Tuesday, January 18, 2011

sanibel island: day 1

miles of seashell covered beach outside our door. sunset on the gulf of mexico, january, 2011.
there is florida, and then there is the other florida, namely, sanibel island. we arrived on sun-soaked sanibel a few hours before sunset. sanibel is a place unto itself. we are familiar with island life in maine (we have so many of them!) - quiet, unhurried, simple, existing apart from the rest of the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland. so it is on sanibel.

the tallest buildings on the island are four stories high, and there are just a few of those. one small grocery store and a few mom and pop markets supply the locals and tourists with needed provisions. the grocery store is hidden under dense shady tropical growth, and along the short path leading to the entrance there is a little courtyard with a bubbling fountain and squawking parrots.

sanibel shops and restaurants are clustered in what might be characterized as mini malls, but they are oh-so-quaint. little white and pastel colored wooden buildings on different levels, connected by stairs and decks, are nestled at different angles (never just parallel to the road) in lovely landscaping displaying palms and flowers and tiny ponds interspersed with winding pathways and an occasional small wooden bridge over the water.

there are no traffic lights on sanibel. two "main" roads bisect the island into north and south - periwinkle way and sanibel-captiva road. the rest of the island's few roads require very leisurely driving speeds. ha, you are forced to just RELAX behind the wheel. the northern part of sanibel island is almost entirely national wildlife refuge. we will visit the j.n. "ding" darling refuge in another post. more reading tomorrow. see you then!

1 comment:

Ed James said...

Nicely worded. It makes me want to go back. . . for good.