Accessibility Link Accessibility compliant site
Menu

Keeping Resolutions, Captiva Island-Style

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Manatee and Dolphin and Osprey, Oh My!

A visit to ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa is a chance to get up close and very personal with nature. And it took only one trip for me to discover a truth I’d have never otherwise known.

Manatees are smart-alecks.

Yes, they’re gently gigantic majestic sea cows and all the other lovable things you’ve heard, too. But when you’re a 45-year-old guy wedged into a kayak and armed with only an obsolete iPhone to document your interaction, they also know exactly when to surface while you’re still fumbling through your access code, and precisely when to submerge just as you’ve lined up the perfect shot.

Maybe it’s instinct.  Maybe it’s coincidence.  Or maybe, as I surely suspected by the end of a two-hour paddle-bearing dalliance in the waters surrounding Buck Key, maybe they’re all hovering just beneath the surface — readying for just the right moment to re-emerge, and have me miss another great image.

But regardless of their intent — and in all seriousness — it’s an experience not to be missed. I was part of a six-strong mix of vagabonds (two from Michigan, one each from New York and Ohio, a Naples resident and myself) for a 2.5-mile trek offered by Adventure Sea Kayak Wildlife Tours, bayside on the property.

Adventure Sea Kayak offers four tours daily —9 am and 1130 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, weather permitting — from $40 for adults down to $30 for kids 10 and under. Reservations are recommended and customized trips and rentals are available.

Our trip was led by amiable tour guide Bob, a self-professed Florida cracker who spends half his work week splashing around the Tween Waters Inn, and the other half shuttling between his home in Fort Myers and a gig at Cabbage Key.

The time on the water has served him well, because he barely missed a beat between getting this northern transplant into just the right vessel — a candy apple red Whistler with a foot-pedal operated rudder — and dazzling the half-dozen of us with a college-level refresher on the flora and fauna just a few paddles off the shore. We saw the aforementioned manatees, a dolphin whose dorsal had an unsatisfying meeting with a motorboat, and enough osprey, little blue heron and mullet to fill three seasons of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

But just remember: if a good photo of manatees is what you’re after, you might have to endure some silliness to get it.

Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 2
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 3
Lyle Fitzsimmons Innsider Kayak 4

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Top