Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sanibel...A Shell-a-cious time

Linking up to Completely Coastal

Well - I had such a hard time selecting my favorite post of this year - to link up to Completely Coastal's "Everything Coastal" link party.  But I finally decided on this one - from August 2010.  So here goes....

What's the saying...a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well, I think in this case, it's best to let the photographs do most of the talking.  My husband I recently returned from an amazing weekend on Sanibel Island....which is just such a fabulous place, especially for a seashell fanatic like me.  

From the minute we arrived on the island, I was in heaven.  Everywhere I looked, the theme was seashells... from art galleries to restaurants to shops - I was like a kid in a candy store. 

Before we went, I did a little research on the island because I was really curious as to why so many seashells and sealife found their way there.  I have lived on the Florida coast most of my life and haven't seen any I was curious as to why they showed up over on the Gulf Coast in such large quantities and not here in my own backyard.  Well now I know.

Sanibel Island is part of a large plateau that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico for miles and this plateau acts like a shelf for seashells to accumulate.  Due to the currents and tides, shells travel from all over the world which is why one of the best times for shelling, is after a major storm. When the tides pick up, the seashells move around and Sanibel's land configuration acts as a scoop to pick up all these lovely shells roaming around out there, and the tides deliver these lovelies right onto the beaches....for all of us to enjoy.  One of the best sites for Sanibel shelling is  I Love Shelling...check it out - its an awesome research for shelling and more...on Sanibel Island. 

This where we stayed on W. Gulf Drive.  Awesome location.

Our little beachfront cottage.  Very cute. 

The beach at the Island Inn.  Just gorgeous.

Sea turtle season.  A great blog to learn more
about the sea turtle nests on Sanibel is Sanibel Toots
It is a wonderful resource on everything
there is to love about Sanibel. 

One of the highlights of the weekend was booking a shelling excursion with Captain Mike Fuery to Cayo Costa
Island for the most amazing timeThe tour leaves out
of Tween Marina which in on the Captiva side...
but called Tween because Captain Mike
said that the marina was in-between Sanibel and Captiva.
 This is the restaurant that is at Tween Waters Inn. 
We ended up going back there for dinner
on Captain Mike's recommendation.  It was great.

Two of the cottages across the street from Tween Waters Inn. 

I loved this one cottage. It was so pretty.

Here's the marina.

Captain Mike's boat. The excursion is a maxmium of 4 people.

Here's the amazing view leaving the marina heading
towards Cayo Costa. And the rest of the photos are samples
 of the amazing shells I collected.  This beach was so beautiful.
It was deserted and is part of a protected national park. The shells were amazing, many of the larger ones were still alive so of course,
we spent a lot of time throwing them back in, hoping that they
would not washback up again.  My husband found a large shell,
about 10 inches long with what looked like a red large,
hairy tarantula peeking out of it.  It was a creatureous looking crab
and when I told Captain Mike about it,
he said that it could be at least 15 years old! 
We had placed it back in the ocean, hoping that it made it
back out to sea. 

The great part was there were a lot of shells, especially the ones I like
best - old vintagely looking shells.  I like the imperfect ones...that look like they have traveled far and wide.  The bad part was, I left my camera on the boat and it was too difficult to go back and get it!! 

The beach across the street from Tween Waters Inn.  The beauty is indescribable.

And one last lovely little pink beauty............


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Really pretty pictures Debbie. I'm sure it was a wonderful getaway. The cottages are so cute. Looks like you had good weather too.

Debbie said...

Dearest Debbie~I received a wonderful package was full of shells from Sanibel Island. I went through them several times, just looking at them. What a thoughtful person you are! Thank you soooo much for sending these treasures to me, Debbie. I put all the white ones on the kitchen window sill. It looks like a little beach on there now. The rest are in other spots in the kitchen. I love them all!!!!! I cannot wait to go to Sanibel in March and April.
Hugs to you.

NanaDiana said...

Hi Debbie~ The last time I was on the Islands we ate at Old Captiva House too. MyHero had the conch fritters and I had the Crusted Grouper...OHHH...sets my mouth watering just thinking about it. Don't you love going there though? To me it just always felt so exotic and far-away-like I had left all cares and worries at the foot of the causeway. What's it cost to cross that now? It used to be $3.oo and they always said that once the bridge was paid for they would quit course by then they needed repairs and updates.

