Monday, March 19, 2012

Home at Last

We were up early at Cecilia's enjoying coffee. We left early for our last leg home. Our drive was uneventful although we did see some signs of snow the closer we got to home. We made our routine stop at Menche's for dinner so there is no cooking tonight. We enjoyed our six week stay in Captiva but glad to be back home.  We missed some of the daffodils and crocus that bloomed early this spring, but there are still some in bloom and more to come. 

I did the final few posts of our Captiva Trip covering Wednesday March 14 through Monday March 19, 2012  on Tuesday January 15, 2013.  I always forget to do the final days of our trip but I was able to reconstruct the final days from my note, pictures, and memory.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Second Day of Drive Home

Sunday morning is cold here in Cartersville, GA. We slept in til about 7, ate a quick breakfast in the lobby and headed to Knoxville about a 3 hour drive.  We arrived at my sister's just before noon. We met Jack, Loy, Rob, Beth, Jacob, and Hannah at Aubrey's for lunch. Hannah, who just turned one, has just started walking and has changed so much since we saw her last.  After a great lunch visiting with everyone, Cecilia drove us over to see Rob and Beth's new home. Jacob and Hannah opened their birthday gifts from us.  For dinner tonight, we took Cecilia for her birthday ( March 22) dinner from us at Bonefish Grill...had great meal.

Enjoyed our visit with my family and spending time with my sister.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Day of Drive Home

We were up early with plans to leave by 7AM. Most of the car is packed. We dressed and ate breakfast of what is left ...some toast and fruit.  I packed a lunch for the drive and Al finished loading the last of bags, computers and whatever was left to put in the card. It is always a bit stressful to get on the way but we left about 7:30 on a beautiful sunny morning.  We will have a long drive today stopping at Cartersville, GA.  We will try to plan next year to make our first stop south of Atlanta to be settled before sunset and not be driving through Atlanta on Saturday evening. 
Dinner at Ruby Tuesday.

Note: This Ruby Tuesday is now closed as of May 2012. Another reason to re route our first stop home in March 2013.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 41 on Captiva

This is our last day at Captiva...we will head home early tomorrow.  After an early breakfast we made a final trip birding at Six Mile Slough but we did not see many birds. But we did see several alligators, mostly young ones, and a water moccasin snake. Pictures below:

We enjoyed a picnic lunch following our walk on the boardwalk in the picnic area of the slough.  We then made a stop at Sun Harvest Citrus market to buy oranges and grapefruit to take home with us.  After a stop at the car wash, we headed to the outlet mall to do a little shopping....bought some items at the Polo Shop. The rest of the day was spent packing and spending some time at the beach. We had our last meal in Captiva at the Lazy Flamingo.  We turned in fairly early to be ready for a long day tomorrow.
 This has been a wonderful stay in Captiva it was great having my sister for a week.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 40 on Captiva

Early start this morning...enjoyed some grapefruit and then went to Sanibel for Al's appointment for a massage at 9:00. Afterwards we went for brunch at Jerry's. Great breakfast and great value. Stopped at Island Pursuit were Al bought a shirt he had seen earlier. Also bought 2 lanyards for his glasses. Spent some time at the pool and then out to the beach. Dinner tonight at Traditions. Started some packing today for our retun home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 39 on Captiva

The weather seems to be getting better and better....temps in the 80's now. Spent most of the day at the beach enjoying the beautiful weather.  Not many people on the beach...we almost have to ourselves.  Came out for the sunset tonight. Al made some great pictures.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 38 on Captiva

Sunrise from the Dock on the Bay
Tuesday began with going out for sunrise on the bay side of the island.  We took a walk over to the beach on the gulf side to check out the tide and to see if there were any shells. We then returned to the porch for coffee and scones. Then we took a drive through Ding Darling. We finally saw some roseate spoonbills which we have missed seeing on our drives.

Roseate Spoonbills

Great Blue Heron

Mottled Ducks

One Happy Duck!

After a lunch of tuna salad, we headed back to the beach for a couple hours.  We were excited to see a pod of dolphins  - 5 to  6- swim by in the gulf. The flock of ibis were there again but had gained in number. 
We attended the Sanctuary Members Art Show to see the oil paintings that Helene was exhibiting.  She had  paintings ...a still life of an apple, snow scene, autumn scene and a beach scene. We enjoyed seeing the art that she did this past year.  We then had dinner with Mike and Helene and a couple of their friends in the clubhouse.   It was a fun evening and great food.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 37 on Captiva

We went out early this morning to see the sunrise over the bay.  The morning was filled with sounds of birds waking and sights of the early fishermen on the bridge and in the bay. This is a wonderful way to start the day.

