Archive for Island Inn


Beachcombing on Sanibel Island

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Sanibel Shelling by Pam Rambo shelling

It still amazes me to walk the beach to see miles of seashells lining the coast…

paradise shells on a sanibel beach

Joann from New Jersey remembered her mother used to make jewelry from the shells she collected on Sanibel so wanted to come back to do the same.

Joann collects seashells on Sanibel

Combing the beach back and forth in front of Island Inn Sanibel, she found BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCH, OLIVES, LIGHTNING WHELKS, COQUINAS, CALICO SCALLOPS, APPLE MUREXES  and a sweet colorful NUTMEG.

Joanns sea shells of sanibel island island

Her brother Harry and his wife Joann (easy to remember!) from Tampa were thrilled to find so many shells they remembered as kids.

harry joann collecting shells on sanibel island florida

Sandy McFadin had commented on my iLoveShelling Facebook page last week asking what the shelling was like at Island Inn. Hmmm I hadn’t been in a while so this is for you Sandy! And… Sarah the ShellAnimal had requested another video so I started shooting a video at the Island Inn before the rain came in to chase us all off the beach. While I panned around to the shore, I caught Harry walking towards me then stopping to pick up a shell. Then he called out “Hey, I found four OLIVES!”

four olive shells and a conch

Come beach combing with me and you’ll see why I had to meet Harry and the Joanns. Click on the video…YouTube Preview Image

The evening before this, Clark and I walked this same stretch of beach for sunset where Clark found a perfect FLAT SCALLOP and we had fun watching all of the birds like this beautiful SNOWY EGRET…

sanibel snowy egret bird profile


Black-bellied Plover on Sanibel Island Florida


willet bird on Sanibel Island, Florida

We also loved adding to this shell tree.

island inn sanibel shell tree

I made a wish when I added my shell…

Sanibel shell shrub

It was a perfect way to end a beautiful day…

sunset through a shell tree

wish upon a seashell tree

Wishing upon a shell shrub :)

sunset sea shell tree

With a beautiful beach, shells, sunsets and lively wildlife… it’s the perfect place to gather people who love shelling to join me for a 4 day shellathon during Shellabaloo! It’s coming up soon so don’t miss out for our April 24 event! CLICK HERE for more details. I love to meet new shellers!

shellabaloo 5



Shellebrating Outrageous Shelling Days

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alphabet conus junonias

For 5 days now, the shelling in SouthWest Florida as been has been outrageous! It doesn’t get more outrageous that finding your very first JUNONIA after 20 years of searching… then 2 days later, finding JUNONIA #2! Jill from Miami was livin’ the good life this weekend finding those trophies plus two ALPHABET CONES to boot. Shellzam! Congratshellations, Jill- so happy for you!

Jill Martin 2 alphies 2 junonias sanibel island

But wait.. the outrageousness continued! Wouldn’t you love to find a huge empty HORSE CONCH like this with a bright orange interior?

orange horse conch found sanibel florida

Gail and Alicia not only found that one gorgeous shell, they found 3 more! … Plus a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK too. Over the long weekend, they were out every morning before sunrise and said there were hundreds of live HORSE CONCHS rolling in the surf on the beach near Island Inn but kept on looking to find ones that were empty.

gail alicia find horse conchs whelks sanibel

So I’m sure you can image how happy they were to find those amazing large shells already…. then to find a SEAHORSE too? They found this guy in the afternoon just getting back out on the beach in the high tide wrack line. REally, after all of those trophy shells then a SEAHORSE….Outrageous! Congrats Gail and Alicia!

seahorse found on sanibel beach

I found quite a variety on Island Inn beach as well but nothing compared to what they found of course…

seashells on sanibel after a storm

I met Lea and her daughter Kristi from Omaha picking up the dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH in the high tide wrack line.

mom lea kristi omaha shells sanibel

They asked me how to preserve these awesome SEASTARS so they can put them in shadowboxes when they get home. Honestly, I have never had luck with keeping them in tact because I guess I keep them outside or in my garage too long and the humidity gets to them so they break apart and start stinking -Ack! I’m doing something wrong so I never pick them up anymore- I don’t care how bone dry and perfect they are. But… My friend Moira makes beautiful shadowboxes with them as well as Kim who both live in Chicago- they have no problems so I hope they see this so they can explain in a comment how they get them home without breaking them and keeping them intact for a frame.

One of many Millipede Starfish on the beach today

Fort Myers Beach was rocking with shells too! My friend Debbie’s dad Dennis from Kansas was in town for the holiday and they found lots of treasures…

dennis kansas shells fort myers beach florida

Repeat… they found LOTS of treasures… LOL

shells haul ft myers beach florida

Throughout the holiday weekend, I saw lots of shells at Lighthouse Beach, South Seas, Blind Pass, Island Inn, …. and my last stop for the weekend shelling was Gulfside City Park this morning for low tide. I found such a variety of shells again including a perfect ALPHABET CONE along with the best SHARK’S EYE I’ve found in a while. But my real favorites where violet colored FIGHTING CONCHS which I don’t think I’ve ever found colors in FIGHTING CONCHS like these before. Weird, because I even found another purple one at Island Inn beach the other day. So unusual.

shells found low tide morning sanibel

This morning Karen from Orlando area was happy with her finds too…

Karen Mid florida shelling sanibel

She found a perfect ANGEL WING and a few SAND DOLLARS…

angel wings sand dollars sanibel florida

And these are just a few that were in her bag. Awesome.

shells found sanibel december 2013

There where so many live creatures as well. It’s always fascinating to see these beautiful living animals in their natural habitat like this beautiful live LIGHTNING WHELK. Since this shell was occupied, I dug a hole for him to wait it out until the higher tide came back in so he could scoot along wherever it wished.

whelk sea shell spire on the beach

One more thing….  I have a new online Art Gallery!

