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The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Here Is January!

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During the winter season on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Southwest Florida life is simply cool and as easy as a breeze.
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Aside from the temps and the weather we enjoy every year at this time, life around the Islands also gets a little busier and a lot more fun. Because of the beautiful environment found from one end of the islands to the other, in January the last of our winter residents and neighbors that call the area home each year, arrive and settle into their homes and condos. The grocery stores get active, traffic increases for cars, bicycles and pedestrians, and the most popular restaurants are serving full houses during the winter season.
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People are out and meeting each other. Outdoor eating is popular day or night while the temps are cooler. Talk to a fisherman or boat captain and you can learn about the fresh fish and seafood they are catching in season and how they love to have it prepared to eat.
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This time of year we are seldom hot or over heated and therefore everyone seems more relaxed and comfortable in the midst of day-to-day activities and special outings. There are lots of people, families and couples here for shorter holiday visits. Smiles are up, and car windows are down. Locals are wearing light jackets and maybe socks. Visitors are enjoying the beach and the Gulf of Mexico, and likely getting an easy tan while the sun is not so strong.
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The breeze picks up in winter, so trips around the islands and walks on the beach are not sweltering but cool and don’t require a hat except to keep your head warm sometimes. This means a long sleeved, cotton coverup with or without a hood is all you need to stay comfortable outside. Cardigans are the best because they are easier to take off or put back on as needed.
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409660_480695841987647_698914864_nDon’t let the heightened activity fool you. The area is a paradise especially during the winter. Plus there are a lot of community events and activities to take in and things to do this time of year. Browse a couple of the local papers that are published weekly and you can get a quick idea of when and where things are happening. Art and artists, nature activities galore, great music, pubs, cafes, fine dining, premier shopping, local theater, clubs, and groups get active. Most weekends there is an annual event or a unique gathering planned and ready to add to your calendar.
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Unique flowers and foliage bloom in the winter season here and many people find them interesting to learn more about. Animals get active early in the day and are spotted more often while they are seeking the sun to warm up. The golf courses get busy, as well. At night places like the Crow’s nest at ‘Tween Waters Inn feature music and entertainment along with dancing more nights each week.
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When the days are cooler remember the temp outside is usually around the temperature of your air conditioning turned low after the day warms up. Find a place in the sun and out of the breeze to stay the warmest. Winter is a dry season for Florida and it seldom rains but if it does then go shopping. You won’t be disappointed by the kind of things that are available in the shops around town.
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The very worst case scenario will be that it gets really chilly… or ‘burr it’s cold’ in island terms for just a little while and never for too long. So remember no matter what the exact temp is during your stay, everything is going to be alright.
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It’s January here and it’s time to get outside and enjoy!
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New Year, New Resolutions

I really don’t like making resolutions because I’m not very good at keeping them. This year however, I have a fool-proof plan. Yes, I want to lose a few pounds and be more active. I also want my kids to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of a screen. And alone-time with my spouse would be a miracle. I need a family vacation to fit with my New Year goals. The answer is ‘Tween Waters Inn.

A family vacation to ‘Tween Waters Inn makes keeping resolutions easy. For exercise, there is a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment. The view is inspiring because it overlooks the pool (bikini bod encouragement?). But think outside of the box, and get your exercise in along the shore. Walk to the left and in two miles you’ll be at Blind Pass, where Sanibel and Captiva meet. It’s also a popular shelling spot. Round trip takes about 90 minutes. (Sometimes I call for a ride back!) Walk right, and you’ll end up at Redfish Pass. This is where Captiva and North Captiva go their separate ways. Again, 90 minutes round trip…and what a peaceful journey.

For the more active, there are tennis courts; rent a one- or two-person kayak and paddle the scenic back bay mangroves in search of wildlife like manatees or dolphin; the pool is heated so you can swim year-round in comfort; yoga on the beach is always a nice treat; and you can rent bikes onsite. I’d better make a reservation at The Spa at ‘Tween Waters to soothe my rarely used muscles. A couples’ massage would check off the last item on my list. Yes, I definitely resolve to vacation at ‘Tween Waters Inn. Come and join me, the weather is perfect.

