Disclaimer: I got the above photo online, repeat, I did not take this particular photo of Naples Florida.
How was your Holiday weekend? Hope you got to have some fun! We managed to do a little bit of everything. We relaxed, ran errands, got housey stuff done AND had an adventure! Woohoo!
Monday - the actual holiday - for absolutely no reason in particular we drove down to Naples Florida which is illustrated in the photo at the top of the page which, again, I found online. I was looking for something to exemplify the City of Naples. I think this photo pretty much does it.
When we first moved to Florida, more than 7 years ago now, we made it a point to explore our new state, and that year one of the many places we visited was Naples. But that was quite some time ago and it was time for a revisit. If you are unfamiliar, Naples is quite a monied town and it shows well. Everything about it is pretty, a little more, a little special, a little extra. Not in an ostentatious way (well not usually) but in a subtle quiet way where you exclaim over what a beautiful town it is, but you maybe cannot quite put your finger on the why of it.
When I say it's a pretty town, I seriously mean that. Even the most pedestrian, utilitarian things look nice. It 's hard to describe.
I mean the beaches are beautiful of course, but then, most beaches are. It's a very simple formula: sand + water. But somehow Naples is exceptionally beautiful. By the time we got around to looking at the beach, the sky was starting to cloud up and honestly, we couldn't find any public parking. It seemed to all be residents only and requiring some sort of sticker. So I only snuck one quick photo and it doesn't really show anything special:
And then there are the houses. Not every house of course, but a shocking number of houses there look more like palaces, or museums, or perhaps federal buildings, maybe fancy hotels. Because we were driving, not walking, down the street and I was too busy goggling to think to take pictures! Therefore, I only managed to snap one quick through the front window across poor Tim as he was driving but here you go:
And then there is the downtown. It is an absolutely charming area stuffed full of shops and restaurants and all of it looks more like a movie set than a real downtown. Again, too busy looking to take more than one photo, sorry. Actually looks a bit like Downtown Venice come to think of it. Just there is more of it.
We happened to notice one 'For Sale' sign in front of a relatively normal sized house so, what the heck, we looked it up. Google is a wonderful thing. I read it to Tim and we laughed and laughed. It was a normal sized house, 3 beds, 2 baths, around 2000 sq feet on a nice lot a few blocks from the beach and a few blocks from downtown, which is similar in both size and situation to our own house. But this one, it said right in the listing, was ravaged by Hurricane Ian last year and has been empty ever since, meaning it is a tear-down and not a liveable abode. The asking price? Get ready to laugh 'coz we did. Over six million dollars! LOLOLOL Too funny.
We did stop at the Gordon River Greenway Park which has beautiful trails. Some parks were paved, some were on a raised wooden boardwalk through a swampy area and some just dirt trails and we wandered a bit. One trail takes you to the Naples Zoo! Another to the Kayak Launch, yet another to a bridge that goes....somewhere.... It was very nice, not crowded and I did take a couple of photos:
Out of curiosity, I looked up Naples on the phone and entertained Tim and I for part of the 90 minute drive home, reading about it. I was specifically looking for some historical facts before moving on to demographic information and so forth but in keying the word "history' into the search, the first thing that came up was the weather history of Naples. Interesting.
As it turns out, there have been 69 (!!) hurricanes in Naples Florida in 1930. 1930 was 93 years ago and it seems that Naples averages a hurricane in less than every two years. That seems excessive to me. Additionally, as I read on, we learned that Naples is listed as being at Extreme Risk of flooding. Yikes! No Thank you!
We did learn that Naples was founded by a confederate General, a congressman from Kentucky and a newspaper man also from Kentucky in 1886. Also found out that much of Naples was created from dredging, bulldozing and filling in which would probably explain the high risk of flooding. oops.
To it's credit, Naples has a lot of wildlife sanctuaries, parks, preserves and parks. I mean a LOT. And that is all good. And, as I started this post, it's such a pretty place to spend a little time.
But I'm thinking we don't need to go back again for awhile. Been there, done that, learned a lot and moved on.
How was your holiday weekend?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.