This June we took our first vacation as a family of four. Emma had been begging to see the ocean and dolphins. And Justin and I wanted to relax and be low key. Captiva didn’t disappoint any of us! We were blessed to rent to cutest little cottage right on the beach. I say blessed because the weather was record breaking rainfall (we even waited out one storm under a bridge!) and we spent a lot of time indoors. So it was quite wonderful to have such a comfortable place to seek refuge. Despite the rain, we tried to make the most of the time. Around showers we squeezed in a bike ride, shelling, and as much beach time as we could. And of course we soaked in every sunset possible. During the rain, we napped, played games, visited the shell museum, and shopped.
The girls loved swimming and playing the in the sand. It was such a memorable experience watching them experience the ocean for the first time. Emma was so brave in the water and Eleanor rolled around in the sand like she was in heaven. And seeing a pod dolphins swim offshore was pretty much the icing on their cake! Oh and the shells! So many amazing shells. It was addicting for all of us to scour the beach for winners. Every time she found one Eleanor would yell “Winner, winner chicken dinner!” Haha! So funny.
One of the things Emma really wanted to do was go on a “big bike ride”. She’s been practicing on her bike a lot and was excited to test her skills. On one of our dry mornings we rented bikes. The rental agent assumed that Emma wanted to ride a bike attached to mine. No way man! She wanted her own bike so they gave her kids mountain bike. It was very different from her bike at home and she immediately got upset and started crying because she was having trouble getting going. But speaking calm words of encouragement and affirmation to her, she was able to gain control of her emotions and try again. And she did it! We rode down to a lighthouse and beach, probably a total of about 5 miles or so. She killed it! It was awesome to watch her persevere and overcome.
Probably the best thing we did (aside from the beach) was take a boat ride around the island on the Sanibel Thriller. We had to reschedule multiple times due to the rain, but finally on our last day, the sun was out and it was beautiful. I’m so glad we got to experience it. We saw some really cool pods of dolphins, so Emma was truly thrilled. They swam along with the boat and jumped in the wakes. They were amazing! You have to watch both the videos, so many jumping dolphins!
All in all it was wonderful and much needed trip! We hope to go back soon!