Captiva Island

Road Trippin'

April 11, 2016

I had a visitor last week—my friend Kerri—and we took to the road, heading to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, then meandering through the Everglades, all the way down to Key West. Want to come along? 

Both of us love to travel—to see how other people live, to infuse our creative banks with new sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, and for the change of pace escaping our normal routine brings. I think it’s also fun traveling with different people. I’ve taken trips with my husband, my friend Laure, and now with Kerri, and each trip has a different feel and focus. It’s fascinating to see how other people travel: what they enjoy doing, how they see things. (This trip was especially good for that, as Kerri is an accomplished photographer and she saw much I wouldn’t have noticed.) Also, as we caught up on each other’s lives, I learned how I really felt about certain things as I heard myself talk. There’s something about formulating thoughts and exposing them to a “safe” person that clarifies things for me.

But that’s enough of why we travel—onward to what we actually saw. I’ll break the trip into a series of posts, since it would be unbearably long if I tried to cram it all into one. And before you ask, I didn’t make one sketch—I simply didn’t have enough time in any one place, and I was too tired at night. I took many photos (so many my camera battery died on the last day), and my plan is to make at least one sketch from them.

Our first stop was the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, 6,400 acres of mangrove forest, seagrass beds, marshes, and hardwood hammocks. The refuge provides habitat for more than 245 species of birds. We took the four-mile wildlife drive (you can also bike or take a tram), but we could have walked the four miles quicker. We kept stopping to jump out to look for wildlife—we saw white pelicans, little blue herons, ibis, gulls, sandpipers—and our first alligator.  (There will be plenty more gators when we arrive in the Everglades—stay tuned!)

Little blue heron

Gator number one

This photo, taken by Kerri, pretty much sums up what we did:

Look up, look down, look all around...

We ended the day on Captiva Island, drinking wine and watching the sunset.  (Special thanks to our friend Mary, pictured with me above, who not only chauffeured us around Sanibel and Captiva, but also invited us to stay overnight in her beautiful home.)

Next up: the Everglades—gators, and cormorants, and purple gallinules, oh my!