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There’s No Need To Pack A Lot When You Are A Guest At ‘Tween Waters Inn

On trips to Captiva Island you can travel light and be sure to take advantage of the perks!
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When you wake up lots of things around the resort are waiting for your convenience and enjoyment. Rooms with kitchen amenities have coffee makers and are outfitted with coffee to use during your stay. Specialty coffee and treats are sold at ‘Tween Beans to enjoy while you sit by the pool and the sunrises quietly to the east. Later, when you get an appetite sitting by the pool, the Oasis Pool Bar serves famous hamburgers and fish sandwiches.    
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In the morning, coffee is always brewing at the Captiva House where a free, extraordinary continental breakfast is served everyday. Head to the buffet after your first cup of coffee by the pool and savor an array of the finest fresh fruits, baked goods and pastries on the Islands. You don’t need to pack a lot of clothes on this trip. Shorts and sandals are perfect attire for most ‘Tween Water settings. You may want to dress up just a little for dinner at the Captiva House.
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Swing located between the pool and the front desk.
Towels for the pool or beach are provided when you check-in. Pick up fresh ones whenever you like by exchanging the towels you’ve already used. Along the beach shoreline there are cabanas and umbrellas to rent, as well as, drink services from the Crow’s Nest staff who are around to help you stay cool.
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All rooms at ‘Tween Waters Inn have the ‘nicest’ of bathroom sundries for you to use. Don’t pack your blow dryer because one is definitely there. If you are missing something special, be sure to call the Staff to request an item you may need that they keep on hand.
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If you are staying in a vintage cottage with a fireplace you’ll find logs ready to burn when it’s cool. There are variety of floating devices like noodles available to make your swimming more relaxing in the heated pool. Resort wi-fi at no charge is available everywhere around the resort 24 hours a day. The Staff will offer you pass codes to use when you arrive at the resort. Sit back, enjoy the sunshine, your phones and devices.
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Visit the Marina to take in the sights on the bayside.
Over by the marina is the Pelican Roost Boutique and Snack Center where you can enjoy a snack and also browse sportswear and accessories to wear and take home as a gift for yourself or someone else. One light cardigan jacket or wrap is all you’ll need if the air is chilly and the easiest to remove when the temps warm up in the middle of the day.
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Most importantly, remember to simply enjoy!
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Identifying The Prize Shells In Your Bucket

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When a shell is unbroken and naturally colorful, it’s considered a prize shell in my book.
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The private beach at ‘Tween Waters Inn offers guests a beautiful stretch of shelling coastline on one of the most famous beaches in the world. You will find all kinds of shell species recognized as native to the Southwest Florida, Gulf of Mexico area. Best of all, shelling on Captiva, Sanibel, and other barrier islands in the area is as simple as walking along on a nearby beach or as adventurous as boating to an uninhabited island.
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When the day is done, the bucket of shells you collect will include more or less of many common shells. While some are more prized than others, all of them may become your favorites. The Junonia shell with it’s bold, brown spotted pattern on a white shell with a distinctive spiral shape, once housed a live mollusk or sea snail creature inside. It has a reputation for being the Prize shell to find on local beaches. The Junonia is ‘the’ shell you just have to hold or pose with to capture a keepsake photo for all time.
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My shell favorites like the Banded Tulip or the Lightening Welk found around the islands, are the ones I can count on finding most often. There’s also the Cat’s Paw, Turkey Wing, Auger, Cockle, Conch and Scallop. The Shark’s Eye Moon shell, Apple Murex and Olive. These are all the shells we can generally find without a doubt. My husband, Eric is enthusiastic about helping me find the beauties that come in all sizes and colors. The feature photo for this post includes many of the shells I named.
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For lots more information visit the popular, world-famous website ILoveShelling.com that was created by island resident, Pam Rambo. Here you can find photos and descriptions for the shells named above and so many more you are likely to find. Check with the Front Desk and the staff can guide you to exciting shelling boat trips, the Shell Museum and of course lots of stores. And remember, most importantly be sure to enjoy!
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Photo of a live Fighting Conk shell temporarily on the beach and destined to go back into the water. 
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Savoring Your Island Favorites And Relaxing Go Hand In Hand

frozen_margaritaGetting away from it all, visiting new or familiar places, a little fresh air and simply taking it easy does wonders for an appetite that may have been sagging.

