One of the things Mom did love is there are no 'chain' stores allowed on the Island. There is just one Dairy Queen and one CVS pharmacy - everything else is all single operator owned and we must admit - they have some of the BEST restaurants there. We went to one called the "Over Easy Café" - they do the best breakfast and have the most delicious orange rolls you have ever tasted. Mom and Dad got one every day they were there and they are big enough that two people can share just one. They also are happy to have pups out on the deck and provide every doggie with a big fresh bowl of water and a treat !!!! We also tried a restaurant called the "The Island Cow" which everyone had raved about to us but we found it to be way to crowded and noisy and had the send the food back twice because it was overcooked to the point of being burnt. They have restaurants that cater for ever taste and budget though so be assured even the most picky eater can find something there.
|Orange Roll at the Over Easy Cafe|
|Inside the Over Easy Café|
They also have the coolest supermarket there called Jerry's. Being built up off the ground - they pack your groceries into boxes that are put on a conveyer belt and took down stairs - then you just drive up to the line and give them your ticket and they put your groceries in your car - so cool. Groceries on the island are VERY expensive but there are a number of supermarkets right on the end of the bridge before crossing to Sanibel and we recommend stopping there and getting all the basics you need.
By far though - the worse price one has to pay for such a paradise is something so small and so annoying it is amazing. They are called no-see-ums and are a tiny sand midge or fleas - hardly able to be seen but oh my gosh - do they bite. Both Mom and Dad have about 100 bites each on their legs and arms and no-see-ums sting when they bite and then about an hour later a red welt appears that looks like a blister and by the next morning the blister are filled with pus. Not everyone gets the severe reaction - dad just got blisters and itching but all of Mom's bites got infected. Thankfully our long fur protected us and we didn't get bothered. The bad thing is Mom and Dad had read about them before hand and were well prepared with bug spray that they used a lot of it - but it still wasn't enough. They say there are two seasons for no-see-ums - from Jan to June and June to January - which basically means all year long :) For anyone heading there on vacation please be aware of these little bugs - don't walk in grass or shady places, don't go out at dawn and dusk and use the strongest possible deet spray you can but expect to get bitten even with all these precautions.
There are also a lot of garter snakes on the island and although they can't hurt you they do scare you when they slither past you on the path. We also saw coyotes, raccoons and possums and of coarse all kinds of birds. We were also lucky enough to see a whole pod of dolphins playing just off the shoreline one morning. There are also signs up warning about alligators on the island too - they tend to be in the marsh areas but it pays to be watchful as often many of the boardwalks across to the beach cross these marsh mangrove areas.
Tomorrow will be our last Sanibel post and Mom will show you some of the treasures she found.