Last month David and I flew south for a week with family and some fun in the sun. We joined David’s dad on beautiful Sanibel Island with an open itinerary and lots of time for bike rides, shelling, and tennis lessons. This laid-back beach town was just what we needed after a month of temps in the teens, and fortunately Portsmouth has a small airport 10 minutes from our house with direct flights to the east coast of Florida. How could we resist?!
The pleasures are simple on Sanibel and would recommend it for those truly looking for R&R. I hope we can make Florida an annual retreat!
We stayed in a condo overlooking the beach at Casa Ybel, which was the perfect blend of resort amenities (beach, pool, restaurant, tennis courts, etc) and condo living with a small kitchen and gas grill for when you wanted to prep your own dinner. All rooms look out over the water and we opened the door to our terrace each night and loved listening to the sound of the waves lap the shore as we fell asleep. Is there anything more soothing?
I like to incorporate as much physical activity as possible when on vacation so we rented bikes and explored the island top to bottom. It’s 18 miles round trip from Casa Ybel to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge for some bird watching, and a much shorter ride to the Sanibel Lighthouse and town pier which is a wonderful spot to fish from the docks and watch the sunset. We chartered a private fishing boat one day and even though the water was murky due to the previous day’s storm, we caught enough pampano to make a very heart meal. (I wouldn’t recommend our captain, since he ended the fishing trip by proudly telling a story of visiting New York and fighting with someone who bumped into him on the sidewalk – gloating that he pushed the guy in front of a taxi. Yikes.) David’s dad used to be a tennis coach so he gave me several lessons that week – until a bee stung my hand during a serve. Aside from that beach time, the occasional shuffleboard game, and naps on the terrace were our daily routine.
All credit due to David’s dad for the array of restaurants we tried while on Island. We tried and loved the Thistle Lodge (at Casa Ybel), Island Cow (many of you said you love this place!), Cielo and Sweet Melissa’s Café. We also loved meeting friends for breakfast at the Lighthouse Cafe and took the fish we caught to a place called Mudbugs one day for lunch and it was delicious!