Out and about

So, my sister Linda came to visit, and we got to chat and talk, something to eat at home – and of course due to COVID she hadn’t seen anyone for a while. We had food delivered which was good. We didn’t do too much once we were allowed out again, but it gave us chance to do some routine stuff, like take Betsy to her different doctors appointments, shopping for wrapping paper etc etc.

Soon after, we packed up the car and headed down to Sanibel. It’s about a 3 hour ride for us, so not too taxing to be honest. We stayed at a place called Sanibel Moorings where we had never been before. We liked it. Got a nice condo right on the beach side which was nice. Short walk to the beach, but also a short walk to the car !

We went straight out after checking in (kerbside which is nice), headed down to Jerry’s supermarket, where all the parrots are outside in big cages. Got our provisions, then headed back to eat and watch the sunsets.

Next morning, coffee on our little balcony/terrace, and a gentle start. Headed out to drive around. Went up to Captiva with the intention of going to The Mucky Duck, but it seems a few hundred of our closest friends had the same idea, so with COVID and all that, we ditched that idea, and went to The Green Flash just down the road which was nice. We sat outside – our preference even without COVID.

I don’t recall what I had, but I do know one of the dishes Betsy had:

Nice place, close to the water’s edge. We watched boats and kayak tours gradually work their way past us as we sat and ate lunch (smiling at the table opposite where ‘he’ – Mr Gold Chain 60yrs odd – had bagged himself a 30 yr old young woman and was behaving like he wished there weren’t other people around. I’m sure I mentioned “they need to go and get a room” to Betsy on more than one occasion.

You have to love Sanibel though. Everywhere you go, it’s calm, relaxed, no racing traffic, everyone has time, and the wildlife seemingly everywhere.

Drove around by the Sanibel Lighthouse, which is certainly worth going to look at, but baulked at the parking of $5 per hour (really ??). Little bit of time on the beach again, and enjoyed the sun going down, mostly from out little terrace in the room.

Our room/condo (whatever I should call it) was probably fairly typical of the accommodations on Sanibel, but it was clean and neat, and well taken care of which was the main thing.

Next day, we drove around a bit more, and did some shopping for Christmas things, but generally taking a look around at what’s available. Sanibel has just lots of little independent shops, and you’d be hard pressed to visit all of them. We made a few purchases, plus we visited the boat dock where we had left to go fishing with Mark and Edward several years before which was fun. Then lunch at Doc Ford’s where we knew we would be able to sit outside.

Next thing, it was time to head back, after an enjoyable break down there. I’m glad we went down. It’s close enough to do short breaks there.

And then out of quarantine……..

The days pass relatively quickly. The combination of stuff you need to do, jet lag, settling the house back down after an absence etc etc. We got several deliveries of supermarket stuff, got two cars serviced (using valet delivery and collection service), and several other things. Soon, the quarantine was done. Enjoyed our walk down to the lake as one of the first things , particularly seeing some of the local wildlife –

The weather was still nice, and good enough to see lots of wild life out there.

Getaway before Lockdown II Starts !

So, early November saw the announcement of another lockdown in England. We were getting our kitchen totally refurbished, and had booked to stay at a rental house in the Lake District (it looked great too 😢😢😢) but he called us and said he was not able to take us due to the lockdown. I really didn’t want to stay at the house without a kitchen and during lockdown (bad enough with freedom to get out, but during lockdown ?? No way.). So we had to make quick plans to get away and head to Florida. Not massively complex, but some logistics to deal with, particularly with arrangements for house keys etc., but we did it and soon headed off.

Shortly after arriving at the airport we were heading back home again due to a technical issue with our aircraft. Cup of coffee later (thank you coffee mate !) reapplying for my US ESTA authorisation in a mad panic (it had been cancelled THAT DAY as part of this US Presidential proclamation stopping foreigners) and soon we were on our way back again. No issues on “The Departure – Part II” and off we went. Nice flight.

Landed at Clearwater/St. Pete’s and soon picked up and on our way home, just in time to pick up our Publix supermarket home delivery , so all was well !

We then had to settle into our required 14 day quarantine, but there are worse places to do it. It went quick, with several more Publix deliveries, and soon we were free.