Beautiful beaches in Naples.
It all started during my first peek out the window as we descended to Fort Myers airport. My skin moistened in anticipation of the tropical environment; meandering rivers,lush green vegetation, gray bulbous clouds, and healthy mangroves. Had I finally found a more developed version of Belize?
I’ve landed in many airports around the world, but Fort Myers was a complete shock: wide open freshly polished marble floors, and live palm trees in bright glass enclosed hallways, reminding me of the lobby at the Ritz Carlton. A stop in the ladies room felt like I’d stepped back in time. I found eight sisters I never knew I had; same height, same age and same skin color. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be surrounded by people who smiled, made eye contact, and weren’t in a hurry.
I met my first blogger friend, Nancy in Naples, Florida. She sent me information about the Naples area before we visited, and is an ex-California resident. We had a wonderful two hour chat over a glass of wine at my hotel in Naples. Nancy gave me a beautiful photograph she took of birds on the beach. She loves photography and is very talented.
Why Florida? My husband, Duke and I love change, and are always seeking our “ideal” destination. We are beach people, and prefer tropical climates to four seasons with snow.
California’s Pacific ocean is very cold, and unless you wear a wet-suit, love surfing or come from Scandinavia, you won’t be floating on the Pacific ocean.
California has become overly crowded, and the freeways in Orange County and Los Angeles are always gridlocked, in desperate need of repair.
Now the Gulf of Mexico is very warm, about 80-85F, and shallow for quite a ways out. The only thing you need to learn is the stingray shuffle: a dance move that protects your feet from being stung by a stingray.
We practiced the move, but never encountered a stingray, although a couple of dolphins swam within thirty feet from us.
I have so many things to share with you, that I have to break into other posts. For example:
The crazy things I saw and did:
I danced with a very talented singer, who happened to be a dwarf, and he kissed me. Duke sang karaoke, and I petted my first hairless cat and asked the owner if he put sunblock on its skin.
Have you ever considered moving to a place after spending 9 days there?
Did you ever follow through with the move?
Sounds like a great time. Those hairless cats are kind of creepy to me 🙂
I have moved several places either sight unseen or with just a few days visit to find a place to live, not by choice but due to job transfers. My ex-husband was in the Air Force and then the oil business, so we moved a lot. I have found things to like everywhere I've lived, but I did especially enjoy four years on Florida's gulf coast.
We visited Florida a long time ago, and I definitely know why you would want to live there. I loved it! Such friendly people!
Maureen McHale says
Nice info and update on your stay in Florida. I don't think I know who Nancy is? Does she blog? Did you get a chance to meet Tink? Hum wonder if Tink is Nancy? LOL
Sonia,you and Duke sound enraptured with Florida. I fell in love with Naples the moment I arrived.
Again, I enjoyed visiting with you so much, and I certainly look forward to future visits.
Jennifer Fink says
Nope, never moved somewhere after a 9-day stay. But I admire people that do. Sometimes, you just know.
Ahhh.. sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear more.
Karen (KayKay) says
We lived for 17 years on the east coast of Florida. (Jupiter) Loved it and desperately miss the warm winters and most of all – the ocean. We visited the west coast often and always thought we would enjoy living there even more – slightly slower pace than the east coast of Florida.
Phivos Nicolaides says
Change is always a good thing! Florida is gorgeous.
Lauri Kubuitsile says
It looks and sounds like a lovely place. I also LOVE the ocean, though sadly am many kilometres away from it. When my husband and I visted the States we had a 30 day airline pass. You could fly anywhere so we visited everyone and spent a lot of time in airpports. I must say the airport in Orlando was the most beautiful airport I'd ever seen in my life.
Susan Matthewson says
I can identify with your comments about Orange County and Southern California. It does seem that in many ways the area is just becoming unlivable with the traffic, the expense, the dysfunctional state government, the lack of a sense of community, etc. More and more it seems the only reason to stay is the weather but even that is losing its charm.
I, too, am thinking about other places to live. I have lived in Colorado, Illinois, Hawaii, Missouri, and California. I moved to Illinois, Hawaii and Missouri "site unseen" and each was a good experience, except for Illinois, which I did not like but my husband's job was there–fortunately only for a very short time and he transferred to St. Louis. I knew nothing about the midwest or St. Louis, but I ended up absolutely loving St. Louis and when we moved to California after ten years there, I was so sad to leave.
