Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping on Sanibel Island

The Hut LOVES The Hut! 

So far I've shared with all of you a glimpse into the recent trip to Sanibel Island, Florida, that Kaybe of The Essential Beachcomber and I took in early November. If you've been around you saw some of the shells we collected and the Island Cow Restaurant where we had a wonderful meal.

When we could tear ourselves away from the beach, we did a little shopping and I want to tell you about three places that we both loved. First up is my absolute favorite retailer on Sanibel, Chris of the T-Shirt Hut.

Chris was a doll, just look at that smiling face!

Yes, Shellbelle's Tiki Hut loves The T-Shirt Hut on Sanibel Island!

The T-Shirt Hut is one of those little touristy shops where you stop in to pick up souvenirs for the folks back home and a t-shirt for yourself. Now I've been in a TON of these places  in Florida and I have to tell you that Chris is the friendliest owner I've ever come across. He was so nice as Kaybe and I roamed around his store, looking at this and laughing over that. The store was clean, organized and not crammed full. I swear, there are stores here that are bursting at the seams with a bunch of junk. You can't see anything, because there is so much. Some places you can barely make your way down an aisle comfortably. I guess that's we lingered for a while, it was comfortable and my claustrophobia didn't kick in. We picked out a few goodies and made our way up to the counter. Chris was as sweet as could be with us two old ladies as we rambled on about shelling and blogging. He made you feel as though you were old friends who had stopped by to say hello. I bought a cute coffee cup and the "Got Shells?" bumper sticker above and this one…

Chris threw in a store bumper sticker and a cup cozy, how nice is that? I asked him if I could take the above picture to put on my blog and he sweetly obliged. He's also the one who told us about The Island Cow, when we inquired where a good place to eat was located. Thanks, Chris, we loved it!

So, when your find yourself in Sanibel, and I know you will, stop by the T-Shirt Hut located at 1504 Periwinkle Way and say hello to Chris. Be sure to tell him Shellbelle sent you by. I giving Chris and his shop 5 Tikis for making me smile, for being a GREAT store and for being so darn nice!

Next up is Jerry's Foods. Now you're probably wondering why the heck I would be talking about a grocery store, but trust me, when your vacationing, you need to know where to go for the essentials. My experience with these places that cater to tourists is that they are overpriced and a little snooty. Not so at Jerry's!

We stopped in to look for a SIM card for Kaybe's camera. This is a store full of friendly, helpful people. Wasn't long before a woman carrying a purse approached Kaybe and ask if she could assist her. Now, since she had her purse, she was probably getting ready to go home or to go on a break. Anywhere else the employee probably would have looked at the floor and scurried by, but this woman didn't just point Kaybe in the right direction, she walked her over to exactly where they were located. How's that for service?

While all this transpired, I looked around and I was impressed! The store was spotless and had everything you could possibly want. The best part? Their prices were comparable to my local supermarket. When I checked out their website, I discovered that if you're planning a trip to Sanibel, you can pre-order your groceries. Not only will they deliver them to your destination prior to your arrival, they will put them away! How cool is that? After a long drive or a long flight, you can arrive, ready to hit the beach, knowing that afterwards you can relax with some munchies while you plan the night's activities. Jerry's also has a full-service casual restaurant and a wonderful bakery. For all they do, I'm also giving Jerry's 5 Tikis! You'll find Jerry's Foods of Sanibel at 1700 Periwinkle Way.

We wandered in and out of a few more shops, but none of them impressed me. This doesn't mean there's not lots of great shops on Sanibel, it just means we didn't do a lot of shopping — we were ready to get back to shelling and time was a wasting!

I know I've hinted at another store that wasn't thrilled with our presence, but I've decided that it doesn't deserve to be in the same post as these others, so I'll tell you about it next week.

I do have one more place to tell you about though and all you junkers out there will love this one!

As we left the island, not too far over the Sanibel Causeway, we spotted this place…

and decided to stop in. 

The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach Thrift Store located at 11050 Summerlin Square Dr, Fort Myers Beach, is awesome! I do believe this is the best thrift store I've ever been to. They've been there for 16 years and they have this thrifting business down to a science. I've never seen one so well organized and so clean. Off the main room, which houses mostly furniture, are all these little rooms and each doorway is marked with what you'll find inside — i.e. Housewares, Medical Supplies, Toys, etc. I could have stayed there for hours, but once I spotted this…

I was thrilled!

