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Taking Advantage of Offseason at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa for a Girls Getaway

Yes, “Captiva Island” are those two magical words that make winter go away.

Yes, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is the perfect antidote for snow blindness and frostbite.

YAS! In the offseason, Captiva and ‘Tweenies is the place my gal pals and I head for a getaway without the seasonal crowds (and rates!).

We spent an off-weekend (Sunday and Monday nights) in offseason (end of September) and barely paid anything for our gulfview rooms. But even better, we happened upon Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, a region-wide event that spends its first few days on Captiva Island.

Picture this: Hanging at ‘Tweenies pool, mojito in hand, while artists who have written songs for the likes of Garth Brooks and Eddie Rabbit, sing their hits, crack jokes, and take you on a journey through their Nashville careers.

Just us and the birds on the morning beach

Island Hopper happens at almost a dozen venues on Captiva, but you can’t beat ‘Tweenies’ pool and Oasis Pool Bar scene. So start making plans now for next September.

Trolleys and shuttles take you free-of-charge to other Island Hopper venues on Captiva, and after the show ended at ‘Tweenies, we hopped aboard to discover “downtown Captiva” at its offseason liveliest.

We wound up back at the Crow’s Nest, where the popular Gatlin Show act paid tribute to Island Hopper’s country music theme with a cowboy hat hall-of-fame presentation and repartee that had us laughing out loud. And vocals that had us dancing like no one was looking. Watch for the entirely entertaining male-female duo every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night starting at 8:30 p.m. through October.

The rest of the “unweekend” we spent on a morning beach walk, lazing by the Serenity Pool, getting a pedicure (orange nails for fall) at the spa, dining at the marvelously remastered Old Captiva House, and kayaking.

We learned a little offseason secret about the latter. The ‘Tween Waters marina has a small fleet of single and double kayaks for guests’ complimentary use. Another good reason to go in the offseason, when you have a better chance of scoring one, or, in our case, three. That physical exertion called for cocktails at the Serenity Pool bar, where we posted selfies of our fivesome on the swings at one end. Another new discovery!

 

 

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Getting Out of the Weather at ‘Tween Waters, Captiva Island

Late summer on Captiva Island, Florida, can mean bouts of intense sunshine tempered with short afternoon showers. When avoiding the raindrops or taking a break from the sun, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is perfectly poised with solutions.

My favorite get-out-of-the-weather strategy takes me shopping and spa-ing right on property. Maybe work a little fitness center time in there for good measure. Then, you can easily rationalize some retail therapy followed by massage therapy.

Other times I feel like exploring the islands – their intriguing ecology, their history, their culture. That’s when I plan a field trip. Some of my favorite stops?

  • J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge: I always learn something new at its admission-free Visitor & Education Center. Its cool new artistic Learning Lavatories restrooms are worth the visit in and of themselves. The 4-mile tour around Wildlife Drive rewards with wetland vistas populated with feathered friends and crawly creatures.
  • Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum: You don’t have to love seashells as much as I do to appreciate the ecology, historic significance, and sheer beauty of the creatures and their homes. This one-of-a-kind museum brings a whole new appreciation.
  • BIG ARTS: Sanibel’s cultural nucleus always has a couple of changing art exhibitions going on in its galleries. You can also catch an art class, film, or live performance.
  • Sanibel Historical Museum and Village: This cluster of vintage island homes and other buildings is literally stuffed with fun history lessons you can easily absorb at strolling pace.

Can’t bear to go inside? Here’s another solution: Rent a cab ana at the Serenity Pool for al fresco protection from the elements.

Pelican’s Roost puts the tropical in your closet

 

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Rain or Shine, Girls’ Reunion

What happens when three old friends from high school find each other on Facebook? A get-together reunion at ‘Tween Waters is planned, of course! This recently happened to me and two of my dear friends, Holly and Tina, whom I hadn’t seen in 20+ years.

For our stay, I booked us a gulfview suite with two queen beds, which was plenty spacious, even with loads of baggage. From our balcony, we could see the beach, and the onsite restaurants were just steps away.

The only drawback of our weekend was the weather! You can never control summer thunder storms in Florida, but we definitely were the recipients of a weekend washout. But a little rain (OK, a LOT of rain) couldn’t dampen our spirits. Storms bring up seashells, so we shelled in the rain, got manicures in the spa, and our Girls-Night-In was the best! We ordered a couple movies (aka Chick Flicks) to watch on the suite TV, and got dinners to go from Captiva House (we got one last taste before they closed till the fall for remodeling). So, there we were, curled up on the couch drinking champagne, eating seafood lasagna and key lime pie, watching 50 Shades Darker…yeah, it was awesome!

Spending a rainy weekend with these two ladies was an absolute blessing. Time has changed us all physically, yet at the core, we are the same fun-loving girls from yesteryear. On a side note, between us, we have 9 children – it’s no wonder we’ve lost of minds!

