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Fall in Love with February at ‘Tween Waters

February is my favorite month in Florida. The weather is near-perfect, there’s so much to do and I get to celebrate two “National Holidays” if I’m lucky. February at ‘Tween Waters is no different — from Songwriter Saturdays to “Big Game” Sundays, plus a little Valentine’s Day love in between, there’s a million and one ways to fall in love with February. Here’s a few to get you started:

Songwriter Saturdays: Start off February with a relaxing day at the pool and a little nationally-recognized music. With temps rising, the Oasis Pool Bar is the best place to “chill” and relax, and now with Songwriter Saturdays, it’s an even cooler hangout. This month, enjoy music stylings from Hugh Mitchell on February 3, starting at 4PM. This “golden-throated troubadour” gives you grit and melody all and one, and now it’s all poolside to enjoy. Book a reservation ASAP because they fill up fast for these music-filled weekends or plan to bring a carful of people for just $50 for the day.

Valentine’s Day: They love love at ‘Tweenies, and there’s no better place to enjoy Valentine’s Day than the home to “America’s Most Romantic Sunset.” If you can’t make a week-long vacation out of it (this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday), the perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a romantic dinner at Captiva House. I’ve enjoyed more than one Valentine’s Day pre-fixed menu at Captiva House, and couldn’t ask for a better way to celebrate love than with my mouth full of delicious food. Make your reservations asap!

The Big Game: Okay, so I can’t say those magic words that start with Su and end with owl, but you know the Big Game I’m talking about. Cheer on your favorite team, or just come for the commercials, but either way, you’re going to want to do it at Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille. Grab a stool and join in the fun as they give away huge prizes (TVs, spa and dining gift cards and more!). The fun starts at 4PM on February 4.

Soak in Fabulous February Weather: The last, and best way to fall in love with February is to soak in fabulous February weather by making a vacation out of it all. Save big during high season with un-heard of three- and five-night packages, starting from $263/night for a Poolside Guestroom February 2 through April 8, 2018. Plus, when you book direct, you get all of those great VIP benefits like bike rentals, kayak and canoe rentals, hassle-free cancellation and so much more. Book by calling: 800-223-5865 or getting your deal online: www.tween-waters.com.

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Songwriter Saturdays — A Relaxing Afternoon by the Pool

Songwriter Saturdays

If you thought Oasis Pool Bar was a cool (pun intended) place to hang, you’ll be surprised to find out it got even more chill with Songwriter Saturdays. The hit sounds and hip artists of Nashville hit the ‘Tween Waters stage this September for the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, and now have returned to the resort for more live tunes — this time Poolside at Oasis Pool Bar.

The first Saturday of the month, we grabbed a carload of friends and for $50 headed to ‘Tween Waters. Admission got us parking, use of all of the free amenities at the resort, plus a live performance from Nashville songwriter Brian Sutherland. We hung out poolside, grabbed some drinks and snacks and enjoyed a “chill” day hanging by ‘Tween Waters’ Olympic-sized pool.

INNSIDER TIP: Book a room stay for Songwriter Saturdays early! Reservations fill up fast during high season and parking is limited! 800-223-5865 ** 
There’s nothing like the island breeze and a little acoustic music mixed together to put you in vacation mode. I really felt like I was transported to my own little “Margarita-ville” (sans Jimmy Buffet music, because hey, Brian Sutherland is more than just kitsch Jimmy Buffet artist — his writing style includes Americana, Florida-Folk and Alt Country). With a signature ‘Tweenies Tervis Tumbler in hand and my friends nearby, the day couldn’t have been more perfect.

Songwriter Saturdays are held the first Saturday of every month, and next up is songwriter and artist Hugh Mitchell, who will perform at Oasis Pool Bar on February 3. Currently Nashville resident and performing artist, Mithcell’s down-home flavor of music has people calling Hugh Mitchell the “golden-throated troubadour.” If you love a mix of gritty rock and intimate melodies, you’re going to want to save the date for February 3!

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Getting in the Holiday Spirit (Sans Snow) at ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island

When people from up north tell me they just can’t get into the holiday spirit in Southwest Florida, I have eight words for them: “Santa climbing a ladder up a palm tree.” To me, the holiday display at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort epitomizes all that is beautiful and festive about spending the holidays on Captiva Island.

If you are like me, and view holiday spirit as a warm, fuzzy feeling and a giving, loving pause from all that’s upsetting in the world, you’ll get it. Where is warmer than Southwest Florida, after all? What can be fuzzier than ‘Tween Waters’ traditional decorations, like old friends I look forward to seeing once a year?