Visitors to the Islands often report that they start to let go of their stress while traveling along the Sanibel Causeway and taking in the beautiful views. It’s only natural that an appetite for their favorite foods always seems to follow as they get settled in for a visit.

On Sanibel & Captiva Islands food options are numerous with so many unusual island places and menus to enjoy. Ask the locals for popular suggestions and in no time, I know from experience that the hamburgers and grouper sandwiches served at Tween-Waters Inn are sure to be recommended as the best around the islands.

We all know that the hamburger is a favorite food for almost everyone, add a fresh grouper sandwich available in SWFL unlike so many other places and the combination is a perfect choice for land lubbers and sea farers alike, adults and children. Make this suggestion to any travel group you’re with and you’ll get lots of enthusiastic responses from the crowd saying, “okay, that sounds great.”

scamp-grouper-mycteroperca-phenaxWhile the salt air, the Gulf of Mexico view and the relaxed, island environment may peak an appetite, it’s the great food prepared just right at Tween-Waters Inn that satisfies the senses. Visit this link to view the Oasis Pool Bar OR Crow’s Nest menus ahead of time. Paired with a fresh, frozen fruit drink with or without a rum spike from one of the Tween-Waters bars, and you’ll feel heavenly.

When your meal is done and you are on the way to enjoy islands sights, nature, and the beaches, you’ll be happy I shared the great reputation of these savory favorites with you. Unless of course you already know… Lots of people do!

Most importantly, enjoy.

 

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Some Shuffleboard Excitement Is Perfect For Today!

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It’s true. Just watch how the competition of the game makes the playing more fun!
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Times may have changed but we discovered that shuffleboard has not changed on a visit to ‘Tween Waters Inn. Walking around the first evening we noticed a Shuffleboard Court beside the tennis courts near the pool. The area located below the Athletic Center also has a Bocce Court where guests toss balls and play the European version of horseshoes many people know well.
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Living nearby for many years my husband, Eric and I both remember seeing local seniors playing on the shuffleboard courts overlooking the river marina in downtown Fort Myers. Growing up in Florida, I fondly remember playing on community shuffleboard courts as a kid and not having any idea what we were doing. Many of the shuffleboard clubs around Florida today were founded in the early 1900’s. Shuffleboard and bocce are both played around the world and over 500 years ago throughout the Roman Empire.
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10444401_1516568735223943_7599780455263635233_nThe next day we checked with the front desk about the shuffleboard equipment, divided the colored discs called ‘biscuits’, Googled the rules, and put our cue sticks or ‘tangs’ into play. Before starting we grabbed frozen drinks from the Oasis Pool Bar and then we let the games begin. We had a relaxing good time together and talked about hosting a group of friends or family for a long weekend and holding our own tournament just for fun.
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It turns out that the triangle painted at each end of the court is the ‘target’ and the numbers are the ‘points’ a player gets for landing in a particular area. As players launch their biscuits down the court, the biscuits shuffle around when one slides and bumps opponents on the other end. So much for kids play without a care for the scoring, because the competition for points got interesting.
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For guests who like more aerobics in their game, ‘Tween Waters Inn has a Volleyball net on the beach. Now there’s a workout… I like to watch volleyball and get some sun when I hang out on the beach. I can’t say who won our weekend shuffleboard tournament at ‘Tween Waters Inn but it was likely my husband who had the better shuffleboard skills. Me, I’m generally focused on having a great time.
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On your next visit to Captiva Island to relax – make time for some shuffleboard and enjoy.
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Plan To Stay Cool When The Sunshine Is The Brightest!

