My favorite part of meeting other shellers is to see what makes them happiest. Interestingly enough, I heard almost everybody from Shellabaloo 4 say it was finally so nice to meet other people that feel the same way about beach combing as they do. There are other folks out there that don’t think we are crazy for wanting to shell all day!
On our final night, Kris made a beautiful display for our Shell ‘N Tell and pizza party in the newly remodeled Florida Room in Kimball Lodge at Island Inn– it’s perfect for parties and games. And I love games! So we played a game throughout our shelling adventure. I made up a scavenger “Shellinger Hunt” game that gave points for different shells and beach bling finds to display for our party night. So much fun! You can see Kris showed some of her answers as… 3 sets of THE SANIBEL SIX, a FOSSIL, 10 JINGLES in any BIVALVE and 2 pieces of BEACH BLING. Hmmmmm…. she found some interesting BEACH BLING, huh? A pipe? LOL
(Oh, and her hand in the first photo has a “wedding shell cone”- I don’t think thats a FLORIDA CONE)
This is another beautiful shell display by Nancy for our Shell ‘N Tell night….
Some folks may have been disappointed to come to Southwest Florida to wear coats and long pants earlier this week… but not shellers! Shellers know that, almost always, cold north winds bring in lots of sea shells. So when a group of shellers like the wonderful folks at Shellabaloo get together… cold weather gets us excited!
We get excited because we find shells like OLIVES, SHARKS EYES, GAUDY NATICAS, WHELKS, TULIPS, MUREXES, BUTTERCUPS and so many other shells…
A little cold weather in Florida would never have made Bette and Rick disappointed when you can stand a beach filled with shells.
There were so many miniature shells to be found too…
Suzanne found all of these mini shells by sifting through the shell piles right in front of Island Inn.
Conne was so excited to find a SAND DOLLAR since I think that was on her bucket list… I mean shell bucket list. heehee
I think everybody found a SAND DOLLAR or two. These were some of Ricks finds…
Angela (who I’m now calling “Anshella”) was thrilled to show us her favorite finds for our Shell ‘N Tell and pizza party…
Between “Good Will Shelling” (Will) and his wife Sarah The ShellAnimal, they found such interesting shells and bling. He found MERMAID PURSES (SKATE EGG CASES), a huuuge old FOSSIL shell (bottom right), and a “wedding shell” Ive never seen before. I told him that shell (top left between the SUNRAY VENUS) was a foreign shell that was probably bought for decoration for a wedding or party on the beach. I told him to take to to the Shell Museum to ask what it was and Dr Jose Leal verified that is was a TORPEDO shell probably from Indopacific area. They were still excited to find it!
Super Sheller Clark couldnt be with us each day for shelling (that “work” thing gets in the way)but he still wanted to participated in the Shell ‘N Tell so he brought some of our favorite finds over the last couple of years…
Clark helped me add up the points for each of the shells entered in the game so we could give the winner of the Shellinger Hunt this gorgeous STARFISH REEF necklace donated from Sealife by Congress. Thank you Sealife By Congress for supporting our Shellabaloo!
Drum roll Please! ……. The winner of the Shellinger Hunt was…. Sarah The ShellAnimal!!!! LOL She found 2 big WHELKS, a CARRIER SHELL, CONES, PAPER FIGS, 4 BABYS EARS, WENTLETRAPS and more. Congratshellations Sarah!
She had so many shells spread out, I didn’t even get a decent photo of them. But… I did get a photo of her prize shell. Her ROCK SHELL. We just don’t find these every day so I asked her to show Jose Leal at the Shell Museum too. Dr Leal verified that this shell is more rare (on Sanibel -where she found it) than the JUNONIA. Shellzam Sarah!
We had such a fabshellous time getting to know each other while shelling the beaches, sharing meals, exchanging stories and laughing with joy. I can’t put it any better than what Sarah said…. “I have to say this was one of the best times of my life! William surprised me with it for my birthday, and it was epic! These memories and friends I made will last forever!!”
When we have dates for Shellabaloo 5, you will be the first to know!
Our shelling adventure this week was absolutely SHELLTABULOUS! It may have been unseasonably chilly but we found lots of shells, shells, shells conveniently right in front of our hotel Island Inn Resort… our exshellent hosts for Shellabaloo 4.
We had great times getting to know each other during our yummy meals together by taking turns telling our other Shellabalooers about ourselves, our shelling stories and what shells are on our bucket list. Shellers are such interesting people!! We had an Olympic athlete, a winery owner, a nurse, an engineer and a bakery owner just to name a few of these amazing folks.
Then we shelled, shelled, shelled together while this cold weather brought piles of shells to the shore for us.
We had the pleasure of getting a behind the scenes tour of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum by none other than the museum’s curator Dr. Jose Leal.
Not one person in our group wanted to miss this event. His talk was so impressive!
Then we shelled, shelled, shelled again. Nancy found a nice shell pile to finally do that awesome sit ‘n sift.
Here is Nancy (on the right) with our beautiful hostess who organized this wonderful event at the Island Inn… Blanaid. Thank you so much, Shelling Sistah!
