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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Too Much Shellfish?

~Sunday, February 28, 2021~

Day 259

We got a call from Larry this morning (the Larry we visited last night, not the Larry we’re staying with), wanting to know if we had a reaction from the bugs or no-see-ums that caused our visit to prematurely end last night. Evidently, Larry had a severe reaction to what he thought were bug bites, to the point of nearly making a trip to the hospital. We had just the normal itches, but it did dawn on me that maybe his was a food allergy. During our visit last night, I noticed Larry had eaten quite a bit of shrimp before telling us about his allergy to iodine, as I do too. The reaction doesn’t necessarily come at the moment of eating shellfish, but can have an accumulated affect, over time, where you can eat shellfish over a period of time, then later have a severe reaction. Interesting how we have a similar diagnosis. Anyway, Larry had revealed that he had eaten more than his fair share of shellfish over the last 10 years, with no adverse effects. Since we were exchanging our stories of how we discovered we had an iodine allergy, he mentioned that he had eaten quite a bit lately, with no reaction, so thought he was good. I’m no doctor, but it seems to me with his symptoms, he had a reaction to the shellfish. His lips were swollen, he was itching with what appeared to be bites all over his body which I think were instead, hives. It just doesn’t seem you would get swollen lips from bug bites and he’s been bitten by the same bugs before. A little rubbing alcohol on the wounds and 2 Benadryl later, he was finally off to sleep. Poor thing. Looks like it’s time to find an alternative fish.

It appears to be another beautiful day in Florida, so we took Larry’s suggestion to check out Sanibel Island. We were really torn whether to bring Sadie or not since the best way to tour the island is by bike. But we really wanted to bring her to the beach so decided to have her join us.

Sanibel Island is a sub-tropical barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, known for its shell beaches and wildlife sanctuaries. As you drive over the Sanibel Causeway with the Sanibel Lighthouse in the distance, you know you’re being transported into quite a lap of luxury. The homes look stunning, many waterfront, with some of the bluest water I’ve seen. Our first stop was the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

After our quick midday snack of crackers/cheese and nuts, we took the 4-mile Indigo Trail. We don’t like to write anything negative but let’s just say this hike wouldn’t even make it in our top 100. To put it bluntly, we can walk on a gravel trail anywhere, and frankly we’re surprised that they find it necessary to charge a fee to walk or bike it (even though it was only $2). The beginning is somewhat enchanting with a small boardwalk leading to an overlook where you get your first and only glimpse of birdlife and the 1 resting alligator. We continued on the trail hoping that it would reveal something along the way, worth seeing. It was just gravel, mangroves and low lying palms, until you’re out of real estate. The gravel just stops right before mile marker “2”. Since that had us feeling a little unenthused, we decided not to pay the $10 fee to tour the Wildlife Drive (also 4 miles). Hopefully we won’t regret that decision. Instead we drove to Bowman’s Beach. Though not as crowded as some of the other beaches, this beach is known for its predominance of shells and beautiful sand. It’s about a 5-minute walk from the metered parking area where Jeff began to check things out. Since there really wasn’t the festive mood we were looking for, we chose to see this beach another time and head for one of our favorites….Fort Myers Beach.

Busy as ever, with a long slow trip over the Matanzas Pass, it was so worth that and the $20 parking fee to get our, essentially, $20 sunset. We stopped at our dog friendly bar at Mango-Rita for a mango-rita while enjoying the festive atmosphere. Then it was time to head out to the beach for a sunset walk and some water time with Sadie.

Such a great way to cap off our stay in this part of Florida. As we drove home, we had the most amazing moon rise 🌕 after our amazing sunset 🌅 and a nice Facetime session with Shane. Got to really enjoy those moments with our loved ones since they are sooooo missed by us.

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