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Staying cool’ around the resort when the sunshine is bright — is a vital skill or perhaps, even an art.  

Many ‘Tween Waters Inn guests on Captiva Island visiting Southwest Florida have ‘sunshine’ at the top of their list for ‘why’ they travel here to spend their spare time. With so many things to do outdoors my husband, Eric and I know first-hand how easy it is to get too much sun, too fast and find ourselves looking for places and things to do while we cool down a little bit.

Consider some of these good ideas offered from my own personal experience, for staying cooler around the resort from morning until sunset:

  • Walk through the lush vegetation areas to get around the resort and stay cool under shady trees and roof lines.
  • Visit the pool early morning or late afternoon when temps are the coolest all day and it’s the perfect time to start a tan.
  • Pack and wear your stylish hats, or pick up a new ones in the Pelican’s Roost Boutique near the dock entrance of the Marina.
  • Umbrella spots beside the pool are more likely to be open when the pool deck is less busy and the sun is lower in the sky.
  • Morning is the time to reserve a shady chaise on the beach and to simply take it easy hanging out beside the sand and surf.
  • Wear shorts, skirts, light fabrics, t-shirts and sandals anytime, anywhere and dress up only if it suits your beachwear fancy.
  • Remember that the Oasis Pool Bar offers a shady spot all day where you can chill, sip cold drinks, make friends and sit beside the pool.
  • It’s also the place to enjoy lunch or order it ‘to go’ and take lunch back to your air-conditioned room, suite or cottage you call home.
  • Early afternoon is a favorite time to relax on your private lanai where the temps are cooler when the sun is high in the sky.
  • Schedule favorite Spa appointments dedicated to your complete comfort and relaxation after you’ve been outside in the morning.
  • Afternoons are traditionally the tropical time for a brief siesta or nap when the temps are always the hottest outdoors all day.
  • Later in the day take your time exploring the quiet back bay waters paddling a rented canoe or kayak through the mangroves.
  • Make a reservation at the Captiva House restaurant first thing and look forward all day to a memorable dinner right around sunset.
  • After dinner share a night cap or even an impromptu fiesta at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille next door where having fun is popular.
  • Make it a habit in the evening to take a stroll down to the beach before bed when it’s cool, breezy and the sand is lit by the moon.

At ‘Tween Waters Inn when you get over heated you have the Gulf of Mexico waters and the resort pool to cool down in anytime. Then you can take it easy while you make a decision about what to do next.

Most importantly, stay cool and enjoy!

 

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Relax Completely In One Of 19 Vintage Cottages

rotation-4-300x300Do something just a little different this trip and delight yourself in a new way at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Thinking back over the years, my time spent staying in a cottage almost anywhere was a treat! The ‘Tween Waters cottages are all one-of-a-kind. Originally constructed in the 1930’s, they are fully refurbished and individually appointed to ensure a special, beachfront holiday for all of the guests who stay in them today.

The setting, poised between the Gulf of Mexico beach on Captiva Island on one side and the serene, back bay boating waters on the other, enhances their cottage charm even more. Imagine… Nice huh?!

There are nineteen different cottages, painted in cheerful, tropical colors dotted around the resort. The size and room layouts range from one room to three bedroom and they have beautiful baths and convenient kitchen amenities. Some have screened in porches, others have sunny decks and they have all the comforts of a cottage home you will love.

  • Consider the Osprey two bedroom, the Heron one bedroom or the Pelican one bedroom overlooking the beachside of the resort with a view of the Gulf and just steps away from the sand. There are three, gulf front cottage groups that are perfect for multiple parties, too.
  • The Jasmine one bedroom or the Tarpon three bedroom are located on the east side of the resort where they look over the back bay waters and the picturesque, ‘Tween Waters Marina.
  • Sitting be’tween the water on either side, you’ll find the shadiest cottages that are also closest to the pool. They share a lush courtyard, outdoor love seat swing, and they are named for the tropical plants and trees that make this spot around the resort so special: the Frangipani, Bougainvillea, Orchid, and Jasmine.

