Changes in Latitude = Changes in Attitude
As you may know already, we were winging it this entire trip. We hadn't really decided on a destination except that we must out-run the rain and the cold front that was crossing the eastern (and southern) US. We knew we had to go almost to the end of the earth (well, at least the end of LAND) before the rain was out of the forecast. I had been on the internet (I know you're shocked) looking for places to stay, but didn't want to book a place without seeing it first. I had almost decided we would stay at one place with all the amenities we were looking for, so the plan was to drive out here, get a room for one night, and go from there (still winging it). When we ended up there at 9 pm and the office was closed, we had to come up with plan B.
Let me tell you, this little island is dark at night. It's like a couple of other smaller islands we've visited...I thought it was because turtles won't mate in the light so they keep it dark (I can relate to that), but I was wrong. The real reason there are restrictions on beach lighting are the baby sea turtles who have nests on the beaches. It needs to be dark when they hatch so they can follow the light of the moon toward the water (they ALWAYS hatch during a full moon). Just one light bulb can confuse the little slow pokes and then you'd have a bunch of little traumatized turtles (and turtle huggers) to deal with.
Ok, now that you've had your science lesson for the night, let me get back to the original story. At this point, I'm about to panic because it's getting late and some kid who was the concierge at a restaurant just told us "you won't find much out here at night, all the offices close at 8 or 9." So I did what any panicked and weary traveler would do...I Googled it. There it was, right in front of me, the old trusty Holiday Inn. I knew they would have someone there, and when I had checked before, they still had rooms. A very nice gentleman named Jim answered the phone, quickly gave us reservations for his "last room" with a view (they always say that, can someone tell me why)? I told him I only wanted one night until we could see the place in the daylight and then we'd let him know by morning if we wanted to stay longer.
The property is an older hotel, but it has been completely remodeled, with brick/cobblestone type driveways and of course a lot of lush vegetation and palm trees. We unloaded the car and went to the room, which is probably the smallest room we have ever gotten for this kind of price, and there was no balcony to sit on (our favorite part of a vacation and usually the one thing we definitely want). This was enough for me to say "forget it, we are going somewhere else tomorrow." But after we woke up, looked at other options online, and looked outside at the beautiful view and property, we decided that what we are paying for here is OUTSIDE the door, not inside, and we will just stay. We had breakfast here (which is not included - bummer) and it was good but the service is slow. I keep forgetting we are on Island time.
It's now the end of day #2, which was spent mostly in a horizontal position - hammocks, beach chairs, pool chairs, and reading a good book, The Thirteenth Tale. We had dinner at The Blue Giraffe just a mile or so away, and it was delicious. After dinner we rode out to Captiva Island with the top down and watched the sunset (sorta - it was hiding behind some clouds but peeking through, which made for some great pictures). Before coming back to sit on the deck (oh, I forgot, our room doesn't have a deck) we stopped for ice cream and travel mugs (for the good (free) coffee in the lobby, which is too far to walk for a second tiny cup). As for the porch and deck issue, there are couches on the pool deck just outside the door, and we sat out there tonight and listened to the frogs (which Jay thinks is an alligator). I hope I'm right on this one.
I'll leave you with a few pictures from our sunset drive on Captiva Island.