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A Teen Discovers a Passion for Photography in Fort Myers and Sanibel

A Teen Discovers a Passion for Photography in Fort Myers and Sanibel

Keeping a 15-year-old boy happy on a family vacation isn't always easy. So it made this mom's trip to watch her son come alive through photography in Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida. 

My 10th-grade son, Aden, had never had any hobbies. I've been waiting for him to discover something, know, besides XBox.

But I never thought a short Florida beach vacation would be where it happened. Aden had his camera with him while we took in The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Yet for some reason, I never thought to ask to see his photos until weeks after we got home.

He'd captured seemingly mundane images and made them beautiful and interesting. He noticed things we didn't, and reminded us of small details we'd forgotten (Hi, Bob!). Now, he dreams of becoming a photographer.

Kids never stop surprising us, do they?

First Time in a Kayak

Despite the fact that the Caloosahatchee River was working against him, Aden had no problem exploring in a kayak. His guide urged him on. Thanks, Gary! The area has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Paddling Destinations in North America.

Holiday Water Sports Sanibel Harbour Resort Kayaking

Room With a View

This is what we saw from our room in the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. Well, actually, it's what Aden saw...I try not to think about how he managed to get this shot.

Sanibel Harbour Resort Pool



The scenery from the lounge chair at the resort pool

Sanibel Harbour Resort Pool

Things are Looking Up

The famous Sanibel Lighthouse in the hot sun

Sanibel Lighthouse

After Shelling

After a few hours hanging at the Sanibel Lighthouse Boardwalk & Beach (and collecting a mother lode of shells to take home), Aden snapped his sandy flip flops on the dashboard. Not a picture many would think to take...but it somehow captured the mood.

Sanibel Island and Boardwalk

Worth the Wait

We were early for our excursion on Captiva Cruises, so we walked around the neighborhood. This is the "Lollipop House." We didn't make that up...there's a sign right out front!

Captiva Island Lollipop House

Making Friends

On the way over to Cabbage Key, a pod of dolphins followed our boat. The more the group cheered and clapped, the happier they seemed. I couldn't believe it! Aden leaned over the side of the boat for 20 minutes snapping away, and his patience paid off with this shot.

Captiva Cruises Dolphins

Cheeseburger in Paradise

At the Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant, where Jimmy Buffet penned his hit "Cheeseburger in Paradise," just about every visitor leaves a signed dollar bill behind. It's a tradition started years ago by a local fisherman. Celebrities like Julia Roberts, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kevin Costner have left their marks behind. Aden's contribution is the one facing the camera on the left. I suspect he snapped this standing on a chair when I went to restroom. Again, I try not think about it....

Cabbage key Inn and Restaurant

Patiently Waiting

After we disembarked, a Great Blue Heron stood quietly observing the action at the dock.

Great Blue Heron Florida Captiva

Fruit of the Vine

A Banana tree right on the resort property. I'd never seen a banana tree. I'm not sure what I expected, but this wasn't it.

Banana Tree Sanibel Harbour Resort

Bon Voyage, Bob!

A friendly, fluffy cat greeted us Every. Single. Time. we went to or from our car. Aden promptly named him Bob, and lobbied to bring him home. Needless to say, he remained. The front desk staff told us he's more or less the resort mascot.

Cat Sanibel Harbour Resort


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Christina Vercelletto


 Christina Vercelletto is a former editor at NYMetroParents, ParentingScholastic Parent & Child, and Woman’s Day. She lives on Long Island with her kids, a chiweenie, Pickles, and a 20-pound calico, Chub-Chub.

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