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Cake Time at The Bubble Room

Cake Time at The Bubble Room

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Location: Captiva Island, Florida

The restaurant was whimsical in an old-timey circus kind of way.

By that, I mean that it was fascinating and just the slightest bit terrifying. The Bubble Room sat by the roadside on Captiva Island, painted in cheerful pastels with several rainbow awnings. It spanned an impressive three stories, and had a separate gift shop on-site. I’d heard that it had huge, delicious cakes, and was ready to try a slice after my anticlimactic time on the beach.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Upon entering the colorful main building, I saw that every inch of the place was covered with strange memorabilia from days long past. It gave me a distinct Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children vibe, or that of a kids’ party place that was once really festive but became kind of creepy as time went by.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

“It’s as if everybody who worked here went to a thrift shop and brought back all the weirdest stuff they saw,” my sister commented as we walked through what seemed like narrow hallway after narrow hallway.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The place would’ve given an eerie vibe if it were empty, but it was completely packed. Every single table was full. People started filling up the waiting area outside and tables were being cleared off as fast as possible.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

We were seated in a semi-private enclosing, a little off from the main room, with a clown as our third guest and a collection of … interesting items trapped under a glass table.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

This postcard seems slightly problematic, I thought, but I couldn’t really figure out why. He’d been making Mary what, exactly?

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room got its name from the bubble lights that hung all over the restaurant. Here they are in the chandelier — do you see the bubbles coming up from the red and yellow “candles”?

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The cake slices weren’t as big as I’d imagined, but they were still absolutely huge. We each ate about half of what we’d ordered, boxed the rest up, and spent another hour or so looking around the building.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

We learned that it was “Christmas every day” at the Bubble Room because it had originally opened during the holiday season. There was a small balcony on the second floor that hung over a room full of Santas.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Pictures of Hollywood stars and other conventionally attractive white dudes hung on the walls in the ladies’ room … [1]

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

… Along with a poem about not flushing tampons and other things in the toilet, which I honestly thought was one of the cleverest things I’d ever seen.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Some more colorful characters.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

An Alice in Wonderland display!

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

This Beatrix Potter rabbit was my favorite item that I saw. I love bunny motifs, and she was absolutely adorable.

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The Bubble Room Captiva Island Florida | Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Drunk on cake and weirdness, the two of us explored the property and gift shop some more, then made our way back to the car. The Bubble Room was such and unique experience — if I come back to Captiva with other people, I’m definitely going to take them here, if only to get them to see it for themselves. ♚

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!

Notes

[1] I decided to not cause a scene over restrooms this time.

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© 2019 by Marty Noel Chenyao. All rights reserved.

marty@fakeandbasic.com | @fake.and.basic

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