Thank you so much, Shelling Sistah Blanaid for putting together delicious overstuffed sandwiches, fruit, chips, salad and desert for our lunches. We worked up such an appetite each morning finding shells! Here are Rick, Bette, Angela and Conne enjoying good food and good company…
Then we hit the beach again for more shelling, shelling, shelling…
This had to be the biggest 5 minutes of the whole week for Sarah The Shellanimal. Yes, this chick is an animal at shelling! She has such a keen eye for shells, she found all 3 of these shells within 5 minutes at Blind Pass Sanibel. She knew immediately that the shell on the left was unusual. Yes it is! That’s a beautifully perfect Rock Shell! We’ve only found a few over the years so I would call that a rare find. Congratshellations, Sarah The Shellanimal! LOL
This is Sarah and her husband Will (Kentucky) all cleaned up for dinner one night. Such fun peeps.
Will found a little honey hole with MUREXES, WHELKS and even a CARRIER SHELL at Lighthouse Beach digging around those concrete blocks.
He made all of our other shellers VERY happy since he isn’t much of a collector in the miniature shells “department” so he scooped up buckets of shells over and over to let everybody sift through to find WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS, DRILLS and so many other little cuties. How about this… his new nick name is Good Will Shelling. :)
The shelling, shelling, shelling continued for Linda (Land O Lakes, Florida) on top of shell mountain. A fresh new pile!
This is Linda with her sweetie Jerry… who by the way has a very keen shelling eye too. (I’ve got his shell photos coming soon!)
There were quite a few STARFISH like the MILLEPEDE SEA STAR that washed up on the beach with the shells. Ron found this one and realized it was still alive so he gently returned it to the Gulf Of Mexico. Cool!
Here is Ron and his lovely bride Cheryl who traveled from Maryland to be with us on the shelling hunt.
Sweet Suzanne loooooves the mini shells so she was happy to find several nice “mini” shell lines on our trip to Cayo Costa (more pics soon from our Captiva Cruise boat trip!)
This is Suzanne and her husband Bill who traveled from Iowa to shell with us…
I introduced Kris, Kristin and Cheryl in my last post but you will see more photos of our cruise to Cayo Costa and of course …. our Shell ‘n Tell!
But… before then, I’d like for you to join us just for a few minutes. I took a short video of those shells washing up on the beach while we were sifting. Enjoy!
Just a little update…. we are having a bbblaaaast at Shellabaloo 4! We have a wonderful wrack line of shells right at our doorstep at Island Inn Resort where we found LIGHTNING WHELKS like Kris from Michigan found….
Sarah from Kentucky found another nice size Lightning Whelk…
And… we’ve been finding all sorts of fabshellous shells! Bette from North Carolina filled up her miniature shell jar and now can add other great shells including part of a JUNONIA to the mix…
Just like the rest of the country, yes, it’s even been cold in Sanibel. But we will take morning high 40s- low 50s rather than the below zero temps that some of our Shellabalooers just came from. Cold weather brings in the shells… so we are very happy! As you can see we are all bundled up like Ron and Cheryl from Maryland…
We are gathering in the evenings to learn about each other and to share our shelling stories together. Here is Kris, Nancy (Boston), Angela (our first return Shellabalooer! She was from our Shellabaloo 3 in August!) and Conne (Wintergarden, Florida). This is a wonderful group!
It’s so cool to have another mother and daughter shellers! Here is Cheryl and Kristin from St Louis
Here is a selfie with Bette and Rick to wish y’all well and wish you were here and we can’t wait to show you all of the shells we are finding. As Kris from Michigan has put it… this should be named ShellaBootCamp since we are shelling all day long even in the cold. But as each of us here have agreed, we wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll introduce to you all of the other shellers on my next post. Oh and…. Shellers rock!!!!
Shellabaloo 4 – January 6-9, 2014
If you are a sheller, you’ve probably heard how much fun we have on our Shellabaloo shelling adventures hosted at Island Inn Sanibel. I will be with you on the best shelling beaches in the area to show you how to find the awesome seashells Sanibel is famous for. So don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of one of these spectasheller events to find shells like this…
And bond with other crazy shellers like this…
Once again, the fabulous beachfront Island Inn Sanibel has put together a shelling vacation package of a lifetime so we can shell together and get to know each other in real live person. It will be soooo exciting to meet y’all!
Island Inn has been the perfect setting for us since it has kept the unique feel of “old Florida charm” with a rich history of seashells. This was where the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was first started. So this all starts at our home base at Island Inn with awesome accommodations right on their private beach.
This time we’ll kick off this adventure with a Shellabaloo Shelloha Beach Party!
From there we will enjoy dinners…
Island hopping by boat…
We’ll learn a little something together at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum…
Enjoy lunch (while we talk about our shell finds from the morning!)…
And of course… shell!
But the most important thing is… I do hope that we get to shell together to make our shelling connections even stronger. So Join us! Here are some details that Island Inn has graciously put together for us…
Call 800-851-5088 today and reserve your spot for this awesome exshellaganza by booking a room for 2 or 3…
… or a cottage that sleeps 6 to 8!
For more detailed information and itinerary CLICK HERE.
Thank you Island Inn for organizing these events. This is going to be a shell of a good time for all of us! So join in on the fun January 6 – 9, 2014 by calling Island Inn for accommodations pricing and any details and they can answer any of your questions at 800-851-5088. Don’t miss out on the shelladventure of a lifetime!
FYI- Remember, This sold out in 36 hours for the January event last year event so don’t wait since there are only 25 spots available. Hope to see you soon!