And that Santa on the ladder? A clear demonstration of how islanders make magic – with a little humor — out of a tropical setting. ‘Tween Waters fills the grounds with old-fashioned decorations and thousands of twinkling lights.

The centerpiece, a towering traditional Christmas tree, marks the season’s kick off with a lighting ceremony that takes place the day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 24, this year. We like to make a night of it with dinner at the Captiva House once the excitement of the lighting, live music, and fireworks draws down.

So, you can keep your snow, frostbit cheeks, and yule log. I will happily settle for seashell-studded decorations, sun-kissed cheeks, and Santa climbing a palm tree.

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Benefits of the New Breakfast Policy

breakfast tween waters inn

I hate change, so when I heard that ‘Tween Waters was switching their breakfast policy, like many of you, I started to panic! Would they have my beloved pastries? What about the mornings when I just want something fresh? Was this going to cost me more? I just want my breakfast back!!!

After speaking to Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts CEO Tony Lapi (and maybe taking a chill pill too), I was able to calmly examine the policy a little further, and began to realize this really wasn’t the end of the breakfast world as we know it. In fact, I might actually save some money.

As explained to me, in order to maintain their bountiful buffet, they have to work that into the nightly rates. It’s built in. So removing the free breakfast buffet option, I don’t have to pay that automatically in my nightly rate — so no money lost. In fact, they reduced their rates by 8% across the board (so all cottages and suites too), meaning I’m actually paying less per night in the future.

So now that I have 8% back in my pocket — equating to anywhere from $20-40 per night — can I still spend it on breakfast? Of course! But I also don’t have to. Food and Beverage Director Laurent Bosc says they plan to have quick breakfast options, which will have grab and go items like fruit, cereals, pastries and more, all at reasonable prices, so that I can grab my breakfast, not waste any time getting to the beach, and still have money left over in my pocket each day in savings.

But some days I want a little extra — pancakes, omelets, eggs benedict, oh my! Bosc tells me that that won’t change. I will still be able to order these items from a menu for breakfast, just like I had when the breakfast buffet was in place.

Plus, with newly renovated rooms complete with partial and full kitchens in some rooms, I also have the option to make my own breakfast.

So to all of my ‘Tweenies peeps who, like me, started to fret when they heard about the 2018 policy, don’t panic! It’s designed to save us money, reduce waste and save us precious beach time, while still giving us options — and that’s the truth.

NOTE: The New Breakfast Policy doesn’t begin until 2018, and they’ve been planning this for a while now, which means your rate most likely reflected the 8% change. If you booked your reservation extremely early (around 1 year prior) your initial reservation might not have been adjusted, but has since been refunded the 8% difference. 2017 reservations are not affected by this new policy.

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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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Captiva House Restaurant’s Secret Recipe

Captiva House Restaurant Recipe

I can’t cook. I don’t state this mildly or even humbly, I seriously can’t cook. We eat out a lot. A lot.

The closest thing I’ve made to an actual meal might be grilled cheese — and I’m not exaggerating. And while my partner Mathew is a Food Network junkie, I hate to have him cook for me every day, so we end up eating out quite a bit. But just because I don’t cook, doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat.

I have particular and wide tastes. I can’t stand cheap, generic food. Instead, I live for a spicy, exotic meal, a fantastically prepared seafood dish, a gooey handmade pasta or…an flakey wrap. And the only place on the islands to find any or all of the above, is Captiva House restaurant at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Innsider Tip: You can now buy a $120 dining gift card for $100 (a $20 savings!) online! The card is sent to your house and then you can use it throughout the year! Buy yours now: http://tween-waters.com/shop/

The island snapper wrap isn’t just any ‘ole wrap. The name sounds casual, but once you sink your teeth into delicately cooked asparagus, savory crimini mushrooms, perfectly roasted peppers and face-melting snapper, all wrapped in a flakey filo dough, you’ll basically be living in elegant ecstasy for the next hour. Oh! And I forgot to mention this dish comes with pesto cream and goat cheese polenta all drizzled with aged balsamic glaze. When I die, you can drizzle me with all of the above.

