Saturday, June 27, 2015

Computer Crash

I'm taking a short break.   My laptop crashed and I'm trying to get my new laptop up and running.  I'm feeling rather frazzled.  Be back soon.  I hope.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Giveaway winner- Rigoni di Asiago's Giftpack

We have a winner for the  Rigoni di Asiago's Gift Pack!

Let's hear it for.........

Tania from The Little Vintage Cottage Blog.  Congrats Tania - I'll shoot you off an email and I need your address so they can ship your gift pack out to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

And a big thanks to Rigoni di Asiago for their generous gift pack give away.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sanibel Island 2015 - Day 5

For Day 5 of our trip we had booked a 4 hour cruise with Sight-See-R Cruises to go to Big Hickory Island.  We usually do a cruise with my buddy Capt. Brian, but since money was tight this year we had to go with a more affordable option.   Unfortunately, it was a bad decision.

We booked the cruise ahead of time off of the internet so I never actually spoke to anyone at the cruise line. When we got to the marina there was a jumble of colorful buildings, signs and decorations.  We wandered around a bit but couldn't see where to go to pick up our tickets.

We walked into the gift store and asked the woman behind the counter where we were supposed to go.  Now mind you, this was at 9:15 am and there were no other people in the shop.  The woman was clearly annoyed that we asked such a stupid question and as she flung her finger over her shoulder she said to go to the building down the walkway.   All righty then.....

I had to take a shot of the old fashioned cigarette machine for my husband- who sees these anymore ?  Very cool and nostalgic.

 We went down the walkway and ended up in a boat yard - clearly not where we were supposed to be.  Finally, after 10 minutes of wandering around, we ended up in the right place...

Once we had our tickets in hand we went back to the gift shop because Chablis saw a travel sticker she wanted to buy.   While she was being waited on 2 other groups of people came in and annoyed the sales girl by asking where the check in office was.  I felt a lot better seeing that I wasn't the only idiot on this cruise..

The boat was a nice size with a covered shady area if you so desired....

It took almost an hour to get to Big Hickory by the channel behind Ft. Myers Beach.  It was a pleasant enough ride and the Captain occasionally pointed out a building of interest, a couple of birds and something in the water that might have been a manatee.  I think we saw 2 dolphins also.

My favorite part of the boat ride was the sound track playing on the speakers - all 60's and 70's music - my favorite kind!

As we climbed off the boat at Big Hickory we were told that there are sometimes nude bathers on the beach there.  We were instructed to stay away from the resort to our right and watch for nudists to the left.  We crossed over to the gulf side and I immediately saw a nude man strolling down the beach to our left.  Let's just say he wasn't young and he wasn't in excellent shape.  Ugh.  We turned to the right and walked the beach as far as the resort, picking up a few shells here and there.  Once the nude guy climbed into his pontoon boat we headed back to the left and walked all the way down to the end.   It was actually a beautiful day and the water was gorgeous.

On our way back to the boat we finally noticed this sign and just after that Chablis saw another naked guy sitting under a tree.  I am SO happy I didn't see that because once you see that, you cannot un-see that.  Let me just say that I have nothing against people who choose to exercise their freedom of choice, but I wish we had been forewarned about that before we booked the cruise.  There were 2 families with young girls on the boat as well and I wondered how the parents felt about that, altho I didn't ask.  So be forewarned if you decide to go to Big Hickory Island.

On the cruise back to port we did have some excitement when we had to rescue a woman on a boogie board who was floating in the channel and the incoming tide's current swept her away from the resort and back towards the river.  She was clearly in distress and our Captain zoomed over to her rescue.  He handled it very professionally, shouting for people to grab ladders and directing everyone on what to do.   I felt so sorry for her because she was very upset and scared.  

We returned her to the resort dock, the Coast Guard was called and we continued on our way.

As we were pulling into the dock the Captain got on the loud speaker and announced that he and the first mate appreciated tips and then he stood at the gate where we left the boat and held a tip bucket.  I'm sorry but I just think that was tacky.  It rubs me the wrong way when people solicit tips.  Maybe it was an off day because I've heard other people rave about them, but I just wasn't very impressed and I doubt I'd use this cruise line again.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on our beach and we just did take out from the Sanibel Grill for dinner.  I had the spring rolls....