The pictures of the sunrise say it commentary needed here.location and directions, 6536 Pine Ave, Sanibel, Florida, 33957 Our day was rather quiet spending time on the porch and at the pool.
We met Mike and Helene for dinner at the nearby Sunset Grill, a favorite of all of us.  I had seabass encrusted in a lattice crust with risotto and Al ordered the lobster tail also served with risotto.    Mike had grilled swordfish with mashed potatoes and Helene ordered the seafood pasta. The wine was ZD Pinot Noir which was new to us.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 36 on Captiva

We lost an hour today with the Time Change....instead of the sun rising about 6:30,  it now rises at 7:30. I always have trouble adjusting to this change. After coffee and bagels we drove to the Farmer's Market early in order to buy mussels before they sold out but the stand did not have any to sell. Well so much for that plan! I am sharing some pictures of the flower vendor where we have bought flowers every weekend. This week I bought a bouquet of pink tulips....thinking about spring and blooms tocome.  Have you ever seen blue orchids?....never have I.

Blue orchids???
We then went to the Bailey Tract for a walk. We saw a glorious sight of a large  migrating flock of Tree Swallows feeding on berries from a bayberry bush. I tried to capture their movement in this video:
Other pictures from our walk:

Tree Swallow Flock

Tree Swallows Feeding on Bayberry Bush

Pied-billed Grebe

Baby Alligator
For lunch we grilled ham and cheese with Tomato with Basil Soup.
For dinner, I prepared one of Al's faves - Shrimp Puttanesca that I have described in previous posts.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 35 Continued

After my walk on the beach and coffee, we went for a drive at Ding Darling.  Not many birds other than a few white pelicans, many ibis, yellow-crowned night herons, a hawk, shorebirds, blue herons, tri-colored herons, reddish egrets, great egrets,  ospreys on their nests, and the other regulars. Still looking for black -crowned herons.  I wonder where are the roseate spoonbills ...none in sight. These were the best shots of the day.

 Then back to the house for a lunch of ham sandwiches,  We then spent a restful afternoon on the beach.  Saw a group of short-billed dowitchers,  ibis, willets, sanderlings, ruddy turnstones, plovers, and just a few gulls. Not any brown pelicans.  No signs of great blue herons or the eagle from this morning.

Short-billed Dowitchers

Ibis Feeding

For dinner, I made chicken piccata served with garlicky angel hair pasta, tossed salad, and  garlic rolls. We ate on the porch and then Al watched the horse races at Northfield Park on the internet. I did some posting on this blog.

Day 35 on the Beach on Captiva

What a glorious morning on Captiva today.   I walked out to the beach about 45 minutes after sunrise....a bit later than on the last few mornings that I walked on the beach but I was greeted by a beautiful sky with the moon appearing above the gulf.  Another beautiful day created by God for all to enjoy. I am so blessed to be here in paradise.
The pelicans were flying in formation to report to the beach for their day of feeding and riding on the waves and to entertain all the beachcombers.
I enjoyed seeing the moon still in the sky as the sunshine filled the world with light.
Two Great Blue Herons were stalking their territories on the beach but would they be able to share the beach with each other?  These birds are very territorial and I did not know which bird had the beach rights to this area.   The one standing up tall and stretched to  his great height or the other one that hunkered down ready to show his full size........

But then another bird appeared on the that I had never seen on this beach at Captiva Island......... Eagle had landed on the shore ready to claim a fish from the gulf for his breakfast. This was quite a sight because in all my years on the island, I had never observed an eagle land on the beach.

The Eagle had caught a fish and was eating as the Great Blues watched and came in closer to
see who was invading their territory.

The Great Blues then resumed their territroial flight and began to chase each other off the beach.
The eagle then gave flight......
.... and landed in a nearby Autralian pine tree .....

