Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Day 39 on Captiva

Another cool and very windy day but it is very sunny!  It was too cool to sit on the porch for me but Al sat there with his morning coffee.  He made our reservations for trip home....we are leaving on Friday instead of Saturday  to spend a day in Knoxville.  Began some packing for the trip.

We had roasted chicken and vegetable soup for lunch (out of a can).  I took a walk over to the beach just to what was going on and there was nothing going on.  No birds, no people......just an empty beach with umbrellas in the sand and a lot of wind and waves.

Tonight we had 5:00 reservations at Mad Hatter, our very favorite restaurant just the other side of Blind Pass looking out over the gulf.  Perfect spot for watching sundown. 

Our server Brandon was very attentive and pleasant.  We began with a shared appetizer of Portuguese Oysters-roasted oysters, chorizo,  and coated with Panko crumbs. Very good!  We then shared a Caesar salad. Al ordered Short Ribs -red wine braised boneless short ribs, horseradish cream, truffle yucca fries, and haricots verts.  Melt in your mouth tender!  I had Crab Cake Dinner-two jumbo lump crab cakes, mango rum remoulade, tropical fruit salsa, yucca fries,  plantain chips and grilled mango.  Very delicious and the best Crab Cake!  We enjoyed glasses of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir ( Sean Minor Four Bears).  A great dinner to remember!

Al sneaked a picture of me at Mad Hatter.




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 38 on Captiva

Not much to note today.

Our Captiva stay seems to be ending on a cool note.  It was too cool for the pool and beach today so I began to organize and pack for the return home.  For brunch I made a frittata with last night's leftover pasta and served with rye toast and orange juice.  We both spent time reading and planning our drive home.

After an uneventful day,  I cooked dinner-crunchy chicken breasts, fried okra, green salad and hot rolls.  Even the eagles were quiet today.

The weather at home in Ohio has been frightful....very cold and snowy.  The eastern part of the country has been hit with some of the  worse weather of the winter.  Even Tennessee has had snow and very cold temperatures.  Hope it will be over by the time we get home on Monday.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 37 on Captiva Ding Darling Continued

Test: I am hoping the videos will play.

I made some videos on our Ding Darling Drive and am going to try to post on my blog. To view, go directly to my blog (link at bottom of email)....cannot open in email. Click on arrow to view.
Yellow-Night Heron

Day 37 on Captiva

Cloudy morning! We went to Ding Darling for an early drive about 8 or was it 9....confused by the time change.  Anyway the time on the first photo was 8:10.  There was a low tide and a lot of ibis feeding .....only saw a few white pelicans 5-6.... a few roseate spoonbills feeding.....several yellow-crowned night herons including a "family" of three.  Most of our photos were  of night herons and roseates. 
These pictures give  a feel of the cloudy, gray morning:

 We had fun watching these yellow-crowned night herons: 

 And then a roseate spoonbill joined the herons:

Other birds of the day:
Reddish Egret

Tri-Colored Heron


Mottled Ducks

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron near the end of the drive

Cat Bird
Our drive ended about 11:00 and we headed back to the cottage for a lunch of chicken sandwiches and chips.  We decided the cloudy afternoon would be a good time to hit the shops at Periwinkle Place and that we did.  It was more of a window shopping trip but I did buy something at Fresh Produce and some soap and lotions at a new shop Fanta Sea.
This shopping area is a lovely place located in a garden atmosphere with beautiful tropical plants, trees, and water fountains.
Since it is time to eat, we drove to Matzaluna for dinner but it was a 25 minute drive to the end of the island because of the bumper to bumper traffic headed to the causeway.
But we beat the dinner rush and were seated in a booth immediately.  Al ordered Veal Parmesan -tender cutlet, lightly fried, then baked with mozzarella and pomodoro sauce and served a salad.
I had Mulberry Street Shrimp-gulf shrimp, sauteéd with capers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and prosciutto tossed in a sage cream sauce, served over angel hair pasta and with a salad.  This was absolutely delicious and way too large a portion.  By the time that we left, there was a long line of people waiting for tables and an overcrowded bar.  The Italian dinner was worth the drive in the traffic jam.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 36 on Captiva

Sunday morning brought an early walk on the beach.  There were several families already set up for the day with gazebos, tents, umbrellas, and chairs and staking off their space for the day.   Lot of people were shelling even though there were only small and broken shells.  No birds except for a small group of ruddy turnstones and a few willets. 

After our walk and checking on the eagles who were not seen, we had a brunch of French Toast and Maple syrup with grapefruit and juice.  We then settled in at the pool for the afternoon.  We went to Doc Ford's for dinner at 5:30 and quickly were seated in a booth inside without a wait.  There would have been a wait for the popular outdoor seating.

We seem to like to order and share our favorite items....fresh oysters on the half shell,  calamari salad -lightly battered calamari tossed with mixed Everglades greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, a sweet and sour vinaigrette dressing and topped with crispy wontons , and the mussels- steamed in a broth of roasted garlic, shallots, Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, white zinfandel and a hint of cream and butter. 
We had great food and service.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day 35 on Captiva

Today was a routine day with coffee and pastries on the porch early in the morning.  Made egg salad sandwiches for lunch and then to the pool for afternoon swim and reading. I finished another book All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale.

Al enjoying his time in the pool on a very hot day.

One of the eagle chicks was "out on a limb" while one of the adults was inside the nest.

Al watched the races at Northfield tonight and made a little money on his bets. I made us beef stroganoff ( from last night's leftover steak) over noodles and served with salad and hot roll.
That's all folks!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Day 34 onCaptiva

Al had an appointment at the Tween Waters Spa at 10:30.  I took a walk to the beach while he was gone.  Not much activity except for some boats, a couple of fishermen, and a group of Ruddy Turnstones.  Quiet morning but a beautiful day.

I headed back to the cottage
And checked the eagle nest:
Only one chick in sight.
For lunch, I made fish sandwiches on Kaiser rolls with leftover from yesterday's lunch and served with iced teas. While eating on the porch we saw several red-bellied woodpeckers chasing around the trees.  We spent the afternoon pool side reading and relaxing. 
Al grilled a delicious rib-eyed steak and I served with sautéed mushrooms, baked potatoes, and caprese salad. Enjoyed with glasses of wine.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 33 on Captiva

Today we took a trip to Ding Darling around 10:00.  There was a lot of traffic on the drive.....a lot of bicycles........a lot of birds feeding in the distance.....not so many up close to the drive.
 We did not take many pictures but we did photograph some Ibis feeding along the walk at the dike.

The best photo of the day was this shot made by Al of an alligator near the end of the drive.
Cecilia, this picture is for you!
After our drive,  we went to Sanibel Café for lunch. Al had a Huge crunchy Fish Sandwich  with lettuce, tomato and onion on a Kaiser roll with coleslaw.  I had Shrimp salad with sliced tomato, melon, and lemon-poppy seed  muffin.  Great lunch and we took home enough fish for another lunch.
Next stop was Bailey's General store for mussels and a steak and more provisions.  Rest of day spent as free do whatever we each wanted.
Dinner was Steamed Mussels with Italian sauce over bed of pasta served with green salad and French Bread. Nice ending to our day.