Saturday, April 2, 2011

sweet sanibel memories...

blissful perfection...

utter paradise...

complete peace...

i want to go back.....

theses are the phrases that still float lazily through my mind as i close my eyes
and think back to our two-week vacation that we returned from a week ago...
it could not have been better
 and it could not have meant more to us

it was complete perfection all wrapped up in a coconut scented beach towel
still warm from the hot sun

but re-entry into reality once we arrived home was brutal

really brutal

we dragged our tanned toes
and dug in our sand-softened heels
reluctant to let the world back in to the beach life we had
so grown accustomed to and fell in love with

so i cling daily to the sweet memories of our perfect little island getaway...

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

as always ~ it was emotional for me to return to our beloved little island
we always tell each other how it feels like we're going home again
once that ocean breeze washes over our faces through the open windows of the car
as we cross over the causeway

once on the island
we hear 
the rustling of the palm leaves
the waves washing up on shore 
the tinkling of shells as the waves tug them back across the wet sand
the hum of air conditioners
the crunch of flip flops on crushed shell beach paths

we smell 
the saltiness of the ocean
the sweetness of the beach
coconut suntan lotion
flowering jasmine bushes

we feel
close to God

we were blessed to spend 14 days in glorious sunshine
beaming from cloudless azure skies

the temps ranged from the 70s during the evening to 86 during the day
with the famous florida humidity level as low as we've ever experienced it at 30%

talk about heavenly weather....


we shared cups of sweetened java in the morning while reading the local paper
with the ever present ocean calling to us through the porch screens

 our vitamin d therapy sessions lasted from 10 am to 4pm  ~
taking long walks on the beach,
capturing 300+ photos,
meeting new friends from all over the world,
sharing glasses of fatcat♥happydog wine,
happy to kick back with debbie and jim who met us down there mid-vacation ~

we felt truly blessed to just "be" together ~
my sweet hubby and me
with two of our best friends

rog and me

debbie and jim awaiting their first sunset on sanibel

my spot in the sun
what we read:  "sailing faith; the long way home" by our friend, gregg granger - a definite summertime must-read that you can pick up at 

rog catching dinner
jim snoozing in the shade
debbie sharing a moment with God

we spoke of goals,
prayed for our future,
shared invigorating and insightful discussions with deb and jim
about our faith, the rapture, and our relationship with God,
and spent endless hours just sitting and listening to the ocean waves
trying to soak up that beautiful sound into our being
and carry it home in our heart

i was so glad to be able to share it all with debbie ♥
knowing everything that she's been through in the past few months

 we grilled in many evenings instead of spending the big bucks on dinner out -
and with a "chef" for a husband
i certainly wasn't going to complain!

the view couldn't have been any better in a restaurant...

 we did eat out at our favorite restaurant one evening
to celebrate hubby and my birthdays

we all gorged ourselves on
fresh spinach salads, hot wings, bungalow bread, grouper, and crab cakes
and washed it down with margaritas ~
(and jim and debbie surprised us with a birthday key lime pie complete with a candle)

jimmy decided to get a little frisky during dessert.....hmmmm....must have been something in that pie...

the old birthday couple

 evenings were always spent taking the beach path to hang out on the shore,
share a glass of wine,
and wait for the spectacular sunset
that God sent to us each night
filling the sky with his love

our hearts may belong on this old farm ~
but the ocean has stolen our souls...

...and we can hardly wait to return to sanibel's warm embrace next year...

 to share more beach memories with debbie and jim

{ hugs }

p.s.  be sure to check back soon!

heaven's walk first giveaway is on the horizon

and i know you'll love it!



  1. Happy Birthday Laurie! What beautiful photographs and post! Glad you had such a wonderful week!

  2. Wow, you are so pretty! I just had to say that! My hubby and I have been to Sanibel Island also and it is gooooreous, there's nothing like a Florida beach!

  3. Oh, Laurie, welcome back you gorgeous girl! Your trip just sounds like heaven!! Wish I could have been in your suitcase, and i dont blame you for wanting to go back!!! Next year will come all too soon - dont worry!
    Lots of love,
    laura xxx

  4. Thanks you so much for sharing your wonderful trip. It looks like Heaven. I am so glad that Debbie got to join you. Every photo is just awesome and the sunsets are perfect. I have missed you, but it was worth the wait to see that you all had the best time!
    Hugs- Tete

  5. Welcome back Miss Pretty!! What a fantastic post Laurie~ such poetic writing and LOVE seeing all the photos of the beach and you and Debbie~ it looks like you all had an absolutely fabulous trip! I think the ocean is such a wonderful, rejuvenating place~ Glad you had a fantastic time- and Happy Birthday!! Hugs, Courtney

  6. Looks like heaven. i'm so glad you got to go, it sounds like you know how to take in all your blessings. I feel relaxed just reading your post.

