We were able to rent our condo for one more night, and so we decided to actually leave tomorrow instead of today. Yay!!!!! Warm weather for another day! Anyway, we left for the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. They were beautiful! Apparently, Edison and Ford were best friends. So much so that Ford moved his family’s winter abode to the place right next to Edison’s. After touring the estate, we went to The Island Cow for lunch/dinner (we left our condo really late….), then we went on an alligator hunt at the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. There was a trail that you could follow and see alligators, no barriers or anything in between you and them. We saw one as we were walking over a bridge. He was sleeping, but kept opening his eye to look at us. We left and went to the beach that was by the Sanibel Light House. We didn’t go swimming, but we walked along the beach as the sun was setting. The sun looked so cool! I did a photoshoot with Tenney, and we left right before it got really dark. We then went and ate at Love Boat Ice Cream – can you tell we really enjoyed the ice cream from there? Then we came home, cleaned up all the shells we collected (there were a lot), did some packing, because we actually are leaving tomorrow, read our Bibles, and went to bed.
We had a slow start to our morning, eating breakfast late. The kids ate inside due to the fact that we kept getting bit by No-see-ums. We played Uno while we ate. It is an American themed Uno game with the pictures on the cards being jukeboxes, the Liberty Bell, the American flag, and an eagle (which I said looked like Cato from Jenny L. Cote’s new book).
We left Sanibel Harbor at around 12:00 noon, and drove down a road that is close to our condo to see what was there (when we turn into our street, there is another road right next to it, and mom always wondered what was down there). It was another hotel and more condos right on the beach. Then we drove to Shell Point Retirement Communities, because the friends we met up with last night told us we could see manatees there. It is a beautiful retirement community. It is also a Christian one, and they have a ministry elderly people can be a part of that helps send money to a publishing company that produces Christian curriculums and Sunday school tracts. We did get to see the manatees, and it was fun watching them poke their snouts up to breath. They were so cool!
Then we left, and drove back to Sanibel Island – we drove right through Sanibel, and up to Captiva Island. Well, on the bridge connecting Sanibel to the mainland, we saw a dolphin jump. It was the coolest thing! Before we went to Captiva’s beach, we drove around exploring the island. It was a small island, and didn’t take us that long to go through. There were a lot of big houses. Captiva seems like a place where a lot of wealthy people live.
After driving around, we went to the beach. It was beautiful! And there were more shells than there were on Sanibel or at Lovers Key. Mom, Ricky, and Dad found a lot of conch shells. While we were swimming, three (or more) dolphins came playing around us. They were not more than 20 feet from us. It was amazing! We played on the beach and in the water for two to three hours, then cleaned up and went to dinner.
We ate at Doc Fords. It was DELICIOUS! Before the main course came, Dad ordered calamari and all of us ate it and really enjoyed it. Then he told us it was squid (it still tasted good after I learned what it was, though😂). I ordered shrimp tacos. They were yummy! All of us ate till we were stuffed. I would definitely go there again.
After dinner, we drove to the shopping center Love Boat Ice Cream is in on Sanibel, because mom saw a sweatshirt she liked, and wanted to buy it. The drive was long enough that we were able to listen to the Pineapple Guy (for an explanation look at day five), and pray on the way home. Then, we came back to our condo (which I keep accidentally referring to as home), and packed, because this is sadly our last day (unless we extend our trip). Then, I read my Bible and went to bed.
We didn’t actually sleep in this morning, though we kind of lazed around. Mom cooked a wonderful breakfast that consisted of eggs and donuts, which we ate as a great start to the day. Then we cleaned up, and slowly started getting ready to go to Sanibel Island. Then we looked at the time and hurried to get ready. It was around 10:00 am when we left. This side of Florida is beautiful. You can capture stunning photos almost anywhere. So with that announcement made, I tell you that the view from the bridge was marvelous. Since the ride there was longer, I read my Bible. A part that really stuck out to me from what I read today was Philippians 4:11-13. The idea that through Christ comes contentment is amazing.
