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Published: September 17th 2010
I didn't feel too guilty yesterday about taking it easy on the beach knowing today we would be exploring as much as the island as possible on bicycle. With the ultra friendly locals, patient tourists behind the wheels of their motor vehicles (yes, even the northerners followed the rules to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists) and 22 miles of well paved and often shady bike paths spanning the entire island, we couldl not have chosen a better way to get to go exploring. And if we had been really on the ball, we would have worn our bathing suits so we could stop off for a swim when it got too hot.
Sanibel Island is about 12 miles long and three miles at its widest point stretching more or less east to west. As we headed east along West Gulf Blvd. toward the Lighthouse, I was tempted to stop for a cold beer at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants along the way. But we were just getting started at 10:30 in the moring and Liz reminded me that our objective was to get some physical exercise and not to be stopping at every cafe or bar that we
There are certainly better looking lighthouses in Florida, however, the Sanibel Lighthouse is seems to work just fine as it was first lit in 1884. But our attention was drawn to the two Ospreys perched atop the Lighthouse. Since my iPhone does not have a zoon the only way I knew they were Ospreys was by the distinctive cry they have. For the last couple of years an Osprey couple has made a nest on a telephone poll nearby our home so we have gotten used to distinctive but annoying cry. Back to these two Ospreys atop the Lighthouse, they seemed content to be looking out over turquoise blue water of the Bay with the bridge and causeway back to the mainland in the background. They certainly had the best view on the island.
A little past 1 in the afternoon I finally got that beer I had been thinking about for about two and a half hours that was served in the form of an ice cold Corona at the Sunset Grille. It was well deserved after pushing ourselves to our limit in 90 degree heat riding rom the middle of the island, to the
east end, and finally to the west end where we stopped for lunch. Actually it was two blocks short of the end of Sanibel but we could see the small bridge leading to Captiva from the beach. Our Tour de Isle de Sanibel even included about a mile long ride through an alligator habitat.
We almost didn't stay at the Sunset Grille but we were not willing to chance another 3.5 miles along the side of the road on Captiva Island in hopes of finding an open restaurant. They told us at the General Store in Flamingo Plaza where the Sunset Grille was located that much of Captiva literally shuts down in September. Our issue was the prices seemed very high, even for Sanibel Island, which was reminiscent of the $17 for a measley 4 pieces of fried Grouper that Liz had the day before. But when it was all said and done, we had made an excellent choice. I had one of the most flavorful Grouper sandwiches I have ever tasted and the chicken wrap that Liz ordered was excellent. But the only problem was we were in napping mode, but had a hearty 7 mile ride back
to the hotel. However, we realized we were energized from the fantastic lunch and made it back to the hotel in time to take a quick dip in the tranquil Gulf before the skies opened up on us and the rain came down in buckets.
We rewarded ourselves (once again) later in the afternoon with a mandatory trip to Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille - http://www.docfordssanibel.com/. I paid more than I should of for a Venezuelan Rum but it was better than any brandy than I have ever had. (I have to admit I just called to find out the name of it and it was Pampero "Aniversario" Reserva Exclusiva Anejo Rum.) I found a Web site where you can get a 750 ml bottle for $28.00. I think I paid $10 or $11 for a shot but it was definitely worth it. But I drew the line by refusing to pay $8.50 for a shot of Panama's Abuelo 7 anos knowing that we pay about $12 for a bottle when we are in Panama. It was a great Rum Bar and I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys a premium Rum.
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