Monday, November 15, 2010

Sanibel Island Surfside

As most of you know, I spent part of last week on Sanibel Island. I know, it's a tough life, but somebody has to live it! The first morning there I had the pleasure of meeting up with three, yes three, other bloggers! 

From left to right we have

Debbie of

Pam of

Karen of

and, of course, myself! Click on any of these headers to visit their beachy blogs.

You can tell by our outerwear that the day started off a bit chilly, but we were a determined group and proceeded to hike down the shoreline to a prime shelling area. From the first photo you can see that the day did warm up — Karen was down to shorts and I had abandoned my cap and sweater.

Everything didn't go as planned on my part. I never talk about it, but I have a condition in my feet that, while I have made great strides, limits me to how fast and for how long I can go. I spent a couple of years basically homebound and another couple of years in an electric scooter. To make matters worse, I slipped in the sandy mud and really did a bit of damage. Excruciating pain slowed me down, but I carried on as best I could in pursuit of a few treasures from the sea to share with you. Later this week, I'll share with you the seashells I collected and a few great places Karen and I visited, but for today I'll show you some of the things we saw as we walked the sea line.

Lightning Whelks are one of my favorite shells to collect and when I spotted this fine specimen I was really excited. When I flipped it over, I was even more excited to see it was a live specimen, so I carefully flipped it back and left it to breed future generations.…

Other living specimens spotted were…


Sand Dollars

Sea Urchins

Baby Octopus
(Debbie spotted this little guy first, he was stranded with the low tide,
so I gently carried him back down to the water.)

Fighting Conchs by the thousands!
(They were still alive, but lethargic. Scientists still don't know what caused this phenomenon,
but my hope is that they will survive and get back to water where they belong.)

(We saw lots of soft-bodied creatures and I have no idea what they are,
but the one on the left looks like a martini olive to me.)

Pen Shell
(These are very common and while not a particularly pretty shell, if you look inside you'll see lots of
things going on. This one had another baby octopus curled up to the right,
some mini shells and lots of barnacles.)

(Just feet away from us! I found out later from a local that the trough that runs offshore is the perfect place for dolphins to teach their young to hunt. Cool!)

Grocery Bag
(I HATE seeing this! This bag has been in the water for so long that barnacles have made it home.
Think of all the baby turtles, fighting for their lives in a tough environment and some inconsiderate
beach goer has added to their struggle to survive.)

Leave Only Footprints, please.

My Shoes
(Yep, I love this sight, it means I'm wandering the beach with the sand between my toes!)

Sometimes the sea and the stars line up perfectly and you get a chance to meet fellow bloggers who share the same passion as yourself. Thank you to Pam and Debbie for meeting up with Karen and I for a day at the beach. Hopefully, next time I'll be on more "solid" ground and we'll get a chance to talk and share, you are both such lovely, interesting women. You both rock shell!

Speaking of the sea and stars lining up, I am SO excited to announce the winner of my giveaway!

Drum roll, please…

Today 13 is indeed a lucky number for Jane of Artfully Graced! I had the pleasure to meet Jane in August and she is a DOLL! I hope she enjoys this $75 shopping spree at CSN Stores. Woo Hoo!

That's it for today folks, come back this week, I have a few little surprises for some of my blogging friends and another giveaway!

28 Thoughtful Comments:

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I would so have loved to be there! I love Sanibel and live far away but it is my dream vacation destination. Don't give me Paris give me Sanibel. I enjoyed the photos so much. Sorry to hear about your foot issues. I have some myself and while i'm in a good place right now I can easily be down for the count and not able to walk. Congrats to the giveaway winner!

Blondie's Journal said...

What a wonderful day. I always learn so much when you go shelling. And the day was so much more special with friends. Love all of your interesting!! Great post, Rhonda!


Completely Coastal said...

I so wish I was there!!!!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal

Sahildeki Ev said...

Oh I want to be there with you.. I already miss the sounds and the smells of the sea..

Loui♥ said...

how delightful!!
4 sisters of the sea.. shelling!!
I so love your posts/pictures!!
glad you had such fun despite the tumble!!
I think the martini olive might be a sea anemone just closed tightly because of being out of water..
can hardly wait for your next installment!!
warmest sandy hugs..

rjerdee said...

Hurray for Jane!!!Sorry me moi!
So fun to meet 4 bloggers via pictures...sounds as if you all had a great time!

Kaybe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaybe said...

You were a trooper - you gave new meaning to cowgirl up - it's now shellbelle up! Nothing was going to stand in the way of us and that Junonia (except the mean shell shop guy)

Love ya!

Jane said...

And here I was enjoying all the photos and the commentary on your Sanibel shelling trip...and wishing I had been along. WOW!!! I am so excited to be the winner!!!!!! Thank you so much, Rhonda. I look forward to shopping at CSN... And just in time for perfect!
Jane (artfully graced)

BECKY said...

