I'm a mom on the run!

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How a Three Mile Run Became a Three Hour Tour

…a three hour tour…

While vacationing on the beach, I love to sneak away for some solitude with a run on the beach.  Running along the shore as the waves run back and forth beside me is my ideal moment next to a good meal or watching the sunset.  For my first morning in Sanibel, I felt like a short 3 mile run to seize some solitude and serenity.

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Since Sanibel has a trail that runs the length of the island parallel to the preserve, I decided to take advantage of the trail for at least part of my run.  I left my hotel and ran about half a mile when the trail bent and a scary sign emerged that read, “Alligator Habitat. Proceed with caution”.  On an island that doesn’t permit firearms, I didn’t even want to find out how large the alligators could get.  So, I proceeded with caution by turning back and running in the direction from which I came.

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When I reached my hotel, I had only run a mile therefore I continued along the trail for another half mile until I reached the footpath for the public beach access.  When I hit the beach, I already ran about a mile and a half.  Now, I just needed to run another 1.5 mile back to my hotel and I felt confident that I would recognize my hotel by the bright yellow cabanas on the beach.

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At three miles, I hadn’t spotted the yellow cabanas but it could have been that I was distracted by the turtle nests, piles of pen shells and egg casings on the beach.

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So I ran further down the beach.   At four miles, I still hadn’t spotted my hotel.  “Well, it couldn’t be much farther?” I thought to myself at which I turned off the timer on my Garmin and walked a bit farther.  As I walked on, nothing looked familiar.  On this stretch of the beach, I noticed large beach houses that I hadn’t seen before.  Now, I knew I needed to either turn back or cut through to the main road so I could get my bearings.

Tired and dehydrated, I finished the last of my water bottle as I cut through on a private beach path to a housing development.  Overgrown trees and shrubs shaded the limestone roads that winded through the development.  The tune of Dueling Banjos played in my head and hysteria began to set in.  “If I am killed back here, no one will find my body because my killer will have fed me to the alligators and they’ll never recover my body.  God, I just want to get back to my family.  I was only going to be gone 30 minutes.  They’ll be worried about me.”

As I kicked myself for not carrying a cell phone, I spotted a man on a recumbent bicycle and prayed he wasn’t stalking me like a shark circling its kill.  There was no way I could out run a cyclist, even one who looks as though he’s lying down.  As paranoid as I was about the cyclist, he somewhat led me into the direction of the main road, which is when I realized where I was and how far I had gone.  I found myself on Sanibel-Captiva Road about 3 miles from my hotel.  With no cell phone and no money, walking back was my only option.  My serene moment had become a surreal moment.

I desperately tried to stay calm. “As soon as I see a public place, I’ll stop and ask to use their phone,” I told myself.  About half a mile later, I spotted a walk-in clinic but I decided to keep walking for fear they would stick me with an IV in an attempt to rehydrate me.  Another half mile, I spotted the Sanibel Recreation Center and Sanibel School, the destination from which I would call my family.

After several failed attempts to contact Allan at the hotel, the school’s secretary graciously offered to give me a lift back. “You know it’s only a couple mile from here.  You could walk it,” she said.  I explained to the sweet, kind secretary that if I wasn’t so tired and dehydrated, I would.  (After all, I’ve completed three half marathons already this year!) Two miles and two minutes later, I was back in the comfort of my cool A/C hotel room with a fresh bottle of cold water in both hands.

4.92 Miles (clocked by Garmin, but really 8 miles)

54:41 (time clocked by Garmin but really 3 hours)

Ave Pace 11:06

Max Pace 8:03

I rested the next day after my long run.  The day after that, I went for a real 3 mile run along this beach.   Although I left with no money or cell phone again, I took a photo of my starting point so I wouldn’t lose my place or my mind again.

Octopus marks the spot.

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3.1 Miles


Ave Pace 11:13

Max Pace 8:34

*Proudly submitted to*

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Savoring Sanibel

Undoubtedly, Sanibel and Captiva are world-famous for some of the best shelling and beautiful beaches.  But for my family and me, the islands are also known for some of the best eats in the Sunshine State.

