Thursday, March 17, 2011

Captiva Trip Ends

We were up very early Satuday morning and hit the road about 7:30am, 30 minutes past our planned time of departure. We stopped in Fort Myers at the Sun Harvest store for oranges and grapefruit....a bit of Florida sunshine to take home to Ohio.  We stopped at a rest area for a lunch of egg salad sandwiches that I had packed for the road. On the first day of driving, we were delayed for over an hour waiting for an accident to be cleared and  road construction slow downs and  therefore were on the road longer than we anticipated. We finally arrived at our first stopover about 9 PM. Even with that delay, we managed to make the trip home in 2 days ...we usually plan two overnight stops but decided to continue driving the second day and made it home by 7:45pm. We stopped at Menches Brothers, a local family restaraunt (the inventors of the hamburger)  for a late quick dinner since we had snacked on sandwiches and chips as we drove to save time.

We found everything in order at home and only saw a few patches of snow remaining on the ground. Our crocuses are in bloom and other bulbs are popping up.  We had great weather...sunshine and no precipitation on our drive the last 2 days.

Had a great stay in Captiva but glad to be home.  We spent Monday at home unpacking and sorting through 6 weeks of mail.   I posted the final days of our trip on Wednesday and Thursday.  I never finished our blog recording our 2010 trip....maybe some day I will sort out my notes and complete the diary for that trip. Who knows....but glad that I followed up with my diary this year. It is always fun to read to replay the memories and for planning next year's trip. Now, I will be editing all our pictures and hopefully be putting together a movie and /or slideshow of our trip.

I hope you have enjoyed our adventures and the "day to day" happenings if you have been following our "Captiva Days".  It's been fun having you along for the trip.

Thanks for stopping by and "so long" for now until next year's "Captiva Days"  return.
Theresa and Al

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 42 Captiva Videos

On our last day at Captiva, I recorded these videos of scenes of activities under the bridge of fishing, shelling, and surfing on the gulf.  Click on each video to see.

This shows a surfer walking across a sand barge where birds were resting.  Watch as the birds fly and land again in formation:

This shows a group of trees on one of the properties along Captiva Drive:
Thanks for coming by for our last day on the island.
Note: the original post did not have the correct video for the second video. This has been corrected.

Day 42 Last Day on Captiva

This was our last day on the island and a beautiful morning. After yesterday's storm, I knew shelling would be good on the beach. I went down to the beach at first daylight and was the only one there, but soon  other shellers joined me. This was the first time in 6 weeks that I really did some serious shelling......I was trying to not have a load of shells to take home to add to the many ones that I already have in containers waiting to be used in crafting projects....that's another story. Back to the present... It was a beautiful morning and many birds were feeding and greeting the new day.

Great Blue Heron with his breakfast

I could not resist picking up these shells.

After my shelling excursion, Al and I walked over the bridge and had breakfast at the Sunset of the best breakfast spots on the islands.

I made some pictures as we crossed the bridge looking onto the bay side:

On our walk back, we stopped to watch some fishermen, surfers and shellers on the gulf side.

We walked out to the beach in the afternoon, but the wind was too strong for us to stay so we went over to bay side and sat at the dock for awhile watching the birds and fishing boats.

We then packed the car as much as we could  and went to an early dinner at the Lazy Flamingo, our favorite local hang out.  Ate our usual ribs and Caesar salad.  Ready to get an early start in the morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 41 Captiva

It rained all day  but we made the best of the day by packing for our return home. It was time to pack anyway since we leave on least we did not waste a day of sunshine. We did some laundry too.  This was a  stormy tropical rain ....had a real downpour all day. 
We went to Mike and Helene's to view the sunset from their home on the gulf and did not expect to see one. But the clouds moved aside and we saw a lovely sunset.
We went to Sanibel Steakhouse for dinner.  We remember when this was a restaurant called "Fish Anyway You Wish" many years ago.  No, I did not make that up.

Mike says Sanibel Steakhouse has the best oysters on the half shell so we had to give them a try and they were the best!  Al ordered lamb chops, two double thick with cinnamon fig demi-glaze served with house vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. Mike ordered grilled filet medallions with mushroom demi-glaze. Helene had blackened ahi served rare with Wakame and Asaian style vegetables, finished with a Soy Wasabi sauce. I chose Chilean sea bass Parmesan crusted  served with wild mushroom risotto, grilled asparagus and dill cream sauce.  We finished dinner by sharing a chocolate lava cake.  This was a fun evening with great friends and great food.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 40 Captiva Sunset

Captiva Island has the most beautiful sunsets, some better than others.  These are pictures from Wednesday's sunset.  We have had years when they were breathtaking.

