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Wrapping Up Vacation With A Stop On Sanibel Island [PHOTOS]

Driving over the causeway into total paradise!

Following the chaos on board our cruise ship, nothing like the horrible situation in Italy, we spent the last few days of our family vacation on Sanibel Island visiting my Uncle Joe.

He has a beautiful home with a lake in his backyard that is home to the amazing Florida wildlife, including alligators.

Despite the fact that we were still overcompensating our balance after being on the rough seas for days, we were really able to enjoy ourselves.  However, as I mentioned in my first blog about the vacation, this stop also had both its awesome and terrible moments.

For starters, after the sickness my boys experienced on the way to Florida and my daughter and several others from our group getting sick on the ship, it was my sister and niece’s turn to get sick during our stay at Uncle Joe’s.

The nice thing about Sanibel Island is that just about everything is locally owned.  I believe there are only three national chains on the island, including a Subway and a CVS.  Everything else is locally owned and operated, including an amazing restaurant called the Island Cow.  They serve everything from burgers and corned beef sandwiches to lobster and crab.  As awesome as the meal was, the wait was another bump in the road.

Apparently, the high winds that we experienced at sea also hit Sanibel.  A branch from a tree fell, but got lodged in a palm tree on the outside patio of the Island Cow.  My mom was sitting on a bench under that palm tree when an employee came to get a table.  He lifted the table over his head and walked under the palm tree, knocking the branch out of the tree causing it to fall on my mom’s head and shoulder.  He turned around and asked “You alright?”  Mom nodded her head obviously in pain, and this guy turned around and kept walking.  I was shocked that he didn’t even offer an apology.  The manager was disgusted and apologized profusely.

The next day, we took the kids to the beach.  After Hayli fell in the ocean in the Bahamas, I was worried that she wouldn’t go near the Gulf of Mexico.  Turns out, she loved it!  We hit another bump in the road when we found out that the sunscreen we used on the kids was totally useless.  SPF50?  I think not!  Needless to say, the sunburns kicked in that night.  Ben was red, but not really complaining about it.  Hayli has skin like me and ended up with a great tan.  Parker and my wife, Erika, looked like a couple of lobsters.  This should be a fun drive home!

Later that night, my sister’s boyfriend and my good friend, Bill, cooked up an amazing dinner.  I knew Bill was a professional chef, but I have never had a more exquisite meal in my life.  Sadly, my sister was still under the weather and unable to join us.

The next morning before we got on the road, my uncle took the kids to the toy store and treated them to a fun souvenir.  Then we packed up and got on the road for what should have been a 19 to 20 hour drive back.  In my next blog, I’ll tell you how to add 10 hours to that!

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