Solo on Sanibel Island – Day 2

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No sleeping in for me and I don’t count 7:30 as sleeping in. Decided it was time for me to hit the beach and do what other tourists do, the Sanibel Stoop, the act of stooping over the beach hunting for seashells. I live in Florida and collecting shells is so…touristy…but this was my vacation so I indulged in the activity but first sprayed down with my 22% DEET repellent.

I encountered one little bird, a plover of some sort, maybe? He’s pictured below.

Shore Bird, Sanibel Island, Florida

Shore Bird, Sanibel Island, Florida

A little bit further down the beach came across a flock of seagulls. No, not the ’80s band. There were maybe hundreds of my new feathered friends. Turns out I disrupted their breakfast, check out the video:Breakfast with the Birds of Sanibel Island, Florida.

Between slapping no-see-ums (as I later learned on my journey, these gnats with teeth laugh at DEET) I found some gorgeous shells. One of the coolest things I found were these bird prints on among the shells on the sand.

Bird Footprints in the Sand, Sanibel Island, Florida

Bird Footprints in the Sand, Sanibel Island, Florida

After cleaning up was a trip to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Was going to save it for a Friday visit but remembered the Wildlife Drive is closed on Fridays in order for wildlife to get back to nature, so to say. It’d been a very long time since I last visited yet it still seemed new. Although there were amazing birds and loads of mullet jumping, the coolest thing was this hole in a tree on the Shell Mound Trail. This boardwalk trail was somewhat interesting not just for the foliage and shell mound but the odors. It smelled of skunk, coffee, orange blossoms and jasmine. Indeed, an interesting mix of aromas.

Hole in Tree, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Hole in Tree, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

The afternoon consisted of yummy lunch at Captiva Island’s The Bubble Room, lounging in the pool – in which the tiki bar was tuned into the unfolding Balloon Boy saga – followed by dinner at the hotel. Work was interspersed with down time (just couldn’t escape it). Sanibel dining deserves its own posts so stay tuned because The Bubble Room was a trip! Can’t believe I’ve never been there and can’t wait to share?

Sanibel Island Things To Do

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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