I didn't like California at first, but came to enjoy it and appreciate it and it has been "home" for 25 years now. It's starting to feel less like "home" and I am not sure where I want to go at this point.
I do not think I would be brave enough to move after "9" days, but I'm more cautious and you sound like much more of a world traveller/adventurer than I am. I'm thinking of moving to Colorado, but I plan to rent there for 6 months to a year before selling my home here.
But basically, I think "home" is often located inside us and we can be physically at "home" many places, as long as we are grounded and in touch with our inner "home" emotionally and psychologically. If Naples feels like "home" to you and it feels "right," that may be enough.
Good luck with your decision.
yes, the cat did look like an alien.
Nice to hear you've moved around and like Florida's gulf coast. Where did you stay?
I agree, the people were very down-to-earth and friendly.
No Tink is not Nancy. Nancy kindly asked to meet me, so we did.
Yes, I think we are good at advertising Florida. Perhaps we should keep our mouths shut.
I don't know if we'll move, but sure would like to one day.
More will come. Thanks.
Didn't realize that the west is slower paced. Now I like it even more.
Yes, I like change.
I think what I enjoyed about Ft. Myers airport was the lack of crowds. Perhaps we lucked out as it was the slow season in Florida.
Elizabeth Bradley says
I have many relatives in Florida. I have only visited the East coast, (not thrilled), but The Husband has visited the West Coast and he went fishing out in the Gulf and loved it. I love the California coast, but it's very costly to live anywhere near the beach and Lordy, is it getting crowded and congested here. Hope you make a decision that make you both very happy.
Move to a place after living there for 9 days? Actually, moved here after seeing the place for a weekend. But the job offer was too good to pass up. That was 29 years ago. D'ya think I made the right move?
Glad you had fun in Florida. Are you actually moving there — with all the alligators and hurricanes?
Jungle Mom says
Glad you have fun.I went to HS in the area and all my immediate family are in the Tampa Bay area. I love that area and could see myself living there. I also enjoy the Hispanic element after 25 years in South America
What a concise description of your life and moves along the way. I'm glad you can relate to what I said about the change here in California. I do think the weather has become hotter and more humid in CA too. Not like 25 years ago.
I agree with you about the east coast of FL, not being as nice as the west coast. The beach in Corona del Mar today was swarming with school from all over the place.
It doesn't hurt to dream about a move. I think we shall stay here another 3 years till our youngest is out of high school. I hate to miss an opportunity on the housing market though. I have to become a famous author in order to pay for a house there, since we have two kids in US colleges, which cost a fortune, compared to Europe.
I did hear that Tampa is lovely. Didn't visit it though. Perhaps we should all meet one day in Florida.
That beach looks great to me.
My Three Sons says
I have been to Cali and to Florida and visited several beaches. My all time favorite was Panama City Florida. There is just something about the surreal view on the gulf side.
I can't wait to hear more about your trip. I haven't been to Naples so I will be eager to see the pics.
Turquoise Diaries says
It looks like a wonderful place. We have a summer house on the Mediterranean and planning to move there permanently in a couple years time. Life is good on the beach. Love your Blog..
Yes the beach is great. Not crowded either.
@ My Three Sons
Did not see Panama City, FL. What I like is the slower pace of life than we have in OC.
@ Turquoise Diaries,
Thanks for your visit. Which part of the Mediterranean do you want to live in? Over to visit.
Restless Native says
Hello, Gutsy Writer! So pleased to have discovered your wonderful blog this evening. "When change is a good thing", captured my attention, and here is what I think:
I am a native Floridian, who spends most of her free time in her boat, with her family, exploring the beautiful beaches and islands of southwest Florida, who does not currently live there, but once did and is contemplating moving back, and whose blog theme, pictures and posts often center around the place that is dear to her heart.
Some places speak to the soul, and for me, southwest Florida is one of them. I think you will love living there if you decide to move, because it is truly a special place.
Much luck with your decision!
Restless Native says
Thank you for being my first follower!
I replied to you on my blog but just to be sure you've seen it, I will reply here as well…
My family and I currently live in north central Florida, but spend much of our time boating down around the Boca Grande/Charlotte Harbor area, where we can pull up on beaches and many times be the only ones there -good for the soul!
Looking forward to your next post…