Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Island is an Island is an Island: Sanibel breaks the mold

Again, I have been lax in keeping this blog more current.

It's summer.

I've been away.

I'm still adjusting to life in SW Florida.

Oh, I can think of dozens of excuses for my lack of activity!

But having just returned from a simply wonderful vacation on St. Lucia, pictured here, I have been musing over the differences between Caribbean nations and the island of Sanibel.

The nomenclature alone, speaks to one significant difference.
St. Lucia and other islands in the Caribbean have an independent life and unique culture. Sanibel is part of main stream USA, though it is not without its own unique character.

Topographically, there are strong differences as well. Most Caribbean islands are hilly, if not mountainous. And I certainly love those lush rises of land. In fact, even more than the sea, the mountains and hills of the Caribbean draw me in.

We don't have mountains or even hills on Sanibel. In fact, we don't even have tall buildings to climb to get vistas. The best vista you can get on Sanibel would be parasailing, and that is fun.

But much as I love the Caribbean islands and would never give up going there just because we own vacation rental properties on Sanibel, there is much to be said for an island not only governed by American law and finances, but subject to its own set of restrictions as well.

Because of its privileged position as a part of Americana, the blight, poverty, medically indigent and health risks of the beautiful Caribbean do not exist on Sanibel. It is a pristine island, a nature preserve, a place where families can roam freely and safely. Farm animals are largely not allowed and domestic pets must be vaccinated, leashed, protected---- along with the animals in the wild.

There is good health care, shops with options upon options, paths to walk and bike where cars are no threat, restaurants galore serving fresh food not compromised by sitting in the sun for hours.

If such a safe, secure, clean, comfortable and convenient as well as protective environment existed in the Caribbean, I am not sure who would be able to afford to visit, let alone live there.

I am not "American centric", only realistic about my own needs. And while I can pine over being back in flat and predictable Florida, I do appreciate the opportunities it offers.

Most of all, I am just bubbling over with glee that I can have my cake and eat it too with owning a piece of Sanibel Island and having the beautiful and welcoming Caribbean only a short plane ride away. Oh, lucky me!

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