A different kind of summer for locals, visitors
While things tends to slow down on the islands with the arrival of the off-season, a few entities are promoting creative activities or adjusting their offerings this year to ensure a summer of fun.
The Paper Fig Kitchen has hidden shells on Sanibel for people to find and claim a prize, while the Sanibel Island Golf Club and Malia Island Fusion Cuisine have partnered up to offer the Summertime Dining Adventure. MacIntosh Books and Paper has again organized the island’s Find Waldo Local.
In addition, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is offering additional presentations due to increased interest, while stores at Periwinkle Place Shops have extended their operating hours.
Jeramie Campana, owner of the Paper Fig Kitchen with his wife, Debra, explained that people have been giving them paper fig shells that they find on the beach since the couple opened the eatery.
“So we’ve been collecting them and trying to figure out what to do with them,” he said.
Aware that people paint shells then leave them around the islands to be found, an idea was born.
“Kind of based off that,” Campana said.
He and his wife gathered together their collection of gifted shells and painted the words “Paper Fig Kitchen” along the top. On the underside, on the shell’s inside, they wrote down a prize to be claimed. They vary from 5 percent to 20 percent off an order, to free items like an iced coffee or sweet treat.
“Everybody loves it,” Campana said of the public response so far.
They launched the initiative in the beginning of June, hiding approximately 40 shells.
“They’re all on Sanibel,” he said. “They’re all on Periwinkle (Way).”
Campana noted that they did not make it hard to locate them, like putting them under objects.
“They’re all in pretty obvious places,” he said.
As of July 18, Campana estimated that about a dozen had yet to be found.
“With the way summer was last year, we figured we’d do something to get people excited this year,” he said, adding that the initiative also lined up with the eatery’s one-year anniversary in mid-June.
“It kind of leapt into that,” Campana said.
He added that the plan is to re-hide the found shells and keep the initiative going.
“I think people are into it,” Campana said.
He encouraged the public to take some time to stop and look around.
“We put them in places where you may not look normally. But maybe slow down a little bit and take in the island and what it has to offer, because you never know what you may find,” Campana said.
The Paper Fig Kitchen is at 2003 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.
SUMMERTIME DINING ADVENTURE
In June, the Sanibel Island Golf Club and Malia Island Fusion Cuisine launched their partnership initiative that features a complimentary, guided Golf Cart Eco-Tour with dinner reservations.
“It’s an opportunity for them to see our property and enjoy a fabulous meal,” Gene Taylor, golf professional with the Sanibel Island Golf Club, said. “It’s a win-win.”
He explained that the 200-acre golf course, which the Sanibel River flows through, was recently refurbished. The goal of the project was to create more of a natural setting, where the course blends in with the surrounding environment. Taylor added that there is an “old Florida” type of style to it.
“We’ve worked very hard to make it a natural part of the course,” he said of the surroundings.
Taylor noted that there is a different view of the Sanibel river from most of the holes.
“We’re thrilled to show off the golf course because of the changes,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t know about it,” Taylor added. “They have no idea we have all this land.”
And with a natural setting comes native species – another highlight of the eco-tours.
“Our normal wildlife would be alligators, iguanas, ibis, wood storks, osprey,” he said, explaining that the golf club staff guides the tours and shares bits of information. “We’ve had an eagle fly around.”
The course is also home to the island’s famous American crocodile.
“That would be like the big bonus,” Taylor said of spotting it during the tour.
To ensure that the evening adventure is fun for the whole family, the Sanibel Island Golf Club and Malia Island Fusion Cuisine also came up with an Eco-Tour Scavenger Hunt for the children.
“We’ve got a list of creatures that you would see,” he said. “Like black snake, osprey.”
Ages 11 and under can check off the list, then turn it in for a “cool treat” after dinner.
To take part in the Summertime Dining Adventure, make a dinner reservation at the restaurant by calling 239-472-9222 and make sure to note the desire to take part in the eco-tour beforehand. Taylor added that walk-ins cannot be accommodated because both entities need to coordinate in advance.
“The tours usually start at 5:30 and 6 p.m.,” he said.
For questions about the tour, contact the golf shop at 239-472-2626.
Malia Island Fusion Cuisine and the Sanibel Island Golf Club are at 1100 Par View Drive.
FIND WALDO LOCAL
For the fourth year, MacIntosh Books and Paper and two dozen other island businesses have joined together to participate in the annual Find Waldo Local. Waldo, of “Where’s Waldo?” – the children’s book character in a red-and-white-striped shirt and black-rimmed specs – visited all of the venues.
The public can pick up a passport at the book store, which has the names of all the participating businesses, then stop by each to get their passport stamped or signed when they spot Waldo.
At the end of July, people turn in their passports to be entered into a prize drawing.
It serves as a fun summer activity and supports island businesses and the Shop Local movement.
There is no charge to take part.
This year’s other participating businesses include: Bailey’s General Store, Billy’s Bikes at Bailey’s Center, Island Paws, Island Pharmacy, Joey’s Custard, On Island, Pecking Order, RE/MAX of Sanibel, Sanibel Art & Frame, Sanibel Beauty Salon, Sanibel Cafe, Sanibel Captiva Island Rentals, Sanibel Day Spa, Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory, Sanibel Public Library, Sanibel Sprout, SBL Vacations, Sea Glass Lane, Shiny Objects, Three Crafty Ladies, Totally Baked, Toy’s Ahoy, Whim’s and Why Knot.
People can share their finds online using #findwaldolocal #sanibel and #macintoshbooks.
For more information, call 239-472-1447 or visit www.macintoshbooks.com.
MacIntosh Books and Paper is at 2330 Palm Ridge Road, Sanibel.
MORE GOING ON
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is now offering additional presentations at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 16. Held in the AWC Visitor Education Center, the extra topics will include “Virginia Opossums” on Wednesdays, “Sea Turtles” on Thursdays and “Birds of Prey” on Fridays. Each of the presentations will feature one of CROW’s Animal Ambassadors.
“We want to ensure everyone who visits CROW has an opportunity to interact with our staff and meet our ambassadors,” Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey said. “With the increase of summer visitors we have had this year, more presentations were needed.”
Daily presentations allow visitors to engage with a staff member or student while learning more about the patients admitted to CROW’s wildlife hospital. Presentations last approximately 45 minutes and topics cover a variety of Southwest Florida’s native wildlife, such as gopher tortoises, owls and snakes.
CROW also offers “Wildlife Walk” guided hospital tours for an additional cost from Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. The tours require advance registration; the spaces are limited, so sign up early.
In addition, the center will be open on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31. Daily presentations will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with guided tours available after both of them.
The AWC Visitor Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The daily presentations are included with general admission – $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 4-12.
For more information, visit www.CROWClinic.org or call 239-472-3644.
CROW is at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel.
During the month of July, select stores within Periwinkle Place Shops will be open until 8 p.m.
Monday to Saturday enjoy browsing boutiques and galleries in the landscaped shopping oasis located on seven park-like acres. Fresh Produce, Toys Ahoy, Naples Soap Company, Butterfly Beach and Beach Daisy are among the participating retailers. The Blue Giraffe Restaurant will serve until 8 p.m.
For more information, visit www.perwinkleplace.com.
Periwinkle Place Shops is at 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.