The route we took was very scenic, though, and there was a good amount to see. We saw dolphins on one side of the bridge, and, thinking we saw something from the other side, we stopped at a small beach by the side of the road, got out of the car, and went to look at the water. The water on that side was too shallow for dolphins to get through, so we trooped back to the car, and drove to the information center. After getting some info, we drove to the J “Ding” Darling Wildlife Center and went into the info building to look around. Dad wanted info on the driving tour, which is what we did. We ended up staying there for longer than we expected, because it was cooler than we expected. There was a bunch of info on J “Ding” Darling (the guy who founded the wildlife preserve), alligators and crocodiles, and manatees. We ended up spending half an hour there before we actually started the driving tour. It was one of those things that you drive for a little bit, then get out to look. It took us an hour and a half to complete. It was a very beautiful drive, and we saw a lot of birds and fish. The J “Ding” Darling Wildlife Preserve takes up about a third of the island, and the other amount of the island is condos, homes, the beach and restaurants and shops. For lunch we bought sandwiches from a general store and ate them in the car on the way to the beach. Sanibel is great for shelling. We found several full fighting conch shells, and many other really good ones. We also played in the waves (the water was really shallow) and splashed around. It was a lot of fun. When we finally had to leave, we all had to rinse off because there was sand everywhere due to the nature of the ocean. We drove right to another beach to watch the sunset with some friends. It was an amazing sunset. We ate dinner with our friends at a place called Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger. I got – guess what? – a cheeseburger.:-) The cheeseburger was delicious. It was a nice little place. We parted ways afterwards, our friends going back to their condo and us going to a Love Boat ice cream on Sanibel. Me and Mom opted to get smaller cones this time; we did, but every one else got the big ones. The ice-cream served at Love Boat is probably the best I’ve ever had. Then we went to a store to grab somethings we had forgotten, then went back to our condos, read our Bibles, and went to bed. 🙂
This morning we slept in till about 8:40, got up, I read my Bible, we ate a nice breakfast that mom cooked of eggs and bacon, looked at the time, then scrambled to get ready. We wanted to go to Lovers Key, and since it has a really nice beach and is great for shelling, it takes a good long while to get down there due to traffic. We did eventually make it there, though. The view from the bridge was incredible, and it was filled with boats. You actually have to go across two bridges to get there, because you go across Fort Meyers Beach (side note: We decided that Fort Meyers was more of a party area, and though there are a lot of shops, there were plenty of ones that sold not so great things) to get there. While we were there, we checked out a local library. I wish that we could go to that library again! It was beautiful, peaceful, had nice lighting, and was quiet. The library I have back home isn’t like that as much. I enjoyed that stop quite a bit and would have stayed there for longer, but we needed to finish our commute to the beach. Since the drive was so long, we decided to listen to something. Mom and Dad put the Pineapple guy on, and we listened to his sermons till we got to the beach. The Pineapple guy’s real name is Otto Koning. He was a missionary to Irian Jaya, and the things he learned, saw, and did were INCREDIBLE. God really gifted him with being able to speak so that everyone is able to understand and enjoy it. We listen to him a lot and still learn something new each time. He’s called the Pineapple guy because of the first message he gives, The Pineapple Story. To hear some of his sermons click here. It will take you to youtube and a bunch of videos of his messages. We sunscreened up in the car, then again when we got out. We rode a tram to the beach, then ate lunch from a concessions stand called Hurricane Charlies. It was just ok. I would recommend bringing your own lunch if you go. Then, we headed to the water. Well, first we traveled along the beach picking shells up and going away from people. We got to a nice stretch of sand, set our stuff down, then ran to the water. It was actually pretty cold, and took me a while to get used to, but when I did, it was awesome. We rode the waves to the beach, swam around, and generally had a lot of fun. After a good long while of this, Mom, Ricky, and I went waaaaaaaay down to the end of the beach to find more unique shells. We found a lot of unique ones that were complete. Mom found a fighting conch (Strombus alatus) that was completely full (at least thats what I think it was). When we came back, we had a full bucket of shells that were beautiful, colorful, and unique. Ricky really wanted to make a sand castle, so we started making a fortress. Pretty much everyone left me before it was over (mom did come back), but we ended up with a really cool fortress-type thing. The funny part about building it was that the tide kept coming up and washing out the underneath of the gate, so we had to keep refilling the sand in that area. Brynn and Elie decided to play with the snorkeling gear instead of building the castle with us. We left around 4:15, then came back to our condo, watched the sunset, ate pizza and veggies for dinner, read our Bibles and went to bed. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you have a question or want to make a comment, leave it below. Thanks for checking out my blog!
