We spent our third anniversary on Captiva Island. (If you know us, you know we have felt married since our third date, but legally this was our third.) We stayed at the Captiva Island Inn, very quaint, and fun. We had a great time, especially on our first night when we walked about one hundred feet to the Inn’s Keylime Bistro Restaurant where we thoroughly enjoyed listening to Gary and Kerri.
They had me at Whiskey River. We were sipping on Rumrunners at the bar, waiting for our outside table, when the old Willie Nelson song wafted in on an ocean breeze and made me all warm and mushy inside. We took our seat under a moonlit palm tree and island pink party lights at a table just west of the tiki hut where Kerri’s angelic, yet soulful vocals and Gary’s guitar strumming filled the warm night air with memories.
Another round of Rumrunners and I, sans microphone, was singing almost as loud as Kerri, but nobody seemed bothered. Everyone had this laid back ease about them that you can only get when everybody in the joint is on vacation. When they asked for requests, I thought of borrowing the server’s lighter, flicking it high above my head and shouting out, “FREE BIRD” but considering the price of the rooms, I was pretty sure I was the only one in the crowd that would have thought that was funny, even if they were being quite tolerant of my revelry.
We had been shelling earlier that day while watching a gorgeous sunset and we went again the next day. We found only little shells though, and thought about buying a souvenir instead. There is a little shop on a nearby island called SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS, and I had heard they had a conch in there that looked like Jesus.
There is a church in my hometown of Columbus Ohio that has a silhouetted image projected on the sanctuary that looks like a three story tall messiah signaling a score. We called it The Church of the Touchdown Jesus, but I digress.
Our last morning there we had breakfast at another outdoor restaurant before heading out. We sat across from a table with a large family; parents, kids, grandparents etc. I watched as a young woman, who was treading a thin line between being a good mom and a control freak, orchestrated the pack. Grandma sat back and watched the spoils of her protégé’s work.
A well trained child stood and leaned over the table to sip her drink from its straw, lest she spill it when trying to pick it up. And a well trained husband amused the toddler by outlining shapes for him to color in. “Here is the sun,” the dad told the babe as he drew a circle on the place mat. “Here is the sea and a boat and a bird,” he continued to draw as he spoke in saccharine tones. “Now you color them in,” he directed while filling the tiny fingers with crayons and patting him on the head, “and take about an hour and half to do it!”
We laughed about that all the way through the nature trail we explored before leaving the island. And that is really the best part of anytime we spend together, laughing together. Happy anniversary my love, I am yours always.