Saturday, June 12, 2010

On and Off Island: A Sanibel Sampler

It's been a while since I posted.

The oil spill worry has been consuming me. And though the experts are predicting only a 10 percent chance of the oil hitting Sanibel, I am concerned none the less. I am concerned for Sanibel and for the Gulf as a whole. Florida is accustomed to hurricanes, they come through on occasion. They are a major inconvenience, but they leave. The spill may take a very long time to dissipate, and the damage it has/is/will cause is yet to be calculated. All these thoughts kept me from posting more regularly.

And then there has been the move. We left New Jersey 2 weeks ago, settling into our condo in Naples while we renovate our house on Sanibel and fulfill our rental agreements.

The area where we are living in Naples is quite lovely. It's low key, nothing fancy, but quite lush and tranquil, only a 5 minute drive to a great beach and a 10 minute drive to the glamorous sections of this beautiful town.

Being as comfortable with these current surroundings as I am, it was a really nice comparison to leave Naples yesterday to do some business on Sanibel.

And, yes, Virginia, there is a difference between being on and off island.

The island environment is just smaller, more compact. The roads are smaller. There was no traffic anywhere to be seen, and, of course, no traffic lights. We opened up some bank accounts on Island and the fellow who helped us was dressed in a polo and chinos. He said that is how he comes to work every day.

We stopped at Jerry's for groceries and a light bite surrounded by folks who had thrown something over their bathing suits, but with their hair still wet and sand clinging to their toes.

There are few GRAND houses on the Island, and if you want to see them you need to search. We remembered when Hurricane Charlie had come through Captiva and how surprised we were to see the vegetation blown away revealing very modest homes on that very pricey island. No high rises on Sanibel or Captiva, and nothing taller than a palm tree on Sanibel itself.

The few cars moving moved slowly, almost the pace of the Island tortoises. The few people we saw were on their bikes. The few birds barely moved at all. It was as if time was standing still.

The towns off island such as Naples, arguably the liveliest and prettiest of them all, have a lot to offer. But if one is looking for a truly laid back, tropical and natural experience, none of the towns can compete with the 12 mile long Sanibel.

We love where we are. We love where we are going. We are so, so lucky!


Romantic bed and breakfasts | Victorian inn bed and breakfast said...

It is absolutely true that Naples is a beautiful place. We have been there several times; there are plenty of natural beauty areas and I agree with you that “The towns off island such as Naples”. The quiet atmosphere, lovely sceneries, worthwhile restaurants and hotels, I think it is enough for a comfortable journey.

Best Regards,

Samba said...

There are no end of beautiful places in the world. Your area, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia is one of favorite places. In the ideal world, were money and time of no consideration, we would have a place on Sanibel, one in Naples, a country home in the Shenandoah's a retreat in the Caribbean and probably a little villa somewhere in Italy. What a dream! But there are always vacation rentals so we will most likely settle for those.