Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 23 on Captiva

Sun, Feb 24

Al, Mike, and I were up early at 6 am to get ready to go to DDNWR at 7:00 when the gate opens. It was a sunny morning and birds were out feeding....mostly saw white pelicans, brown pelicans, ibis, blue herons, great blue herons, tri-colored herons, reddish egrets, snowy egrets,  great egrets, yellow-crowned night herons, pied billed grebes, red-breasted mergansers, cormorants, anhingas, wood stork, and osprey. Special sightings were a Little Green Heron and a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron feeding on a crab. Mike saw several birds for the first time.

I left at 9:30 to drive to Punta Gorda airport to pick up my sister, Cecilia, who flew in from Knoxville to spend a week. Al and I are so thrilled that she is coming as it always a fun time with her.

Al and Mike drove to Bailey Tract for a walk to see more birds. These are photos of some of what they saw there:

Al and Mike had lunch at the Sunset Grill in nearby Santiva. Cecilia and I arrived at the house about 1:30 after stopping at the Farmer's Market to buy a fresh bouquet of flowers. I made us some turkey roll-ups with chips for lunch.

We all headed out to the beach for some sun and rest.  One of the eagles again landed in the tree and sat there for about 2 hours...that seems to be the eagle routine.

Tonight we had 6:00 reservations at The Mad Hatter, our most favorite dinner spot even though it is a small restaurant. We had hoped for a great sunset but the clouds prevented that but the lack of a sunset did not put a damper on dinner.


We began dinner with wine and salads. Al started with Mad House Salad-mixed organic baby greens, sliced pear and candied walnuts tossed with  house shallot and red wine vinaigrette, garnished with raspberry coulis  crowned with tempura Gorgonzola.  Mike had Strawberry Blue Salad-mixed organic baby greens, red onions, cherry tomatoes & fresh strawberries lightly tossed in a shallot and red wine vinaigrette, topped with Maytag Blue Cheese, drizzled with an aged balsamic reduction.  Cecilia and I shared Spiced Watermelon Salad-fresh watermelon tossed with roasted pine nuts, cayenne pepper, fresh mint and feta cheese served atop organic baby arugula.  All of the salads were delicious.
For entrees, Cecilia, Mike and I ordered Crab Cake dinners-2 panko crusted jumbo lump crab cakes with mustard sauce and  yucca  fries. Al dined on Rack of Lamb-pan seared, oven roasted Free Range Australian Rack of Lamb with walnut and cherry pesto crust, finished with a rosemary and port wine demi-glace served with roasted garlic risotto and mixed vegetables. This was a very delicious meal with excellent service and great conversion!

 We chose to finish the evening with coffee and Key Lime Pie on the porch back at the house.  It was a very enjoyable day especially with Mike and Cecilia joining us.

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