Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 25 on Captiva

We began today with coffee and later I set up Continental breakfast so everyone could eat what and when they wanted to.  Had cereal, fresh fruit including bananas, blueberries, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit, juice, bagels,toast, and pastries. We then drove to Sanibel to shop at Periwinkle Place.
Just as we arrived , an EMS truck pulled in....a large tree limb had fallen from a tall tree in the garden and landed on a woman walking with a baby in her arms.  Fortunately the limb fell on the woman's back and missed hitting the child.  She did not seemed to be seriously injured. While shopping, Cecilia found some items at Chico's which is the original store for this chain.  We also bought more books by Christine Lemmon, local author from Sanibel and Cecilia found a sun bonnet for her grand daughter 1 year old Hannah, at Fresh Produce.
We were back home around 1:00 and lunched on tuna salad sandwiches with chips. Then we trekked over to the beach for sun and relaxation.

Tonight we dined  at The Green Flash in Captiva that sets on the bay side situated on the waters of Roosevelt Channel and overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway, the tranquil waters of Pine Island Sound, and the pristine beauty of Buck Key. We had a lovely dinner and great service. Cecilia ordered Prince Edward Island mussels sauteed with tomatoes, garlic and wine sauce served over pasta.  Al enjoyed a Veal Chop served with garlic mashed potatoes.  I had Crab Cakes, Maryland style, served with black bean and corn salsa.  Food was food that we have hadhere.

NOTE: Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or it may resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset point. Green flashes are a group of phenomena stemming from different causes, and some are more common than others.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 24 on Captiva

Tuesday began with Cecilia and I checking out the beach very early for shells but we did not find it  any better for shelling today.  After some coffee, we  all went to Ding Darling.....thought we might find more birds than we did shells.  One exciting thing that we saw was the stingray shown below. It was swimming very fast wih several sucker fish .

Enjoyed seeing the white pelicans, tri-colored heron, mergansers, green heron, great blue herons, ospreys,  willets, and all the other regular residents along the drive.

View from
 the porch of Sunset Grill
We then headed to the sunset grill for brunch.   Cecilia ordered the Banana French toast with a twist -it is made with fresh banana nut bread.  It was very good....have to try that next time.  Al had Eggs Santiva, toasted English muffin topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs, capers, onions and hollandaise sauce. For brunch, I enjoyed the Eggs Captiva, homemade crab cakes and poached eggs on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce.  Again we enjoyed eating on the porch listening to the sounds of the waves.

We did fit in some time in the sun on the beach after brunch.  Later we went out for the sunset,  but it began to rain just as we got to the beach. At least we did see a beautiful sky.

For dinner,  I prepared Shrimp Puttanesca full of flavors from shrimp, lemon, anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, and vermouth. This was served over spaghetti with salads and hot rolls and of course glasses of wine.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 23 on Captiva

We were all up early this morning. After coffee and Turtle Pecan Biscotti, Cecilia and I went out to the beach to check for shells. The shells were small and mostly broken….not a very good selection….but we enjoyed about an hour walking in the sand. We did spot a dolphin and also we saw a shark swimming close to the shoreline… was grayish brown and had a sharp pointed fin. At least it appeared to look like one.

Pelicans arriving at he beach.

Great Blue Herons at the beach.

Pelicans sitting on the beach.

Cecilia shelling on Captiva Beach
We had a lunch of sandwiches and chips on the porch. Then we visited the non-profit Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum that features more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world. Exhibits are devoted to shells in art and history, shell habitat, rare specimens, fossil shells, common Southwest Florida shells, and more.

Exhibit at Museum

Al checking out exhibits.
Cecilia looking at exhibits.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, reading, and napping on the beach.

Dinner tonight was at the Timbers, a very popular and busy seafood restaurant. See earlier post. Cecilia had the sautéed crab cake dinner with clam chowder and baked sweet potato. We shared an appetizer of Oysters Rockefeller. Al ordered triple shrimp platter with scampi, crunchy, and baked stuffed shrimp with salad and sweet potato. He likes the goldfish that garnish the salad. I had the baked stuffed shrimp with chowder and sweet potato. All dinners were served with steamed veggies. Enjoyed the meal …good service and good food.
Back to the house, we sipped Bailey’s Cream on the porch. We then all relaxed and took turns falling asleep as we tried to watch TV.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 22 on Captiva

Sunday morning we went to the Farmer’s Market about 8:00 to be early enough to buy fresh mussels before they sold out. We also bought a bouquet of flowers, tomatoes, olives, cheese, blue berries, strawberries, and other fresh produce. We were buying items in preparation for my sister’s arrival from Tennessee…. Cecilia is flying in this afternoon.

We left for the airport at Punta Gorda around 12 noon in order to have time to have the car washed in Ft. Myers and stop for gas. We arrived in plenty of time for the flight arrival at 3:30. It was so great to see Cecilia as she departed the plane. I was so glad that the sun was shining for her arrival even though it was on the cool side.

