Marco Island was a stopping point to wait for a weather window for the final jump to Key West. The day after we arrived, we received a phone call from Jeff and Karen, Jimi’s brother and sister-in-law. They delivered a load of water as part of the hurricane relief near Orlando, however, the organization wasn’t able to unload them for several days and possibly even a week or more. They decided to leave their trailer there and drive to Marco Island to spend their days with us. Exciting – we love company!
They arrived on Sunday and we had them aboard Sanibel for yummy eats and treats that evening. The next day Jimi, Jeff, Karen, and Brittany went to the beach. While there, they enjoyed the pool and outdoor showers at the Marriott. Karen was smart and took shampoo so she and Brittany could wash their hair in the outdoor shower. Unfortunately, I missed out on all the fun, but that evening we all walked down the street to Island Pizza. The pizza was good, but I doubt we would go back there again. When the pizza was delivered to our table it nearly landed in my lap. Hot and steamy, the server caught it by placing his hand on top of it. Cheese stuck to his hand, as he set it down and pulled his hand away. His response was “Enjoy” and walked away. My thought was your bare hand just landed in the food we are about to ingest – yuck! Well, no one else said anything, so I didn’t either. We all ate and are still alive today.
The next day Jeff treated us to Cold Stone Creamery. Ok – my new VERY favorite ice cream place. There are no words to describe this goodness. I think Jimi and Karen ordered shakes, Jeff and Brittany ordered smoothies – but I ordered a mouth-watering dish of Founder’s Favorite: Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Pecans, Brownie, Fudge, and Caramel. I ordered a medium, which was about $6 and let Jimi help me finish it.
Jimi is happy after eating ice cream!
Jimi, Lorie, Karen & Jeff
We did some shopping at Bealls Outlet. Jeff and Karen scored with a basket full of clothing and a roller beach bag. Jimi bought a couple of shirts, electronic items and I went baby shopping for my grandbaby-to-come.
We found THE best pizza in Marco Island at Gino’s Trattoria. Jimi got wind of this place and decided we would go there for his birthday dinner. Although his birthday was still four days away, we wanted to celebrate with Jeff and Karen here. It’s a nice Italian place; at first glance, we thought it was a little out of our league, but they accepted us all the same. This is the spot for pizza and possibly other Italian dishes too. They have the only brick fired oven on the island and apparently Monday and Wednesday’s pizza is half price.
Very disappointing news came when Jeff received an unexpected call saying he needed to move his trailer, which meant they had to leave at midnight. We only got 48 hours with them, but it was more than we had planned. So, until next time!
Before they left we goofed around with photos by the fountain at Esplanade Shopping Center. We wanted to climb in like the intro on Friends, but signs made it clear it was frowned upon.
Later, Brittany and I were goofing around with my selfie stick until Jimi snuck in and photo bombed us.
On Saturday Jimi took Brittany and me to a remote island, but yet not so remote because all the tourists rented boats to visit as well. When we first arrived we were in awe at the vast numbers of fighting conch shells lying on the beach. There was literally nowhere to step. We also saw dozens upon dozens of dead fish. This was the result of the Red Tide.
The Red Tide in Florida is the result of high concentrations of Karenia Brevis, a microscopic marine algae that occurs naturally but normally in lower concentrations. In high concentrations, its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so they cannot breathe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide
While there, I even felt the effects of the Red Tide. There were times I coughed and felt as though I couldn’t breathe. It’s common for humans to feel the allergy effects.
Despite the conditions, we had a full day, a good time and collected lots of shells. I would have collected more, but failed to bring my shell bag. I improvised and used our tortilla chip bag.
The beginning of Brittany's treasures.
The beach is beautiful.
The sand is so white.
This is a roped off 'bird sanctuary'.
This Osprey posed without a thought of it.
Hundreds of Fighting Conch.
Smokehouse Basin is always so calm and relaxing. Jimi and Brittany were able to get the paddle board out. Brittany learned just how tiring it is.
Jimi is a pro now and doesn't even bother to put on his swim trunks.
Early in the week, Jimi said: “Let’s go.” So by 7pm, Tuesday we were on our way to Key West. It took us about eighteen and a half hours of straight sailing through the night. Here we sit in Key West. In the next blog post, I’ll fill you in on the festivities here.