Sunday, June 30, 2019

Captiva Island Mini-Vacay

A few months ago, Matt placed 1st in his division in a SUP race. All the first place winners were entered into a drawing for some amazing prizes, and Matt won the best of the lot: a two-night stay on Captiva Island and a full-day boat rental! (For those of you who have been reading here for awhile, this is the second time Matt has won a stay on Sanibel/Captiva!)
Winner winner!
We opted to pay to upgrade our cottage and invited my sister and Gordon. We invited my brother, too, but he couldn't make it. This past weekend, the four of us enjoyed our little getaway.

Matt and I arrived at Jensen's Marina Resort for check-in just after 3pm and ahead of the evening's storms. We hung out at the end of the pier and counted dolphins while we watched the storm come in.
When Steph and Gordon arrived, we decided to get dinner at one at Captiva's most famous restaurants, the Bubble Room. The Bubble Room is known for its overwhelming decor (everything from Christmas decorations, antique toys, and old black-and-whites of celebrities) and gigantic cake slices. Although the Bubble Room isn't new to anyone familiar with Captiva, Matt and I only knew about their cake; we were blown away by the variety of menu items and huge portion sizes.
Gordon and Matt dug into the bubble bread and sticky buns while Steph and I stuck with our starter salads. (Hashtag celiaclife.) I ordered the Alice in Wonderland, which consisted of mozzarella cheese, sautéed spinach, and roasted red peppers sandwiched between two portobello mushrooms and drizzled in balsamic glaze and pesto. I'd never had anything like it and it was divine. 
Not pictured: my salad, twice-baked potato, and veggies. 
The guys obviously couldn't say no to dessert (and neither could Steph), and we brought home slices of orange crunch cake, red velvet cake, and Key Lime pie.

Saturday morning we got up early for our boat day. There was some bad weather predicted for the afternoon, so our plan was to get an early start, go to our farthest destination first, then work our way back, stopping for lunch on the way.
The ride out to Cayo Costa was perfect. I get really nervous around water (literally only a free trip and a weekend with people I love could get me on a boat), but I managed to enjoy myself by looking for dolphins. We sighted a ton. The novelty never wears off!
Once we docked at Cayo Costa, a tiny island accessible only by boat, we rented bikes and made our way across the island to the beaches on the gulf side. It was fun to explore; I actually really dislike biking but these beach cruisers had super cushiony seats and it was fun to ride along together. The only downside to the trip was that the no-see-ums and mosquitos were out in droves; any time we paused they would converge on us immediately. It was pretty creepy to see a swarm of them land on you all at once!
When we got back to the boat, we were ready to head to lunch at Cabbage Key. The Cabbage Key restaurant is known for its dollar-covered walls and ceiling. We definitely partook in that tradition by adding our own dollar, and we chose a very specific location to hang it: directly on top of one that said MAGA. I think our message was much more positive.
After lunch, we walked around to see the gopher tortoises that live near the restaurant and debated whether or not to head back. The radar showed the worst of the storms coming in at 2pm, and we didn't want to get caught in it, but we also didn't want to wait over an hour for it to pass us. So we opted to head back; the return trip to the marina was really choppy and the light rain we went through was positively stinging, but looking back, it wasn't so bad.

(Don't get me wrong, I was an anxious wreck during most of it and during the worst I dissociated but once we were on land again I could look back with rose-colored glasses.)

We showered and relaxed, playing some board games out by the pier, until we felt ready for dinner.
We walked to Doc Ford's for dinner; my shrimp and grits was the favorite at the table and Steph finally got the virgin Pina Colada she'd been talking about all week.
Then we hitched a ride on a golf cart shuttle back to the main strip, where we got ice cream and sat on the beach until sunset. It was the most incredible sunset I've seen in ages.
Steph and Gordon headed back to the east coast early on Sunday, and Matt and I explored the JN Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge for a little while before we made our way home as well.
I am so glad we had the opportunity to take a mini vacation and share it with Steph and Gordon. It was so relaxing and definitely a highlight of my summer so far!


1 comment:

  1. You all know how to have fun! That looked like just a wonderful weekend, and the easiest way to travel with a baby! As for the food: YUM!