Monday, March 19, 2018

Home

On the way home today.  We were up about 6:30, dressed, packed, and ate breakfast of bagels and cream cheese with coffee and cranberry juice in hotel lobby.
We were on our way for the 500 mile drive home about 8:00 am.  The weather was a little cloudy but no rain on the drive home.  Traffic went smoothly even though there was some road construction.  Stopped in Cincinnati for cigarettes, lunch at MacDonald's and gas.  Lots of construction through Columbus but we luckily missed the rush hour traffic.  We arrived home about 5:30... no snow on the ground but more on the way Wednesday.
Great stay in Captiva....best ever weather....great birding even though there were not many shorebirds but the brown pelicans in the gulf made up for that.  Shells were missing on the beach but I have enough shells at home.  Enjoyed our meals at Lazy Flamingo, Sunset Grill, Sanibel CafĂ©, Jerry's, Over Easy, Doc Ford's, Timbers,  and The Mad Hatter.  Relaxing times at the pool and beach will be missed.  Highlights of our trip were the thousands of brown pelicans in the gulf,  pods of dolphins, eagles in the nest, visit from the Cullens, and visits with family.

End of 2018 Captiva trip. Safe return to home.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Drive Home Day 2

Today we began our day at 6:30 and the second day of our drive home.  We had a quick breakfast of waffles and bananas in the lobby of the Super 8.
Al rested a bit longer after breakfast because he was not feeling very good so we did not leave until
9:30.  Our drive today is to Farragut, TN to another Super 8.
We arrived at 1:30 with out any problems or delays.  We stayed in room 126 -remember for next time.  We then went to visit Cecilia and we all then drove to Norris to visit with Mother, Jack, and Loy.
Cecilia's Home

Unfortunately we had to drive through congested traffic on I-40 due to road repairs.  We never saw any ongoing work but 3 lanes were closed to the repairs being done.  We stayed in Norris until 5:30 and the headed back to Farragut to have dinner with Cecilia.   We stopped at Bonefish Grill and picked up dinners. We shared an order of Bang Bang Shrimp.  Al had Lobster tail with drawn butter, au gratin potatoes and spinach.  Cecilia and I  both had Salmon with mango salsa and au gratin potatoes and green beans.  Dinners were served with a warm bread and pesto dip.  We enjoyed with Pinot Grigio wine.  Fun dinner!
Early to bed to rest for the last day of drive home.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Drive Home Day 1

Today is St. Patrick's Day and we left for home about 7:30.  We only had a few things more to load...just toiletries and food for the trip. We had coffee, juice, toast, and bagel and started out just at sunrise.  Stopped for gas in Sanibel and for oranges and grapefruit at Sun Harvest in Ft. Myers. Today's drive is 580 miles to Locust Grove, Georgia to a Super 8 on Bill Gardner Parkway (4605) at exit 212 off I75.  The 9 hour drive ended up taking 12 hours because of slow downs due to an accident, road construction, and traffic congestion.  
Al made this picture of a rainbow on the trip.  I wonder if there was a pot of gold at the end, being that it is St. Paddy's Day.

We arrived at our final destination just at sundown.  It was a very tiring ride since it took 3 hours more than it should have.  I had planned that we would be here at no later than 5:30, not 7:30.
We had dinner at Gabino's Mexican Grill (same as last year) which was nearby. For dinner I had a combo dinner of Beef Taco, Beef Enchilada and Beef Burrito. Al had beef chimichanga  with Mexican rice.  The chips and salsa served with the meals were delicious.  The staff was all decked out for St. Patrick's day and a lot of Green Margaritas (20ounces) were being sold.  Al settled for a regular Margarita and I had Pinot Grigio.

After an exhausting day, we were ready for a good night's sleep. 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Day 41 Captiva

Today is the last day on the island. Photo captures the beginning at the day looking past the pool.
I took a walk to the beach at daybreak as shown in this video.
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Photos of the Beach at Daybreak: 

Lonely pelican in the gulf:
There were people playing tennis on the property next door today as well as yesterday.  It looks as though all construction, landscaping and decorating has been completed and the owners have now moved in.  I snuck over for some pictures while I was out this morning. 