Next time, we’re hoping to lounge by the pool, sip piña coladas, and soak in some sun. Until then, we’ll be on Facebook.

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What to Do with an Extra Day at ‘Tween Waters Inn

‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa’s current offer to earn one free night when you book three nights got me thinking: What would I do with a whole extra day on Captiva Island.

Well, it did not take me long to fill that day, let me tell you. I have not yet tried the Captiva Water Sports’ new parasailing adventure from the resort, for starters. And I love to paddleboard, but somehow I always end up lolling at the beach or having cocktails by the pool, and I never manage to fit in a paddle into the quiet, wildlife-rich back waters. And why not book a jet ski ride, while I’m at it.

And whereas I have had my favorite standard Relaxation Massage at the spa, I would love some more time for a body scrub, facial, and pedicure. You know, really go for the super pamper works.

I always intend to hit the fitness center, but alas, I’ve actually never been inside. And I hear the yoga classes at the resort are zenful. I need some of that.

So, look at that: Day overfilled, and I haven’t even finished my bucket list. Now I just cannot decide between sushi at Captiva House for dinner or that life-changing shrimp and grits at Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille.

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Getting High Over Captiva.

‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa is excited to announce that now, we can take your Captiva beach vacation experience to new heights!

That’s right, parasailing has come to ‘Tween Waters Inn — and getting high over Captiva is as easy as making your reservation at Captiva Water Sports at our Marina!

Rates are $90 per person (single) or $80 per person (two or three people), and up to three persons can take flight at the same time. Captiva Water Sports will make sure you’re safe and secure, and it’s as easy as sitting back and taking off — up, up, up above the Gulf of Mexico to a panoramic, breathtaking, beautiful and perfectly peaceful view of our islands that compares to, well, truly nothing else! Note: “bottoms up” dip in the Gulf waters upon return no extra charge.

Just click here to book your parasail adventure now or call 239.472.6336 for the time of your life!

 

 

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Turning rainy season into Tween Waters rainbows

Greetings weary (or soon-to-be weary) traveler.

If you’ve made it to this portion of the Tween Waters Inn website, there’s a good chance you’ve either arrived here in blissful Southwest Florida or have plunked down non-refundable airfare for a trip.

So now that that’s done, it’s time for your favorite outdoor adventurer to come clean.

Regardless of what they tell you in the brochures or what’s suggested in other places, summertime means far more in our area than simply beaches, sunsets and umbrella-borne drinks.

It rains. Quite a bit.

In fact, from the point our northern friends begin opening swimming pools on Memorial Day to the instant they’re lamenting the prospect of a killer Labor Day frost, we down here experience what the brainy meteorological types have scientifically labeled “rainy season.”

It’s all got to do with air mass thundershowers that build in the tropical heat and drop bursts of heavy afternoon precipitation nearly every day, amounting to an average of 29.27 inches across June, July and August – according to Weather.com – which translates to a daily dose of 0.318 inches.

And while the phenomenon has made celebrities of the TV weather talent at NBC-2 and its alarmist “First Alert” ilk, the application to vacationing TWI guests is a bit more practical.

Once the rains drive you from the sand or the pool deck, you’re going to need to find something to do.

Which, dear friends, is why we’re here.

In conjunction with summer’s official arrival, we’ve assembled a quick list of suggestions that’ll get you through the spates of midday precipitation and perhaps add a little flavor to your respite, too.

Less than a mile from the Tween Waters front desk at 11560 Chapin Lane (that’s a 16-minute walk for the hearty umbrella-toting crowd), the Captiva Memorial Library offers access to the collections of the entire Lee County public library system. Programs have an emphasis on local information and nature sources, and the library sponsors activities for adults, teens and children, including family programs.

The library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

Meanwhile, if you can’t get the beach completely out of your system, the nearby Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel – an 8.5-mile car ride to 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road – is the only museum in the U.S. solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them.

A world-renowned malacologist and two marine biologists are joined by highly educated docents to offer knowledge, surprising facts and rare insights into the lesser-known complexities of shells, including their cultural, historical and culinary facets of shells. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offers loads of free parking and free admission to both active military and children under 5.

Of course, if time away from home brings out the shopper in you, a little rain is no concern.

Toward that end, the Tahitian Gardens shopping mall – just a shade past 10 miles at 1975-2019 Periwinkle Way – offers a “Something for Everyone” retail experience that stretches from the elegant to the whimsical and features designer labels, unique collections, toys and jewelry, not to mention family-style meals from breakfast to dinner.

But hey, let’s face it. If you’re soaked from a dip in the water and/or sporting an outfit that’s not quite ready for public consumption, you might just want to keep your endeavors on familiar resort turf.

