Welcome to Naples, Florida, where the people are friendly, dogs wear Doggles, and we now own a second home. On I-75 between Fort Myers and Naples, I saw something unique: a motorcyclist with two unusual passengers standing in an open trailer. Their ears flapped at 70 mph. I think the dogs were smiling at me.
Look for Naples to the west of Miami. That’s where we now own a house to rent until we retire.
My husband and I have six days to repair and get our house ready to rent. Why? Because we’ve been brainwashed to believe that as long as you work hard, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Day 1: Land at Fort Myers airport at 4:30 p.m. Rent a car, plug in GPS and pick out a slab of “affordable” granite in 15 minutes. Hope we picked the right slab and right guy to replace our kitchen counter-tops. Spend night in an inexpensive motel, since house is empty.
Day 2: Get Starbucks–there is no Peet’s in Naples, sob, sob–drive to beach and breathe in some early morning salty air, while looking for that one special shell.
The beaches on this part of the Gulf Coast are a shell collectors’ haven.
Buy a mattress from Craigs list and hope the guy will deliver the same day.
Two Brazilian guys measure our counter-tops. The sky decides to throw buckets of LOUD rain on our roof. We can’t even hear each other speak. I have a pounding headache. Duke gets a fever, and we both wonder if we made the right decision. Is the weather really this cold and gray in Florida? Rent a wallpaper removing steamer and realize this is more work than I thought.
This is me hard at work for 4 days removing wallpaper. No I’m not a plumber showing off my derriere.
Dinner at Randy’s fish house is excellent. A two hour wait, but Duke gets two barstools and we eat potato-crusted salmon in the lively crowded bar, and meet people from Chicago and Boston. Great atmosphere.
SUNNY!!! Remove wallpaper, replace fans, decide to rip out old bathroom and update. Many trips to Home Depot, buy paint, paint walls, get two more guys to yank old tiles off wall.
View from our back yard. We have 12 pineapple bushes and an orange tree.
Same routine of painting, and working.
Granite guys remove old counter-top.
Day 4: Freaking out. Still lots to do and only two days left.
Two guys remove old bathtub, dating from 1970.
Day 5 and 6: Paint two bedrooms and baseboards. Run back and forth to Home Depot and other stores to get things we forget we need.
Photos of new bathroom kindly taken by my blogger friend Nancy, who lives in Naples, and checked on the final touches for us. We had a lovely dinner with Nancy and her family. Thanks for all your help. Thanks to my blog, I now have a new friend in Naples.
Duke and I returned exhausted from six days of hard work. Well worth it. We still have more to do before we can rent the house out. There are two sunken boats, and a pool that need some attention. My husband did so much with a fever and chest congestion. The day after we returned to California, he put on his lawyer’s suit, and was back at the office.
Now back to reality and my memoir revisions. Entering edits on computer.
Please share anything you wish to, perhaps a project you’ve worked on?
On the last day I started making mistakes from lack of sleep, and my body saying enough.