The proper reaction when your wife’s new hat blows off and she has to chase it down the beach is NOT to tell her how funny that is. The proper reaction when your wife’s new hat blows into the ocean is NOT to tell her that is even funnier.
I thought I had clued Ken in enough on the plans to get up and take sunrise pictures but he was still somewhat reluctant. Sunrise is pretty late here, about 6:55 or 7 but it is pretty light before then. The cool thing is that it is also pretty close to low tide, so you have access to much more of the beach than before and tide pools are left behind with interesting things like horseshoe crabs, starfish, fighting conchs and sand dollars. Yesterday I saw a lot of sand dollars, but lucky for them, they were all still alive – but today there were some expired ones so I was able to pick up a few. After sunrise and collecting a few shells at our home beach, we hopped in the car and drove down to light house beach, finding different kinds of shells and seeing a funny little leopard crab enjoying the day, and an osprey hanging out in a tree eating a fish. We also saw two starfish, both still alive and kicking, so we just took a picture and made sure they were returned safely to the water. I did some research on something I found yesterday (and returned to the water) and it was a big chunk of sea pork, bright orange in color.
Shells collected so far, going to need to start figuring out how to get these home:
Went to breakfast at Sanibel Cafe – Ken had bacon and eggs and I had a mango mimosa, smoked salmon eggs benedict, and parmesan grilled tomatoes, which were excellent. I need to figure out a way to make those at home. Of course, the tomatoes are probably from within the state and were far better than most winter tomatoes. Cute little family run restaurant with seashells displayed in the tables. The waitress was wearing a Tim Tebow jersey (FL/FL State game today) and so Ken had fun giving her a bad time about that.
Walked down the rest of the shopping area to check out shops and found one with super soft hoodies so that is going to be my clothing souvenir. Then went to CVS in hopes of finding a flash drive so we can store a few more pictures, found one, got some water for Ken who dislikes the FL Sulphur water, some snacks, and another hat for me since I only own about 20 hats but I am incapable of remembering to bring one on any given trip. I found a new hat but you know how that turned out already. The hat got rinsed out and hung on the patio to dry.
We went back to the hotel and changed into swim gear, and went down to the beach and sat on the loungers under the umbrella while I typed up Friday’s blog. Then we did some beach walking, finding a few more shells vital to my collection. I am more than willing to pick up just about anything I see on the beach and scrutinize it to determine what it might be. I am pretty sure I returned a sea cucumber to the ocean this morning. Ken, on the other hand, does not care to closely examine the cute little dead crab when I am more than willing to hold it RIGHT CLOSE to his face.
Lunch was at the Island Cow- very extensive menu but I had scoped things out online beforehand and knew I wanted Stone Crab if it was in season. We started out with pina coladas for lunch, hey we are on vacation.
Meanwhile we are looking at pictures from and the ice skating is open for the season in Denver. NOT SAD TO BE HERE.
I had the stone crab with cheese grits and hush puppies for sides, Ken had the pulled pork platter with fries, it also came with cole slaw and hush puppies. Ken said the pulled pork was good but too filling, he then complained all afternoon about being too full to eat ever again. He said the sauce was good but the texture of the pork was more “mashed” than what he was used to, but very good.
I would have eaten his hush puppies had they been good but they were not very hot and fresh. The cheese grits were excellent, good grits with two kinds of cheese on top, not melted and stirred in, but very good tasting. I am starting to realize when I say “I am going to eat a lot of seafood” I mean “shellfish” because that is what I have had at every meal – and lunch was no exception with the stone crab claws. Stone crab claws are very good but unfortunately the shell is very thick, so there is sometimes shrapnel. I kept the shrapnel to a minimum this time (we were eating outside, that was helpful) but there was spray, Ken got it in the face once, and I had to go back and change my shirt afterward, and there is no “just spot cleaning” that shirt, it went in the laundry right away. I think the drawn butter caused much of the problem. I also saw they had a draft root beer which I had to try, not local to Florida but local to the south, Abita root beer from Louisiana, sweetened with Louisiana cane sugar. It was also tasty. Fun place to eat. I might try it again if I didn’t have 15 restaurants on my list and only 8 or 9 meals left….
Then we came back to the hotel, it was already after 3 at this point, and started listening/watching the Jackrabbit football game on ESPN 3 on the computer. Well, I was listening, someone else needed a nap and fell asleep. I was considering going shopping but decided I didn’t have that much time, as we were planning on heading up to a more west-facing beach for sunset pictures. So I caught up on Facebook while listening to the game and investigated which restaurant we should go to tonight, and tried to determine a plan for going to the wildlife refuge at some point. And the Jackrabbit game was not going well so it was no sacrifice to leave it and drive up to Blind Pass beach, which is the very first point of land on Captiva Island, and faces west, to get sunset shots. And I was hoping for more shells, but there were very few up there, sad! But we did get some spectacular sunset pictures. And even though the Jackrabbits lost, we did have the weather here for consolation.
Tonight’s dinner was Doc Ford’s Sanibel Bar and Grill. It was a bit of a drive back up toward Captiva Island, but now we knew where we were going. We had the Doc’s Beach Bread “baked French bread topped with three cheeses, diced tomatoes and just the right spices.” And added bacon because, well, bacon.
I had the conch chowder, very interesting version, lots of vegetables, pretty spicy, and the Yucatan Shrimp, which were peel and eat shrimp bathed in butter and spices, and supposedly cilantro, but I didn’t see a trace of that. They were tasty but there was so much butter I had to be extremely careful so as to not trash another shirt that I couldn’t re-wear again. Ken had the baby back ribs, and he said they were good, but too much food after he had a big lunch earlier in the day.
We both had excellent drinks, I think mine was called the Sanibel Sunrise, and Ken had a rum and coke – Doc’s has a lot of specialty rums so that was fun.
Ken’s pictures from today: Sunset
Lighthouse, decorated for Christmas.