Dad and I met our contacts John and Kathy Kennedy at The Lighthouse Café for breakfast and then the Sanibel Island Light where the press were awaiting. Several TV news stations and local papers were there to learn about Climb For The Cure. From what I was told, the interviews were seen on the local news that evening on the 4pm and 5pm hours. The climb was a simple one. It was just Dad, me and my two favorite Coast Guards (Eric Smith and Erick Toval).
The Sanibel Island Light was recently taken over by the city of Sanibel in which the city requires a waiver to be signed and notarized before a climb is to occur. You can assume that this light is not open to the public….I was fortunate that I was approved by the city and the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyway, the view was beautiful and I am happy to report there was NO OIL in sight. It seems there is a misconception amongst many that the oil spill has reached the west coast of Florida. This is simply not true as you can see from the posted photographs. Next, we made detours at the City of Sanibel offices, and the Sanibel Historical Society and Museum. We finished our time in Sanibel with lunch at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille. I spent most of my lunch signing autographs for locals and mingling with staff. The owner, Marty Harrity, was so sweet as he sponsored Climb For The Cure for $500 and wished me luck on my journey. By the time I boxed up my lunch, I was 30 minutes late to Boca Grande, but Climb For The Cure was $600 richer! YAY!
Sanibel fun fact…..there are no fast food restaurants, or big businesses (Target, Walmart etc) on the island except for a single Dairy Queen!
Being late was not an option as it was too difficult to leave the people of Sanibel! They were so sweet and supportive of my cause. 2 hours later, I was happy to find my contact Sharon McKenzie, my coast guard guys, media, and locals waiting for my arrival at Boca Grande. One family actually saw that I was coming to the light, ran home to get their camera, and came back to meet me :) Isn’t that nice! Ft Myers rocks! Sharon (and her daughter Alex) gave us a complete VIP tour of Boca Grande including visits to both Boca Grande Lighthouse, Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, and a golf cart tour of the island. Last leg of the day was dinner at PJ’s Seagrille.
Dad and I enjoyed the best dinner we have ever had. Just imagine Tomato Basil Crab Bisque, Shrimp Pad Thai, Bread with coconut and pineapple, and Tuxedo Bomb dessert (dark chocolate filled with milk and dark chocolate mousse!) I highly recommend it to anyone traveling in the area.
Boca Grande fun fact….there is nearly no crime despite the occasional spring break incident due to out of towners. The middle and high schools are located off the island.
After dinner, we traveled north to St Petersburg Florida. We checked into our hotel around 11:30pm. Just enough time to catch a few Z’s before arriving at the local radio station before the 7am hour!