Hi Gal! What a sweet blessing to meet bloggy friends and do it on Sanibel!!! Lucky you! So sorry you got hurt, but delighted that you were surrounded by sweet friends doing what you love.

I haven't been there since the 70's!! Need to go visit for sure! I LOVE shelling, too!! Just not too many on Daytona Beach!! There used to be more...don't know what happened!

Praying that you heal up quickly and have minimal pain!
Blessings and hugs,

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh what a nice post Rhonda!
That is so wonderful that you got to meet some fellow bloggers! And the pics, and the shells and the beach, so lovely!
I want to go bad.
Take care and I love the shells you found.

The Fajdich Times said...

What a beautiful time you had. Love the pictures:)

Low Tide High Style said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time despite your pain! I hate it when I see trash floating in the water or washed up on shore too! I hope your feet are feeling better and congratulations to Jane!

Kat :)

By The Seashore said...

Wow, what a fabulous time you gals had. And you got to hold a baby octopus. Amazing. On another note, I receive your comment on my blog. Definitely me. Tried to contact undeliverable.

Beach House Living said...

I would have loved to have been there. What a great day of finds.

gayle said...

How exciting!! Looks like you had so much fun!

Sue said...

I am so sorry you weren't at your best, but it does look wonderful. I've seen most of the things you showed at some time or another, but never a baby octopus (I think I'm okay with that) and I don't recognize the "olive" things either. One year we found hundreds of sand dollars. The plastic bag made me sad. I've been on Sanibel a couple of times, but I've never stayed is so pretty there. Loved this post!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhonda, what a wonderful post! Loved seeing the baby octopus and the dolphin. I'm so sorry you hurt yourself, and I hope and pray you are feeling better.

I'm a little under the weather and trying to feel better because I have a lot going on as you know. Sending you warm hugs today and always, my friend.

Love you...


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, and YEA for Jane! :-)

CHERI said...

I want to go, too:) Looks like a glorious day, except for your foot problem. So sorry this put a damper on your special time with friends. Hope you are all better by now. The shells are spectacular...can't believe there are so many! And the baby octopus...bless you for saving that little guy. Hope all is well in your world.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just discovered your blog and I love it. I have a vacation home in Englewood florida, by Manasota Beach, and I have yet to visit Sannibel. the one day I headed there a storm rolled in so bad and I never got to the beach. Rumer has it's some of the best shelling in the world! Perhaps some day, I'll get there.

Drawn to The Sea said...

Look at ya'll, so cute! I too have an issue that slows me down, but we keep on ticking, especially when it comes to the ocean, right?

What a wonderful post... your excitement is contagious, I feel so happy for the the octopus.

And yay for Jane... how nice!

Flotsam Friends said...

What fun you all had. Like peas in a pod you guys! Aren't us girls amazing. We are lucky to have each other. Yep, and congratulations to Jane too. Pruxxx

CrazyCris said...

What a fabulous day!

I think my mom has a similar foot problem to yours and it drives her nuts. She used to be able to go on long hikes, and now has to take brakes during medium walks. :s

I think your blobby thing might be some kind of actinia or sea tomato that got loosened from a rock and has closed up to protect its tentacles.

Magdalena said...


I am so happy you are walking the beach these days with the sand between your toes! How fun your trip to Sanibel looked and how great to be with 3 bloggers. The octopus and the dolphin are amazing. I can't wait to get to Florida I need the beach and sand!!

The seashell that looks like a Martini olive is so cool. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving my sweet friend.
PS, Thank you for leaving me comments of such genuine meaning, they make my day when I read them!

jmac said...

Yay for Jane!!
and your shell pics are of these days, I'm gonna get myself to sanibel to witness this beauty with my own eyes...and since our sailboat is very close-by, there's really no excuse :(
and SB,,,I'm going to email you about the new medicine I found for our "feet problem". it's like a miracle. remember during summer when one of mine was so bad? started with this stuff and it magically got better. But today, i now have it in my other I'm starting another round. Don't have name of it with me right now but will email when I go get it.

Sea Witch said...

Love this post. Spent many decembers at Sanibel as a little girl. This was when you had to take the ferry across to get to the island and Captiva had no homes on it. Such a lovely shelling beach.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Rhonda
it looks just beautiful!!!! You know I just came back from a beach holiday and didn't find a single shell!! no that I looked hard enough it rained most of the time.. but still enjoyable..

Funny you know even though there are highrise buildings it still looks totally relaxing.. [something that wasn't present on the first half of my trip]... Glad you had a wonderful time and glad you met up with some blogging friends..

Have a lovely week,.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

Oh and congrats to Jane

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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