Monday - December 26, 2016
With time to spare after landing from our flight to Fort Myers, Florida and picking up our rental vehicle, we drove out to nearby Marco Island and its beach to spend the afternoon shelling and trying our luck at finding some sand dollars.
It was incredible to think that not 24 hours before, I was shoveling 6 inches of fresh snow off my driveway followed by some time spent out in my backyard with my kids trying to build an igloo. Now Jessica and I would get to enjoy sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80's and spend a bit of time building a sand castle.
We drove into a beach on Marco Island called Tigertail Beach. This beach sits along a shallow lagoon with calmer waters and as such is very popular for families with young children. It also has nice facilities with some recreational rentals. However, to get to where all the shells and sand dollars are, we had to forward across the lagoon which spans over a hundred yards out to another strip of land known as "Sand Dollar Island".
Tigertail Beach, looking southward
Tigertail Beach, looking northward
The lagoon we'd have to cross
Our first sand dollar find
Drying our seashells after giving them a good rinse
Satisfied with our findings, we got to work building and decorating a little bit of a sand castle.
Myself and Jessica
As nice as it would have been to stick around and relax a little longer, we had to get going back. We had walked down the beach a considerable distance and so rather than keeping our eyes on the ground looking for more treasures in the sand, we kept our heads up and observed a variety of wildlife, chiefly a lot of waterfowl.
Ibis digging in the sand
Pelican in flight
Gulf of Mexico from Marco Island
Driftwood on Marco Island
Sailboat out at sea
Working our way back toward the lagoon
At last, we were back at the lagoon where we had to cross it once more to return to our car across the other side of Tiger Tail Beach.
Tigertail Beach from across the lagoon