And Chablis had crunchy shrimp.  The shrimp were really good!

Then we headed back out to the beach for our final sunset.  It was the nicest sunset of our trip...

Don't forget about my amazing Rigoni de Asiago's Nocciolata Giveaway!   You have to go back to the original post to leave a comment in order to enter.  Entries are open until noon today, so go HERE to leave a comment to enter.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there.  And a special shout out to my Dad, who is just everything a dad should be.  You are the best!!!

Don't forget about my amazing Rigoni de Asiago's Nocciolata Giveaway!   You have to go back to the original post to leave a comment in order to enter.  Entries are open until next Monday, so go HERE to leave a comment to enter.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sanibel Island 2015 - Day 4

On Day 4 we got up early and drove down to Blind Pass for a few hours.  We parked on the Sanibel side and walked down the beach quite a way.   The shelling wasn't that spectacular  but Chablis did find a Junonia piece and she was quite excited about that.

Afterwards we headed down to Pinocchio's for some ice cream and then ended up at Lighthouse beach.  The tide was high and we walked around in the water for awhile, but the shelling was poor.

After that we headed back to the hotel and cleaned up before driving to The Fish House to meet our friends Tobias and Becky for dinner.  Tobias is the writer over at The Shell King Blog, and if you're not familiar with his blog, you need to go check it out.  We spent over 2 hours eating and chatting and I'm so mad that I forgot to get a picture with them before we left.  They are 2 of the nicest people I've ever met and it's always fun to get together with them when we're on the island.

Chablis and I decided to stop at Gulfside Park before sunset.  It was a perfect night to walk on the beach.

This was my favorite photo that I took on our entire trip.....

There were tons of olives out making designs in the sand....

Chablis found a couple of small goodies in the surf....

I just walked on the beach and enjoyed the solitude....

It was the perfect ending to a lovely day.

Don't forget about my amazing Rigoni de Asiago's Nocciolata Giveaway!   You have to go back to the original post to leave a comment in order to enter.  Entries are open until next Monday, so go HERE to leave a comment to enter.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sanibel Island 2015 - Day 3

We decided Tuesday was going to be Beach Access Day and used the hotel supplied bikes to ride down to the Beach Access points along West Gulf.  I love these access points because you can't park at them unless you have an island parking permit or you bike or walk to them.  Therefore, they are generally less populated.   We rode down to the farthest one and parked our bikes, walked the beach for awhile and then rode to the next access point, slowly working our way back to the hotel.

The entrance to each beach is usually a covered canopy of foliage and is so pretty to walk through...

There was also some geocaching involved on the bike ride as there are several caches placed along the path.  Lots of fun for me and Chablis tolerated my stops quite well....

Afterwards we spread our morning finds on a towel and checked them out.  The sharks teeth were from the day before in Englewood.  You can read that post here.

Unfortunately we didn't find a ton of good shells, but we did pick up a few things that we liked...

Including a couple of pieces of sea glass which I rarely find on Sanibel....

After our long bike ride we decided to have dinner on Captiva at The Green Flash.  It's one of my favorite restaurants.  I had stuffed grouper with a baked potato au gratin that is out of this world cheesy goodness....

 And Chablis had stuffed shrimp...

 This was the view from our table.  We kept watching the clouds rolling in, praying the storm would hold off because we wanted to watch the sunset from the Captiva beach.

 I get such a kick out of the bathroom here - check out the model standing in the corner.   LOL!

 We finished dinner and headed over to the public access beach where we paid for parking and then headed out towards Red Fish Pass.  The dark clouds kept rolling in and we kept on eye on them as we scampered around in the waves, snatching up shells.   We were finding some good stuff when the skies opened up and we quickly got drenched in the down pour.  We had to run a mile back down the beach through the pouring rain to get to our car and then drive back to Sanibel all soaking wet.  The skies cleared up just as we reached our hotel - doesn't that look pretty?

This is so not pretty - I was a drowned mess.  But it was a fun evening anyway.

We had stopped at The Bubble Room before hitting the beach and picked up a piece of their Orange Crunch Cake for a late night dessert.  How good does this look???

Don't forget about my amazing Rigoni de Asiago's Nocciolata Giveaway!   You have to go back to the original post to leave a comment in order to enter.  Entries are open until next Monday, so go HERE to leave a comment to enter.
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