Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Girl's Weekend

Yesterday afternoon I returned from a relaxing trip with a good friend, I call her my "pen pal" because we are always texting and emailing but don't see each other often. We met at a work training class several years ago in Tampa. Last winter she was in the DC area and we made it a point to get together to attend a fancy food event.

Well it was high time that I trekked to her turf. On Friday I flew to Fort Meyer's Airport for our long weekend in Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico. With a four hour drive behind her, Ashley picked me up at the airport and we were off... to eat lunch... because I am pregnant and usually starving. We grabbed sandwiches and spent several hours at the outlets. I had my first of three (!) mango smoothies of the weekend. At The Gap I used a gift card to score the cutest little jean jacket and two newborn onesies. Ashley got some really sweet clothes for her two boys. Loft is where we both took advantage of the prices and stocked up on some cute clothes and jewelry for ourselves.

Here I am in my natural habitat
After checking into The Seaside Inn on the island of Sanibel, the rest of our day included iced coffee and cupcakes at Dolce Tesoro, an abundant dinner at Cip's Place, and some lounging around and reading. Ashley had so kindly brought me her copy of The Happiest Baby on the Block and I finished it by the end of the weekend. 

Natural wonders of Sanibel: Parrot, seashells, blue heron, clamshell, biking trail, coconut
On Saturday morning we made use of the free bikes available at the inn and rode them to Dolce Tesoro. We were interested in iced coffees again but didn't take the owner up on the cupcakes this time. He insisted on complimentary chocolate covered graham crackers though! Delicious. After we made it back we figured we should head to the beach where we shelled and read. We weren't there for more than an hour though because we had massage appointments to get to! I had found a massage school in the area and, always up for a great deal, Ashley and I decided to book appointments for hour long massages for $55(!). Now in a complete state of relaxation, we both got pedicures while I sipped on a mango smoothie. For dinner it was the Sanibel Fish House where we ordered conch fritters. It had started raining pretty hard but we didn't let it get in our way, on a recommendation from my massage therapist we headed for The Bubble Room in Captiva for dessert. It sounded like either a strip club or gay bar to me, and the decor was completely bonkers, but it's true that the dessert is incredible. All i'm going to say is "orange crunch cake." Back at our room we spent the evening browsing the mansions of Captiva on Zillow.com.

Sunday was a full beach day. We worked on our tans and our books. I grilled Ashley on all things pregnancy and parenting her two little boys. More shelling was done, and we found a starfish in the water! It didn't enjoy being removed from its habitat though, as it sensed a threat and separated one of its appendages in protest, so back in the ocean it went. 

After we decided we had enough sun we walked to the end of the coast to the lighthouse and then out onto the street. The sky was looking very dark at this point so we speed-walked back to our hotel, but not before stopping for much deserved coffee and a mango smoothie.

The Green Flash was super fancy, though empty, but our dinner was wonderful. We overheard other diners gossiping about how the effects of draining the Lake Okeechobee watershed into the Gulf could take up to a year to dissipate. Ashley had mentioned on the first day that the water is normally bluer and clearer, but it didn't bother me much since I didn't know any different. Sometimes you would get a whiff of something awful through the beach air though.

In protest of our weekend coming to a close we rebelled and went to a "late night" movie where we laughed through "We are the Miller's" and then made a pit stop at Walgreen's for nail polish and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. 

What a wonderful weekend! The island was so quiet and peaceful, though perhaps because it was their slow season. There are lots of nature preserves that I didn't get a chance to check out, so I plan to go back with Christopher sometime, he would like it a lot.

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