We skipped Bob's delicious Sunday breakfast in order to get an early start to Sanibel Island and beat the rush. We packed up our beach gear at 9:30 and over the bridge to the mainland we went. From atop the bridge we could see the Matanzas Pass anchorage. You get a much better view from the bridge and it was pretty empty. We would have had no trouble getting in and hooking up to a mooring ball. That was part of our original plan.
We took the short 20 minute ride over to Sanibel Island. Years ago, when we were here last, there was a small single toll booth that restricted your visit to the island. Now there is a big-city toll plaza with 4 lanes charging $6 each for entrance to the island.
Our mission today was to get a parking space at the largest beach parking lot. There are 3 parking lots, but parking is very limited making access to the best shelling beach in the country difficult. Luck was not with us today as we circled in the parking lot three times waiting for someone to leave. No one did, so we gave up at 10:30 and went with plan B. We drove back to the Causeway Islands Park that connects Sanibel Island to the mainland.
We decided to sit there for awhile instead. At least there was parking available. We chose the breezy side of the causeway as it was another warm day without the breeze. Lots of people were surf-fishing......doing a little catching. Nothing big, just a sand perch or two. Around noon the place starting filling up and was overrun with people setting up for a beach day.
The waves were crashing in on the shore and were very noisy. Add to that the chatter of people and their music. Soon the peace and quiet was gone, so we decided to pull up stakes and head back at 1:00. From the causeway we could see the Sanibel Light. on the tip of the island.
The toll plaza had cars lined up waiting to get on the island. Where do they think they are going?
It took us an hour to get back to the bridge at Ft. Myers Beach because traffic was so backed up. That's just how it is. There was a great view from the top of the bridge out into the Gulf.
Looking at the ICW from the bridge, we saw lots of boat traffic on the Miserable Mile going north.
Once we got back onto the island, the streets were jammed with cars and people everywhere.
By the time we got close to the campground, it was going on 2:00 and we had had enough of the beach action for one day, so we went back to the trailer. In the afternoon, the campground is deserted. Everyone is across the street at the beach, so it is very peaceful. Between 6:00 and sunset, most people return to their campsite for the evening, pulling their wagons or carts full of coolers and beach stuff. It's quite funny to watch. Here's a prime example!
I told Bob I'd have to get him a little red wagon so he could pull his cooler, chair, and umbrella in it to the beach. He said he's had enough beach time to last him a year!! We relaxed with cocktails on our patio in the shade. It was less humid and more cloudy today, which kept the heat down. We had a pleasant rest of the afternoon. After dinner, we took our walk with Auggie and checked out the sunset on the beach. The beachside area is still packed with people. It's amazing how much stuff everyone brings camping with them.
The sunset was pretty, but covered with clouds.
There was still a lot of people at the beach. Most of the canopies were taken down due to the turtles, but people were hanging out playing frisbee and walking the beach.
Bob sat with Auggie on the bench while I took a walk out to the water.
The tide was way out and people were doing some shelling.
There were hundreds of sand dollars hiding in the sand. I collected a few to bring back to the campsite. I couldn't believe how many there were. We had a nice time sitting on the bench watching for the sunset to fade.
We walked back and sat outside for awhile enjoying our pink flamingo lights and the cool evening air. We had a piece of Bob's key lime birthday pie and waited for darkness to fall.