Visit this link to view an Interactive Map of ‘Tween Waters Inn that offer the names, size, location and photos for each cottage.

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After you check them all out, you’ll see for yourself how delightful and different staying in one of the cottages will be on your next trip. Make your reservations early for the historically popular and world-famous cottage you prefer!

I can tell you without a doubt, I will. Summertime in Florida is the perfect time for a shady cottage near the pool or one that is only steps from the beach and salty water. Most importantly, get ready to enjoy…

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Relax, Chill, And Perhaps Do A Little Dance!

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At the end of almost any day, but everyday at ‘Tween Waters Inn it’s time to relax and enjoy the evening.

My husband and I are usually ready for a cold drink, cold beer, a fine wine or favorite cocktail after being on the beach and around the resort during the day. When we’re visiting we look forward to having dinner together, along with a few evenings out sharing a little fun. Best of all, the entertainment we’re looking for is conveniently located right at the resort.

At night the ‘Tween Waters Inn is all about The Crow’s Nest… where we sample great food, drinks and entertainment. We count on spending lots of time at the popular …Beach Bar & Grille. Around the Islands it’s simply called the Crow’s Nest. As a local, I know firsthand that many memorable evenings have been made enjoying live music and drinks “at the Crow’s Nest on Captiva Island” for special occasions of every kind!

Drop in before or after dinner and plan to stay as long as you like. Stop by later in the evening after walking the beach or enjoying dinner at the Captiva House restaurant next door. Families with kids and crab race enthusiasts from everywhere, love watching the famous Crab Races scheduled during the week. It’s a good idea to check with the resort Staff to find out what’s planned for any particular evening during your visit.

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Many nights, guests are treated to a variety of outstanding live music that is perfectly suited to the upscale but casual, Island setting of the Crow’s Nest. The entertainment changes from night to night and features popular music, the songs everyone remembers and original music from solo artists. When there’s a band we love to “do a little dance” together. When a crowd gathers later in the evening it seems like everyone is dancing and those who prefer, just sit back and take it easy.

The Crow’s News is open until after midnight when it closes and reopens for lunch every day.

Click Here to view the Gulf of Mexico in real time, from the Crow’s Nest Beach Cam located across the street.

Most importantly, enjoy!

 

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We Look Forward To Quiet Time At The Spa

spaA day or two dedicated to just enjoying the Spa at ‘Tween Waters Inn is always an important part of our stay at the resort. Just like you do, we live busy everyday lives that allow little time for simply relaxing. The opportunities to dedicate our time to indulging in a leisurely pace come, few and far between.

So aside from activities at the beach, near the pool, and simply for recreation, entertainment or sitting down to enjoy delectable cuisine, we look forward to spending some quiet time at the Spa. Men don’t have to be shy about having their nails buffed and their feet pampered, and couples can savor relaxing treatments together.

Bridal parties are welcome to book as a group. Both the men and the women in the party can rely on Spa services to spruce up their look. While they may not admit it, the groom and his friends want to look and feel great, too. The ladies usually want their hair and makeup handled by a stylist with the knowledge and experience to provide the most becoming looks possible. Rest assured the ‘Tween Waters Spa staff are experts at organizing the vital care and creativity a bride expects before the ceremony.

Back to everyday reality… I know from experience how terrific my feet feel after a pedicure. When my nails are looking their best I am at my best. Following a professional facial, my face looks and feels wonderful. Time spent at the ‘Tween Waters Spa while relaxing between the beach and bay on beautiful Captiva Island is the finest around. Following a massage, my husband is sure to take a nap. While he rests I have the time to pick up a few items at the resort’s sportswear shop.

Make your appointments with the Spa for massages, haircuts, hair styling, facials and other specialties when you first arrive for your stay. Pick early morning times to start your day out on a cloud, or spend some time at the Spa in the afternoon to get prepped for a memorable night out in an Island setting you won’t forget.

For your convenience, follow this Link to view the Spa Menu. Most importantly, enjoy!

 

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