You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family or pick your friends’ and family’s noses.
Early Thursday morning, I darted out the door to catch another sunrise run. After struggling with the soft sandy shore and the blind winding roads of the island, I wanted to run a different path and explore a bit more of Captiva. Therefore, I formulated a brilliant plan to run through the South Seas Resort, which occupies the north tip of the island, as the private roads through the resort would offer a safe and beautiful run. However, a guard sits the gate and I have never been past the entrance. For Thursday run, I dared to do just that.
I thought I had pulled it off as I ran passed the guard check point until I heard him holler, “Excuse me, miss. Can I get your room number, please?”
I should have played it off that my iPod was too loud or bust out my best Spanish accent and replied, “Yo no hablo Ingles.” But I wasn’t that clever on this particular morning. Instead, I simply replied, “I’m not a guest at the resort.”
“Well, then I’m afraid I can not permit you on the property.”
I apologized for being so bold and excused myself from the scene and then remarked, “Yes, I supposed I could do a lot of damage in my running skirt and running shoes.” Thinking back, I believe it may have been my Gasparilla pirate baseball cap that made him nervous. Perhaps, he thought I would be searching for treasure in his resort.
I ran off the resort property followed Captiva Drive to the end and the public beach access. Once on the beach, I ran north and I found myself behind the South Seas Resort. Along the beach, I noticed private path hidden by overgrown sea oats. I also noticed signs stating “No Trespassing- Private Property”, but much like the guard I ran past them with little acknowledgement.
As I ran on the forbidden limerock private paths of South Seas, I felt invigorated. It’s amazing how being naughty can feel so good. (Don’t tell my children I said that!) And just as I suspected, the view was gorgeous. During my 3 mile run, I spotted three cardinals and an ibis.
At the end of my run, I thought about running past the guardhouse to show off my brazen behavior the guard, but I simply chose to run home instead. To the guard simply doing his job too well, never say no to a nosey adventurous determined runner.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t find the energy to run on Friday morning. I suppose the excitement of Thursday’s sneaky sunrise run stole all my energy. However, I did jump out of bed to watch one last sunrise. In my pajamas, I walked across the island to a private dock at the end of the marina on the bay. Another cloudy morning prevented a perfect sunrise, but it was still beautiful to watch nonetheless.
As I left the dock, I spotted some marking under the water’s surface. At first, I mistook the marking for shark gills, but upon a closer observation I realized it was scars on a manatee. Old scars ripped open by recent deep wide gashes with pieces of flesh still exposed and a quarter of his paddle tail missing. Then, next two this gentle mangled giant, I spotted his “wife” and small calf. The wife also had some scarring, but thankfully their young offspring has yet to know such a horror. As I stared at the scars of the larger manatees, I wondered if boaters ignored “No Wake” signs like I ignored the “No Trespassing” signs the day before, however, no creatures were harmed with by brazen behavior.
I must have sat for about 20 minutes on that dock watching the manatee family enjoying their breakfast. And although I didn’t run that morning, I felt invigorated once again.
With a sunrise run along the beach high on my To Do List, I raced out the door with camera in hand and sprinted to the bay side of Captiva Island for a quick snapshot of the sunrise Tuesday morning. However, clouds in the horizon hindered my highly anticipated view.
After snapping a few pictures of the cloudy sunrise, I darted back to the gulf side of the island for a run along the beach. The soft sand prevented me to get a good footing and given that Captiva is the seashell capital of the world, I found myself distracted by the volumes of shells that glistened on the shore. As I stopped to collect a few shells to bring back as presents for my daughters, a Great Blue Heron searched for breakfast along the shore.
After about a quarter mile of struggling with the soft surface on the beach, I cut through public park to find a path to run along. As I followed the path, it gave me an opportunity to explore some of the private roads that wind through Captiva.
For the next couple of miles, I weaved in and out of private driveways and backyards of vacant vacation rentals. My husband would have scolded me for snooping and being nosy, but at least I made a mental list of places I would love to stay when we visit Captiva again. And fortunately, I had my camera to remember them all!
Between sneaking through admiring vacation rentals, snapping pictures and collecting seashells, my running time suffered a bit.
My family and I are traveling to Captiva for a few days. It’s been two years since we last visited there and I can’t wait to enjoy island living again.
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