While walking into our distribution center this morning,
I noted that there were several of the “kids” (anyone under
30) in their shorts and their tank tops. They had sweatshirts
that zipped up over this attire. While we were doing our
morning exercises, they were already peeling those off! Then,
in my work zone, that I was assigned to work, I found that
someone on ‘nights’ had turned on the fans! They were blowing
Not even on the ‘low’ level!
Come on, everyone! I have a sense of humor about it,
once I turn off the fans and start working… Then,
on the way to break, I saw Native American Ted, he
was wearing a brightly colored tropical shirt. All
of this ‘fun and carefree’ attire made me start to
hum the words to the Beach Boys’ song, “Kokomo.”
“Aruba… Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya…Bermuda…”
This song was released in 1988 timed for the movie
release of Tom Cruise’s “Cocktail.” I had to laugh
when I accidentally whispered the words too loudly
and Darryl asked me if I were going to travel to
all of those islands! Guess what? There are people
who do just that!
Here are my favorite islands, some I have been to
and some I have YET to go visit the delightful
scenery. Nallorca, (in the Mediterranean) yes, I have
been blessed as a teenager to have that thrown into
our Spanish Club trip… Bahamas, Hawaii, Aldives,
Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys and Aruba are on my new
islands’ tour bucket list!
Describing an idyllic set of crescent shaped islands down
in Florida will come a little more easily than the teens’
island cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. My ‘newer, fresher’
memories are since I was a fully grown adult when we went to
‘play’ down there!
If you wish to travel there, going in the fall will help your
ability to find a place to stay. You may drive to Ft. Meyer’s
Beach and stay there for less money and fine accommodations.
Staying on Sanibel Island was satisfyingly self-indulgent!
You will find the coconut palms, migratory birds and other
wonderful island ‘elements’ on Sanibel or Captiva Islands.
I will start with looking for sea shells and which beaches
were the best to see them. It is a great place to exercise,
by bending and squatting to pick up shells. Also, you may
rent bicycles to further explore the islands.
There is nothing better, (almost) than digging one’s toes
into cool, wet sand on a hot day. As you will find warm,
clean, fine white sand along these beaches it is easy to
spot the larger shells particularly. The two beaches I was
fortunate to rest, on my behind in the sand, on and search
fervently for shells to take home were on the mid-Island
beach called “Bowman’s Beach” and on the eastern point,
“Lighthouse Beach.” It is also a immeasurable pleasure to
have a towel, book and hat with a wide brim to provide
welcome shade on your book you may wish to read and revel
in the atmosphere, too.
In the tidal pools and bright blue water with azure skies,
sometimes not a cloud to be found… you may find this list
Alphabet cones of brown and white with spots.
Tellins of rosy pink and peachy colors.
Scallops of patchy calico patterns, my favorites are a mix
of caramel, brown and white. These have ridges on them.
Conch shells are those ones that look like horns, you can
hear the ocean in them the best!
Angel wings, try to find some pairs. I have a card with 20
of these sets glued on it, that my Grandmother Mattson took
days to collect and my Grandfather wrapped first in tissue,
then with bubble wrap and finally brown paper-packaged with
my name and address when I was in third grade. You bet, I
took that pretty card with “shell butterflies” to school to
show off! (Every time I see special shells, I remember their
little trailer, close to Clearwater Beach. I have wonderful
memories of the Gulf side of Florida. The ocean is more of
a New England memory, for me…)
Lightning whelks are grey, silvery on the inside and have some
different patterns, all swirly and unique.
There are the occasional jelly fish, watch out, crabs,
not to eat! You can purchase them at restaurants and/or
enjoy the fresh seafood there!
With the sea gulls flying and possible dolphin sightings,
this is a wonderful place filled with nature. Sunsets with
cool, iced drinks that feature little umbrellas and fruity
‘ka-bobs’ on long skewers or a simple, chilled glass of your
favorite beer (or wine cooler) are such awesome sources of
rejuvenation. Well, at least I always feel younger, while
sipping one of these! Smile!
Each little tiki bar will have the tunes of the Beach Boys,
Barry Manilow, Bruno Mars or Jimmy Buffett playing, sometimes
you may develop an ear “worm” from listening to them! A newer
“Island Song,” by the Zac Brown Band (August, 2012) is one of
my new favorites! My old favorite one, “Island Girl,” sung by
Elton John (released in 1975) can just get me up and dancing,
slowly in the arms of a stranger… My mind wanders off…
Here is a practical list of conditions and suggestions to find
more shells (wherever you are vacationing!)
1. Usually one hour before to one hour after low tide. You
will need to check local tide charts.
2. Weather factors that all increase your chances for more
shells, are a) cold spells, b) storms, and c) new or full moons.
3. Another fantastic adventure to find sea shells, is to go
snorkeling! See the bottom of the ocean, the sea life, unique
fish and gaze upon fresh, living shells. Of course, your
common sense will tell you it is illegal to take a living
shell. It will stink on your way home, if you accidentally
found one inhabited.
The two kinds of birds that are less likely to be found in
Ohio, for example, are white pelicans and cormorants. We
see blue and white herons, along with egrets up on Lake
Erie and around Alum Creek, too. On my good friend, Bill’s
Mill Street you can look down from the bridge and see
a couple of herons with their feet in the cold Mills Creek,
If you are a painter, you may wish to bring a portable easel
or if a sketcher, you may wish to bring an artist’s pad of
paper (sketch book) or if your craft is writing, take your
journal. Although, you ‘are on vacation,’ it doesn’t mean
you cannot practice your ‘art’ or ‘craft!’
Local museums and shops on islands are also places you may
find more than souvenirs. You may wish to bring more exotic
items, like shells that have been made into wares, such
as jewelry: necklaces, bracelets for wrist and ankles
and earrings, too. I once brought a gorgeous shell mobile
home and hung it over my baby’s window sill. It brought her
many smiles, induced delighted expressions and little sounds
that were like ‘chortles.’ Rare shells you may find in the
gift shops are junonias shells and pointy horn snails.
If you are very adventurous, there are many air sports and
water sports to engage in. Boating and para-sailing come to
mind. Hang-gliding and speedboats may put a little zip into
your step, once you come down from the ‘high’ of exhilaration
you will experience.
I enjoy napping on the beach, but try to remember to slather
extra sunscreen with high SPF all over, even on your ears and
the tops of your feet! I had an ex who adored going back to
the motel or hotel, and taking a nap. Sometimes while he
was just waking up, he may have wished for some ‘afternoon
delight,’ too. I may not reveal if this was also, my idea
of romance, too!
Where else, other than traveling to the beaches on islands, do
you find your serenity and sense of tranquility?