Today we slept in. I did wake up around 8:00, because Elie got up to see the sun and knocked a lamp over 😂, but most of us didn’t get out of bed till later. After getting up we ate parmesan cheese crackers, cinnamon rice cakes and fruit, outside as we read our Bibles. We read Ephesians. Chapter four really spoke to me. Then, we walked down on the beach and explored. We got to pick up some shells, which were really cool. There weren’t that many, but the ones that were there were pretty much intact and really cool. God’s creation is incredible! After the beach, we explored the hotels that were next to our condos. Then we went shopping, because we were unable to bring a lot of food along, and were all hungry. By the time we were done shopping, it was four-something, so we ate and discussed what we were going to do tomorrow, and the rest of this day. Upon finishing the discussion, we went out to eat ice-cream at a place called Lover’s Boat.They had the best ice cream ever (and they gave us a lot of it!) When we got back to the hotel, we took a walk down a nice little path, then we came back to our condo, showered, read our Bibles, and went to bed. 🙂
Thank you guys so much for reading my blog and commenting. It truly means a lot to me. 🙂
For breakfast we went with GUB to Honey Tree Cafe. I ordered pancakes and eggs over easy – It was delicious! The kids all finished early, and we got restless, so Miss Sandy (GUB’s friend), and mom took us outside. We were going to look at a pond in the back of the building, but Elie spotted a fish store, so we went there instead. I’ve never see more colorful fish in my life! They were neon pink, green, purple, and more! There was a fish that had stripes and red eyes! It was crazy! After breakfast we took GUB’s computer to the mall to get it fixed. We spotted a really expensive car when we were leaving where the doors went up instead of to the side when you open them. We said goodbye to GUB and Miss Sandy, then we left and went souvenir shopping again, only this time Dad was with us. Since Mom’s birthday is tomorrow, we got her birthday gifts (she had no clue!) Then, since it was our last full day at Siesta Key, we packed then played in the ocean for an hour to an hour and a half. Afterwards, we dried off, showered, and went to St. Armands Circle to eat, get a treat, and walk around. When finished, we got in the car and headed home to bed.
This morning we were going to go to a place called Toasted Mango for breakfast, but we went to bed late and got up late, thus we weren’t able to. After eating yogurt we had at the condo, we went to a beach called Manasota Beach, which some one told us yesterday we could find shark teeth at. My siblings played in the water and my dad and I took a couple of sand strainers and went looking for shark teeth. we found at least 15, but I know there were more. Some of the teeth we found were broken and some were whole. We also found some really cool sea shells. My family and I were there for about an hour. We were going to go to another beach called Stump Pass, where someone told us there were really pretty seashells that were whole, but we didn’t have time, because dad needed to go meet up with GUB. Instead, he dropped my mom, sisters, brother and I at Toasted Mango, where we ate lunch. After lunch we went souvenir shopping and got something for all our pet sitters, who are taking care of our pets. Mom and I got matching anklets! Dad had dropped us off, so after that we walked back to our condo and got our swim gear (boogie boards, goggles, bags for collecting seashells, etc…) we were already wearing our suits from the morning, so we ran in to the water and went boogie boarding. We played and swam for another hour, then went home, showered, and got ready for dinner, which we ate at Daiquiri Deck. There was a really yummy drink we got called Strawberry and Pina Colada. We then came home and went to bed.