Sunday, December 19, 2010

Intergenerational Travel to Sanibel: Why's and Where fores

Because Sanibel is kid friendly, educationally advantageous and safe, it is a very popular tourist destination for families with young kids. Similarly, its quiet environment, intimate dining options and easy to navigate topography make it equally popular with seniors, from young retirees to seasoned elders. And for those "tweeners", the number of active sporting options from boating, to biking to para sailing, the Island is a magnet. So when mom, dad, grand ma and grand pa and the kids in the family--- ranging from 2 to 20---are looking for a winter break or summer holiday, Sanibel Island is often on the list of maybe's.

At Sanibel Holiday, we are able to offer a variety of accommodations that can be tailored to the needs and budget of our intergenerational family travelers.

When it's a larger party looking for ultimate "togetherness" and able to commit to a month on Island, we suggest our private home rentals. A house with 3 bedrooms, a lanai, a pool and all the amenities from fully stocked kitchens to well supplied media options, provides the family with the optimum in bedding, cooking and entertainment. It also allows for various members of the family to seek out and utilize their own space within the home. A larger condo might work as well, and the weekly rather monthly obligation, is more convenient for many vacationers, but the privacy of a home is often preferred by families who are looking to establish their own unique resort vacation.

Often, a larger group will opt for 2 or 3 condos in the same complex. Sanibel Holiday is happy to help in making these kind of arrangements. Condo units near each other but providing specific resolutions, are a very effective way for the big groups to vacation together. Those individuals who want the utmost in quietude, are directed to the last floors of a complex in order to avoid the possibility of "heavy stepping" upstairs neighbors. Similarly, the physically challenged as well as the moms and dads who want to walk right in after a day of shell collecting may be more attracted to first floor units and the easy access they provide.

So finding the right accommodation is relatively easy.

Another matter to consider is transportation on the Island.

It's always easy as the Island is small and slow going. But those seeking a larger condo or even a house might want to consider the issue of parking. Most condos come with one parking space per unit, and during busy times could not accommodate the 2 or 3 vehicles a larger group may need when staying in the same apartment. This should be discussed and explored to see if there are ample guest parking spaces where the additional cars can be parked. Some homes have enough driveway space to accommodate multiple cars, but this is not always the case and exploration on this matter should be accomplished before a booking is made.

Eating in is a great option in a vacation rental. All condos and homes come supplied to allow you to make meals in. But we do counsel our clients that meal planning with a intergenerational group may be a bit more complicated and communicating dietary preferences will make the job simpler and quicker. There are two large, lovely and diversified grocery stores on Island, and several smaller ones. It is unlikely you will not find what you like in these stores, it just takes time and consideration to make sure you have what you want in your rental accommodation.

One thing is for certain, regardless of the composition of your family, you will find a stay on the Island to be the best vacation you ever had!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sounds in the Night on Sanibel

It has occurred to us that though there is great peace and tranquility on our little Island, that there are Island sounds all day long.

The singing of birds, the wind in the palms, the lapping of the Gulf, are familiar sunshine "songs" that we hear all day.

But the sounds actually increase after the sun sets.

Since the sounds we want to discuss have been recorded nicely, we hope that you might be sufficiently interested and that you will click on our links and take a listen.

One delightful bird that you will hear more often at night than in the day is the Chuck-Will's-Widow. Sometimes confused with the Whip-Poor-Will, they are actually two different birds. The Chuck-Will's Widow is found in pine woods and swamp lands and can actually be posted right outside your bedroom window saying good night to you in his chipper way.

Another bird that shows up at dusk and later is the Great Horned Owl. Great Horned Owls have a number of calls, but the males owl's territorial hoot can be heard miles away on a still night. Great Horned Owls can be quite large with the female the larger of the sexes. They attack, kill and eat a wide variety of fish and amphians and can snatch and kill smaller prey 2 to 3 times larger than themselves, including little dogs and cats. Fortunately, little dogs and cats do not roam at will on the Island and this is a word to the wise human owners for certain.

Not nearly as common, but a most startling sound of the night is the gray fox call. It is an eerie sound and varies in tone and duration. Foxes are generally nocturnal animals and have retractable claws, like cats. As you will see by clicking on the link, the call has a large number of variations. The dense, natural landscape of Sanibel makes the Island an ideal habitat for the gray fox though no one has yet documented their existense with photos.

Then there are the smaller critters. There are a variety of frogs, lizards, crickets and other little Sanibel residents whose calls, croaks, clicks and shrills during the night blend into one unending lullaby. The frogs may be nocturnal or diurnal, but it appears that rain at any time of day waters their urge to call out.

If you can envision a night free from the usual urban or suburban sounds of traffic, sirens, barking dogs and tv's blaring, you might want to try the evening and night time sounds of Sanibel Island.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Perfect Place for Sanibel Holiday Shopping

Sanibel Island can't offer the snow covered, cozy streets of your childhood, but it sure can offer a great, green spot to do your winter holiday gift buying for your children...or anyone else.

There are many stores throughout the Island where you can find unique presents to take home to your friends, acquaintences and loved ones. Maybe even a bargain or two.

One particularly efficient area to begin your shopping is Periwinkle Place Shops.

This group of stores offers a wide variety of small shops where you can find treasures for everyone on your list, regardless of age. And, in many instances, you are able to not only find a nice gift but also bring home a touch of the Island with you.

Begin your search at Sanibel Sunglass Company. Here, you will find a significant array of unique and fun sunglasses. And, don't forget yourself. The brilliant sunshine on our little tropical island will remind you that a nice pair of sunglasses is just the thing you can pack and bring back to your crisp, cold environment at home. Imagine yourself building snowmen with the youngsters in your family wearing a stylish and colorful pair of "shades" you just brought home from vacation.

Still in a tropical mood? Then continue shopping with a stop at Congress Jewelers. This Island "gem" will offer you some traditional jewelry crafting as well as some items a little off the beaten path. Peruse the sea life jewelry. We're betting there is some lucky lady in your life who will love an unsual pair of earrings or pin.

Both Paradise Sanibel and Tiki Jim's have a great selection of t-shirts for men, women and children. And do browse the isles for more. Paradise Sanibel also sells sweatshirts and Tiki Jim's has some humorous items on sale as well.

If the children in your family are not t-shirt afficionados, take a look at Friday's Child, a most distinctive kids store for "way cool" kids. And not to be missed is Toy's Ahoy, where books, educational games and fun toys will keep you entertained as you seek the perfect present.

Want something to munch on, a quick snack or sweet treat, while you do your gift list check offs?

The Cheese Nook will most definitely have some wonderful tidbit for you to buy and eat. And for something a bit sweeter, you can stop into Chocolate Expressions, where you can buy cookies or ice cream....or both!

If you are hungry for something a little more substantial, don't overlook The Blue Giraffe, a restaurant growing in ranking among Sanibel natives and return visitors. Not hungry at all, but just needing to get off your feet? We understand and sympathize and suggest you take a break at the Sanibel Day Spa, guaranteed to pamper you to your heart's content.

Within the Periwinkle Shops and across the Island, you will find art, clothes, food items, books and every manner of gift you might imagine. Come down. Bring your gift list. Bring your enthusiasm for a wonderful vacation in an extraordinarily natural, tropical environment. We guarantee you will never have as nice a time shopping anywhere else.