To some, that’ll mean it’s time for a massage at The Spa or a quick workout at the Fitness Center.

To others, though, a few rain clouds instantly trigger the instinct to continue revelry under cover.

In that case, you need only park flip flops at TWI’s own Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille, where you’ll find great food, great fun, great times and great entertainment served up nightly.

More than 74 percent of reviewers on TripAdvisor.com gave the place a rating of “excellent” or “very good,” and the 2017 menu of beach tapas, salads, oysters, sandwiches and entrees is supplemented by an entertainment calendar that includes live music on weekends, the not-to-be-missed Captiva Crab Races on Mondays and Thursdays and the always entertaining Wednesday night karaoke.

And who knows, by the time you’ve downed some tuna tostadas or worked your way through a creole grouper, your own version of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” might not sound so bad.

Happy drizzling.

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Babymoons are Legendary at ‘Tween Waters Inn

If you’re a parent-to-be, have you thought about going on a babymoon? It’s more than a trend, it’s your last chance for a romantic getaway with your spouse before baby makes three!

‘Tween Waters Inn is the ideal destination to celebrate your upcoming bundle of joy and bask in the glow…of your pregnancy. For starters, treat yourself to a pre-natal massage at The Spa at ‘Tween Waters. It’s nearly one hour of pure bliss and it’s safe for baby. Walks on the beach are made for the two of you, and while it might be near impossible to sit in the sand, you can surely relax in a chaise lounger (with your swollen ankles up), sip a virgin daiquiri, and witness a famous Captiva sunset.

When it’s time to indulge your cravings, make reservations at Captiva House for the most romantic meal on the island. While sushi and alcohol may be on your list of things to avoid, there’s an entire menu of gourmet cuisine to please your palate. Or, if you’re hankering for a great burger, walk over to the casual and fun Crow’s Nest. (For dessert, you can’t go wrong with locally made Queenie’s Ice Cream, so rich and creamy!)

I’d also suggest making an appointment with local photographer, Milissa Sprecher for a baby bump photography session, because while you may feel like you’re carrying around a 30-pound basketball, you’ve never looked more beautiful.

It’s true, babymoons and ‘Tween Waters Inn go hand-in-hand, like peas and carrots (which you’ll soon be serving a lot of, from baby food jars). Congratulations to both of you! (And thank you to my fellow blogger friend, Kara Franker and her husband Jeremy for letting me share a photo of their pregnancy announcement. Lola is expected to arrive in January 2017.)

 

 

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Old Gold: Bringing the Decathlon to ‘Tween Waters

IMG_8682I blame Ashton Eaton. My television. And my parents.

After all, if not for the now two-time Olympic decathlon champion and his late-summer omnipresence on NBC, I’d have never come up with the silly idea. And had it not been for Bernard and Alice Fitzsimmons welcoming me to the world in March 1969, I’d not have been so old by the time it arrived.

Nevertheless, thanks in part to all of them, the testosterone die was cast.

Fueled by Eaton and the other nightly images of competition from Brazil’s coastline on the south Atlantic Ocean, I decided to pursue my own brand of Summer Games glory during a recent jaunt to the Tween Waters Inn – roughly 4,300 miles north of Maracana Stadium.

My personalized five-ringed gauntlet included 10 events that’d take me across and around the resort over just more than 24 hours, and incorporate as many different endeavors as my middle-aged body would allow without outright collapse.

The sweltering Sunday portion included a trip to the fitness center for a 30-minute workout, followed by a hardcourt set on the nearby tennis courts, a quick sidestep for a game of shuffleboard, a trip across Captiva Drive for a Gulf water surfboard relay and a trek back to the marina to depart on a kayaking dash around the mangroves.

It was challenging. It was invigorating. It was exhausting.

And to suggest I had a restful sleep – from roughly 8 p.m. straight though until 7 the next morning, in fact – would be an understatement of gold-medalist proportions.

But, alas, there was still a day’s worth of “work” to be done.

Russ TWIAnd while the Monday follow-up was certainly less strenuous, it was by no means less busy.

It began with a 15-mile rental round trip bike ride from the resort to the Sanibel School and a one-hour dockside fishing pole respite upon return.

As for those results, suffice it to say I remind exactly no one of Greg LeMond or Jimmy Houston.

Regardless, a 50-minute deep tissue massage at The Spa as event No. 8 provided ideal therapy for tired muscles nearing their collective half-century mark, and a penultimate sunset walk with the wife, son and pup blended nicely into a Crab Races at the Crow’s Nest finale – where, ironically, the extent of my exertion was exhorting a crustacean who looked as if it’d been through a weekend similar to mine.

Though the untimely slow-shelled tardiness cost me a few bucks, I was in no shape to criticize.

And when the Tokyo Games come on the tube in four years, I’ll make sure and switch to PBS.

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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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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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