Other than my knees, I don’t feel 60. As long as that bendy part of me cooperates, I feel like I did in my 40s. All in all, pretty good.
We got up early (of course!), and Alan presented me with some sweet birthday cards, then we headed over to Perkins’s (next door to the hotel) for breakfast, with the idea of going over to Sanibel Island and the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge where we were told we should be able to see Spoonbills. Well, Perkin’s wasn’t up to par on getting our breakfast out in a timely manner so I ended up missing an opportunity to photograph the sunrise from the Refuge. Not to fret though because we were rewarded with lots of new bird sightings later on.
We drove the Refuge loop and getting there early was a very good thing. We saw Spoonbills, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Snowy Egrets, Coots, Great (white) Herons, Great Blue Herons, Anhingas, Cormorants, and our first ever sighting of Yellow-Crowned Herons, Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, and even a Reddish Egret, along with White Pelicans, seagulls and a large assortment of shore birds. Wow!
Not a bad start for my birthday. Sometime during the day, my mom called to sing Happy Birthday to me and she tried like hell to rub it in that I was sixty, but I wasn’t phased and just shot back that she was the mother of a sixty-year-old, so there. We laughed and I caught her up on the day we’d had. She seemed non-plussed that’s I’d not done more celebrating, but I assured her that I’d done exactly what I loved doing; spending time with Alan, hiking (a little), and watching and photographing wildlife.
We hung out there for half the day before heading back to see what other owl sightings we could nab, and there were a few more. They are SO cute! For dinner, Alan took me to Monkey Bar Steak & Seafood, a fun local restaurant that we could walk to from the hotel, and we had seafood for dinner. For desert we walked to Perkin’s and picked up a slice of whatever we wanted and took it back to our hotel room to indulged in the decadence. Nice way to end the day.