Christmas Vacation: Sanibel Island

Hey, hey! My family and I spent this past week on Sanibel Island off the coast of Florida and had such a great time. It was so so nice to be in warm weather and to lay out in the sun and be on the beach all week long! Now that I'm back in freezing temperatures, I'm missing our fun week on the island so I thought I'd share a little bit of my trip with you all.

Most of our time was spent simply soaking up the sun and salty air on the beach. It was so nice to get a bit of a tan and just to lay in the sun all day. Our condo was right on the beach and made it so easy to go from the beach to the condo for lunch and back to the beach or pool again after. Sanibel Island is known for all its seashells that cover the beaches and I see why! There were shells everywhere!!! But there was plenty of soft sand too--best of both worlds.

The swimsuit top that I'm wearing is from Aerie. I love this top so much and although I brought a few different bikinis on this vacation I kept wanting to wear this one! I matched it with some navy blue bottoms also from Aerie.

Although most of this vacation was centered around relaxation, we did take a morning to go kayaking on Tarpon Bay. This was fun (for the most part). We enjoyed our time on the bay and spotted dolphins while we were on the water! We did have a bit of a rough time when we took a kayaking "trail" off the bay though. Let's just say the water got really shallow and made for a tough return to shore. We had some moments of frustration but laugh about it now (lol). Kayaking is actually a lot of fun though and I highly recommend giving it a try if you have the chance!

We also had a ton of good food on the island! We didn't eat out for every meal since we had a condo with a kitchen. However, when we did eat out it was so so good. My favorite restaurant that we tried for dinner was Doc Ford's. It's named after the character, Doc Ford, from mystery novels written by Randy Wayne White that take place in Sanibel. The wait for the restaurant was long but was well worth it. I got the shrimp and grits here (yum!!!) and would definitely recommend it! So yummy!

We also ate at The Blue Giraffe, George and Wendy's Seafood Grille (both for dinner), and The Island Cow (for breakfast). All 3 were delicious! I definitely recommend the Island Cow for breakfast. Aside from the food being so good, the atmosphere and decor of the place is so cute and is the epitome of Florida. I love it. We also tried Sanibel Bean, a cute little coffee shop and café on the island. I love coffee and Sanibel Bean's iced latte did not disappoint!

In the evenings before dinner, we watched the sunset almost every night. It was so beautiful and I couldn't help but take a ton of pictures. Although I got some good ones, nothing beats the island sunset in person. Also, sunsets make for a great time to take family pictures...the lighting is awesome.

A couple of mornings, I woke up early to go down to the beach as the sun was about to rise. This was the best time to find sand dollars we discovered! My mom found a ton of really pretty shells but I was all about finding as many and as large of sand dollars as I could. I am not a crazy morning person and I would normally really struggle with waking up at 6:30 a.m. but when at the beach, it's so much easier. I actually really enjoyed being up to see the sun come up and to be on the beach first thing in the morning...literally first thing....I would just wake up, brush my teeth, and walk downstairs.

On our last full day on the island, the weather was a little chilly. Every other day was so warm and nice that I didn't mind too much. The weather was good to us: no rain, all sun. But because that day was chilly and windy, the ocean was a little more rough...and we saw a shark! I'm guessing because the water was rough and coming in at a weird angle, this shark somehow ended up in pretty shallow waters...literally where people had been swimming just a day earlier (scary!). It was so cool to see a shark so up close though! It was hard to get good pictures, but you can kind of see its fins in this one below.

Overall, this was such a fun Christmas vacation and it was so nice to get away from the cold and enjoy such warm weather. I love love love the beach and Sanibel Island was perfect. I was sad to leave and could stay for so long without ever getting bored. The island life was good and a great way to cap off 2016.

As always thanks for reading! And Happy New Year! What are you looking forward to in 2017?! Have any fun travel destinations in mind? Any goals set? Let me know in a comment below! Hope your holidays have been filled with love, joy, and time spent with family and friends.

Xo, Emma

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