This weekend was Philip’s surprise get-away weekend. It was beautiful and a huge success. We went to Cabbage Key…check it out at cabbagekey.com.
Philip did not know where we were going and the only time he totally dropped his excitement was when I said we had to take a flashlight. He keeps saying he likes camping but when he thought we were going camping he got a little leery. I think it’s a safe bet that I will NEVER book a camping trip…that is without an RV.
So off we went around 10 a.m. Friday and pulled into Pineland Marina about 2:00 – we were early.
Still he has no idea where we are going and even after I told the charter guy that we were headed to Cabbage Key it really didn’t tell him much. We made a couple stops on North Captiva and then got to our island “home” about 4:00. The taxi dropped us off right in front of our cottage. We forgot money for tips and he assumed he would get cash out at the resort – we both would have assumed that. HA! Not THIS resort. So the water taxi people were very happy with their $20 tip.
We rented the Dollhouse Cottage. Here’s the cottage..right on the water..with our own private dock. We walked right into the cottage, doors unlocked, and made ourselves at home. Then had to figure out how to check in. There are no signs, and no way to know what to do next. We just headed to the biggest building (not the private home beside us) and that was the answer!
The weekend was filled with absolutely nothing. There is nothing on this island other than a walking trail, a water tower to climb up, a restaurant and a marina. There are no “resort” amenities. (and no ATM for sure) You’re even supposed to bring your own water as the tap water is well water and does taste pretty nasty. We needed the flashlight to get from the restaurant back to our cabin. There are no lights between places. There are no cars on the Island (obviously) – it’s only 100 acres. There are a couple of golf carts and there are residents on the island. There is the owner with a lovely house right beside our Dollhouse cottage and then a random person who has a beautiful house, (for sale now for 1.7 million) at the tip of the island. Also the staff lives on the island, imagine that?
The Island was originally purchased by the family of the author Mary Roberts Rinehart for their winter vacation home. The Dollhouse was originally built in the early 1930’s for the Rinehart children as a playhouse. It’s two rooms (with a powder room bath in one room and a shower and sink in the hallway) with a great front porch and the dock. We had a TV in the bedroom. It got about 3 channels. It was great! The walls had seashells and driftwood and coconuts all around with people who left their names and little sayings on each. We added our coconut.
The bar/restaurant is known for it’s “Bill Bar”. The walls and ceilings are lined with dollar bills. They estimate $70,000 to be on the walls. It started back in the day when a fisherman taped a dollar bill on the wall and said he knew he would be able to eat there again if he ever came back. So it’s progressed to this:
They say approximately $10,000 falls off every year which they donate to charity.
Other “claim to fame” type stuff is that Jimmy Buffett wrote his song Cheeseburger in Paradise at this bar. I also read somewhere that it’s not uncommon to see famous people here as it’s certainly a place to get away from it all for sure. There are no phones on the island but cell phones work. I also read how the owners’ son grew up there and took a boat to the mainland every day for school. Now he lives on the mainland and comes by boat to the island everyday to work at the “resort” ..I mean really you have to use the word “resort” loosely. It’s not like a resort-resort.
So here’s what we did on our day off. Sat on the dock and watched boats come in. And there were some big boats. When we went to dinner Friday night there was about 10 people at dinner. At Breakfast, there was 4 of us. So when Debbi (our waitress) told us they were expecting about 600 for lunch I’m thinking, yea right, but the parade of boats in and out of there all day was spectacular. I mean it entertained us all day. We had rented a skiff for the day but it was too windy in the morning and we said we’d come back around noon. At noon the dock guy said it was too busy and he couldn’t get to us so we were content to just sit and watch the boats go by. Everyone waved. We felt like the welcoming committee.
We also went for a walk, we climbed the tower and watched the sunset, we played backgammon (he won) we played 500 rummy (I won), we went to meals. I mean…just LOVELY.
After the winds died down it got so quiet Saturday night. Check out these photos:
And then sunset from the water tower:
Sunday morning, after I snapped out of my depression of it being over tooo soon, I sat out on the dock and soaked in the quiet. I mean QUIET. With no cars, traffic, nothing to make noise it was beautifully quiet. The water on Sunday was like glass, so smooth and quiet. I heard this blowing sound and opened my eyes to see a dolphin swimming close by. Also an Egret flew down and kept me company on the dock (didn’t get his picture though)
Then we got on the water taxi to leave, kicking and screaming.
We stopped at this great place called Matlachia, Florida on the way home. It’s soo colorful with all these little shops – everything is painted bright bright colors – I mean BRIGHT. So we stopped and shopped. Each place was unique with different artists and different art styles. You’re not really supposed to take pictures, but I got these in before I saw all the “NO PHOTO” signs.
Here’s what we bought.
We stopped in for lunch at the Blue Dog where I had the best coconut shrimp wrap EVER. I mean EVER:
It was a beautiful, hot day. A perfect way to end the perfect get-away weekend. We had a lovely time getting reacquainted with civilization in Matlachia, and then headed home. I didn’t cry too much. I have a busy week this week getting ready for the boys to visit over the weekend. I’ll just focus on that.
After our cold snap last week it seems like we’re on an even keel for warm weather now so I think I will put the UGGS away. When we were going over to the Island on Friday it was REALLY cold, especially on the water. Friday night was cold too. Saturday morning was cold but by noon beautiful.
Cabbage Key is the kind of spot that when I start my book I’ll go and stay a month or so. I mean how kismet is that? Writing a book on an island where Mary Roberts Rinehart wintered…and she was born in Pittsburgh AND lived in Sewickley!!! Holy Moly..It’s meant to be.
She’s famous for starting a book with “had I but known”…and also for the colloquialism “the butler did it”… I think that’s how I’ll start my book…
If only I knew that the butler was going to do it…???