Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Very Crowded Sanibel

I know you want a peek at the beach. :) But first, I wanted to show you a little of the new landscaping in progress on the spoil islands. I had made a slide show with those photos, but I'm having all kinds of difficulties getting things to work with my new computer. So after saying a few bad words and then giving up, I am just posting them below. :(

Going off island yesterday to do some grocery shopping was a real experience. The traffic was horrible. Some kind person finally gave us space to get onto Periwinkle Way. There were cars lined up to go off the island, as well as bumper to bumper traffic coming on island. Traffic in Ft Myers was bad too, but nothing like Sanibel, where there's only one way on and off.

I can tell you that there's still no where else I'd rather be. If you have to sit in traffic, at least you have beautiful scenery to look at. The new plantings along the roadsides are really very nice.

Trying to get down Periwinkle.

Finally turned onto Causeway Blvd.

Trees as you approach causeway.

Tree plantings.

Low tide on north side of spoil island.

Late this afternoon we braved the traffic and drove over to the beach. The island is very busy this week. There were hundreds of check-ins on the island the day after Christmas. The roads are gridlocked several times a day, even with police directing traffic at the intersections. Multi-use paths are crowded with bicycles. The restaurants all have long waits at dinner time, and the other businesses seem to be quite busy as well. I noticed that about all of the parking spaces were full at the condos along West Gulf Drive.

Here are a few photos of some of the activity going on while we were waiting at the intersection of West Gulf Drive and Tarpon Bay Rd, facing west. As usual none of the pictures shows how crowded it really was, by the time I took one, half the people had already moved out of view. Yesterday I was thinking that riding my bike where I wanted to go would be an option. But, after seeing how congested the bike paths were today, I'm not sure that would help. Taking into consideration the amount of vehicles at intersections, I'm not sure it's too safe to be on a bicycle. I really think what you would need is a tank!

After driving back and forth past all seven of the resident access on WG Drive, we finally found one empty parking space at access 5.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and it got up to 74 degrees. I'm sure the visitors were really thrilled with the weather. The beach that is usually deserted in the summer was pretty crowded today. There were some shells at the high tide line, but not a lot coming in. I did find a small handfull to take home. I'm guessing that early this morning, there may have been some treasures in that high tide line. :-)

The beach art didn't seem to be up to Sanibel standards. :-)

Somebody tell me that they see a Driftwood fish in this picture. Please...

We saw the Sanibel Thriller passing by. It didn't look like a dolphin cruise so I'm assuming that they're returning from Boca Grande. Looked like they had a full load.

When we were looking for a parking spot at one of the resident accesses, there were quite a few cars among those parked, that didn't have a resident parking sticker. When we came back from the beach, the one car at this access that didn't have a sticker, was wearing a ticket. Their time on the beach will be an expensive one. I could see the police vehicle at the next access and he was busy writing tickets there.


Caroline said...

The very first time we visited Sanibel, we learned the hard way about those resident access parking spots! To the tune of a $50 ticket. Rental agencies send you all kinds of info, but never in the 5 times that we have visited has there been anything about how those parking permits work. We know now!
After our Christmas blizzard in SD, even gridlock looks good, if it is on Periwinkle.
Happy New Year's Eve!

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Thanks for all the pics!! Looks VERY crowded. Makes me thankful we visit when we do.....
It only takes one parking ticket in the permit only area to learn that lesson:) I'll bet almost every first time visitor does that!!
Your handful of treasures is delightful. Especially the mac & cheese

Pam said...

We were on the island Tuesday and were surprised to see how crowded it was! Before hitting the beach we drove to City Hall to renew our beach access parking permit and it took us nearly 10 minutes to get back onto Periwinkle afterwards. With all the rental bikes and surrey bikes everywhere and all the kiddies on school break adding to the throng there was something of a carnival atmosphere going on. It was just crazy!

Gayle said...

It is understandable that in our free country the beach is open to all that want to visit, but I tell you...if I lived there I would hate all the visitors. Having two lane roads and all those people just can't be fun. I don't like crowds, I am impatient, hate traffic....I probably wouldn't leave the house during tourist season! lol :) I hope you survive. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Tootie and thank you for all of the beautiful pictures! I've already got one up as my pc backgroung. :-))
Looks like economy is booming this season on the island - yay for the local businesses! I've never been during season, but it must be a love hate relationship between the tourists and locals. Here in Hollywood, we have a lot of French Canadian visitors and the majority leave by April 1st. We're grateful for the boost to the econmy, but SO happy to get our streets and beaches back. ;-)
If I'm ever lucky enough to live there, I may hibernate during season, lol.
Jo Ann