Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bonita Springs

This year, Nate and I rang in the New Year with our friends, Kelly & Patrick, at their family's condo in Bonita Springs, FL (about 25 minutes south of Ft. Myers).  Although we were only there for 3 nights / 4 days, we packed as much relaxation and adventure as possible!!  I'd love to share a few of the highlights...

On Friday, we drove out to Captiva Island and rented a pontoon boat for the afternoon with my Dad and siblings.  We headed to Dollar Bills, the burger joint Jimmy Buffet so infamously sang about in "Cheeseburger in Paradise", which is located at the Cabbage Key Inn on Pine Island and is only accessible by boat!  At the restaurant, people sign dollar bills and tape them to the wall - we of, course had to partake in this tradition.  And at the end of the year, they are taken down and donated to charity!  Last year, they donated $70,000!!

If you've never been out to Captiva or Sanibel Island (which you must drive through to get to Captiva), I'd highly recommend the trip.  Both islands only have 1 main road, but have bike paths throughout.  The beaches are very private, and the shelling is amazing!! Oh, and you are sure to see dolphins...and beautiful sunsets! Brought back some great memories of Rowley family vacations on Sanibel...

On Saturday, we headed down to Everglade City, about an hour south, to do an aligator airboat tour!  I had always wanted to do one, and it definitely did not disappont!  Did you know that alligators grow 1 ft. per year for the first five years, and then 1-2 inches per year thereafter?  And they live to be over 50 years old?

On Sunday, we spent the day enjoying the 84 degree weather on the beach in Bonita Springs...which was a 10 minute ride from the condo.  What a way to start the new year...

On Monday, we chartered a 24 ft. center console boat out of Naples and headed out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico - can you guess who planned this adventure (ahem, Nate!)?  :)  Although Nate and Patrick have become quite the fishermen back in Ocean City, I probably had not been fishing since I was 11 or 12 years old. I was amazed at not only how many nibbles I was getting (lots of action!), but also how many fish we caught! Catfish, lizard fish, trout, lady fish...  Unfortunately, we were hoping for Grouper...but I guess we'll have to wait until next time!

Mini Travelogue
Capitva: Rent a boat at Jensen's Twin Palm Marina (afterwards, grab a drink at the Mucky Duck or Doc Ford's to see a beautiful sunset - hope you see the Green Flash!)
Everglades Airboat Tour: Speedy's Airboat Tours (afterwards, have lunch at the Everglades Rod & Gun Club)
Bonita Beach: Doc's Beach House is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, right on the beach (watersport rentals are there too!); For an amazing steak dinner, head to Chop's on Rt. 41)
Naples: Go fishing with Captain Pete's Bait & Tackle


  1. Kate. Enjoyed your first blog. Aunt Kathy & I are still here enjoying the sun. After you left we found another great beach place on Palm Island. Next time you are down here it is worth a visit. Great to see you and enjoyed trip to Cabbage Key. Uncle Bill

  2. Thanks Uncle Bill! So glad to hear you guys are still enoying sunnny Florida. It was so sad to come back to this winter weather! Thanks again for a great visit to Cabbage Key - and I'll add Palm Island to the list for next time! Hope to see you soon!