Miami Living Magazine

Willa Ford

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Page 88 of 115

TRAVEL FEATURE Get Captivated Captiva Island Awaits Words by Martin Haro Even when far from Miami we couldn't help but wish y'all were with us. Can I move to Captiva, please? Or, at the very least, keep a timeshare on the west coast-of-Florida island that is oh-sooo- Key West-meets- Dawson's Creek (in a way), and like, spend my days enjoying its shell-y beaches, mangrove-y hideouts, and quaint charm? Pleeease. I have lived in Miami for more than 12 years. One of my oldest, dearest pals here always used to mention Sanibel and Captiva to me (Sanibel, which is a.k.a the shelling capital of the world – although Captiva acquits itself beautifully – is a larger island just south of Captiva). Anyway, my friend used to talk my ear off about how I would just love it there…. He knew what he was talking about, but we never did go there. I can't even remember why, but I know that, had we taken the 180-mile drive to the island, I for sure would have fallen for Captiva. Then again, I was younger then and more cynical and ooh-look-som'in'-shiny, and I would've thought that, no, South Beach is better – let's go home. Not that I'm old – or that Captiva is old. But I am older, and a little wiser, and I totally can appreciate the appeal of that little slice of heaven. I mean, when a place can make you feel something, you know it's something special. And Captiva really made me think I could be happy there. I came to think of it as, well…if Hemingway had Key West, I could have Captiva. The sunsets on Captiva are, well...captivating. I know – silly much? But it's such a simple place, and I mean that in the kindest way, and that's what I responded to so viscerally from the second I took it all in, which was immediately. The air, the breeze, the colors, the silence, the smell of the island. It was all pretty gosh darned perf. No wonder The Wall Street Journal named Sanibel and Captiva as among the 10 Best Places for Second Homes in 2010 – just six years after Hurricane Charley banged up the island. Shelling on the island is a world-famous pastime. It's, to put it clearly, quite peaceful and inspiring and reinvigorating – and the mimosas and the so-beyond-delish-I-had- two-in-one-lunch Captiva Sandwich at The Mucky Duck (11546 Andy Rosse Lane) are things I think about rather fondly. Seriously, y'all, that sandwich is It. I mean, it's – get this – focaccia bread brushed with basil butter, layered with melted Monterrey and Swiss cheeses, with a few slices of fresh tomato, yum-yummy prosciutto, and smoked turkey breast, served with kettle-cooked 'tato chips and coleslaw. And at $8.95 it is It, It, It. Plus, nothing beats having a Corona sitting outside the Mucky Duck, surrounded in camaraderie by total strangers as we watched the sun set as some nice music played in the background and we buried our feet in the sand. But I digress. MIAMI LIVING 87

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