Our seats await us at sunset.

View of the sky as we walked  away from the sunset.
Only more 2 days left on the island. We leave for Ohio early Saturday morning and we heard that one of the worst winter storms is headed for there this weekend.  Plain County where we live has announced a parking ban ...never ever had that.  Maybe we should stay here a few more days.

Day 40 Captiva

Another early drive through Ding Darling National Wildlife Drive but the tide was so high that there were not many birds along the drive. Water was too deep for feeding and the sand barges were almost covered. But whatever parts of the  islands or barges are still exposed were covered with shore birds.

Al still managed to get some interesting shots including these:
Believe these are horseshoe crabs hatching and
crawling out of the ground.
The ground near the shoreline were crawling with these crabs
which have  one claw that was very large.
Brown Pelican in Flight

Brown Pelican seems to be dancing in the air.

Osprey caught in an embarrassing moment
as he poops!  OOPS!
Al captured this Snowy Egret and his reflection.
Spent the afternoon on the beach.  Another lovely day....even hotter today! Al is  trying to finish the book I just finished ...Patricia Cromwell's "Port Mortuary"     we have been  reading at   the same time alternating who reads.

Stayed  in  tonight...made shrimp cocktails with drinks and then out to watch the sunset.
Prepared shrimp puttanesca with salad. Was trying to use ingredients that I still have.....marinara sauce, anchovies, capers,pasta, and that is what I came up with for dinner.  We  have this ritual that we try to use up everything in the kitchen before we leave.....makes for some interesting meals unless I buy the right items and right quantity.
Sunset to follow in another  post.   Stay Tuned

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 39 Captiva

Today was by far the very best day on the beach so was perfect with a great breeze and perfect temperatures. There also were more people on the beach...looks like peak season is in full force.  We just spent the day soaking it all in. Even the dolphins seemed to be playing more and enjoying the day.  A lot of sailing was happening in the gulf.
Sailing, Sailing!
Great Blue Heron taking a stroll.
Great Blue Heron visiting with the sunbathers.
As we were leaving we noticed this beautiful cloud formation in the sky.  Can you believe the size of this house with the blue roof?  It was one of the most recently built.  So many of the beach houses have been torn  down and replaced by these Mac Mansions.
What a lovely cloud formation we saw as we left the beach.
In the evening, we met friends Mike and Helene at the Sanctuary Club where they are members.  Helene was exhibiting her first oil painting in the club's 2nd Annual Sanctuary Member Art Show.
Her painting were quite good for a first. We viewed the art and then went to dinner at the Sunset Grill.
The four of us sat at the bar for seats in this small restaurant. I dined on Macadamia nut encrusted fresh local Grouper, pan seared, on a bed of julienne vegetables, coconut rum butter, Mango fruit salsa and key lime burre blanc. Yum!!! Everyone else had flame broiled Gulf Lobster tails served with mascarpone risotto cake and a vegetable side of perfectly cooked asparagus, carrots,and zucchini. Delightful dinners. We shared Key Lime Pie which Helene vows that it is the best on the Islands after having sampled this pie everywhere. This was a delightful evening spent with friends, wine,  and great conversation.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 38 Captiva

Our stay here will be ending soon...too soon.  This is our last Monday.  I tried to catch up with some email and posts this morning.  Soup and sandwiches for lunch.  Great afternoon at the beach.....waves are really pounding today which brought the surfers out ...tried to capture in video:
Was great birding on the beach today. Great blue heron was here today....first to see one on the beach this year...usually regular visitor in past years.  Captured these pictures:
Great Blue Heron
Ring Billed Gull
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Bellied Plover  (Corrected name)
Al on the Beach
Today we went to Traditons on the Island, the restaurant at the Island Inn which has been recently renovated and is now managed by restaurateur Andrea Mucciga whom we have followed around the island first at Bellini's on Captiva , then Riviera on Gulf  Drive, then Dolce Vita on Periwinkle and back on Gulf Drive  at Traditions. Traditions on the Beach has been completely renovated and added a full bar and lounge area and has a wonderful Gulf view. 
The musician for the night was Woody Brubaker but is usually Joe McCormick, a favorite entertainer of ours.

Gulf  View at Island Inn

Woody Brubaker
We shared a Caesar salad and Al ordered  flame grilled veal chop served with porcini mushrooms and potato gratin. I enjoyed veal with lemon, capers, and artichoke served dauphinoise potatoes. Al had creme brulee with caramel crust for dessert. After dinner, we enjoyed dancing and after dinner drinks.
Dining Room
Bar and Lounge