March 16 – 18am; Friday to Sunday morning
We left Rick and Elenor’s rental in Cape Coral on Friday morning and Rick joined us for the journey to Naples. I took a few photos of their beautiful rental as we left.
We had determined that the Gulf would be calm and traveled about 6 hours to the entrance to the river into Naples and then north to the city. What views we had of mansions!
We were amazed how Naples rivals Miami mansions one after another. We learned more about this later when we looked at real estate listings. Very high end and high priced. But fortunately there was a place for us at the City Marina and we were docked by around 3:30. It was great traveling with Rick and Dirk had him at the helm avoiding crab pots for a while. Rick headed home via Uber, we finished checking in and made plans to my meet cousin Donna who winters in Naples! I took a walk to the Tin Roof mall and saw more lovely homes and condos on the way.
Friday night we enjoyed catching up with Donna at The Docks restaurant next to our marina. On Saturday she took me to the Naples farmers market where I bought more beautiful veggies and was tempted by a lot of sweet goodies as well. We picked up Dirk back at the marina and headed to her place so we could go to the beach.
Ok- this is when we learn about condos and high rise condo communities and the beach access in Naples. There were maybe 8 very 20 (?) high condo buildings and many 2 story condo neighborhoods in this area north of downtown Naples, and they all belong to a community that includes various services including access to the beach and beach restaurants. Since the beach isn’t that close to most buildings, people can drive, walk or bike to shuttle areas and get on a free shuttle to the beach that runs over long boardwalks! Once we arrived at the beach, cabana boys set up chairs and umbrellas for you (and are tipped). There was also a casual but very nice restaurant on the beach for people with the beach passes. This kind of community and service was interesting and all new to me. And want to once again thank Donna for a fabulous day in Naples.
Later in the afternoon we did a load of laundry at the marina and then ate on board. This morning we walked about 6 blocks to a great breakfast place (Janes) since we hadn’t had breakfast out for a while. Nice- they even had a vegan option!