I hate winter. I can’t stop saying it. I have been wanting to take a break from Iowa winter and travel somewhere warm for years, and 2018 was the year to make it happen! In late January, we spent a week on Sanibel Island, Florida.
After traveling all day and then stopping for groceries (because that’s the kind of traveller I am…) we rushed straight down from the condo to the beach. My mom and stepdad were joining us on the trip and when my stepdad took this photo, I thought, “I’m done. We don’t have to do anything else. This is what I needed.”
Even though I thought that, we totally did more.
We spent our first full day hanging out on the beach, looking for sand dollars on the sand bar and exploring Sanibel Island. The birds in the courtyard by Jerry’s Foods was an immediate hit with the kids and we made many trips back over our few days there.
We did more exploring the next day and finished off our day with a “fancy” dinner at the hibachi grill at our complex. The food was delicious and it did my soul good to walk to dinner in my dress and sandals.
On our third full day on Sanibel, we went to the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve. In addition to learning about Ding Darling, his Iowa roots and all the animals at the preserve, we also quizzed math facts and state capitals in the car throughout the day. So we totally counted this as a school day 🙂 PE was spent swimming in one of the heated pools and we finished off our day with ice cream at Pinnochio’s.
The kids spent the morning of our fourth day at Sanibel Sea School, learning all about seahorses and other sea-related things. Aaron and I were busy not being with the kids, so I can’t say exactly what they did 🙂 I do know that they had a lot of fun though! We spent another afternoon hanging out at the beach and collecting a few more shells. Fun fact: Sanibel Island, Florida has some of the shelliest (That’s not a word. I don’t care.) beaches in the world!
On our last day on Sanibel Island, we went on a naturalist led boat cruise around Tarpon Bay. They also had a touch tank and several animal shells and skeletons to look at on land beforehand. It was fun to learn more about the history of the island and some of the animals who live there, but the best part was the dolphin spotting in the bay before we even left for the cruise! We spent the afternoon soaking up the sun, or swimming if you were under the age of 30, before finding seafood for dinner one last time.
When we got up to go to the airport the next morning, Chloe told me, “It isn’t nearly as fun to wake up early when we’re going back home!” So true, baby girl! Even so, our kiddos continued to be great travelers, we made it home safely and we all warmed up enough to survive the rest of winter.