What a great time I had watching these events unfold on the beach on this wonderful morning!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 33 on Captiva

No exciting adventures or pictures to report for this post.
Today was massage day for Al.  (Update on his shoulder:  He may have dislocated his shoulder causing the pain but it seemed to pop back in place a few days ago  when he reached for something. His pain is not as bad as it was.)  We drove in to Sanibel for his 9:00 AM appointment.
Afterwards we decided to try another place for breakfast and went to Jerry's which is a food store with a restaurant. We had a great wait....good service....good value.  Al ordered 2 eggs over easy, 2 pancakes, and sausage patties.  I had 2 scrambled eggs, ham, grits, and toast. We will be returning here for more meals.

We then shopped for provisions for meals to cook in.  The early afternoon was too cloudy for the beach but the sky cleared about 3:00 so we did get some time on the beach....was very hot today.  The clouds returned before sunset and it started to rain  around 7 PM.

Felt like comfort food tonight so I made meatloaf using cocktail sauce instead of my regular ingredients since I had a jar of the sauce. It turned out to be delicious but I still like my regular recipe.
Served with corn and tossed salad and garlic rolls.

I watched the DVD "The Help" as Al read and watched some TV.....was not his kind of movie.   I liked the book much better than the movie.....and wonder if I'd even like the movie unless I had read the book?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 32 on Captiva

Sand in My EyesToday I finally caught up with daily postings on this diary blog recapping all our days up to yesterday on Captiva Island. Some of my writing may be mundane but I like keeping a record of our time here.  Someday I may enjoy reliving some of our days here when we are too old and feeble to return for the winter weeks.  I just finished reading another book by Christine Lemmon "Sand in My Eyes" - "about an older woman growing flowers, a younger woman caught up in the weeds, and the seasons of life."  It did make me think of the different seasons of my life and about becoming old and older.

Al spent the morning mostly reading and waiting for me to get off the puter. He had some juice and cereal  to hold him over until I made lunch of BLT's.   The afternoon was leisurely spent with time on the beach. Today was the warmest day yet and the beach was a bit more busy.  We saw another dolphin swim by ...have not seen as many this year but it could be just not being in the right place at the right time.  On Monday this week, Al spotted a school of about 4-5 dolphins while I was making pictures of the black skimmers.

Shanghai Style BeefI fixed an easy meal tonight making a frozen dinner, P.F.Chang's  Shanghai Style Beef with a sweet and savory sauce, onions, string beans and red bell peppers that I served over some spaghetti. Just for fun, I included a picture of the bag from the web.  I also made a citrus salad - grapefruit ,oranges, and red onion with a honey dressing.  So easy and we enjoyed having some oriental food.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 31 Videos at DDNWR

These are some videos that I took on the Drive at Ding Darling.  Click on the arrow to view.

 Hope you enjoy the short glimpses  of the birds feeding....sorry the quality is not the best but wanted to share anyway.  Was a beautiful morning seeing all the wonderful birds of DDWR,

Day 31 on Captiva

This morning I again went to the beach at daybreak to check out the shells at low tide. I collected just a few including some sea urchins and small  pen shells that I normally do not collect.  Found several whole cockle shells. After less than an hour on the beach, I went back and Al and I decided to head to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to check out birds feeding at low tide and we were not disappointed.  Hundreds of birds were feeding on both sides of the many ibis, egrets, herons, white pelicans, gulls, ducks, and other shorebirds were busy feeding. Love to watch the white pelicans swimming and feeding as a group.   We only saw one lone Roseate Spoonbill....and he flew off just as Al aimed his camera....was the one who got away.....still in search for more. There was one lonely Yellow-crowned Night Heron feeding in the flats....we do not see them away from the shore line often.  Another rare sight was a Black-Crowned Night Heron in flight who flew over us at the cross dike. Another one was roosting or nesting? in a nearby tree.  There was also heavy traffic of bird watchers.  Guess everyone comes out for low tide.

Brown Pelican

White Pelican

Pied-billed Grebes

White Pelicans


 For lunch, I fixed homemade chicken salad that I served to Al in a sandwich with ciabatta bread and I served mine stuffed in a tomato. homemade chicken salad.

We spent another quiet afternoon on the beach. It is surprising that we were about the only ones here enjoying the beautiful weather and tropical breezes.

Tonight I prepared a light dinner of Sauteed Shrimp in a wine and lemon sauce. I served with roasted asparagus, fried corn confetti, and sliced tomatoes. I was tired tonight after a full day and fell asleep watching TV.  I think Al did too but how would I know??