Captiva is a tourist haven. There is a small shopping center at the end of this Island for your shopping needs. You can also find a small restaurant at that same place. Prices are however a bit high over here. It seems to have been designed for the high-class member of the society. You might want to avoid it if you are on a fixed budget. Regardless of this, it might be a relief to know that there is a Starbucks in Captiva. If you are looking for it, you will find it nestled at the end of a shopping center, opposite a resort. It opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.
I have to admit that it was so hard to find parking for our vehicle. There is absolutely no parking on the streets, and no parking overnight at the beach car parks. We, however, managed to find a lot where other visitors had packed their vehicles. It was a relief and we considered this a treasured find.
We had to rise up early in the morning since we needed a place where we could charge our devices, browse the internet and have breakfast. Starbucks was the most convenient place to do all this and so opted for it.
Time seemed to move so fast. Before we knew it, it was 10 a.m. We had decided that we needed a rest on this day. The beach would be a perfect place for a hustle free day. The weather was mild and we had heard that the beaches here had excellent shells.
Thank God we found a car park right on time. It only took 15 minutes after we packed our car and the parking lot was full. Parking fee was $2 per hour. However, I was lucky to find a woman who gave me a paid 3-hour ticket as I was rushing to pay.
So we head down with the bucket we had been given at the last beach we visited. This is the day I will spend quality time with my son. We walk and collect shells to decorate a sand castle he wants to make. We learn about the type of sand that works and the type that 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. People stop and compliment him and he is so proud. He also talks about the very few times we have done this together, and I have to admit that he is right. One of the things I did not antiquate was how busy we are, always traveling. However, we are now heading for some months of slowing down. So, soon I will be able to do more of this.
We spend quality time at the beach until our car park time is up. We also have to be cautious not to spend too much time in the sun. We conclude with a swim but are suprised that there is no shower at this beach. We get lucky to meet someone who has a house at the beach and that is how my son gets to freshen up. He really hates having sand on him after the beach.
So we head back to our vehicle and make some lunch before driving off to Sanibel. Along the way is the Refuge Centre and Wildlife Education Centre, and it happens to be free.
The lady at the center asks my son if he would like to earn a badge. Explorason is so excited, and so we go around the room, learning about ducks and their migration in the USA.
Next, we learn about alligators. As we had just been to an alligator show he is pretty pleased that 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. We pass by that area as well and learn a lot of things.
Toward the end, there is an art area. He loves this and does several adjustments on what he has learnt regarding sea animals 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 for 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 fully clothed with his sandals on. So I call him out and strip him off to his underwear. He loves the water – 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.
At the end of the day, we freshen up, get our clothes cleaned and start driving for Fort Meyers, where we hope to spend the night.
When we get there, we discover that the council does not allow parking overnight. But we are guided to a parking that is 10 miles down the road. We prepare dinner and head for MacDonalds since it is nearby and I really need to use their internet.
As we are seated there, a man offers my son a free Batman toy and cup. Today seems to have been a day of small gifts and blessings.
It has been a great time together, and we have hardly spent any money. However, I appreciate the fact that we have spent quality time together. It has simply been wonderful!