Location: Captiva Island, Florida
I shivered and pulled my cardigan closed as I stepped onto the sand.
The sky was a dull powder gray, the waves a slightly darker color. Wind whipped my hair in all directions. Other than a couple of seagulls and a lone family all dressed in long sleeves out by the water, my sister and I were the only ones on the beach.
“I guess this is why the parking was so good,” I said feebly.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be this cold,” she replied, looking out at the bleak scene in front of us.
Now, I think that the ocean during cloudy days is beautiful, especially for photos. The sand, sky, and water all turn into varying shades of gray, making the entire place look beautiful and monochromatic. There’s bright, diffuse lighting and less people around. Sadly, we were dressed for a lay-out-in-the-sun kind of beach day. We hadn’t been prepared for the weather to be windy and barely seventy degrees.
“Maybe we should go?” I suggested.
It was our last full day in the area. My sister was leaving before sunrise the next day, so we’d driven all the way out to Captiva Island to enjoy its famed beaches. After an hour in the car and a parking fee, neither of us wanted to turn around and go back home.
We decided to enjoy our time on land instead. Every inch of the island looked absolutely stunning, flush with vegetation and brightly painted vacation homes. It was much warmer when we weren’t directly by the water, and the sun eventually came out … but we were having too much fun exploring Captiva to want to head back to the beach!
There was a long, winding road that broke off into several residential areas, all featuring whimsical houses.
The houses had such cute names, such as “Absentminded.”
We saw one particular house that looked so pristine that I wanted to move in right away.
There was so much greenery that I felt myself relaxing just walking along the path.
Most of the smaller roads seemed to lead to dead ends, and I quickly figured out why: Captiva is an island, so all of them eventually lead to private beaches.
Some pretty colors that caught my eye:
There was a public library on the island (as well as a “Chapel by the Sea”).
Speaking of libraries, we found a Little Free Library by one of the houses! I was fascinated by these as a kid and haven’t seen one for so long that I thought I’d dreamed them up. Little Free Libraries are a book-exchange system: you take a book and leave a book. This one’s physical box was appropriately covered with shells found around the island; the books inside were also my favorites growing up.
This charming family of stone frogs first caught my sister’s eye and then mine. They’re appropriately modern — two of them can’t seem to be looking away from their phones!
“Are you posting about me on Instagram?”
I was pleasantly surprised to find so many delightful sights hidden slightly out of view! I’m definitely returning to Captiva Island in the future to continue exploring. ♚
Note: This article is part of my January 2019 One Month Project, where I will be traveling around coastal Florida and publishing an essay a day about my experiences there. I’m excited to bring you along on this adventure!