Road trip around Florida Sanibel and Captiva Day 5
Captiva is a tourist haven. It has a small shopping and restaurant area at the end of the island. Prices are high. It is designed for those with money. There are no camp grounds and no MacDonald’s.
But thank goodness there is a Starbucks.
It isn’t easy to find, but it is nestled at the end of a shopping centre opposite a resort. It opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.
We had managed to sleep in a lot where there were work vans parked, and barely managed to get bogged. There is absolutely no parking on the streets, and no parking overnight at the beach car parks, so this was a treasured find. We took off early for breakfast at Starbucks, and of course to use their internet and power up the laptop, and recharge the battery in the camera etc.
Before we knew it, it was 10 a.m. Today we wanted a rest day. A day at the beach. The weather was mild and we had heard the beaches had excellent shells.
So we found the car park, and just in time. Within 15 minutes it was full. Parking is $2 an hour but as we went to pay a lady passes me a paid 3 hour ticket – yes!
We head down with the bucket we had been given at the last beach. Today is the day I spend quality time engaging with my son. We walk and collect shells to decorate a sand castle he wants to make. We learn about which sand works and which crumbles.
We must have spent 2 hours. It turns out we are making a fort for Batman. Robin gets his own cave, and we have tunnels for the bat mobile. He is so proud. People stop and compliment him and he is so proud. He also talks about how few times we have done this together, and that is true. One of the things I did not antiquate was how busy we always are traveling, and now we are heading for some months of slowing down soon, I can do more of this.
We stay right until the time is up on the car park. And just long enough to avoid too much time in the sun. We finish off with a swim, but there is no shower, so a kind house has a hose my son gets to use for a makeshift wash off. He hates sand on him after the beach.
So we get back to the van and make lunch and then drive off to Sanibel. Along the way is the Refuge Centre and Wildlife Education Centre, and this is free.
The lady asks him if he would like to earn a badge. My Explorason is so excited, and so we go around the room, learning about ducks and their migration in USA.
Next we learn about alligators. As we had just been to an alligator show he is pretty pleased he knows the answers to these questions. We also study manatee bones and a little on dinosaurs.
There is an area to learn about composting and decomposition.
Toward the end there is an art area.
He loves this and does several rubbings of sea and wildlife.
We hate to go, but we need to move on and see the rest of the island.
So he races to get his Junior Ranger badge and gets a free activity book to take with him.
We drive around Sanibel to find the lighthouse.
We walk up the jetty and have a great time watching many people fish. Lots are getting caught, and most are thrown back. It is great as there is a diagram to teach on the fish of the area. Another time of world-schooling.
When we get to this area, another person gives us a parking ticket for free.
We go for a walk around the area. There are quite a few different pretty flowers in the sand.
Next thing I see my son IN the sea full clothed with his sandals on.
So I call him out and strip him off to his underwear.
He loves the water, and it is nice and warm.
We hate to go, but as we do we see a Gopher Tortoise. We had learnt about them at the Education Centre earlier today.
For those of you contemplating travel with children.
World schooling is amazing.
To see things in their natural environment and to learn like we do is fabulous.
We find a shower and wash the clothes and my boy.
We head out to find a Walmart to sleep at Fort Meyers.
We talk to them and discover the council does not allow parking overnight.
But she guides us to one 10 miles down the road that does.
We end up making dinner and going for a drink and more internet at MacDonald’s.
As we sit there a man offers my son a free Batman toy and cup.
Today really has been a day of small gifts and blessings.
It has been a great time together, and really we have hardly spent any money.
But we have spent time. Time together, and it has been wonderful!