This is a Wonder Wheeler Beach Cart. Oh my gosh, something to easily carry all my junk to the beach! I was up at the checkout faster than a speeding bullet. I mean, I flew up there like I was Superman. Kaybe and I had seen a lady on the beach with this…

which she had brought with her from another state. Someone there makes them and we took pics, thinking we could whip up for ourselves. Needless to say, I don't have to be pulling out the power tools. I love this cart! The construction is like that of a baby stroller, making it an ocean breeze to close and open. I figure I can use it at the farmer's market, craft shows, the park and just about anywhere I don't want to lug everything around. Just think how many shells I can pile in this contraption! Bliss…

Now, I thought these were so cool, I added two models to my Amazon Tiki Hut Store. If you can't find one in your area and you think it would fit your needs, be sure to check them out.

Rio Brands Deluxe Wonder Wheeler  — As of this post is selling for $45.88

Oh yes, The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers Beach Thrift Store is also getting 5 Tikis. Great finds, great prices, and great folks working there!

Now don't forget to check back next week to see who isn't getting any tikis, in fact, I had to make a whole new award for this place. I'm calling it the Stinky Fish Award.

Until then, I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season. I'm looking forward to some Christmas fun this weekend that I'll be sharing with you soon. It's almost time to leave Sanibel behind (for now) and get on with celebrating Christmas! I've been bouncing around blogland and I must say, you've all put me in the mood. Your homes look fabulous!

For all of you out shoveling the snow, here is another photo of Kaybe and I with the Sanibel Lighthouse in the background. Oh yeah, we're beachy!

11 Thoughtful Comments:

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

We love Sanibel (and used to live in Ft. Myers). We ate at the Island Cow when we were there a couple of years ago. yum!!!

rjerdee said...

That was fun, Rhonda! My sister's coming to Sanibel in January so I'll shoot her this link along with the Island Cow post! Thanks!!!

RottenMom said...

The suspense is killing me!! I need to know who gets the Stinky Fish Award!

Good job scoring the beach cart, and thanks for the Lighthouse picture, I needed some beachy!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

I've never been to Sanibel Island but after seeing your reviews I'd like to go there.
This is a fun post you are doing. Who wouldn't love a great guy that runs a tshirt shop on the beach!


Sue said...

You need to turn those temps back up before I head that direction! I just love finding special shops in beach towns. Gotta love things painted pink, purple and turquoise!

I bought my parents a beach cart a few years ago...they loved it!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Stinky Fish Award!!!!! uh oh.. someone's in trouble!! hahaha I could use a lot of those stinky fish on my neighbours.. they're anything but neighbourly!!!

So dear Rhonda.. love the last shot of you and your friend.... 'Shellbelle in here natural habitat!!' and your t-shirt guy looks like a friendly character!!

Hope you are having a lovely lead up to christmas!!! and a wonderful weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

Completely Coastal said...

If I ever get to Sanibel (and I will...), I know where to go!!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal

Lindsay-ann said...

I really enjoyed this virtual visit to Sanibel island with you today. It looks a really great place. I love the t-shirt shop and I could feel the warmth ;) The Wonder Wheeler you bought looks really useful. Our snow has gone now. We had it for nearly 2 weeks. I had forgotten what green grass looked like. We may get some more later this week but I am hoping not! Yes we are still coming next April 8th -19th. So excited ;)

Flotsam Friends said...

I'm with Maya here. So interesting hearing about your life over there. Everyone seems so laid back and friendly. Will have to file these recommendations. Love your beach wagon find. How unreal is that. Seems so light weight. Yes, go enjoy the Christmas craziness. My boys finish school on Wednesday and then don't start again until early Feb. Pruxxx

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh man am I jealous right now Rhonda! You should see the snow at my place, we literally got buried!
I really want to go to Sanibel Island bad!
Hugs friend,

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Hi! Oh my have you been up to some fun. Isn't it funny how some of those touristy shops can be so rude. I guess they are just beat down by some tourists, but a great attitude can sell multitudes. I love your beach wheeler. It is just perfect for carrying things back and forth to the beach. I can just see you filling it up with shells and toting all your beach gear on your back though. LOL! Great find!

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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