Sanibel Island Again

Sanibel Island is one of my favourite places in the world. We arrived towards the end of our road trip, after a long drive from St. Petersburg (see my last blog). Husband had splashed out, and paid for a condo facing the sea, so I opened the curtains and there were palm trees blowing in the breeze, and sand, and blue, blue, sea. Perfect.

At 6.30am the following day, I suggested we went for a run. Husband made unkeen sleepy noises, so I went without him. There were about a million people on the beach, so it wasn’t as secluded as I had hoped. Everyone else was searching for shells, wandering up and down, many holding special little nets on sticks so they didn’t have to bend down when they found a pretty shell. (I have lots of comments, which I am holding in, about whether it might have been good for some of those people to have had the exercise of bending down to pick up shells. . . but it’s easy to judge people who you don’t know, so I will remain silent. Ish.)

The weather was warm but not too hot, and as I ran beside the sea I saw a dolphin, and dinner-plate spheres of transparent jellyfish, and lots of shells.

Back at the condo, I was having a coffee and reading my Bible, when I heard a shuffling noise coming from my dirty washing bag. I opened it, and a lizard jumped out! Tried to catch it. Failed. Spent the rest of the day with a lizard under the chest of drawers in the bedroom, which was not a very satisfactory outcome.

We went to Sanibel Cafe for brunch. I ate banana and pecan pancakes, lightly sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey. I love this country!

Later I did some washing, and as I was hanging it on the balcony, I saw Husband wandering around the garden taking photos. I wolf-whistled at him. Husband didn’t hear, and continued taking photos, but a gang of workmen all looked up and grinned. Embarrassing.

Our other days at Sanibel meandered past. We went for long walks on the beach, crunching shells underfoot, searching the waves for dolphins. One afternoon we hired bikes, and zoomed around the island. One day we drove to a manatee park, hoping to see manatees. We saw statues of them, and read a lot of information boards, but no actual manatees were visiting that day. Maybe next time.

Another day we swam, and a flock of white egrets flew overhead, inches from our heads, near enough to touch as they glided over the water. Then three pelicans floated above us, looking for food, diving down like fighter planes when they saw something. One pelican stayed, bobbing on the surface really close to us, and I thought about trying to touch it (but the sharp beak put me off!)

We had some lovely meals, and enjoyed simply being alive in such a beautiful place. Then, all too soon, it was time to pack up and head back to Atlanta, and the end of our road trip. We had such a wonderful time, I really did not want to come home. Thank you for sharing it with me.

I hope you have a lovely week. Take care.

Love, Anne xx

Thank you for reading.
Why not sign up to follow my blog?


A Stolen Holiday Continued

Day 2
We drove up Rte 31 for 40 miles, to Arcadia. The main reason was I fancied ‘cruising’ in the Mustang (the males drove in it all last week). Arcadia also looked relatively interesting in the guide book, and was described as a ‘cowboy town’.

We didn’t see any cowboys. But we did see fields of orange trees being harvested. (Probably ready to be sent to Spain – see previous blog.) There were ranches, mangrove swamps and mile after mile of very straight road.

In the evening, we walked along the beach while the sun went down. Husband changed the settings on my phone, so all the photos looked like they’d been superimposed. We saw pelicans fishing, and little sandpipers again; but no dolphins.

The food for the day was Dunkin Donuts for coffee, a McDonald’s lunch and the Sandbar Diner for dinner, where we started with a lovely clam chowder.

Day 3
We walked along the beach, searching the water for dolphins (didn’t see any). Then we swam, and Husband took photos with his cheap underwater camera and worried about whether it would actually work (it really was very cheap).

We hired bikes and cycled around the island for the afternoon. Everywhere on Sanibel seems to have Billy’s Bikes (and in fact, when we were here 20 years ago, we rented Billy’s Bikes. But we’ve never met Billy).

Cycling on the island is very easy, as there are cycle paths and all the traffic stops when you need to cross the road.

We cycled to the wildlife reserve, and paid $1 each to cycle round it. We asked the woman at the entrance what animals we might see, and she said there were alligators. (Actually, she said: “Gators”.) She seemed quite cheerful about this. I was not at all sure that I could cycle faster than an alligator can run. I mentioned this to Son, who grinned and said that was fine, he only needed to be able to cycle faster than me. Did not feel very reassured.

We didn’t see any alligators.

We then went to Dairy Queen. I love Dairy Queen, it’s where we used to go on the last day of term when the children were at school here, and it represents sunshine and sugar. Husband was very rude about it, but I enjoyed my ice-cream.

Day 4
Early morning walk along the beach. Didn’t see any dolphins.

Breakfast at Sanibel Cafe, which was perfect. I had banana and pecan pancakes (a stack of them, because you cannot order a single pancake in America). Drank lots of coffee. Left feeling contented and fat.

I went for another walk (I think the males slept). I didn’t see a dolphin.

We drove to Estero Island, which is almost like a miniature Florida Keys (not very like, to be honest, but it is a string of little islands). We stopped in a wildlife park, and as we walked to the beach we saw two tortoises, chasing each other and heard the ‘crack’ as the back one (am guessing the male) banged into the front one’s shell. They darted across our path (well, okay, they were tortoises, it was quite slow, but if they had been lizards they’d have ‘darted’) into the undergrowth and out of sight. What fun! I have never seen tortoises in the wild before.

There were two rather sad signs in the carpark. One said:
“Check behind your wheels for tortoises before driving away.” The other said: “Tortoises cannot swim.” They told a rather sad story I felt.

Went for a late walk along the beach. Saw dolphins. Yaay!

Thank you for reading. Hope you find what you’re looking for today.
Take care,
Love, Anne

You can sign up to follow my blog at:

If you enjoyed this, you will love my new book: The Sarcastic Mother’s Holiday Diary.
I have always written a diary on holiday, so last Christmas, I decided to find all my old diaries and blogs, and make a book for my children. However, several other people also asked for a copy, so I have written a public version – it’s available on Amazon and has been described as “The Durrells meet Bill Bryson”!

Why not buy a copy today? I think it will make you laugh.

The US link is here:

The India link is here:

The UK link is here: