Friday, January 28, 2011

Pets are First on Sanibel: First Aid Hints for Visitors

A few weeks ago, the Red Cross offered a course in pet first aid. It was offered at the Sanibel Recreation Center and apparently quite popular. It has been offered before and brought back by because of the interest in the subject.

Because Sanibel is so pet friendly, many owners of properties, as well as rental guests, travel with dogs and cats. Small dogs especially, are welcomed in many condos and houses. One need only look for "pet friendly" and there will be a few nice places to choose from.

But going on vacation with your pooch necessitates a certain awareness of emergencies that might arise.

Bearing in mind that the ultimate goal is to get your best buddy to the vet asap, here are some guidelines for pet owners provided by the Red Cross on pet first aid.

Emergencies can occur suddenly and without warning. Knowing what to do in the initial moments can be critical to your pet's life. Thanks to the Red Cross, pet owners can equip themselves with first aid and CPR skills.

Everyone with a pet should have a "stash" of necessities for their pet as they do for family members. The pet "suitcase" should include the following:
  • Sturdy leashes and carriers
  • Medications and copies of medical records
  • Current photos of your pet in the event that they get lost
  • A first aid kit

Pet owners should also have a plan, anticipating what could go wrong and what to do at each stage of the emergency.

Pet owners should stay informed. Know where vets on Sanibel are located and what their hours are as well as where alternate 24/7 vet care is available.

Course participants in the Red Cross class received a Dog First Aid and a Cat First Aid Manual. The manuals each contained a 30 minute DVD with step-by-step information on safety procedures and dealing with medical emergencies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What's New On/near The Island: Sanibel Is Just Waiting for You!

Because Sanibel Island is two thirds a nature preserve, low key with a moratorium on building of new condominium complexes, to a large degree it has kept the same feel for many years. It's a tropical, tranquil spot that is able to combine a great natural experience with all the comforts, and cultural experiences, of much larger and environments.

Despite its dedication to providing a great beach, shelling and animal viewing experience for vacationers, it does offer, on and immediately off island, some stimulation with new things to see, do, places to eat and adventures to take.

We'd like to highlight two exciting offerings, one on and one off Island----- and will from time to time focus on others via this blog.

Tomorrow night, January 22, the Island Community House will host "Dancing with the Stars of Sanibel and Captiva." The evening, created as a fund-raiser for the Sanibel Community Association, will feature six celebrity dancers from Sanibel & Captiva. There will be professional instructors from Fred Astaire Studios. Three local judges, a DJ, an Emcee and a Hostess will be part of the evening as well, and the winnner will be determined by the judges scores and the most votes (donations) raised by the dancers. The proceeds of this event will support the SCA in its vision to remodel and update The Community House. There will be several locations around Sanibel where the contest can be watched live on closed circuit TV:

Doc Fords
Lazy Flamingo
Sweet Melissa's
The Dunes
The Sanctuary Golf Club
The Sanibel Grill at The Timbers

Call each location for specific details! The show begins at 7pm.

One of the most exciting things happening close by but off island is the new boat tour around Sanibel and Captiva. The Edison Estates now offers a tour of more than 25 miles of coastline from Captiva Island to Thomas Edison's famed Fort Myers estates. The tour takes you past Sanibel and by nearly 400 miles of canals that were nothing in Edison's era. It's a chance to look back on Florida's past and learn a little more about its current climate.

After a stop and tour of Edison and Ford's estate grounds, visitors get back on the boat and go home.
The tours leave Captiva every Wednesday at 10 am. They are $70 a person or $60 for children.

Future blog posts will feature new shops, restaurants, things to do and other news about Sanibel Island.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wide Range of Events Available on Sanibel This Winter Season

For a 12 mile long barrier island, Sanibel is remarkable in a number of ways.

The Island philosophy emphasizes the natural wonders of the Island, and the preservation and conservation of wild life and natural island treasures is truly unique.

Just for the natural beauty, abundance of nature, low density population and low rise buildings as well as the shell strewn beaches, Sanibel would stand out from so many other attractive Florida destinations.

But Sanibel offers much more.

Where in Florida (or the world for that matter), can you find a menu of cultural events as diverse as Sanibel's wild life viewing?

Beginning on January 13, with The Euclid Quartet, Big Arts---the home of the arts on Sanibel----is hosting a wide variety of performances.

Classical concerts, in January alone, include a Sunday afternoon concert on January 16th featuring Pianist Julio Elizalde and Cellist Bonnie Hampton. The Bergonzi String Quartet performs at night on January 27. The New Arts Trio performs on Sunday afternoon, January 30. In addition to the live concerts in January, there is also a video production of Le Nozze di Figaro being shown on January 20.

February also offers a full range of impressive entertainment. In addition to the classical musical repertoires being offered, the world acclaimed video of Sleeping Beauty will be shown on the night of February 9. The play, Sylvia, about a stray dog, will be performed on February 3. The Persuasions will be performing classic soul on February 5. The music of Johnny Mercer will be performed on February 12 by Lee Lessack and Linda Purl. And concluding the month on the lighter side, The Kingston Trio will perform a matinee show as the evening one is sold out. Both performances are on February 19.

And for visitors coming in March, the show goes on. There is a Chamber Music Concert featuring the Southwest Florida Symphony on March 20. Tap Kids show off the nation's most talented tap dancers on March 26. A performance on March 9 by the Cardinal Stage Company of Souvenir, will tell the story of tone deaf diva Florence Foster Jenkins. And a very inviting marionette show on March 30 by Cashore Marionettes will be held on March 30 and feature music by such notable composers as Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss, and Copland.

And for those visitors accustomed to paying a kings ransom in big cities around the country and world for these kind of activities, take heart. The prices on the island are a bargain by any body's calculations!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Great Resolutions for a Sanibel Holiday

It's been a wild 2 weeks on Sanibel with every kind of weather you could imagine over the holidays.

We had sun.

We had warm.

We had cool.

We had wind.

But now we are pretty much back to normal with temps in the 70's, blue skies, warming rays and just the gentlest of breezes.

And there is the usual enormous surge of inquiries from vacation rental guests experiencing bitter cold elsewhere who have begun to look for a port in the winter storm. We can accommodate most, but not all of their needs, and we certainly don't like to turn any one away so we are working hard to find the perfect place for our visitors for the future. And we are working with our current guests to assure that they are comfortably settled in for their stay.

In talking to our guests, current and future, we realize that some resolutions might be in order for the best enjoyment of Sanibel.

Here are half a dozen we would suggest to all who know and appreciate how special a place the Island is:

1. I shall not wait until January of 2012 to look for a great place to stay on Island in February of 2012. Last minute "deals" can be found, but the best deals are usually discovered well in advance of the busiest month of the year.

2. I shall anticipate the weather flux and flows of winter on Sanibel and carry down more than colorful shorts and t-shirts for my stay.

3. I shall not forget my sun tan lotion for those (often experienced) glorious days when the sun is high and bright. Winter on Sanibel can result in a burn if the sun bather does not take care.

4. I shall bring my own entertainment (kindle, books, DVD's, games) for the rare days of wind and cool. Though most vacation rental properties offer entertainment in these forms, it's always nice to have your own play toys with you!

5. I shall be flexible on dining out, especially on a holiday night. Eating earlier or later than usual may help you find a comfortable table at your favorite restaurant. And calling ahead at some restaurants for a reservation can be a boon as well.

6. I shall enjoy the wild life of the island in passive form. I shall heed the directives to stay away from the banks of fresh water. I shall leave only foot prints on the sand and take only memories and (discarded shells) away.