After arriving and making an early night of it, we all woke up in time to catch the sunrise from the sundeck on the roof of our beach house. Due to the islands east-west exposure, it is one of the only places where you can see both the sunrise and the sunset each day. It was a beautiful site from our lofty perch accompanied by a gentle breeze, birds singing and the bright sun peaking its head over the Atlantic Ocean heralding another day of sunshine ahead of us. (And it was cool to see an eagle’s nest built at the top of a pine right next to our deck!)
First things first, we all agreed we had to head to the BEACH. Luckily, packing for the beach wasn’t as much of a problem as we anticipated. The house came with a big wheelbarrow, or something to that effect, which held all our umbrellas, beach chairs, sand toys and beach bags, that we could pull down the lane, through a green canopy of sea grapes and pines, right on to the beach. The beaches in Captiva are a little rough on the feet due to the quantity of shells but the water was clear and clean and just the right temperature to be refreshing. My son happened to step on a stingray which lay on the bottom and soon learned to do the stingray shuffle so they would get out of the way. Relaxing on the beach, building castles for the kids was a totally enjoyable way to spend each of our mornings while on the island. Afternoons were spent in the beach house pool where we could relax while the children took a nap and, in the evenings, we would walk downtown to try the restaurants for dinner then catch the sunsets on the beach.
Keylime Bistro was one of our favorites, with delicious seafood and drinks (try their Shrimp to Shore Bloody Mary – it is like an appetizer!) as well as live entertainment. We never got to try Mucky Duck, located right at the edge of the beach, since the wait would have been too much for the children, but it looked good and with their outdoor bar was a great place to get a drink and watch the sun go down from their picnic tables or a seat on the beach. We also tried R.C Otters, which I would pass on next time, and Cantina Captiva, which had some excellent Mexican food and delicious pitchers of margaritas. (Don’t miss adding your dollar bill to their wall with your name and check out some of the other bills people have added.)
The week seemed to fly by without being able to visit the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge or taking that fishing trip the boys wanted but maybe next year, when the children are older, we can participate in more of the activities offered in the area.
We did make the extra effort to get to the Bubble Room for lunch one day as so many of our friends had said the kids would enjoy it. The place is amazing! It is decorated with an enormous amount of nostalgic memorabilia from the 1930’s to the 1950s with old fashioned Christmas decorations including bubble lights, of course, 2000 movie stills and pictures of famous Hollywood stars, a train that travels around near the ceiling (which the kids looked for constantly), Santa’s Workshop and a 7’ Disney boat. Not only was the atmosphere fun but the food was excellent as well especially their homemade fries with cheese and bacon (I’ll diet when I get home). The “bubble scouts” (wait staff) were great and encourage you to walk around and take pictures (don’t miss the superman phone booth or BoBo the Gorilla cage – as you can see it is even fun for the adults – see my son’s picture above)
Can’t believe the time flew by so quickly but it was time to check out with one last stop for breakfast at the Island Cow, a fantastic place on Sanibel. The food was ”udderly“ delicious and reasonably priced (one of the only places I can say that about) and enjoyed by all. The little one (and big ones too) got to try their skill at a bean bag toss on the side lawn on the way out (this little activity is great to occupy children if the wait is a long one, which it can be on the weekends).
Traveling back over the bridge toward home we said our last goodbye to this beautiful island, one that has given our family many wonderful, lasting memories.