Monday, August 4, 2008

'The Road To Paradise'

Sanibel Island is located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida.

Most advertisement you see for Sanibel Island tells you that you enter a beautiful, tropical island paradise as soon as you cross the causeway. I think that's wrong.
For me the experience begins from the moment I get that first peek between the trees, across the blue water at the Sanibel Light House, as you near the causeway.

Passing through the toll booths, you get a look at the steep incline that leads you onto the bridge. (The new Sanibel Causeway was opened on September 8, 2007, with a tall bridge that replaced the old draw bridge.) When you reach the highest point and get a look at the unbelievable view; you can feel the stress of every-day life slipping away.

I always have an urge to roll down my windows to smell the salty sea air. When you look to the left, you can see the light house standing on the very tip of the island. Looking to the right, across San Carlos Bay, there are a myriad of tiny islands. If you time your crossing just right, you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets ever! On rainy days you can see clouds in some areas and bright sunshine in others, and of course with that combination come the most beautiful rainbows ever seen.

Driving across the series of islands and bridges, approximately 3 miles long, you can sometimes see wind-surfers, fishermen, and people picnicking or just enjoying the sun. Looking left or right, there are boats of all shapes and sizes floating around on the blue water. It’s always a bonus to spot a dolphin, as you drive along, because you really can’t look closely for them. Friends have told me they have seen manta rays jump out of the water, but that is an experience I am still waiting for. There are usually terns flying overhead and pelicans come swooping down to hover alongside your car as if to welcome you. That is, when you are in what I call the 'Happy Lane' on your way to the island. The 'Sad Lane' is the one that takes you away from the island and the pelicans are saying goodbye.

The toll to cross the Sanibel Causeway onto the island is $6 per car; there is no toll to return to the mainland. Hardly anyone ever wants to leave, so paying a toll on the way off the island just wouldn't work. :-)

When you reach the end of the causeway, you have definitely arrived at my favorite place in the world, Sanibel Island, Florida, thus my title, 'The Road to Paradise'.

Here's a little glimpse of what you can see....



The first little peek at Sanibel Light House.

Second look at Sanibel before the causeway.







One of my friends called this the 'Road To Heaven'. To me, it's the 'Road to Paradise'.
Hmm, maybe that's the same thing.






















It's a beautiful drive over the causeway, even on a cloudy day.












14 comments:

Snowbird said...

Oh Tootie, thanks for that. I do miss that 3 mile stretch so much. When we drive (or should I say when hubby drives and I ride along) for CROW, I take a book and read most of the time but the minute we hit the causeway--coming or going--I put down the book and take in the sights--and the smells. Again, thanks.

Kahshe Cottager said...

I have never driven this causeway but I have been on the one going to St. Pete's and all of the ones between Miami and Key West. The views are spectacular .. especially when I could pry my hands off the arm rests once I realized I wasn't going to end up in the ocean! lol I can almost smell the salt air looking at your photos!

Thanks for visiting me and leaving a comment. I will be printing them all for Tom to read later this week. I am sure he is going to be thrilled.

2sweetnsaxy said...

I've never been to Florida but the sky and ocean remind me of a trip down to San Diego only most of my shots came out blurred. :-(

Louise said...

Those are some dramatic skies. Nice series.

Yolanda said...

I would love to be there. I have read all of the doc ford books set there.

Cathy - As the World Flops said...

This is one place I want to visit. Your pictures of lovely. Thanks for visiting my site.

Lisa said...

I've never been to Florida, I wish I was in that car with you! I love the shots, I can feel the salt on my skin and the wind in my hair!

Thanks for visiting me and your prayers

Melli said...

Oh wow! I've never even heard of Sanibel Island! How can this BE? What a little piece of PARADISE you have down there! My Grandparents used to live in St. Petersburg... but I was waaaay little the last time I was there... and that was the last time I was on the western shore of Florida. Of course, I spent a few weeks on the EASTERN shore of Texas a couple of summer's ago - that was gorgeous too! You are blessed! You suuuurely are blessed! WOW!

And those CLOUDS that day! WHOOOA! Somethin' ELSE!!!

Ted said...

Wow! It does look like you have found a piece of heaven on earth. I am glad your arthritis has eased by being there.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

that was a fun road trip - thanks for saving us the gas prices! beautiful sunset!! !

JunieRose2005 said...

Wonderful pictures! I want to visit Sanibel again!


Junie

Judy said...

Thank you for your sweet comment about my grandchild on my blog. I have been to Sanibel Island and you are right it sure did look like paradise to me. I hope to get back there again some day. Come over and visit me anytime. I love company!

fishing guy said...

Tootie: What a great set of shots from the island. That is a beautiful place to go.

focused said...

You really live in a very piece of heaven, surrounded every day by such beauty. Therefore, I appreciate more your commnet. Thank you for visiting my blog.