I'm so excited to finally share with all of you my full spread of our vacation to Sanibel Island, Florida from June 6 through June 13! Some of you followed my real-time updates on Instagram as we made our way around the island for 8 days shelling, snorkeling, fishing, biking, shopping, and eating at fabulous restaurants, I hope you enjoyed that :) In case you missed the pre-trip preparations, you can read all about my essentials for a beach trip here.
So let's dig our toes into the sand on Day 1 shall we? What some of you might not know is that last year I won a 2nd Place Pinterest contest prize hosted by The Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel (you can see my winning board here). The prize was a one night stay at Casa Ybel Resort, and aligned perfectly with the timing of our trip to Sanibel in June. I had seen pictures of the gorgeous resort, but had never stayed there - DREAMS COME TRUE! Mr. ArtSea Chic and I booked our stay at one of their one bedroom beachfront suites for Friday and flew via Southwest Airlines that same day in the morning to arrive around 2 PM via Sanibel Taxi. We didn't really know what to expect, just knew it was a really nice resort with lots of amenities and excellent beach access.
Gosh did we LOVE IT!
What you see above was our backyard. Positively breathtaking. Nothing more I appreciate at a beach resort than clean vegetation and a mostly bug-free easy walk to the sand. That means less bug bites for me!
The stretch of beach behind our suite was, in my opinion, one of the best beach areas compared to all the beaches we visited during our trip. There was SO much marine life and shells. Some of the best shells, driftwood, and marine life we saw were found on Casa Ybel's beachfront, and to the left of them at Ocean's Reach Condominiums Resort.
Pictured above was our suite building. Our suite was up the flight of stairs on the right and through the screened door; very convenient for going to the beach. Having a full screened porch with a fan was really nice, especially in the mornings to sit in a chair and eat breakfast without worrying about any bugs. There were also multiple towel hangers on the wall for when you needed towels to dry overnight.
Standing on the staircase gives you another amazing view to add to the list. Every time we got off the beach and walked back we'd rinse our shells and feet at the water hose at the foot of the staircase before going up.
Let me give you a tour of the inside of our suite...
For being a one bedroom suite with two full beds, the floor plan was very open and felt like home :) The interior styling was full of rich island furnishings and brassy gold picture frames. Although we didn't use anything but the ice maker, the kitchen nook area had a stove, freezer, fridge, sink, microwave, dishwasher, and plenty of cabinets. I think an excellent addition to suites and condos in Sanibel would be a pantry though. Sure you could put all the food you buy from Jerry's or Bailey's in the cabinets, but everything doesn't always fit!
Funny side-note to looking around our suite for the first time...I couldn't find any doors to the connected bathroom areas. Raise your hand if you can spot the doors!! Ok, so if you just now noticed that each opening has sliding doors, that's how I felt after the doors being in front of my face while telling Mr. ArtSea Chic to go away since there's no doors so I could go to the bathroom. I admit, TOTAL BLONDE MOMENT. Go ahead and laugh, it's ok :}
We put our suitcases in the room and saved unpacking for later in the evening. Who wants to unpack when the sun is still shining and you have a beach right outside your suite?? We put on our swimsuits and suntan lotion, grabbed my Turkish-T by Sue Joyce towels and headed down the path to the beach. One of my favorite things about the suite being so accessible is that if you plan on not sitting around on the sand, you can leave your towels, drinks, and flip flops on the porch.
We spent almost a good 3 hours on the beach shelling and swimming. We found lots of live sand dollars!
We couldn't wait to get all dressed up in our nice beach outing attire to walk down to Casa Ybel's Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant for dinner. We were seated in my favorite spot in the restaurant looking out towards the ocean, and had wonderful seafood meals paired with a bloody mary and pina colada.
After dinner, we decided to walk along the beach back to our suite during low tide, and found a starfish!
After getting back to our suite, we kicked up our feet and prepared to wake up fairly early the next morning to be able to hit the beach once more before we had to check out at 11AM. We had an amazing first day on the island with so many new experiences!
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