Thanks for sharing a bit of one of FL's best treasures with us! Diana ps...can you believe that Laurie and Debbie are going without me? hmmmmpf!

Tootie said...

I'm glad you had such a nice visit here and also some good shelling luck. How nice of you to share with others. :) Now you'll have to come back soon, for more. Also, thank you for your nice comments.

Flotsam Friends said...

Hi Debbie, I'm in shell heaven... I've heard about Sanibel Island in one of my shell books. Isn't there an annual shell festival that happens there too? These images are just amazing and to me, the perfect holiday destination - the natural beauty, so unspoilt and free of development. And the shells, can't believe what you found. Love that "Tween Waters Marina" pink house. I so want to go NOW... It's just so far away from Sydney. P.S. Thanks for visiting me and my Flotsam Friends dolls and for your lovely comment. Pruxxx

Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous photos Debbie. I love the little cottages you've shown us, so cute. Looks like a wonderful place to visit and relax. Great haul of shells too, I love your sand dollars :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I can't believe you found all those beautiful shells. What a wonderful time you must have had!
The beach across for Tween Waters Inn looks so pretty. Do you have a favorite shell? When I was a kid we went to Hilton Head, before it was as developed as it is now, and we found live's a very strange feeling to see that life so we put it back in the ocean too.
Thank you so much for taking us along on your adventure. Those shells are beautiful!

The Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Gorgeous shells and so many! I love the bright colorful cottages.


Drawn to The Sea said...

Love the little cottage... I could happily plant myself there.

pam@ iLoveShelling said...

You pictures are fantastic! And look at those sweet sand dollars- they seem like they are getting harder and harder to find these days so you got really lucky. Looks like you had a really nice time- glad the weather held up for you. The Sanibel Shell Fair and Show will be March 3-5 in 2011. It is an incredible show for every shell lover. This next year will be the 74th Annual- can you believe that?

pam@ iLoveShelling said...

ps- thanks for your nice shout out!

Donna said...

Sounds like you had an amazing trip, Debbie! Thank you so much for sharing a part of it by sending me the wonderful package of gorgeous shells! That was just so sweet & thoughtful of you! Your pictures are gorgeous! I remember those brightly painted cottages, love them all! And I can't wait to return some day. I will treasure my shells, thanks again!!

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

Awwwww - you're making me envious. We lived in Fort Myers for a while when we were first married. We love Sanibel! (My husband grew up down there - cannot let him see the boat and read about cayo costa - he hates being landlocked!)

Cheryl said...

Thanks so much for the beautiful Sanibel photos. They make me feel happy :)

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I loved all of your wonderful photos. It looks like the kind of place I'd love to visit. We always collect seashells when we're at the beach, but I didn't know the reason some have them and some don't. That's interesting. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

Dear Debbie,
I received my beautiful package of seashells today. Thank you so much, friend... I LOVE them!
Oh wow... it looks like your trip was amazing! Look at all of those fabulous shells you found... gorgeous! And those cottages... sooo sweet!
I'll be posting about the lovely package you sent me any minute now.
Thanks again, Debbie!
Hugs ~ Jo :)

jmac said...

After drooling over all these shells, I finally looked up exactly where Sanibel Island is located........OMG.....our sailboat is anchored in a marina just about 3 miles from there!!! She's sleeping there for hurricane season...Twin Dolphins marina. I come!! When we come back to our precious Blew Bayou...our first sail will be to see those shells!!!!

Everything Coastal said...

Jealous. Simply jealous. I was so lucky to go to Sanibel several years ago and have boxes and boxes of shells. Cannot bear to part with any of them...


Carmie, the Single Nester said...

I am so jealous of your gorgeous shell finds.

classic • casual • home said...

Thank you for the little visit to Sanibel. Such a beautiful place! We have been there before and this makes be want to go back!
Good luck shell hunting (we get very little in California).
Mary Ann

vicki said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post! I love Sanebel - have not been there in years - but we did honeymoon there! Your photos make me want to go back. Those shells - OMG- they are fabulous!


Lisa Montsion said...

A picture is really worth a thousand words.