Next to the shells and sunsets in Captiva, I dream about R.C. Otter’s Crunchy Grouper Rueben.  Seriously, it’s what keeps bringing me back year after year.  Plus, R.C. Otter has some of the best selection of beer on draft.  Try pairing the Crunchy Grouper Rueben with a pint of Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Ale or a Toasted Oatmeal Stout.

 Savoring Sanibel

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Since The Island Cow was featured in Southern Living magazine, the secret is out about this tasty little pasture in Sanibel.  Although The Island Cow offers an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, stick with the specials, like the Boom Boom Shrimp Tacos.  This dish would rival Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp as it packs a bit more punch and crunch.   Then, cool your palette with a Strawberry Orange Mimosa or a 23 oz Landshark with a wedge of lime.

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During this trip, we visited a few new-to-us places and loved them so much, we went back for second helpings.  The Over Easy Café served fluffy and fresh tasting omelets.  Much like the name suggests, the Mellow Portobello Omelet left me pleasantly full.

We also smacked our lips over two superb meals at Cip’s Place, but it was the impeccable service with a smile that made a marvelous meal even better.  Our server, Regina, recommended the root beer infused BBQ Rib Plate, but Allan didn’t want to eat a whole rack of ribs.  So, the chef happily accommodated by offering a smaller portion.  However, one taste of that root beer reduction and Allan wished he had ordered a full serving.

Despite Regina’s suggestion, I ordered the Grouper BLT.  A perfectly pan seared fish topped with avocado mayo and thick apple wood bacon on ciabatta roll was a wonderful and welcomed break from all the deep fried food I had eaten during our stay on Sanibel.  I topped my sandwich with Cip’s homemade cole slaw, which finished off the sandwich superbly.

For our last meal on the island, we returned to Cip’s Place and selected the Steak Chimichurri, which proved to be the right choice.  Served to perfection, the Argentinean herb rub and Dijon garlic potatoes complimented the cut beautifully.

I only wish I had remembered to snap photos of our last Sanibel supper not only to share for Friday Food Fight but because the creative juices have been flowing for Iron Chef Allan and I on how to replicate the dish.  If we can’t, we’ll have to find our way back to Sanibel soon.

I’d be o.k. with that.

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Now link up and see what If I Could Escape and Gone Bananas are serving for this week’s Friday Food Fight.

 Savoring Sanibel

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Sound of Sunshine

My family and I are soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Sanibel, Florida. I haven’t gone for a run, but I will. I’ve too busy enjoying the sound of sunshine.

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With my guitar on the beach there with all my friends
The suns so hot and the waves in motion
And everything smells like sun tan lotion
The ocean, and the girls so sweet
So kick off your shoes and relax your feet
They say that miracles are never seizing
And every single soul needs a little releasing
The stereo bumpin’ till the sun goes down
And I only wanna hear that sound

That’s the sound of sunshine coming down
That’s the sound of sunshine coming down

I said you’re the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes down
I said you’re the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes down
Singin’ you’re the one i wanna be with
When the sun goes down

That’s the sound of sunshine coming down
That’s the sound of sunshine coming down

 Sound of Sunshine


Visit AmandaXmas Dolly and Hairbows & Guitar Picks for more Music Monday fun.


 Sound of Sunshine

I Heart Faces: Yellow

I heart the color yellow because it is such a warm, inviting color.  In every home I have lived in, there has always been a yellow room to warmly welcome everyone who passed through the door.  Like sunbeams gleaming through a window, shades of yellow always greet you with a sunny smile.


As I searched for photo a for this week’s I Heart Faces Yellow Challenge, so many wonderful warm, sunny yellow moments came to mind.  Emmalynn and Allana twirling in a yellow princess gown pretending to be Belle or Allana tap dancing to Happy Feet at her first recital or yellow handprint duck paintings at a spring play date.


But since yellow is such a sunny, warm color that also makes me think of warm, sunny summer days at the beach, I decided to submit this photo of Allana for the challenge.  Much like the sun and the color yellow, this photo warms me all over.


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