May the Angels Take You Into Paradise

We had a perfect start to Day 3 on Sanibel Island. So peaceful and calm with nobody by the pool. Mr. ArtSea Chic and I decided to wake up earlier than everyone else and go walk on the beach right after sunrise. Our time was cut short due to pesky no-see-ums attacking me :( ...as you can tell, I'm always the one with a bug problem. Mr. ArtSea Chic likes to tell me it's just because I'm so sweet :|

However, I did spot a little fish that had washed up on the wrack line and we put him back into the water after taking a few pics of him smiling.haha

Went back up to the condo to get read for going to mass at St. Isabel Catholic Church not too far down the island from us. One of my favorite things about island life is that wearing outfits a notch up from casual is ok just about anywhere, even at church. Back in the city, people always try too hard to dress with the latest fashions and get all glam at church. Sure we want to look our best in our place of worship, but the ultimate purpose is to be grounded in faith and drop your ego. That means not worrying about what other people will think about you when you step inside HIS place.

HE knows the real you, and that's all that matters. HE doesn't care how you dress. Always be yourself and stay true to your beliefs, morals, and values.

My aunt gave me a book a few years ago written by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth - awakening to your life's purpose. It happened to also be on Oprah's famous book list that same year, so I figured I'd give it a go and see what everyone was talking about. I was immediately drawn in by his deep words of what our ego is, how it can control our lives, and how to regain a firm hold on our purpose on this Earth through faith and happiness. I loved the book so much I went out to buy his other two books, Stillness Speaks and Practicing The Power Of Now. I'd highly recommend reading A New Earth first if you're interested in understanding our society and yourself in a deeper way.

Mr. ArtSea Chic's mom gave me the necklace pictured above for my birthday. I love it so much because it unifies my connection to the beach so well.

We arrived a little early to find a parking spot and seats. The ground of the church are stunning. Lush vegetation surrounds the outside with healthy palms and flowering bushes. There is even a pond with a water fountain in the back. Beautiful statues of saints and benches dedicated to parishioners can also be found throughout the grounds.

Every time we come to Sanibel we attend church here. It's my favorite church out of all the ones I have visited, even my own parish. The interior of the church is styled with simple textures and stained glass windows, keeping what matters most as the focal point for the whole church. No extra fancy gold or ornate furnishings or tons of candles, just the necessities with a touch of island flair. 

After leaving mass, brunch was in order at Over Easy Cafe. This was our first time eating there, and it was packed, so we knew it must be good ;) To pass time while we waited for our name to be called, we visited shops next door. One of my favorites was Island Paws! They had a lot of cute accessories for pets, food, and even a bakery for treats!! The clam with a pearl was by far my favorite design.  

The inside of Over Easy Cafe is pretty neat. An island country charm with chickens, warm colors, and vines. We all got pancakes, eggs, bacon, and orange juice - YUM! Our stomachs were happily satisfied and ready to take on the beach again, so back to the condo we went.

We decided to stay at the beach just steps away from our condo. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we sure did make the most of it! Mr. ArtSea Chic grabbed his snorkeling gear, my phone in Watershot housing, and we headed for the water.

Can you find Mr. ArtSea Chic?haha He went way out towards the second sandbar! While he cruised the  ocean floor, I walked along the shallows and wrack line.

Mr. ArtSea Chic had a great snorkel, watch him discover a ton of sand dollars!

He even found a live lightning whelk! Safely returned to the water of course.

After all that fun, we ate dinner at the condo to rest up and prepare for our next beach visit on the other half of the island on Lighthouse Beach. This is a popular beach for photographers, fishers, and boaters because of the working lighthouse and the adjacent fishing pier.

We arrived just in time to walk the beach and catch a glimpse of the evening marine life. We found live sand dollars and a lightning whelk, lettered olives, a baby starfish that didn't want to depart from Mr. ArtSea Chic, pipe fish, and more!

As the sun set on the horizon, we witnessed one of the best sunsets during our stay on the island. The colors were amazing! We took the classic shot in front of the lighthouse while my dad did his photographer thing going out in the water for the perfect shot.

The show really started when the sun started to disappear...

What a day huu!? As soon as the sunset was over, around 9:30PM we headed back to the car to stop by Jerry's of Sanibel to pick up a bag of ice for our 26QT ORCA cooler provided by W4 Services. Day 4 would start off with our very first fishing trip in Sanibel with Soulmate Charters, and we needed to have our cooler iced and ready for any fish we would catch! As a test to see how long and cold the ice would last till our fish fillets went on top of it, we left ice inside the cooler in the trunk of our car underneath the carport fully exposed to evening warmth.

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