Over the years, I have shared many, many photos of my shelling adventures and have learned that…  just as I love to collect a beautiful shell, I love to capture a beautiful moment or my beautiful surrounds with my lens just as much. I never could find the means to offer them as quality, affordable art on canvas, prints, cards and more…. until now! So I started an online Art Gallery for my photographs. It’s just the beginning so I haven’t added all of the photos that you’ve asked for in the past but at least this is a start. I’m heartfelt that you’ve asked for them and I’m proud that now I can offer them. Please stop by, take a browse, say “hi” and if you like one enough to buy it, I would be incredibly honored.



Don’t forget! We have an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa on Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am. We can do some fun shelling together… so Join Us! CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam

seashells sanibel island inn

 I’ve often said that shellers are the nicest people on the planet and after spending five days with the 13 awesome shellers that joined us for Shellabaloo 3, I’m positive that it’s true. It was truly spectacsheller! We shelled the beach at our home base at Island Inn Sanibel

sanibel stoop shellabaloo 3

Angela found “candy”! LOL Yep, she found three sweet baby HORSE CONCHS and her sister Cathy found a huge SHARKS EYE and a beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK that was the most incredible shade of mauve I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, I’ll show you a closer picture of it on my next post…

angela cathy shells shellabaloo 3

Marisa was the BANDED TULIP queen! I think she found about five of them within an hour.

marisa tulip shell shellalbaloo 3

Everybody was finding great shells… Jessica (who helped organize Shellabaloo for the Island Inn) found her first ALPHABET CONE!

jessica alphabet cone shellabaloo 3

We were so fortunate to have choices of shelling the wrack lines or shelling the water line. Fun!

sanibel stoop jim shellabaloo 3

Gregg and Trish and the rest of us had a crazy fun time on our boat ride for a shelling trip to the island of Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises

gregg trish cruise cayo costa shellabaloo 3

Look who joined us on our cruise! Rusty and Donna from Shellabaloo 2! Thank you so much for joining us- so fun to see yall again…

rusty donna boat to cayo costa shelling

Oh gosh, there were so many other people I want to show you that were on the boat too but they deserve a whole other post on their own. I’ll show you more soon.

Once we docked at Cayo Costa State Park marina, we hopped on the island shuttle for a ride to gulf side for our next shelling adventure…

cayo costa shuttle shellabaloo 3

Nancy put on her snorkel gear and found a live SAND DOLLAR within seconds. She put this one back in the water to live a happy life then found several white ones that werent alive. Keepers!

nancy live sand dollar shellabaloo 3

Donnie headed towards the high wrack lines to look for some unusual BEACH BLING. He found something really cool! He found an empty baby turtle nest that probably hatched just a few days before we got there. Just in front of Donnie in the photo, you can see the empty shells surrounding the hole in the sand. There were no stakes around the nest to mark or monitor it for research so I doubt anybody knew it was there. It looks like the babies made so… Hooray!

donnie with turtle egg shells from hatching on beach

He also found SEA BEANS and a few pieces of gorgeous SEA GLASS while walking next to the high wrack line on the beach…

donnie sea beans and seaglass shellabaloo 3 cayo costa

Jennifer found a live ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR in knee deep water. After oohing and ahhing at this fascinating creature, she gently put it back in the water where she found it…

jennifer live arrowhead sand dollar shellabaloo 3 cayo

Annette found one too! I rarely see the ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLARS so it was a treat to see how purple they are when they are still alive.

Annette with live arrowhead sand dollar

Woop! Woop! Marie found a white KEY-HOLE SAND DOLLAR so she got to keep this one…

marie with sand dollar cayo costa shellabaloo 3

We had such a great day finding all sort of shells and BEACH BLING like sand dollars and fossil SHARKS TEETH.

shelling cayo costa shellabaloo 3

A good time was had by all!

lou donny shellabaloo 3 shelling

But hold on, this shelling party was just getting started. We carried our shelling party into the evening as Martha and Marie and our group witnessed a glorious sunset.

martha marie sunset shellabaloo 3

Then we hung out together for cocktails hours…

Pam Rambo with Shellabaloo 3 girls

We were able to share our stories of our day and get to know each other.

shellabaloo 3 party doc fords

We all had so much in common!

shellabaloo 3 blanaid doc fords

We all seem to be kindred spirits.

shellabaloo 3 chris doc fords

Oh and let me tell you, we did not miss any meals. We had fabulous picnic lunches every day that were out of this world and we ate delicious dinners at different restaurants every single night. All of the meals were included in the package!

dinner shellabaloo 3

Even the FroYo party at Zebra Frozen Yogurt was part of the Shellabaloo package. Yummy!!!!

zebra frozen yogurt sanibel shellabaloo 3

I cant even find the words to tell you how much this week has meant to me and that it has been so special to have spent so much quality time together and have gotten to really bonded as a group. Since our 5 days together just ended today, I have lots more photos to sort through but I saved the best for last…  Shell ‘N Tell photos! And I have the results of our Shellabaloo Shellinger Hunt. You wont believe all of the A-Mazing shells this group found and the creative shell displays they put together. So Stay Tuned!

Shellabaloo 3 Doc Fords Sanibel


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