Monday, January 28, 2019

Next Stop: Land of Wood and Water


At this time exactly six years ago, I was headed to one of my favorite islands. The land of wood and water is the translation from the original Arawak word, Xaymaca. I 'm returning again to Sweet Jamaica and it has been entirely too long. My pic above shows the famous Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, which is where I will be staying at the brand new S Hotel. It's always special to visit Jamaica but I'm going for an extra special event, the 40th anniversary of iconic reggae label, VP Records. As a reggae fan, this is a huge deal. I'll be documenting the opening of a special Reggae Music Journey exhibit at Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport as well as a live concert in conjunction with the launch of the Strictly The Best compilation album.  I'll also be attending the opening of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism's Association's travel marketplace opening ceremony featuring Tarrus Riley and mento legends, The Jolly Boys. Look out for lots of videos and of course, more Doctor's Cave Beach pics!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sanibel Island Scenes


When I first arrived on Sanibel Island, I was sitting at a Tiki Bar, waiting for my room to be ready when a couple asked me if I was from Alaska. I had on a light sweater, a scarf and jeans. I explained that their theory was pretty close (I live in Chiberia). The temps were in the low 70's and I wasn't hot at all but that's not the point. Sanibel is all about the beach, the sun and wearing tropical clothes, regardless of the weather. It's like a rule. So I explored Sanibel and Captiva beaches, nature reserves and bike paths as one of the only people in pants, lol. I loved delving into these natural spots, and they were always mostly deserted. Cayo Costa shown above, was my favorite beach. It was filled with piles of shells and a beautiful shoreline that I walked for two hours straight.


 Sanibel's beaches were scattered with striking sand sculptures like this mermaid.


On the Sanibel Heritage Trail, this sign warning of an alligator caught my eye, as well as the scenic backdrop.


At J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, I spotted this flock of birds included roseate spoonbills, which are the pink birds of Florida.


On Captiva, I was enchanted by the old school architecture and rainbow colored buildings. Sanibel and Captiva are really about the natural environment, especially beaches. I scooped up lots of shells and even learned that there is a seashell horoscope and mine is a thin, translucent shell called a jingle or mermaid's toenail.   I'm holding a Florida fighting conch below, which was given to me by a fellow shell collector on Cayo Costa.  Considered the best place to collect shells in North America, and boasting no street lights or stop lights, Sanibel and Captiva are the ultimate in laid back island lifestyle.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Next Stop: Sanibel and Captiva Island



For years, I've wanted to explore the unusual barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva, located off the southwest coast of Florida.  Most islands have a north-south orientation but on Sanibel and Captiva, the layout is east-west, creating glorious sandy beaches and layers of shells. I'm excited to kick off my 2019 travels by exploring these under-the radar islands. I'll be biking the Sanibel Heritage Trail, hopping on a shelling cruise to Cayo Costa island, accessible only by boat, and hiking through the J.N,Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. ,where I hope to spot a few manatees. A stop by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the only museum dedicated to shells in the U.S., is also a Sanibel requirement so hopefully I won't come home with pounds of shells to add to my collection!  Please follow along with my posts as I discover these intriguing islands.