinking his beer and did a great job of totally ignoring them.  Really, have some control over your brats.  I was disgusted at the behavior of all of them, so we gathered up our things and headed back down the beach to our car.  Honestly, that was the worst behavior I've ever encountered on Sanibel.  Usually the people there have more class.

That evening we had another quick storm, but we saw a nice rainbow.  I always think that's good luck, don't you?

We walked around lighthouse beach and picked up a ton of tiny bubble shells.  We practically had the beach to ourselves.

I never get tired of looking at the lighthouse....

Our last morning found us with overcast skies again.  We had a quick breakfast at The Lighthouse CafĂ© where I like their pancakes and real linked sausages.  As we entered the sad lane to head for the airport, we stopped for our traditional last walk on the causeway, where we each pick up a shell to put in our pockets for the trip home....

As we were pulling out of the parking lot I glanced at my watch and realized we had about half an hour to kill.  I remembered that there was a geocache hidden on the beach on the opposite side of the causeway.  I floored it drove over there and we got out to take a look.  The geocache is called MacGyver This One and it's a good one.  Due to the nature of the cache I can't even show you any pictures of it, but I will tell you this.....   I knew it was going to be difficult, but I wanted to look at it and see what type of a special tool we'd need so I could bring it back with me the next time.  After searching for a little bit Chablis found the cache and after a minute of studying I ran back to the car for a needed item. After kicking off my flip flops and making several mad dashes, we determined that we needed to try something else. Again, Chablis did a great job of thinking like MacGyver and tried a different tactic. Success! With minutes to spare, we made the airport in time for our flight. This cache was well worth almost missing our flight and I gave it a hearty FAV point.  It was the perfect ending to our Sanibel get away. 

Even though we didn't net very many great shells this year, we still cherished our special trip.  We got to spend an afternoon on the water with Captain Brian and I finally got my horse conch.  Plus we got to kick back with The Shell King and his Queen and made 2 new friends in the process.  And we had all kinds of great food and found a new restaurant to add to our list of favorites.  You just can't beat all that, can you?


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip!! I am surprised also of the lack of shells on Captiva! I have never shelled there but assumed that it would be abundant!! So sorry you had to deal with the brats on our beautiful paradise, that has happened to us a lot also sad! We are seeing it more and more everywhere!! Thanks so much for sharing your visit to paradise with us!! xo

  2. It really does sound perfect. You pack a LOT into just a few days! Amazing skies and beach photos and the two of you look like you fit right in on the beach! Don't you wish we could be beach bums! heehee! Enjoy your week. Sweet hugs, Diane

  3. Beautiful pictures. Looks and sounds like you guys had a great time!!

  4. Oh beautiful. We never can find good shells here on Pacific coast. Too rough. I'm not sure. Too cold probably. What a beautiful place.

    1. Elaine, it's beautiful there. And more shells laying on the beach than you can imagine, just not the GOOD shells that I want. LOL.

  5. Nice sunset pics. They look great despite the cloudy sky. Glad you had a good trip!

    1. I was so disappointed in the lack of colorful sunsets that I didn't spend enough time focusing on photographing what I should have been more grateful to see. :-)

  6. Sounds like you had fun- you guys seem to travel a lot.

    1. I love to travel and wish I was able to afford to do it more. We are great for day trips and I'm always looking for new places within a 90 mile radius of wherever we may be. My dream job would have been to be a travel writer.

  7. Hi Kim,

    I just got back from a week on Sanibel. My brother and I and his 5 year old daughter went. There were no shells on the beach. It was hard pressed to even find a calico scallop or cockle and you can usually pick them up by the hundreds if you want. Weather wasn't bad the first few days. The last couple we had a late evening storm with high winds so I thought the shelling would be better. But no. It was really disappointing. We found better, albeit bleached out, mini shells in the parking lot and walk way shell gravel. It was funny. We ate at fish house and I wasn't impressed with my shrimp dinner. Kenny got the seafood pasta too and it was good. We went to Traders one night and got their lobster and seafood pasta and it was to die for. Chablis will need to try it. Then we did the same as you and ate at Green Flash and went to Captivas beach for the sunset. Kenny had the surf and turf and it was good. They had a whole lobster special for $25 that I wish I had gotten. Instead I asked about a tropical tilapia salad and the waitress described it as having the grilled fish and fruit and mango salsa so I ordered that instead. The fruit consisted of canned mandarin slices. Then my fish was not done. It was so gross. They asked me if I cared for anything else but I was so grossed out I just ordered the chocolate cake for Kenna and I to share. It was to die for as well. I mean really good. They comped my meal and cake which I thought was classy. Then we walked it off at the beach. We went to the Sandbar on west gulf one night. We had the raw oysters and they were plump and fresh. I ordered the shrimp scampi. It was very good. Kenny got baby back ribs. They were not good. We usually eat at the bubble room each trip but this time we passed. Wish I had stopped for the cake like you guys did. I am so jealous that you got to hang out with the king and queen!!! I love his blog. Love it. He and she seem like they are so cool. I'd love to meet them. I am also jealous that you got to go out with Capt Brian! I thought about it but there were so few shells out and hadn't been for weeks from what my friend said who had been there for two weeks just before us that I decided not to spend the money. I went out with Louise from water woman tours a couple of years ago. We were gone for about 4 hours including a stop at n captiva for lunch. She only charged me $200. But I gave her three since we were gone so long. Is that about what Brian charges? The horse conch is my dream shell too. Don't have one yet. I am going back in Oct so maybe then. Have I told you this already? No memory...
    Loved hearing about your trip. Happy for you and Chablis. Talk more soon.


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