  7. What an amazing time you had. Coming home from time spent at the ocean is never easy is it?! Savor those memories!

    Kat :)

  8. Oh Laurie, you are so pretty! Your vacation sounds absolutely wonderful. All your beautiful words and pictures just transported me away and make me want to move, move, move!

    I'm so glad that you're back, I've missed your wonderful, happy spirit :)

    Tricia ♥

  9. Welcome back! Oh your vacation spot looks like heaven!!! Coming back to "real life" is always hard for me after vacation as well, even though I love home.

  10. Oh I missed you, girl! I am so so so happy that Debbie is doing so well..that she and Jim were able to join you for a week. Just looking at the pictures I can see the love and friendship that flows so freely between you...and what a blessing, Laurie..just a pure blessing...but you already know that. We took a few days off and drove to Missouri and would you believe it was warmer in Green Bay,WI than it was in Missouri while we were there?

    I know how hard it is to come home to cold and you probably got hit by the snow too...but welcome home anyway! Have a wonderful Sunday- xxoo Diana

  11. Hi Laurie~ You are so beautiful!;) Loved this post of your lovely vacation~Im so happy for you~ Hugs,Rachel

    French Farmhouse 425

  12. Oh looks like your having a great time together !! wowwwwwww.....great pictures!! you both looking wonderful......!!...have a nice day ...lovelove

  13. What sweet memories you made! That is one gorgeous beach...leaving must of been so hard:(
    Deb looks wonderful~ so happy she and her husband got to join you two...looks like it was just what she needed:)

  14. Happy Belated Birthday!

    So happy you had a wonderful time!
    You all look so rested and relaxed!
    Good company always equals good times!

  15. I have heard the shell picking is wonderful there too.

  16. My family and I spent 14 summer vacations on Sanibel and Captiva. It's one of the most special places in the world to our family.

  17. what a dream vacation, indeed! i spose you are suffering from what i call "beach brain" or post vacation's hard to leave such a gorgeous place and the ocean, oh the's calling to me.....i love that shot of the beautiful heart in the sand!! happy birthday!

  18. I visited Sanibel once back in the early 90's and it's as beautifully breathtaking as I remember. Came back with some of THE best seashells too!

  19. It all sound heavenly!!! Loved your pics too.


  20. Hello my sweet friend! What an amazing time you had! I loved all your photos and the way you described everything was like we were there. :) I am so so happy that you and Debbie got to share some time together, she looks so good! You both are just gorgeous and I am so excited for the summer!! The weather looked heavenly for sure and that view, you can't beat that. :)
    I am so happy that you made such wonderful memories and I know how it feels to have your soul live so close to the water. :)

    Love you dearie!!!

  21. You look so beautiful and relaxed Laurie! I am so glad that you had a lovely holiday and a wonderful birthday! xx

  22. Welcome home, Laurie! It looks like you had the most wonderful, relaxing holiday! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. You and hubby should be on a poster to promote vacationing in Florida! Welcome home. I'm sure your fur babies were very happy to see you!... Donna

  23. Sounds like a wonderful holiday Laurie...welcome home! Your pictures are beautiful! ~Deb~

  24. I don't know what is more beautiful - those lovely sunset photos are the pretty photos of YOU! I am glad to hear you had a nice time away. Those beaches are mezmorizing. I can't wait for our vacation! :)

  25. happy birthday! and so happy you had a wonderful time!

  26. Welcome back, Laurie!! So glad to hear you had such a great time! Happy B-day to you and your hubby! What a wonderful place to celebrate... just gorgeous!! Love the pic of you and Debbie together. She looks like she's doing well. :)
    Hope your week is off to a great start, sweets!

