Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Swarm

I thought the island would be recovering this evening, after the onslaught of visitors during the last two weeks. Most condos here rent from Saturday to Saturday and my thinking was that most holiday travelers would leave this morning. I was wrong! The traffic was still bad all day. This evening, the plan was to have dinner at the Sanibel Grill and watch a game; so we went pretty early to avoid the dinner rush. But, the place was packed and there was nearly an hour wait. The traffic was still swarming all over the island. Tried going to Biddle's Bucket next, but it was also crowded. We walked into the bar area where they have quite a few tables now and there were people sitting all along the bar, several tables were empty, but there was only one person to tend bar and wait tables in that whole area. I saw three tables with people sitting, looking at menus. There was a party of 10 or 12 people at a big table, already complaining because they had been there for quite a while and hadn't gotten anyone to take a drink order yet or give them a menu. At that point, a girl came from the dinning room with menus and told them that they would just have to be patient and wait if they wanted to be served because there was only the bartender to wait on everyone in there. She was really pretty rude about it, so we decided to take the other option and left. I say, if you need the business, be prepared for it while it's here. I guess you could safely say that we were crowded off the island tonight. I'm happy for the businesses here, because I know they need the tourism to survive. But for us, it meant a trip off-island to find a restaurant that wasn't crowded.

After driving up to 41, we decided on Sam Seltzer's Steak House. They were also crowded, but there was only a 10 or 15 minute wait, which we spent in the outdoor bar area, in order to check out the football game scores. They had some specials that offered prime rib, steak or stuffed lobster at a very good price. My steak was $11.95. I would have only given my steak half a thumbs up, but one of us had the same and it was a much better cut. That did receive a full thumbs up, as did the prime rib which was about the same price for an 8 oz one or $3 more for 16ozs. We all liked our salads, baked potatoes and the hot rolls. The wine was only $2 per glass. We all left stuffed!


I'm not exactly sure about the reason these three cows were grazing beside the outdoor bar area, but I hope they weren't there to help provide the steak special.




10 comments:

George said...

Your island is becoming just too popular! When I lived in Little River, South Carolina (near Myrtle Beach) we used to despise the tourist traffic, but the tourists provided a lot of jobs and money in the area.

Tootie said...

George, I don't despise the tourists at all. I used to be one myself. :-) But the traffic on such a small island is horrid. We have no traffic lights here and during the peak traffic times, there are policemen to help direct traffic at some of the intersections. It is so pleasant here in the summer because you don't have to wait to pull out onto Periwinkle or make left turns, etc. I guess we get spoiled.

gary said...

I think the cows were the Chick Fil A cows........You know " EAT MOR CHIKIN"

Mediterranean kiwi said...

too much traffic on country roads is horrific, not to mention dangerous. the havoc congestion causes in my own town, not to mention the beach roads in the summer, makes living here very unpleasant - and we are permanent residents, not here-today-gone-tomorrows!

there's little we can do about it, esp now in the economic crisis - if you invest in better roads, you'll expect tourism to pay it off eventually, but now that a decrease in tourism is expected over the next few years, we can't rely on tourist money...

Melli said...

Boy! Sam should be payin' you for advertising! He got a pretty good write-up! I always feel sorry for the year rounders when tourist season is in. I don't even like BEING one! I much prefer to travel in the off season... BUT... in the off season so many of the "activities" close down. That is a problem if the kids are along. Anyway... I'm sure your little island will be back to normal VERY soon now!

Snowbird said...

I'm with you on the traffic, Tootie. Ugh. Especially when you need to get somewhere and you have a driver in front of you who doesn't know where they are going--or someone from the island giving a guided tour at 20 mph. Looks like our crawls could be hampered for awhile, huh?

BTW, we ate at Mimi's in the Bell Tower Shops Friday. Very good and not terribly expensive.

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

That's exactly why we come visit in the off season! Though I do remember one day while we were there that was pretty congested....it took quite some time and patience to get onto Periwinkle after we stopped to shop.

Gayle said...

I think all the workers have abandoned their employers for the holidays. We've had the same service problems lately. We left Boston's the other day because no one would wait on us, then almost left Chile's for the same reason. Last night, at Boston's for the football game, there was one gal for the entire bar. What are the owners thinking? There is money to be made! Hopefully, things quiet down for you soon.

Daryl said...

Thanks for the visit, it looks a LOT warmer here ...

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello :)

Greetings :)

Very interesting post.

The restaurants are minting money.

It is understandable that a tourist place gets crowded during holidays. But in a city like Kochi every day is a holiday and the trafic snarls are unbearable. If I want to go to the town, I start early to avoid the traffic jams and rash driving by public buses and motor cycles which get on one's nerves. Don't talk about blaring horns and pollution.

As regards the lady who spoke rudely to tourists, it can't be helped because she must be tired. After all she is also a human being. How long can she be on her toes and serve the demanding tourists. It is upto the owner to ensure there is enough staff to cater to the rush of customers during this time.

The tourists are coming to enjoy themselves and sometimes their enjoyment is bullying the waiters. If the waitress is not a bit tough, they will make her go mad.
I can understand you didn't like her behaviour and decided to go somewhere else because you as a customer wanted to be served with utmost courtesy and respect.

In any case, it was a blessing is disguise because you went to a better place and had a sumptuous meal. If you had to wait where the rude waitress was working, the food may not have been cooked well and it may not be tasty.

Many thanks for visiting my blog and posting encouraging comments.

Wish you and your family a wonderful new year.