Today is National Margarita Day!
Since it is reportedly the most commonly ordered drink in the U.S., accounting for 18% of all mixed drink sales (runner up is the martini), we thought that we would throw a shout-out to the frozen concoction that helps many hang on.
No-one knows who invented the margarita, but as with most things, it’s likely that it involved a beautiful woman. Many think that the first margarita was made by a Mexican restaurant owner in 1938 for a gorgeous Ziegfeld showgirl who was allergic to all forms of alcohol except tequila, but she didn’t like to drink tequila straight. The restaurateur supposedly solved the problem by adding salt and lime, and hence created the world’s first margarita.
Nowadays, you can order margaritas in every conceivable flavor, from pomegranate, strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple to cucumber mint, green tea and chocolate. Specialists behind the bar have also gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail.
Next time you visit Sanibel, decide for yourself who makes the best Margarita on the island! For a good place to start, we suggest heading to Cip’s, Doc Ford’s or Cantina Captiva. Or try lounging outdoors at Coconuts, right next door to Ocean’s Reach on the beach, where — as the song goes — there’s always booze in the blender!
One of the reasons we look forward to this time of year is having longtime guest Bob P. from Plymouth, MN back to delight beachgoers with his kite flying finesse.
It’s wonderful to see all of the vibrant colors sailing against the backdrop of a crystal blue sky. As always, Bob, thanks so much for the treat!
“A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.
A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.
A kite is the last poem you’ve written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.”
― Leonard Cohen, The Spice Box of Earth
The Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner is coming!! The annual fundraising event will be held this year on Saturday, February 24 at the Sanibel Community House.
For $10 per person (kids under 10 are free), attendees get an all-you-can-eat pasta feast, with salad, spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread, and wine or soda. After dinner, guests continue on to the not-to-be-missed raffle give-aways and silent auction, all while enjoying the biggest “community block party” on the island.
The Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner has been the source of many colorful stories over the years (just ask Andy). There are wild rumors about what goes into the meatballs and “special sauce,” although for the record, raccoon has never been an ingredient.
One true story, not well known, involves the origins of the outdoor kitchen used to cook the pasta and sauce, which was first put together in the early 1980s. Kiwanian Curt Reinhardt, who worked for the City of Sanibel Public Works Department, knew that a large propane tank and cooking implements had been removed from the old Algiers steamboat when it was dismantled, and that the parts were stored at Public Works. He also knew the city had no use for the propane tank and stoves, so it was arranged for Kiwanis to “requisition” those items. That equipment, along with an old boat trailer frame from another Kiwanis member, became the original Kiwanis portable outdoor kitchen and served for 30-plus years. A few years ago, a shiny new trailer replaced the old original trailer, but the spirit of the Algiers lives on as Kiwanians set up their outdoor kitchen each February for the spaghetti dinner.
Thanks to Tom Sharbaugh and our friends at the Island Sun for the info. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for the Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner, you can grab some from Andy!
P.S. Tickets will also be available at the door. The Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.
Have you ever wondered how SCCF’s researchers study seagrasses, diamondhead terrapins and sea turtles? How do you track eastern indigo snake populations across different islands in Pine Island Sound? How do you measure water quality and use the raw data to tell a story? What can tracking the movements of green sea turtles tell us about them? How do you restore an oyster reef, and why do it?
Meet the scientists and staffers at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation who are always happy to answer your questions and talk more about how guidance from SCCF helps in the continued success of managing our island wildlife and environment.
Better yet, if you’re on the island today, head over to their Open House at the Nature Center from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., where you can join in the fun with games, activities and refreshments!
The Nature Sounds Contest begins at 11:45 a.m. with categories for the young at heart; age 4 and younger; and three school age groups. A special category for groups and families will be added this year, and there will be prizes for everyone. At 1 p.m., there will be a special presentation on SCCF’S RECON (River, Estuary and Coastal Observing Network) water sensors and weather stations, where you can learn how the sensors work and how the information they provide is used by scientists all over Florida. Lastly, there will be a number of exhibits to enjoy, and of course, the wonderful nature trails to hike in SCCF’s 240-acre Nature Center Preserve.
We ran across this groundbreaking study from Florida Atlantic University which documents multiple paternity in loggerhead sea turtle nests in Southwest Florida. What started out as a study on female sea turtle promiscuity is proving to be very good news for this female-biased species facing risks of extinction due to climate change.
To read about the fascinating findings published in Science Daily, click here.
This weekend, Centennial Park will be transformed into a craft lovers dream with 100 exhibitors displaying their hand-crafts along the historic riverfront in downtown Fort Myers.
The annual Crafts on the River is a non-juried event open to local and national artisans and crafters. The event delights in old, new and unique items that come from all over the world. Original designs are displayed by nearly 100 artists in an informal atmosphere that encourages visitors to talk with the artists about their work and, in some cases, see them in action. A large variety of mediums include drawings, paintings, graphics, sculpture, crafts, jewelry, photography and edible art will be featured. The event runs 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday.
This photo was sent to us from longtime guest Scott N. from Indianapolis, IN.
“An Indianapolis camera store, which has been in business 60 years, hosts a gallery night once a year. As a part of that, they ask people to submit images for consideration to be on display that evening. I submitted this image to them, and they chose the image to be on display in their gallery for two months last fall. This is a Great Egret which I saw last April at Ding Darling.”
Long-legged Great Egrets wade in shallow water (both fresh and salt) to hunt fish, frogs, and other small aquatic animals. They typically stand still and watch for unsuspecting prey to pass by. Then, with startling speed, the egrets strike with a jab of their long, S-curved neck and daggerlike bill.
For a great video of the Great Egret from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, click here!
One of our favorite spots at Ocean’s Reach is The Grove, where guests are invited to hold family gatherings, social events and cookouts amid our beautiful outdoor space.
Popular for its comfortable dining and grilling area, The Grove is also a perfect escape for guests who just want to sit back and relax in the shade, read a book, or simply observe nature.
Guest Anne C. from Mahwah, NJ, shared these photos which we think capture the essence of The Grove perfectly. Thanks so much, Anne!
Our resident Osprey are back! And they’re starting to act like lovebirds again, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Guests on our latest “Nesters & Resters” Morning Beach Walk with owner and birding expert Walt McNairy were able to catch a sneak peek of the couple last week.
We’re hoping that the female will be sitting on eggs any day now. We’ll keep you posted!
P.S.: Walt’s next beach walk is tomorrow, Thurs, Feb 15th. Meet in The Grove at 9 a.m. and join us for an enjoyable and educational walk along the beautiful shores of Ocean’s Reach!