Honeymoon Sanibel Style
left Central Florida about 9 P. M. in our 1958 Triumph TR3 sportscar
heading south, not knowing where we would spend our first night as
husband and wife. We drove for about an hour before we stopped.
The next morning hubby decided we didn't need to have breakfast
before we got on the road. He liked Sanibel and wanted to get
there as quickly as possible. That meant no breakfast until
lunchtime. By then we were in Ft. Meyers. After eating we
stopped to buy groceries. Sanibel is only accessible by a ferry
which runs from 8 AM. until 5 P.M.
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Page created April 22, 2010
© 2010 Fran Smith
The ferry is boarded at Punta Rassa on
the Gulf of Mexico. At this time it took an hour on the ferry.
We could view the new bridge being constructed. That will
be something when it is finished. No more ferry. They take
all our fun away. Standing at the rail, the water sprays over and
we get wet.
Our stay is at Sanibel Cottages on the
Gulf side. These folks are from Lake County and have had the
cottages for rent for years. The wife loves to make items from
shells. We were presented with a large conch shell filled with
other shells and worm casings, beautifully arranged and all glued in
(thank goodness) !
Our cottage is air conditioned and
does it work. Not being used to A/C it was both a treat and a
freezing time. The no see-ums were out at night so one stayed in
or slathered themselves with bug repellant. Many hearty souls
like to fish at night. My husband was one of those. He
enjoyed the fishing but didn't seem to catch anything he had to clean.
Must have left them with the owner of the cottages.
Days were fun. The Gulf is wonderful.
Small waves, shallow water for the most part with a sand bar a
short ways out that keeps the water peaceful. This is God's shell
shop. The largest shell shop in the world. And it is free.
The only problem is you have to find the whole shells among the
crushed ones that wash back and forth at the water's edge. Armed
with a shell description book full of pictures, we set out to get the
most beautiful we could find. In the slough between the sand bar
and shore there were many large pin shells hinged like periwinkles.
These are elongated shells that remind one of praying hands.
These get caught on the bottom and in turn trap shells around
them as the tide goes out.
We used plenty of sun screen on our upper body. That worked
pretty good except for the fact that in order to pick up the shells
that part of our body was underwater a good portion of the time.
Not so with our feet. Feet turn the most amazing color of
red when they get sunburned. Not to mention that wearing shoes is
almost impossible until the color disappears.
There were wonderful homey restaurants
which served my favorite food - SHRIMP!!! I could eat shrimp 3
meals a day. One restaurant by the bridge to Captiva, the next
island north, served bowls with vinegar water which covered beets and
onions in one bowl and cukes and onions in the other. These
were fairly large bowls and we enjoyed them so much we didn't care if
lunch was delayed or not.
At the north end of Captiva was The
Plantation. This was the closest thing to a resort we had.
It was a large compound with lots of rooms for tourists.
Their restaurant was an upscale one with wonderful food.
The mornings began with door delivery
of milk products. The truck was full of not only white milk but
also chocolate. That was a treat. I had not had milk delivery
since I was a child of 6. There was one store on the island,
Bailey's, which is still in operation. They handled everything
possible. They were the grocery store, the dime store, the clothing
store all rolled up into one. Treasure hunting was fun in this
large wooden island building.
Along the way was an Episcopal Church.
Other denominations were there also, but this one was the closest
to our cottage. People did not dress up very much for church
there. They offered a children's sermon long before we had one in
our home church.
The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
is on the mainland side of the island. Many species of birds are
seen and the plants and trees are beautiful as well. No shelling
is allowed on this side of the island as these are live shells and are
needed to continue the abundance of empty shells one can collect on the
At the time we were there, someone had
dredged out a channel and floated a Mississippi river paddle wheel boat in and
beached it parallel to the Gulf waters then filled in the channel
again. This was their home away from home. The island is
small enough to allow for nice leisurely walks along the waters edge.
We only traversed the Gulf side, leaving the other side for the
I could not believe what a developer did. The island is not that
much above sea level. There were small sand dunes over the
section he had bought for a housing project. He decided to level
the whole area. All he succeeded in doing was making the whole
subdivision a mini lake. He then had to fix an area for draining
A week here just doesn't seem long enough. It is a wonderful way of life, slow and lazy.....Fran