Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ah...yes...DAY 2

Before I start...can anyone tell my why the mockingbirds are doing their "strut" and hanging out on my patio...and running into my sliding glass door?'s NOT that clean and it has the fake white "framing" in it...

And now, on with Day 2 - Tuesday:

This is Marco Island. Picture from Marco Island Estate Home.

First beach day! After a leisurely breakfast, we headed to Tigertail Beach at around 9:30 a.m. Now, a bit of info about Tigertail Beach. It is actually forming its own barrier island! The original beach now has an barrier from a sand bar in front of it, which they call Sand Dollar Island (no explanation needed, I hope!). Many years ago, the sand bar was there during low tide, and now, this barrier is teeming with life!

Old picture of Tigertail Beach - picture from Marco Estate Home. In this picture, you can see where the original beach is (on the left bottom - before the 4 Towers)

In order to access the actual gulf, you either have to A: walk across the lagoon at a low point, or B: walk south along the lagoon until you get to the point where the sandbar and the beach meet. This is a LONG we walked across lagoon.

More recent picture of Tigertail Beach, during high tide - picture from Marco Island Area Info. At the end of the beach, about middle left, where the beach ends and the brush starts up, is where we would cross. During high tide there's a longer distance to cross. Even this picture doesn't do justice...I found a website that shows people actually crossing the lagoon: Public Shore. If you scroll down about 2/3rds of the way, there's an article with a lot of great pictures - an overhead of the human-created paths, and the lagoon we cross...and then there's a picture with people actually crossing the lagoon!

The water was just under chest-high for Hannah; Scotty was in Scott's arms. I carried the beach bag and blanket. When we got to the other side of the lagoon, the kids were enthralled with the crabs all over the place...little hermit crabs skittering into their hidey-holes as we approached! We got to the beach...and the waves on the gulf were really big and pounding! Hannah and I got a lot of "spankings" from the waves as we searched for seashells.

Looking north, toward the point of Tigertail Beach.

Scott had to hold Scotty in his arms in the water.

what most of the beach looks like!

Hannah posing at the beach

Scotty's first REAL beach experience

The best part of the day? Hannah found a sand dollar! We only stayed for a short time due to big waves and the rising tide. I asked Hannah if she wanted me to put her sand dollar in my bag, but she insisted she wanted to carry it. We knew we were crossing the lagoon again and I didn't want Hannah to struggle, even though she swims well. Heading back through the lagoon, the water was much higher since the tide was rising. It was nearly over Hannah's chin. She was on her tiptoes and was having a hard time. I encouraged her to swim, but she didn't want to. She ended up breaking her sand-dollar trying to keep her head above water. She was REALLY devastated about it. It broke her heart, but I promised her we'd go back again to find some another day. Low tide's always better for sand dollar hunting anyway. On our way back to the house, we saw the burrowing owls on the corner. On Marco, they put up a barrier fence and perching posts for the owls. We were told by the neighbor (he cares for the house we rented) that there were 4 or 5 in the burrow.
One owl on the perch. Shortly after I took this picture, they came and mowed around the burrow and perch. I love how they take care of these owls!

We got back to the house, rinsed off in the outdoor shower (great thing to have in a beach town!), and put on new bathing suits. We had lunch, then spent the afternoon in the pool playing. I got mildly sunburned on my stomach, but we were having a great time, so I didn't mind too much! I cooked supper at the rental house (grilled steak, frozen mashed potatoes and frozen green beans, chocolate cake for dessert). We drove around Marco a bit, then went to Tutti Frutti for ice cream. They have a Key Lime Pie...FROZEN...and dipped in chocolate...ON A STICK. OH MY...that's HEAVEN!!!!!

Went to South Beach in the evening for the sunset, but Scotty was worn out and we left before we could watch sun set.

Sign in the median as you cross to the beach.

Scotty's footprints in the sand

Hannah's footprints - high arches!

Kids pose for a picture in front of one of the condo buildings. One thing that is unique about Marco is that the beach only has a few public access points. All of the beachfront is taken up with hotels and condos. Unlike Ft. Lauderdale, which has Route A1A running between the beach and the buildings (for a part of it, at least), Marco has no road close to the beach. Tigertail has ample parking close by, but parking for South Beach is across the main drag, Collier Avenue. There's another public beach access down the road, but there is NO parking available. And Marco Island also has a "Residents Only beach and parking area with picnic pavilions. The lot for this beach was empty the entire time we were there. Because we went in July, it's "off-season" and most residents are gone from the island.
Royal Palm Trees...I LOVE these trees. They're not native to Florida, but they sure are big and beautiful!

Kids and Dad posing

Looking north to Tigertail Beach - see the land beyond the last of the condos (called the Towers)? That's Tigertail Beach.

One of my favorite shots...Scotty has the uncanny ability to turn and look back when I am taking pictures like this!

The only "sunset" I could capture on this evening.

1 comment:

Spanky said...

We're off to Marco later this week. Can't wait, and definately want that keylime pie on a stick!!