Captiva Florida Gulf of Mexico
Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, Investment Advisory, and Value Investing

After we visited The World of Coke at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, we traveled another 600 miles to Captiva, an island off the coast of Florida where we’ll be staying for the rest of the week.  Our friends Karen and Blake got married – you met them years ago when we had dinner at The California Grill at Walt Disney World; we’ve known Karen since we met as freshman in college 14 years ago – and they rented this amazing gated estate called Otter Banks sitting right on the water.

[mainbodyad]This place is so cool.  It sleeps 20 people between the main house and the guest house, has a heated pool, a fantastic fully-equipped kitchen, wrap-around porches, and is within walking access to the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, back home our family is trapped in a winter blizzard warning.  It’s an exact reversal from last February.  The warm weather, combined with the lack of state income tax, is incredibly tempting to both of us.  I kind of like the idea of having my coffee, strawberries, and bananas for breakfast sitting on my deck overlooking palm trees and flower bushes.

Guest House Captiva Florida

Once you enter the gate, you go around a circle drive to find the guest house at Otter Banks, which I think someone told me was the original house years ago when this place was built, though I could have misheard.  What looks like a driveway to the left goes to the main house.

Turning Around Toward Gate Otter Banks

Let’s turn around and look back behind us … but first, this cool tree to the side deserves some appreciation.

Otter Banks Gate Behind Us

… alright, fully swung around, there is the gate in the distance and through it, the main street.  Time to turn around, again …

Main House Captiva Florida

Back in front of us, that is the main house in the distance … we’re walking, we’re walking …

Heated Pool Otter Banks Captiva Florida

… and, stop.  To the right is a heated pool.

Flowers on Grounds of Captiva Florida Estate

There are all these beautiful flowers on the grounds if you walk around and look for them …

Flowers at Otter Banks Estate Captiva

… more flowers on the Otter Banks estate …

Looking Back at Grounds Otter Banks Captiva Island

… I love landscaping.  You know this.  I’ll keep repeating it.

Main House Captiva Island Otter Banks Estate

A closeup shot of the main house before we walk around it …

Walking Around the Side Otter Banks Captiva Island Florida

If you pop around the side of the property, you get to the boat dock in the rear …

Back of the Main House Water Dock Captiva Florida

This is such a cool feature.  You load your boat right there so you can just jump out onto the water whenever you want.

View From Screened Deck 1 Captiva Otter Banks

Upstairs, on the second level, is a screened deck that is huge (this is one small picture I had of a corner of it).

View from Screened Deck 2 Otter Bank Captiva

From the screened deck, if you look to the left, you can see the grilling deck.

In the main house itself, here is my favorite part …

Kitchen Aid Natural Gas Stove Captiva Island

The stove was a beast!

Glorious Stove Otter Banks

Behold its technological glory!  This was fun to use when we cooked.  It got really hot, really fast, and required close attention.

Windows Everywhere Otter Banks House Captiva

The entryway was nothing but windows.  The whole house was, for the most part.  It was really beautiful in the mornings.

Great Room Otter Banks House Captiva Florida

The great room was fantastic because you could easily, between it and the deck out back (which you’ve already seen) have 30+ people hanging out if they were all over for dinner or something.  I get the appeal of this water-and-outdoor lifestyle.

Now, let’s go check out the beach!

Back at the Gate to go to Captiva Beach

Alright, back to the gate! We need to go through to the street …

Checking Out Traffic Before Walking Down Street

… checking out the traffic. We need to walk several gates down the road to the left, then cross the street.

Walking Down the Street Toward the Beach Captiva

Walking down the street … so well done.  This makes me incredibly happy.  I feel like there should be landscaping awards.  Is that a thing?  It should be a thing.

Another Gate We Liked on Captiva Island

How about a front shot?  I know some of you will appreciate this as much as we do.  Alright, keep going … walking, walking …

The Gate Landscaping on Captiva Island

Oh, yes.  That’s what I’m talking about.  This is my style right here.  Oh man.  Alright …. right to the right of this house we find our beach access.

Beach Access Otter Banks Captiva

We’re there! Or, almost there! This is the beach access. You have to walk down this path, through the woods, to get to the water …

Captiva Island Private Beach Access

… and it keeps going.  For quite awhile.  Being from the Midwest, I was paranoid about snakes and alligators, which apparently aren’t even around these parts in any meaningful sense.  But you can never be too careful, right?  I mean … we’re not that far from Naples, which is dealing with an invasive rock python problem.  This news story uses words such as, “top predator”, “really big”, “incredibly fast”, “very, very strong”.  Hyperbole or not, I would prefer not to see one unless I were carrying a loaded Holland & Holland.  Yeah, yeah, I know … little threat.  Just avoid them.  It’s hard to stop that internal voice, though, that screams, “Kill it with fire!”  Millions of years of evolution and all that.

Emerging Onto Beach Captiva

Keep following the path and, eventually, you emerge with the beach in the distance!  There are sweeping views.  It’s sand and water in all directions.

Beach In all Directions Captiva

We happened to arrive when everyone else was gone.  We were on the beach, completely alone. It was surreal.

You know what? A picture doesn’t quite capture the expansiveness of it. Neither does video, but this should give you a better idea …

Captiva Florida Gulf of Mexico

The sunset was beautiful over the water.

(Note: By the time I post this, we’ll likely be on our way back home but I’ll backdate it so it is close to chronologically accurate.  I’m not posting pictures by day – Aaron and I visited Naples and some of the other local communities, worked on the deck, poked around the island, had Dairy Queen, and generally just enjoyed ourselves.  Hence the lack of updates, which is different from the usual routine.)

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