Here are the complete pictures of our trip: http://charlieandcathy.shutterfly.com/
Thursday, Dec. 18th and Friday, Dec. 19th
My 50th birthday! And I was surprised to find my office decorated and posters around the building announcing my birthday. I hadn’t seen this sneaky side of Arica before! The day went well; our last day of class for the semester.
With reports of snow in the forecast we decided to take no chances and went up to Sioux Falls in the evening and spent the night to make sure we didn’t miss our 6:40am flight. Essentially we started our mini-vacation a day early! After securing a room for the night we were off to the famous Monk’s – our first visit and hopefully not last to this fine establishment. The selection of beers was mind boggling but once we decided it was very relaxing to sip our brew cozying up to the fireplace. While in the big city we decided to take in dinner and a movie. At Ruby Tuesdays we had a great meal and coincidently got a free desert (they didn’t even know it was my birthday!). Then it was off to the movie, we enjoyed Four Christmases very much.
Back to the resort and we set the alarm for 3:30am! I had called our travel agent and it looked like there was some availability on the earlier 5:00am flight so we decided to try for it. We were able to get seats all the way through to Minneapolis and then Fort Myers where we arrived at 11:30am. I think it was a blessing that we got the earlier flights as Minneapolis canceled many of the flights later that day due to snow.
Hard to believe we could escape sub-zero wind chill temps and arrive in Florida where it was 79 degrees in such a short time. Even with luggage pick up, car rental pick up, and a quick stop at Wally World for wine, beer, lawn chairs, snacks, and the 30 minute drive over the cause way to Sanibel Island, we were on the beach by 2:00pm!
Our last trip to Sanibel was in 1991 and we were impressed to find it as beautiful as ever. There was no evidence of damage from hurricane Charlie in 2004 except that Captiva Island (a tiny island directly to the north of Sanibel) had been cut in two requiring a small bridge to connect the two halves.
Right away we were out walking the beach and I started my collection of sea shells. By that time it was happy hour at the pool bar where we had a drink before going to dinner at the little restaurant at our resort.
We were very pleased with our resort and decided if we ever go back we would definitely stay there again. It was a smaller complex and the staff was very friendly and treated us like family. The rooms were very clean and newly remodeled and had everything you could want – refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, etc. There was a nice pool, pool bar, tennis courts, and even a little hut with a sink for washing up your sea shells! They also rented bikes at the bargain price of $5 for 2 hours or $10 a day – nothing fancy, just a single speed Jamis “Taxi” but they appeared new and were well kept. The restaurant at the resort was especially nice; small and cozy with great service and surprisingly reasonable prices. The food was excellent! We had steaks, crab cakes, lamb (not all at the same time!) and it was all very good.