Our cottage can be seen on the left of this photo behind the court. 
 Entrance to property:



After my walk, I made a large breakfast using whatever was left in the fridge...poached eggs, biscuits, tomatoes, ham, and grapefruit, and juice.   Finished packing and loaded everything we could in the Escalade.  Then we headed to the beach about noon to take advantage of another beautiful afternoon in the sun and sand.   The gulf was very busy with passing boats and yachts and kite surfers. 

                                          

Photos of Boats:














And Kite Surfers:

And several dolphins swam by but were hard to photo.

After a couple hours on the beach, we headed back to the pool for a final swim and look at the eagles.
We headed to Lazy Flamingo at 5:30 and found it already busy and we had to wait about 20 minutes for seats.  The place was very chaotic and service was very slow.  We had to wait for our order of ice cold oysters on the half shell.  We shared orders of peel and eat shrimp and fried oysters served with fries and coleslaw.  We did not leave the restaurant until about 7:30 after sunset.
We are ready to leave early in the morning.  Hate to leave.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 40 Captiva

Early morning.....cool morning.  Enjoyed hot coffee and pastry.  Our visit is coming to an end.  Al had a massage at 10:00 at Tween Waters Spa and I did some packing.  When he came home, I loaded some items in the car. I made him a hot dog with cheese and relish for lunch and I had tomato with chicken salad.
For the first time since we have been here, there were people next door playing  basketball and tennis on the new court and playing loud music.  Guess we are lucky they were not here during our 6 weeks stay.  Maybe we should brings ear plugs next time.
Spent some time sitting at the pool as temperature had warmed up and then a short time at the beach.  Waves had quietened down as well as the wind.  We left around 4:00 for a final drive through  Ding Darling but not much wildlife or birds to see.  Best pictures of the day were of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron, the last ones I shot as we were leaving.
Photos from the drive:
Immature Heron-Ghostly Looking
 TBI:

 Mostly Willets on the Island

 Reddish Egret
 Shorebirds joined the Reddish Egret
 Best of the Drive:

Video of YCNH:


We had gin & tonic with taquitos and sauce on the porch after our drive.  We had a late dinner tonight.  I prepared Shrimp a la Kitchen over Angel Hair pasta.  I used ingredients left in the fridge and pantry including shrimp, garlic, onion, tomatoes, anchovies, roasted red peppers, wine, chicken stock, cream, and  arugula to create a dish.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 39 Captiva

We were up very early this morning before 6am.  I walked to the beach at daybreak and found a very quiet beach....thought I might find shells but there were none there.

Early Morn at the Beach Video


 Looking back from the beach at daybreak:
After coffee, we decided to take a drive to Ding Darling about 9:00.  As we were getting in the car, Al spotted a construction nail in the front tire on the driver's side and that changed our plans.  After checking online we found a service station on Sanibel that did tire repair so we headed there which was located almost at the causeway.  The guy at the Chevron station did a quick repair and we were on our way in about 15 minutes!  This station appeared to be a busy place with cars being serviced in both garages and rental cars lined up on the side.  They even offer full service at the gas pumps.

The station was close to Bailey Road which goes to a beach so we decided to check that out since we have never been down that road.  It goes to a spot that over looks the causeway:

We then went to Bailey Homestead since we were close to the location.  Arrived about 10:20 to take a walk on a cool but sunny day.
Manmade Lake by the Homestead

 Red Pileated Woodpecker

Video of Woodpecker

Saw lot of brown pelicans, cormorants, anhinga, ibis, great egret, snowy egrets, one green heron and one eagle 
 Eagle with pair of Killdeer and Ibis












And lovely wildflowers:


From the other side:



And in the water:

 Turtle:
 Alligator:
Video of Alligator:


 A Monet painting?
Back to the cottage for a lunch of fish sandwich for Al and turkey sandwich for me.  
Spent just a few minutes on the beach late this afternoon.  Saw 3 kite surfers in the gulf....very windy.  Made a quick video but it was hard to hold the camera steady in the wind.
Video of Kite Surfer:
                                 
We dined in tonight.  I prepared Chicken in Whiskey Cream sauce(instead of brandy)  served with rice and arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and lemon vinaigrette.  Today ended well even though we had a rough start to the day.  Glad we found the right man at the Chevron station.