Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wonderful Walks on Sanibel Island: Part I

Sanibel is a comfortable place to visit, what ever your mode of transportation.  Easy to navigate by car, by boat, by bike, by segue, and , of course, the most reliable of all, by foot.

We favor the last of these.

Recognizing it is most appealing at certain times of day and certain seasons, it is also the safest with the highest yield.

It is good aerobic exercise, good weight bearing exercise , the most flexible and the best means for enjoying the island on a more micro level.

Take for example Ding Darling, the jewel in the island's crown.  Most people either drive their cars through the preserve, while some bike it, but few walk it.  And while we would agree that walking the entire preserve in one journey is too much for the majority, taking it in pieces will give you back much more than you put in. 

It is a special experience.

By foot, not only will you feel the breezes off the bay and bayou, you will hear many more sounds than either by car or by bike.  But best of all, our birds which can be elusive with so much land and water to choose from, will be considerably more visible if you explore it on your own two feet. 

Those Little Blue Herons feeding in the mangroves are more often missed than seen by car or bike.  The smaller shorebirds that visit our preserves and sit on the rocks will be a visual treat during the stroll.  And our bigger creations such as the raccoons up in the trees or manatees patrolling our lagoons will now be observable from your ambulatory point of view.

And, perhaps, best yet, if you are a photographer, you will be delighted with your sightings and much more able to record them for posterity.  But don't take our word on that.  Drive through the preserve and see how those few on foot with cameras are shooting away while the bikers and car riders just whizz on by, missing it all.  So our office motto is, when it comes to Ding Darling, "drive to it, not through it."

We will highlight some other nice walks in future posts, but hope we might inspire some to abandon their wheels and rely on their own built in "movers" to see our Island treats!

Friday, September 11, 2015

"Take Homes" from Sanibel Island

The most popular take home by far on our tropical island are the shells found on the beach.  While no living resident is allowed to be collected, there are thousands of beautiful shells that are added to our visitors luggage regularly.  Cleaned and preserved, they are used as desk paper weights,  become jewelry items or made into frames for photographs.

But if you have been to Sanibel several times and feel that you, your family and friends , have more than enough of our various , beautiful shells, we would like to suggest some options.

One especially fun place to purchase something a little different for the ladies on your list is the  Why-Knot shop.  Why-Knot has a little bit of everything in fashion catering to the styles of three generations of women.  Owned and operated by Island residents, mom and daughter, the apparel is casual chic.  We particularly like the sleep wear which is particularly comfortably for those sweet, star filled night time slumbers.

And keeping pace with appropriate naming and lovely buy-ables, we nominate Shiny Objects  for a visit. 
Shiny Objects is Sanibel's authority on dichroic glass and sterling silver jewelry. They offer a wonderful variety of jewelry in tropical and contemporary designs to suit nearly every taste and budget.  Also featured is a full line of accessories to complete your collection. Always taking your ideas and wishes into consideration, the staff at Shiny Objects are determined to find the right piece for you. 
One of the most eclectic shops on Sanibel has got to be Pandora's Box.  Everything from home d├ęcor to art and gift ware can be found at Pandora's. And now they offer something a little extra.  Pandora's Box Too, has some of the most delightful cards for sale,  Pretty cards, funny cards, arty cards can be found in large selections and are sure to please your purchase urges.
The Islander Trading Post may be the most unique shopping experience on Sanibel.  It  is like a little pop culture museum.  Be prepared to spend some time perusing the many aisles and tiny rooms that are surprisingly tucked away in this gem.  The owner has everything organized in special categories and there are shelves from floor to ceiling!  Make sure to look up, because you'll miss some of the amazing things hanging from the ceiling. We personally love how they play music to get you in the mood while you shop.  While recent guests were  there, the shop was playing vintage Armstrong.  And their vintage toy collection is wonderful, too.
The list goes on and on, taking something home from Sanibel is the easy part.  The hard part is leaving!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Focus on One Hidden Jewel in Sanibel's Crown

Sanibel's crown is a multi-jeweled creation.

There is the Gulf, often sparkling with diamonds and the color of sapphires.

There are the multiple shells that cover our beaches, a necklace of shapes that fringe the waters.

There are our birds, a myriad of shades from soft taupe to bright pink, ringing the island from end to end.

And , of course, there is the ubiquitous emerald green of our fauna, perhaps best enjoyed during this season when almost daily late rains keep it refreshed and refreshing.

But of man-made wonders, there are also too many to mention in one simple post.

So we want to focus on just one, one very special place: The Sanibel Recreation Center.

The Center is a wonderful source of pleasure, fun and fitness for both residents and visitors alike.

The gym and exercise room are well maintained and offer a wide range of equipment from exercycles to weight machines,  free weights as well as elliptical machines.   There are also basketball and tennis courts.   And, over 40 fitness classes. 

For the kids, there is not only a kiddie pool there is one equipped with slides and other aquatic equipment.  And there is a playground as well.

But the heart of the center, both physically and philosophically appears to be the 6 lane pool for lap swimmers.  It is large, pristine, well monitored and heated in winter. 

For vacation rental guests who take their swimming seriously, they will not be disappointed in the lap pool, and we recommend it for anyone renting who wants a serious swim experience.

Best of all, the Sanibel Recreation Center offers plenty of easy parking and very affordable rates, keeping it within reach of all those who visit the island.