So what good would being an INNSIDER be, if I couldn’t get the super secret “innsider” recipe for the snapper wrap, and share it with you?! After a little begging and pleading, the amazing Jason Miller, Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director at ‘Tween Waters Inn, was kind enough to share the recipe. So grab your apron and your best Emeril Lagasse (as he is a Florida native) mindset, and I’ll grab my wine so I can watch, and get cooking! Here are the deets:

For wrap:
1/6 One roasted red pepper, chopped
1 oz Red snapper
½ Stalk of asparagus
2 oz Sliced crimini mushrooms
Filo dough
A spoonful of pesto cream

For polenta:
2 Cups water
2 Cups milk
1 Cup medium polenta
1 Package of goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Begin with the Snapper:
1. Cut each snapper fillet in half crosswise. Season per taste.
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place snapper skin sides down, in skillet. Make certain to press on snapper with a spatula for occasionally to prevent curling. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Prepare the vegatables:
1. Chop red pepper and roast sauce pan until beginning to soften. Use only 1/6 of full red pepper.
2. Sautee asparagus until “crunch” is gone. Chop into small pieces.
3. Chop crimini mushrooms and sauté until soft.

Combining the veggies and snapper:
1. Combine the snapper with roasted vegetables, and roll in one filo dough slice.
2. Place on nonstick baking sheet in oven. Cook for 25 minutes, or until filo dough is flakey.

While baking the wrap, prepare polenta:
1. In medium pot with high sides combine the water, milk and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the polenta while whisking constantly.
3. Cook the mixture for at least 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened and cooked.
4. Stir in goat cheese until thoroughly mixed.

Final plating:
1. Places pesto cream on plate, followed by a few spoonfuls of goat cheese polenta.
2. Bias cut snapper wrap and place on polenta.
3. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top and garnish with micro pea shoots.
4. Devour!

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7 Signs You’ve Partied Too Hard at Hallo’Tween

Halloween Costume Party Tween Waters Inn

In the upcoming months, there are oodles of events to choose from to get your “party” on. Kicking off the season is the legendary (hey, they don’t call it the “Legendary ‘Tween Waters Inn” for nothing!) Hallo’Tween party. And as this year’s motto goes, you haven’t “Halloweened” until you’ve “Hallo’Tweened.” Take it from an Innsider: these are 7 signs you’ve partied too hard at this year’s bash:

1)   You’re still donned in glitter, makeup, fabric and plaster, and that’s just your head. Hallo’Tween is known for the cleverly clad, raunchily robed and gruesomely garbed costumes.

2)   You woke up singing songs from Deb & the Dynamics’ set list. Recent years’ tradition has Deb & the Dynamics returning to the Hallo’Tween bash to get partygoers up and dancing all night long.

3)   Your feet, legs and arms are killing you. Remember that Hocus Pocus scene where the parents can’t stop dancing? That was totally you last night.

4)   You’ve got $1000 burning a hole in your pocket. Yep, you read that right. The zaniest and best costume clad contestant receives a grand prize of $1000.

Innsider Tip: Make your reservation ASAP to spend the night. After a night of spooktacular fun, you won’t want to drive home.

5)   You saw both the sun set and rise at ‘Tween Waters Inn. Events start at 8PM at ‘Tween Waters Inn, but you caught the sunset while prepping the perfect costume and the sunrise at your personal little after party.

6)   You’re still facedown in your hotel pillow. You booked your hotel room in advance and got a great deal on a Bayside studio, and with check out at 11AM, you’re still hitting the Zzz’s hard.

7)   Your camera roll looks like it was on the set of The Hangover. You might have gone a little crazy with the camera this year, snapping photos of strangers dressed in everything from Pharrell’s hat to a bath pouf. Hey, what’s that tiger doing in your photos?!

Whether you partied too hard, or maybe just right, the memories, or lack thereof, of this year’s party were legen…wait for it…dary. Legendary.

Halloween Hallo’Tween Party
Scariest Costume Wins a Prize
Cash Costume Prize for Halloween Party
Party All Night With Live Music at ‘Tween Waters Inn
A Great Way to Celebrate Halloween
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VACATIONS: “Out of the Park” Specials for Spring Training

It’s a beautiful day for baseball. Spring training is here – in Florida – and ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort has a deal for those looking to catch a fly ball and some rays. With every Three-Night Delight Value or Five-Night Celebrate Package booked, you’ll receive a free $106 resort gift card in honor of your favorite team’s 106th season.

‘Tween Waters Inn is only 30 miles from spring training and this special offer is good through March 31. The gift card is available to use on any resort amenity, such as the spa, gift shop, or dining experience. The deal is even sweeter because both 3 and 5 night packages are at a hot discounted daily rate. With these prices, you’ll be able to stay for all of the extra innings. Just make sure to mention the code “spring training” when making your reservations. For more information about your free resort gift card or to book now, visit www.tween-waters.com. These deals are going, going and soon they’ll be gone, so don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy the Florida sunshine and spring training.

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