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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Pictures of Hollywood stars and other conventionally attractive white dudes hung on the walls in the ladies’ room … 
… 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.
Some more colorful characters.
An Alice in Wonderland display!
This Beatrix Potter rabbit was my favorite item that I saw. I love bunny motifs, and she was absolutely adorable.
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!