Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Island Living

Almost a year and a painful kidney stone attack later (lucky me), The Colonel, Darling-Sister-In-Law (DSIL) and I finally did a little island living in early May.

The Colonel and I had been wanting to stay in a beach side or bay side cottage at Castaways on Sanibel Island ever since we saw them. We told DSIL about them and she said she would love to tag along to see what they were like, so that she could possibly add them to her list of things to do when she had visitors.

About a year ago I called and made a reservation for a beach side cottage and a couple of days before we were to go I had a terrible kidney stone attack. Thank God we were able to have our reservation put on a certificate that had to be used within a year. Come rain or shine, we were going to finally cash in our certificate. We had been watching the weather reports and there were clear skies reported everywhere except Sanibel Island (of course).

The Colonel and I picked up DSIL and made our way to Sanibel. Our beach cottage was located at the northern tip of the island, just before you crossed a little bridge over to Captiva Island.

Check-in wasn't until 3:00 p.m. and we had some time to fill (by design), so we had a delicious lunch at Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille. The Colonel and I had our favorite, Yucatan Shrimp. After lunch we visited J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge (see the green area on the map above).

It was a windy day and a bit overcast at times, so we did not see too much wildlife about. We did see a Night Heron.

We also saw a bathing Osprey (too far away to get a good pic), a Rosetta Spoonbill (in flight), a Russet Egret (again, too far away for a good pic) and a brave lizard on a palm tree.

There was a very nice observation tower we climbed up. It was windy up there.

We walked along a boarded path that surrounded an Indian mound. The fallen, golden leaves on the path made us think of Indiana in the fall.

We still had a bit of time to fill before check-in, so we drove around Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The houses and tropical vegetation were gorgeous! We were going to love Island living, even if it was just overnight.

It turned out we were able to check in about an hour early. We would be in cottage number six. The cottage was a duplex, so number five was right next door.

There were other duplexes on the beach as well as single cottages too (our cottage is the yellow one).

 The inside of the cottage was nice and the screened porch was roomy.

There was a saltwater pool near the office that we cooled off in after we walked the beach for a bit and before we ordered a pizza for dinner.

The pizza was excellent! I don't know if it was because we were particularly hungry, that the pizza was deliciously well made, or that eating on the beach made it so...probably a mixture of all three, but I think our dining location had a lot to do with it.

It started to rain a bit and for just a little while after we ate our pizza (there was that rain forecast). We headed to the porch and then inside the cottage to wait it out.

Thank God it did not last long or was not a heavy rain because we wanted to get back out on the beach for more shelling and watch the sunset. DSIL waded out into the water to search for shells as The Colonel and I stayed on the beach. The changing sky and water were beautiful! We could get used to this island living.


After the sun set we went back to our cottage to shower and then watch television. Blazing Saddles was on. That was the first R-rated movie I saw (and I was under age at the time). It was as funny as we had remembered.

The next morning we had breakfast at a restaurant that was within walking distance from our cottage and close to the beach. The food was delicious and the weather was perfect.

After breakfast and check-out, we drove to Captiva Island to do a little sightseeing and discovered Captiva's Historic Cemetery (started in the late 19th century). It is near the Chapel by the Sea. The chapel was closed, but I was able to snap a picture through the window.

I liked the headstone of baby Ruby. I thought it was clever how it looked like her name was written on a sandy beach and the waves were washing a bit of it away.

We headed back to Sanibel and to the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village where historic buildings from around the island were relocated. Each building has been restored to its original state. The village was founded in 1984 to preserve and share Sanibel Island's history.

The buildings were pretty and their history interesting.

The 1896 School House (whites only)

1913 Rutland House

(Teddy Roosevelt sat in this rocking chair too)

1900 Sanibel Packing House

1926 Post Office

1898 Burnap Cottage

1926 Miss Charlotta's Tea Room

1927 Old Bailey General Store

1925 Morning Glories Cottage (so cute, I wanted to live here)

As we walked around the village grounds we saw this lizard on the garden fence post.

Our bout of island living was drawing to a close and our last stop on Sanibel Island was at its lighthouse. The beach was also beautiful.

Island living....I could get very used to that. 

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