Winter blues? Maybe it’s time to visit an island.

It’s not officially winter yet but some of the coldest temperatures of the year have descended upon us Kansans.    Temperatures that can bring a squeaky whine from even the toughest of us.  Probably need to exclude myself from that “toughest of us” group.  I just want to be near the fireplace with a cup of coffee and a good book.  I was designed to hibernate.
I’d like to give you something to at least dream about.   Sanibel Island, Florida.  A slice of heaven off the gulf coast near Fort Myers (which in itself is another lovely spot for a getaway,  but it is just a bit more lively & commercial).

View from our rental condo, 2010, at Oceans Reach Resort.  Screened-in lanai.  Bliss, I tell ya. 
In 2010 we were looking for a place to take a vacation for our May anniversary and decided on Sanibel from some friends’ recommendation.  No buildings over 4 stories high and no street lighting (think very starry nights on a beautiful island)  It’s a decidedly quiet and wonderful place.  Very family friendly.  Lots of seashells, and there is a wildlife refuge that is quite nice.  Bike path over the entire island.  Historic lighthouse.  Plenty of restaurants and groceries, although it’s best to shop for most of your food before you cross the bridge to Sanibel.  And you can always cross back over that bridge any time and be in Fort Myers. Easy peasy.

But really, it’s all about the beaches.  White sand between your toes.  Sea shells in abundance.   Beautiful warm gulf waters.  Sunshine.  Vitamin D therapy at its best.  One walk onto the lanai of your oceanside room with gorgeous view of the beach and relaxation commences.  Smiles form. You might never want to leave.  Ahhhhhhh.

This is  Oceans Reach Condominiums, looking back at the building from the seashore.   The island of Sanibel is off the beaten path, and Oceans Reach is even further off the beaten path.  It’s well away from the main road on the island.  So very quiet and serene.   It is not inexpensive.  And condos generally require that you stay one full week.  Oceans Reach is mid-range price wise.   And there many other options for oceanside lodging with a variety of prices.
Winter is the priciest season, and truly the most wonderful time to travel to most anywhere in Southern Florida.  Summer is a good (less expensive) option for anywhere in Florida.  But having a good time in Florida’s summer heat does require that you enjoy sweat.  Your own sweat.  Others’ sweat.  Take a hat, too, because your hair will be just nasty awful. Side note:  you will likely never see these people again, and they look/smell just as bad as you.  Chill out.  👍
We took a dolphin tour, and we drove over to the Everglades for an airboat ride.  Other than that, for one full week we walked the beaches.  We rode bikes on the island.   We read books.  We cooked our own food in the condo and ate out at fun places a couple nights.  But the bulk of our time was spent on the beach in total relaxation.  It.  Was.  Heaven.
 Walked miles along the beach, and wrote our initials in the sand.  That’s as clever as we get when it comes to sand art.
When we pried ourselves from the beaches and headed back to the Sunflower State, we vowed that every single year we would again go to Sanibel on our anniversary.  That was 2010.  This is 2016.  Though we have made a couple trips to the NW Florida coast (Destin/So Walton) and really loved that area, we haven’t been able to take a trip back to Sanibel. Yet.  These frigid Kansas temperatures and gale force winds may just dictate a winter vacation.  Hey, sometimes you can get really good last minute deals.  Hmmm.  Think I just figured out what I want for Christmas, Mr. DeWayne.
Goodnight, Sanibel.
P.S.   Just for the record, the Destin/South Walton Beaches area is gorgeous, offers really beautiful places to stay, lots to do, and is a bit more populated.  But the temperatures are enough cooler in the winter that it doesn’t have the same appeal to me for a wintertime escape as Sanibel does.

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