Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home from Naples

We had a wonderful, albeit too short vacation last week. Paul's sister and her husband rent a condo in Naples, Florida, for a few months each winter. We were finally able to visit, and they were amazing hosts, showing us all the highlights:

- the Naples pier, where we saw dolphins swimming

- a tour of the Everglades, through mangroves and grasslands, with beautiful birds and a grumpy alligator, followed by lunch at the Everglade City Rod & Gun Club, a funky must-see

- the Baker Museum of Art in Naples, with its Chihuli glass chandeliers and Persian ceiling as well as a special exhibit by Robert Rauschenberg

- a concert by three Irish tenors and the Naples Philharmonic, in the concert hall next to the art museum

- a community band concert featuring a ten year old trumpet prodigy and attracting thousands to the city park

- lunch at the Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach

- a tour of Palm Cottage, built in the 1880's when Naples was wilderness. The gardens were especially interesting because palm trees and flowers were labeled. There was a shady spot that I couldn't photograph just full of various beautiful orchids. It's amazing to see so many flowering plants in winter. - English tea and shopping for Carole and me, while Paul and John went to a baseball game

- several gorgeous sunsets and plenty of beach time. The weather was perfect, and we were happy that daylight lasts a little longer down there. At home it's dark by 5:30 these days, but in Naples, sunset was at about 6:30 each night. Paul chatted with a lady on the beach who has been coming to the area for over 30 years. She was impressed by all we had seen in our week. And there's still more for another time!

On the way to the airport, we stopped for breakfast at Paul's sister Pat's in Bonita Springs. There, we celebrated a little Mardi Gras with some local "characters" who seem to be especially fond of Cabot (Vermont) Cheese!
It was a little tough to come home to 24" of new snow and then more today, but we have pleasant memories and fading tans to keep us going.


Pat from FL and MI said...

You are bringing back memories of some of my favorite haunts. Brrr.......on the homecoming!

karenfae said...

looks like fun! we have not been to Florida in years and yet it is so close to us. One thing I always like looking at there was something called "air plants" plants that grown on other plants - interesting.