This summer we’re having a big anniversary and to celebrate, our sweet children are taking us on a trip to a couple of my favorite places – Sanibel and Captiva.  Only Arch and I’ve been  – we were there for my 50th birthday and I stopped in for less than 24 hours a couple of years ago. The nice thing about these 2 little islands is that things don’t change so much from year to year. Now the traffic does change from season to season – winter being the most popular time of the year with thousands of snowbirds heading south to get warm. Traffic backs up so you just have to have a lot of patience to visit during the winter months.

We much prefer the summer months. Yes, the noseeums might be biting with a vengeance but the water is warm and the number of tourists has declined big time.

Years ago my sister gave me a necklace with a small gold bucket and shovel. The bucket has the word Sanibel carved into the side. I rarely take it off.

I’ve been keeping lots of notes for this upcoming trip. I joined a couple of Sanibel Facebook sites awhile back and any time a beach for shelling, or a good restaurant or a fun place to visit has comments, it goes into my notebook.

Thought it would be fun for our kids to have a similar notebook so I went to Google maps and copy and pasted them into Artisan 5. There I could crop and add words and symbols easily! So much fun to make little circles and arrows quickly and highlight the best beaches to shell, good places to find local seafood, the perfect spot for watching a sunset, and interesting places to see wildlife. We will not be bored! I found a couple of cool blue glass bottles and added some twine and wrote on a chalkboard tag using a chalk pen. It will be fun to see if all of the shells that are found will fit!

Plus we’re taking lots of cards and boardgames for nighttime activities. I’m adding in a shell shovel – I know that I can find them at Bailey’s along with delicious pastries, water toys, tshirts, groceries and magazines!

I’ve got a new Randy Wayne White book and hoping that we’ll get to his restaurant and I can snag an autograph.

We’re renting a pontoon boat for 6-8 hours so we can head up the Pine Island Sound to Cayo Costa. We’ll take a picnic lunch of ham sandwiches and deviled eggs but we’ll be stopping at Cabbage Key for key lime pie on the return trip. Arch and I rented a boat to go there and loved the crab legs. The tradition is to take a dollar bill, sign it, and then stick it up on the wall. A waiter commented that he figured there was at least $40,000 hanging on the walls. We stuck ours underneath the piano so it might still be there! This money is donated to local charities. Hoping that we’ll see dolphins jumping our wake on the trip! But if we don’t, there is a Dolphin Cruise that we can take another day.

We’ll have to walk down to the Bubble Room for lunch one day –the kids will love the funky atmosphere and the food’s not so bad either. I’ve got to go find that photo of Jan and I posing in the Tunnel of Love car when we were down there over 15 years ago with our CM upline and sidelines.  And we can walk to the Mucky Duck for sunset one night – they say it’s good luck if you can catch sight of the green flash. We’ll see who can spot it first!

I want to go to MacIntosh Books to find other books on the area, and who knows, maybe I’ll catch Mr. White hanging out at the library. And, of course, the girls all need to go shop in the first ever Chico’s store.

But most of the time, you’ll find us sitting on the beach, under the umbrella or swimming in the gulf. The kids are going to love swimming in the clear water – that reminds me, need to take along some floats. We might need to take snorkeling masks and flippers because dedicated shellers go out and find shells – not just wait for them to float up on the beach!

Of course we need to teach the kids about the “Sanibel Stoop”. That’s the position that you see most people taking on a walk along the beach. It’s impossible to walk without stooping every few feet to pick up a shell or two. Just have to caution the kids NOT to pick up a live shell. It’s against the law!

OK – can’t wait to create pages to celebrate this very special place. Arch and I are thrilled to be with our children and grandchildren celebrating our golden wedding anniversary!

We’ll be making lots of happy memories and hope you will be too!


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6 Responses to Blog: Islands and Anniversaries

  1. Lisa Moore says:

    Anne this sounds great! I know you will have a great time. I have never been there, but it sounds like a wonderful place. I know you will enjoy sharing it with the family.

  2. Phyllis says:

    Have a wonderful Happy Anniversary! Special blog – thanks for sharing.

  3. Wanda Brown says:

    Sounds like so much fun and Sanibel is on my bucket list!! Enjoy that special time with family.

  4. Liz Propst says:

    Best blog EVER!!! I’m so glad to know that I have a friend who could be a Sanibel travel agent. Haven’t been there since our honeymoon!! Enjoy every moment with your dear family!! But for now, life on the waterway is feeling pretty good I bet!

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