We celebrated at dinner with one of Cecilia’s favorites, steamed mussels, and glasses of wine. I prepared the mussels with an Italian sauce and served over bowls of linguine. The meal was completed with chopped green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and hot French rolls. For dessert, we had Key Lime Pie from Publix’s. A nice ending to a special day. We were so happy to have Cecilia for a visit.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 21 on Captiva

Today, we made an early drive through Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge spotting a small group of white pelicans with shore birds mostly made up of willets at one of the pools. Other sightings included a yellow-crowned night heron at the edge of the road, ibises feeding along the road, blue heron, and egrets. There were several nesting ospreys with recently hatched chicks. 

One of the most interesting sights was several horseshoe crabs swimming along a section of the shoreline. The smaller crabs would attach to the larger crabs and be pulled along in a string….could this be some form of mating ritual? check out this link

After our drive at the refuge, we had brunch at the Sunset Grill on the road just across the beach. We ate on the porch enjoying the beautiful morning and the sounds of the surf. Al ordered bagel and smoked salmon served with smoked salmon, capers, onions and cream cheese.   I enjoyed the poached eggs with wheat toast and hashed browns.
We spent a lovely afternoon at the beach watching the birds and boats going by.
Picture from the internet images.
After a casual day, we enjoyed eating at our fave local hangout, Lazy Flamingo. Tonight I had a Big Burger Burger, 8 ounces ground sirloin with tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, mayonnaise and a special sauce on a bun….much, much better than a Big Mac and more than  I could eat. Al ate Mesquite-Grilled Ribs (falling off the bone good) served with spicy French Fries and Coleslaw. Needless to say, we ate too much but it was soooo good!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 20 on Captiva

panorama-corner-of-boardwalk-by-Bob Repenning
Friday morning began with early coffee and toast. We left at 8:30 to drive to Ft. Myers to go to Six Mile Slough for birding. The Six Mile Cypress Slough is a 2,500 acre wetland in Fort Myers, Florida, that measures approximately 9 miles long and 1/3 mile wide. This linear ecosystem is home to a diverse population of plants and animals, including a few considered to be endangered. The Slough also serves as a corridor for wildlife by providing a safe route of travel.
We did not see as many birds as usual but did hear a Barred Owl "Hooting" through the trees as we walked the boardwalk. We spotted a couple of wild pigs rooting through the roots for food. They are a noisy lot! Many turtles were sunning on logs. The birds that we did see included anhingas, cormorants, herons, one wood stork, and several ibis feeding.


After  more than two hours of birding, we had a picnic lunch that I packed before we left.

 We then drove to downtown Ft. Myers area to check out the Franklin Shops, a store on the corner of First and Broadway that is owned by our friends and owners of our rental home.  The Franklin Shops has  a department store style, with as many as 40 or 50 retailers and a central checkout counter.  The new shopping center fits into plans the city  to bring more retail shopping to the office-heavy government hub downtown.


   Margarethe in  her Tea and Wine Store

We made a quick stop at Publix's for dinner before heading back to the islands.  Dinner in tonight after a fun filled day.  We prepared Porterhouse steak with  mushroom sauce and asparagus.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 19 on Captiva

Al had anorher appointment for a message for his injured shoulder so we drove into Sanibel early after coffee and toast.  Afterwards, we had breakfast on the verranda at the Island Cow , a very popular eating spot for families.
 I ordered Your Way -Two jumbo eggs cooked your way with sausage with creamy grits, cow spuds, honey wheat toast and fresh fruit. Al had mini bagels with lox platter which he said was better than the others that he has hadon Sanibel. The meals were served with coconut muffins.
Today back on the beach, I finished the book that I was reading.
Dinner tonight we were again at our fave hang out the Lazy Flamingo having dinner at the bar. Enjoyed oysters on the half shell. I ordered a Hamburger which was 8 oz. ground sirloin char-grilled, dressed with tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, mayonnaise, and a special
sauce on a fresh bun, served with fries.  Al had  mesquite grilled rib dinner with fries and coleslaw.Yummy Dinner!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 18 on Captiva

Sanibel ScribblesNot anything unusual today. We followed the same schedule of doing nothing....I caught up with this blog in the morning and spent afternoon reading on the beach. I started another book...."Sanibel Scribbles" by Christine Lemmon about a young woman's journey of embracing life.  Part of the story takes place on Sanibel Island and nearby areas but also extends to Spain.

For dinner we prepared red snapper from Timbers Fish Market breaded with Panko crumbs and served with a Baby Green Salad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 17 on Captiva

Tuesday began with early rise to a beautiful blue sky and warm temps. Enjoyed Al's coffee with pastries from Jerry's bakery.  I spent time catching up on posts to this diary and editing some photos. We had a late breakfast of eggs and ham with hot biscuits.  We spent a couple hours at the beach .....the waves have settled down to a gentle roar so no surfers are in sight today.  Several pelicans were feeding near the shoreline diving into what must have been  schools of fish swimming. The number of beachcombers had dwindled to just a few compared to yesterday's crowd here for President's Day.  I finished reading a third book today, "V is for Vengeance" by  Sue Grafton one of an alphabet series about an PI Kinsey Millhone.

Tonight we joined friends Mike and Helene for dinner at their club The Sanctuary. We spent the evening catching up on the past year and enjoying being together.  We enjoyed a great dinner at the club as always.  In case you are wondering, Al had Osso Bucco with risotto and I had King Salmon with couscous and spinach.
                           The Sanctuary