  27. LaUrIeeeeee I've missed you! So so happy you had such a perfect holiday. I know exactly how you feel about being on 'sea's hem'. You look like you belong there...Yes you do! YOU are so so beautiful!!!! Not one wrinkle, perfectly smooth,tan, glowing skin and sparkling blonde hair. You are a light in the world. I am so happy you danced on the beach with God. Don't you just feel so free. I always do. I always take the time to walk down the beach to where noone else is and dance and sing with my beloved Lord. I usually cry too because I feel so close to Him and taken by His love for me. That last photo looks like a magazine. The glistening blue sea is mesmorizing. You must must print it larger and frame it. Love to you dear friend. I do wish we lived on the same coast so that we could meet up with each other. ox

  28. Hello Laurie,
    The pictures you took are so beautiful!!! And to think I only live a hop skip and a jump from there and I never go over there. It is so pretty over there and now with your pictures I NEED to go over there :)
    I am so glad Debbie and Jim met up with you she looks good in the pictures and it sound like the 4 of you had a great time. Thank you so much for sharing your "paradise" pictures with us...they are awesome!!!
    Suzann ~xoxo~

  29. Oh Laurie,
    I can feel the sand between my toes as I read this post. I went to Sanibel years and years ago by chance. I fell in love with it too. I even almost bought a time share there.....of course I had no no problem there:)
    Glad to see Debbie looking so happy!


  30. what a lovely and inspiring post - I really must visit Sanibel some day.

  31. What a beautiful post. I am only sorry I was not there to join in on some of the beautiful weather and great times you had. These photos of you are so amazing. You look so happy and so nice and relaxed and TAN!! So glad you were able to spend the time with Debbie - what a wonderful time you seemed to have. Glad the weather worked out great...the location of your cottage looks awesome. XOXO

  32. I can see why your return to reality was brutal. It looks like the most beautiful holiday.
    Thanks for visiting me.

    Best Carolyn

  33. Laurie, I sit with tears in my eyes from seeing your comment on my blog. I am soooo sorry I missed meeting you and Debbie. I should have written the dates down. We were so busy making preparations for my daughters and their families coming to visit on the Grand's spring break. I thought about you coming several times in the past couple of weeks and meant to look back to find the dates, but I had May in my mind for your vacation. :( I was so looking forward to getting to see you two in person. Is their any possibility you could come back before the year is up, if you could get a good deal on accomodations??? It also brings tears to my eyes because your post puts all of my feelings for this island into words. Even after 5 years, I roll my windows down to breath the air, as we drive across the causeway. A smile just creeps onto my face when we get back to the causeway after going into Ft Myers. It is truly paradise for me. Once again, I am sorry I missed seeing you.

  34. Oh Calgon ~ take me away! Happy Belated!
    Living vicariously through you! :)Maureen

  35. Hey Laurie,

    Hooray! You're home!!

    Well, this looks like absolute paradise. The sand, the sea, the sky.....I'm drooling!!

    I hope you feel thoroughly recharged and blissed certainly sounds as though you are!!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday to you both!!


  36. See, I told you that you are the prettiest woman I know!!!
    I miss our island vacation so much...yet so happy we got to spend time with you and Rog.
    Looking forward to Allegan with you and Michelle!
    Love, love, love ya!

  37. Sooo beautiful!! I did a post a while back about missing Florida. We used to live in Fort Lauderdale. The kids loved to collect sharks teeth in Sanibel.
    Such lovely photos.

  38. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous beaches of Sannibel. My vacation home is in Manasota Beach and I love it there , Just 2 islands up. The recent storm last week sent so many shells into the beach it was a treasure trove. I finally am getting a whole month to spend and loving it. Came home to Jersey on the 5th and going back again on the 14th. I love the beaches of Florida! I still must get to visit Sannibel some day.

  39. You describe the island so beautifully. As I was reading your post, you make me want to just take the day to sit and do nothing on the beach too. It looks so wonderful!.Okay, it is wonderful but I am too obsessed with shelling to just hang ou! LOL I am going to try it this summer...maybe.

  40. There isn't a more beautiful beach than that area you were in. I have been around several spots in FL and to Hawaii twice but, those pristine sand beaches between Sarasota and Sanibel beat them all. Just gorgeous and beautiful photos especially the sunset! Thanks for linking up!

  41. I need one of those... (VACATIONS)! :)

    What a fun post!


  42. wow, from the pics i would say you had a fabulous time. looks relaxing and rejuvenating. happy for you and yours.



  43. Hi Laurie!
    Wow you just look gorgeous woman! Hi, what are you 25??? What's your secret?? :) ha ha...seriously though you are beautiful & so is your love love the pics.....need to go there.....where is it???? Sanibel? What a treat!


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