Family Blog - Sanibel 2015 Wrap Up

The best part about being in Sanibel is...being in Sanibel.  💕

A little hike just behind Sanibel Community Playground.

Seriously, though.  We've been to Sanibel a couple of times now.  This first trip was so special!

It is a bit difficult getting to Sanibel from Missouri.  On this trip, we flew in and had to change flights, which was a challenge with 4 kids (and Evan was so small).  I would almost prefer to drive the 20+ hours it takes to get there...because flying is expensive, and it has become such a pain.  And I LOVE ROAD TRIPS!  (I can say that with gusto now that we have officially been on a successful 4,000 mile road trip with kids...can't wait to get that post up!).  

Because Xander is ALWAYS up in a tree!

However, since we traveled to Sanibel both times in winter, we didn't have a lot of time to give up...and we wanted all of our time to go to Sanibel.  So, we flew into Fort Meyers.  

Of course, then, we had the problem of getting to Sanibel from Fort Meyers.  We chose to rent a car.  It is an expense you could avoid, but I tend to appreciate the "security" of having our own vehicle.

The neighbors WERE a little intimidating...😉

Word to the wise, though.  Sanibel traffic is THE WORST.  Be prepared for 10 steps to take 10 hours.  (Ok...maybe a little over-exaggeration, but it is seriously congested.)  My suggestion is to stay close to everything you want to do and bike.  We discovered biking our second year. (And we biked the entire island...and all the way into Captiva from near Jerry's!) Best experience EVER!

Our path to the beach.

We stayed on a street called White Ibis in a beautiful home (provided by my dear in-laws 💖).  The house was a mile or so from the beach, and there was a sweet little path to the beach from the neighborhood.  

The beach was especially nice, since there were no hotels nearby.  It was pretty quiet, and it stretches on forEVER.  I wanted to walk the whole thing.  (In fact, the girls and I almost got lost on one long walk, when the light faded and we had some difficulty finding our path again.  Thank God for iphone flashlight and Matt, who waited to make sure we got back safely!)

The White Ibis of Sanibel.

It really was the trip of a lifetime.  Of course, who could dream we would get to meet up with friends from home?  This was hands-down the BEST part of our vacation.  We dined with Kings.  Literally.  😉

Sanibel beaches are so much more fun with friends!

Our friends came in during our vacation and stayed at a hotel on the eastern side of the island.  We joined them to take advantage of a different beach and a few fun amenities.

I enjoyed a quality Mom chat on the beach with a dear friend, while the kids enjoyed the free entertainment: sand castles, canoes, and water with their buds.  What a welcome respite for me!

Who would have ever guessed we left behind -9 degree temperatures?!

After our beach time, we explored a bit at the Sanibel Lighthouse.  There are trails and beaches to walk.  We saw the dolphins pretty close up.  (Our friends said they actually came up to them on the hotel beach their first night.  The kids even touched one!)

 The light house is lovely!  Matt and I enjoyed the area so much we chose to trade some kids and stay. We sent the girls shopping with our friends and kept all the boys to keep exploring.

Checking out the pier with the boys, just before we left. 

The rest of our time in Sanibel was pretty laid back.  We spent some time at Jerry's and talked to the birds.

We drove into Captiva to eat at the Bubble Room...what a VERY FUN place!  A little small and claustrophobic, but the food and the atmosphere are worth it.

And we spent plenty of time in the sun at the beach.  Of course, Xander found and caught a nice-sized crab.  This kid...for real?!

And everyone needed to have a chance to hold least to take a picture with it.  😉

 We are so grateful for all the things we got to see and do in Sanibel.  It definitely has a special place in all of our hearts.  I really look forward to our next return, because...

 ...the worst part about Sanibel (other than the no-see-ums) is having to say GOOD-BYE!  😭