I have a collection of brochures from Holiday Inn Sanibel through the years even back pre-Holiday Inn days when the property was a Ramada Inn and we were
both much younger. The property has been renovated many times, me not so much. The most glaring difference I see is our landscaping; so much more lush than it was years back. The buildings have been many different colors but the configuration is as it was. The pool deck was added years ago and the tiki bar (now the Star Bar) was covered and seats added, actually it was just refurbished this last year. The room interiors have been redesigned many times and made to reflect the tropical island surroundings of this tropical island. Of course, hurricane Charley in 2004 gave the whole island a haircut and knocked-down most of the Australian Pines that lined Periwinkle Way. But the native trees and vegetation survived and thrived and the island looks as good as it ever did, maybe even better.
We have added some cabanas and new furniture on the pool deck, gives it a sort of South Beach look without the high rises and all the people: Sanibel style. Also we now put up umbrellas across our beach for our guests to keep out of the sun when you’ve had enough so you can sit and enjoy without over exposure. The Star Bar not only offers wonderful lunches and drinks but entertainment on many days!
You know what hasn’t changed? The beach, that shoreline and body of water that keeps calling us back. The gulf breeze sweet and pure, that will keep you comfortable on a warm summer day. The salt water that drips off of you after a dip in the gulf. That feeling that comes over you that this, right now, is a good day and you are happy. Seeing your kids and loved-ones smiling and laughing without care one, this is priceless. I have been privileged to see the next generation of families bring their young ones to experience the same thrills and fun that they had as children.
Some of the restaurants and shops have come and gone but the quality of eateries and shops are as good as ever, and that is good! We have many great places to share a fine meal with family or friends. Our own Starfish Grille is the newest and one of the most popular spots on the island for innovative food and entertainment. I highly recommend sushi nights: Tuesday and Thursday. Also, the Star Bar next to our pool right on the beach is perfect for delicious tropical drinks and appetizers.
There is great shopping on Sanibel Island; lots of independent specialty shops to find some truly unique gifts for friends and family. Some of you know that Chico’s women’s clothing stores originated right here on Sanibel Island. The original store is still open.
That’s all for now, no homework this time.