The three of us, Jean, me and Linda, having dinner at Doc Fords.
Most days were spent on the beach, relaxing and picking up all the beautiful sea shells that Sanibel beaches are so famous for. We enjoyed the gorgeous sunsets and wildlife - but I was most excited to see a bald eagle. I don't recall ever seeing one "in the wild", and at first thought it was just another Osprey.
My first bald eagle sighting!
This is the biggest Blue Heron I've ever seen, and he flew by my head so close I could have reached out and touched him.
Every day is different on the beach, some days there are lots of seagulls, other days we found lots of shells, and one afternoon we saw hundreds of horseshoe crabs along the shore, mating.
Those are all horseshoe crabs!
I never got tired of these beautiful birds, the Snowy Egret with their yellow feet. They stalked the fisherman and were quite funny to watch.
as were the other shorebirds - osprey, gulls, terns, pelicans, and more...
One afternoon I enjoyed watching a young family play on the beach. It's funny, you can always tell the European tourists because they have no hesitation about stripping their kids down and letting them play naked, and they readily change their clothes right on the beach. I'm 1st generation Hungarian so I'm not phased by it, but watching the disapproving reactions of others on the beach was amusing to me.
It's funny how easily we assimilated to "island life". Back when we were in Ohio, I didn't even like to come out of the dressing room in a bathing suit - here it's all I wear. At the beach, stopping to get gas, stopping at the grocery store on the way home from the beach, all done in a bathing suit! If we stay much longer, I can easily see myself becoming one of those leather-y old ladies wearing a bikini well past the appropriate bikini-wearing age!
The bathing suit lifestyle "suits" me!
In the meantime, while I was hanging out with my friends, Noel stayed back in Miami an additional few days to go to the Bengals/Dolphins football game with Jason. Bengals lost in overtime, but it was Noel's first professional football game and he thoroughly enjoyed himself!
Noel and Jason at the football game
Once Noel got the trailer settled in Ft Myers, he came over and joined us a few times in Sanibel - I even got him out on the beach at sunset!
One of my last days at the beach we were there close to low tide and saw thousands, if not millions, of live sand dollars! They looked like little blobs where the sand was exposed -
but you could pick them out of the sand and see they were live sand dollars
Once I waded out into the water, I saw dark areas on the bottom and then realized those were all baby sand dollars! I was stepping all over them! Yikes - I made my way back to the shore saying "sorry, ooh, sorry, excuse me, sorry, pardon me, I'm sorry".... I felt so guilty stepping on them! Two days later we went back to that section of the beach and they were all gone!
This little guy was out in broad daylight,
as was this curious, endangered gopher tortoise. He came right up to my camera lens and sniffed it and was ready to take a bite had I not moved it away!
And this guy was in the retention pond just outside of Ross Dress for Less (my new favorite store) -
One day Linda and I walked out to the seawall on the Sanibel side near Blind Pass, twice since I didn't take the camera the first time. I paid the price of all that walking in the soft sand the next day, but it was worth it!
I leave you with one last Sanibel sunset....