A New Year’s Family Get-together at Sanibel Island

Do you want a summer vacation in the winter season? Go to Sanibel Island in Florida. I went with most of my extended family over New Year’s. My family includes my mom, dad, little brothers, uncle and aunt, grandma, and other grandma and grandpa.

There was a divorce in the family, but everyone still gets along with each other (which is cool). It was special that everyone came to Florida to visit everyone else. This is one of the only times in the year that I see all of these people at once. Sanibel is a special place that brings together many families, including mine.

When we got to Sanibel, the first thing I wanted to do was go to Pinocchio’s, one of the best ice cream places in the world. Some of its signature flavors are Dirty Sand Dollar (it’s better than it sounds), Wedding Bells, and Sanibel Crunch. My absolute favorite flavor is Parrot’s Nest. It is vanilla-based with rainbow sprinkles and mini brown M&Ms mixed in. We went to Pinocchio’s almost every day and tried the different flavors. Most of the time, we biked because Florida is so much flatter compared to other places, and we lived only four miles away. Ice cream from Pinocchio’s is definitely one of the best parts of Sanibel.

This New Year’s Eve was the first time I stayed up until midnight! My uncle kept trying to keep me from falling asleep because he could see my eyes slowly slipping down. One thing that we did to make the night special was watch the ball drop in New York. It was cool to see the different performances between the showings of the tower. Taylor Swift, my favorite singer, performed in it along with many others. That New Year’s Eve will be one that I will never forget.

There are many fun things to do in Sanibel. We would usually go for a bike ride in the morning, and in the afternoon we just chilled out by the beach or pool. One fun thing you can bike to is the Ding Darling Nature Preserve. One day, my uncle and I rode up to Captiva for brunch. It was fun to have time with just him. I would go chill out by the pool or beach after a big bike ride.

One of my favorite things we did was go fishing. That day, we got up early to go to Jenson’s Marina in Captiva. Our captain and first mate, Roy and Graham, were really nice and very helpful. Some of the fish we caught were white grunt, mangrove snapper, porgie, and red and black grouper. My seven-year-old brother, Jake, caught the first and largest number of groupers by far even though he was the youngest. After four tiring hours of fishing, we headed back to the dock. As we looked out on the water, we saw a dolphin pop up in the water. It was cool to be that close to a wild dolphin without it noticing us that much. The best part of the fishing trip was getting to eat our most amazingly tasty fish for dinner that night at Wendy and George’s. That fishing trip and dinner will be one that I will remember forever.

Sanibel will always be an excellent place to spent time with my family. Every year when I go down, I understand how important it is to spent time with your family even if they live far away. I’m so excited to see what happens next year in Sanibel because there is a lot that can happen there.

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