In honor of all the beautiful blue water around me I changed the blog from green to blue.
On Monday we went for a drive to check out the beach and island scene. Our goal was not so much to go to the beach but to see what was out there for a future trip. We did pack our suits just in case but ran out of time.
We started with a stop at Lovers Key State Park in Bonita Springs. It is rated one of the best beaches in Florida. This is about 30 minutes from our house. Pretty, quiet, bathrooms, rental of umbrellas, food available. A definite yes to this one and we will return.
One thing we do realize is because this is off season there isn’t much traffic. I can’t imagine what this must be like in the winter.
After that we meandered through Ft. Myers Beach which is a town with lots of beaches. All we will see today is definitely old Florida, and I mean that in a good way. Quaint 1 and 2 story beach properties in all those lovely Florida colors. There are over 30 places to stop and sit on a beach. We pulled off at stop 14 and did go wiggle our toes in the sand. We are about an hour from home now.
A short drive took us over the bridge to Sanibel Island, famous for it’s shell collecting beaches. This island is 12 miles long and 5 miles wide with 15 miles of beaches. A large portion of the island is a national park. The island has many people on bicycles and lots of shopping places. The homes were nice. We will return another day to see the park and go shelling.
The biggest surprise of the day was the Sea Shell Museum. I think it is the only one in the world. Two things got us to stop in. Is is designated as a Gem attraction by AAA and their brochure says it is on the list of 1000 things to see before you die. We had pretty low expectations of being entertained but we were wrong.
I knew nothing about shells and mollusks. They had shells going back to the 1700′s. The role shells play in land development and as food and tools and even furniture was very interesting. The 30 minute video about the life of the creatures that live in the shells was fascinating – like learning about something from another planet.
This is an example of shells used as art.
The lady at the Visitor Center in Sanibel told us to make sure we went to see the exhibit in the basement. It is not advertised so we would have missed it. There were two people who made a circus of animals and people using tiny thumb nail or smaller size sea shells. It was so CUTE!
We also learned that the actor Raymond Burr (Perry Mason and Ironside TV shows) was a huge fan and did much to raise money to get the museum built.
I’m glad we visited the museum before we went looking for shells. When we return in the next few weeks it will make the shell hunting much more interesting.
After that we went to tiny Marco Island. It is 5 miles long and 1/2 mile wide and so cute, quaint and charming. I wish we could have driven in to look at some of the many large homes. We liked this island. There was just something about it that was so loveble. We opted for lunch at a quiet restaurant instead of a busy marina restaurant and had lunch at the Green Flash Restaurant, named for rare green flash sunsets. Did you know —
From Wikipedia: Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point.
After that we made the 1 1/2 hour drive home and got to enjoy all the scenery all over again. A very educational and fun day.