Monday, October 14, 2013

A Visit to Naples, Florida

I don't know why, but I'm always very resistant to Florida. Before I went to Miami, I was convinced it was not my scene. When my friend decided to get married in Naples, Florida, I was more than happy to go but I did not have super high expectations. I love the fall in New England and I've barely even heard of Naples. Well I'm happy to say yet again I completely underestimated another area of Florida!

Our flight down was eventful. Back when we booked our flights I was feeling cheap, so I gave Eric an extra legroom seat but put myself in front of him in a cheaper seat. This would've been fine but more legroom on JetBlue also means you get a faster security line and of course the line at the airport was insane. Luckily, just showing Eric's ticket was enough and we were able to get through security with no hassle (even rejecting the full body scan which they are often so rude about!) When we got on the plane, we discovered my TV did not work. One of the many great things about JetBlue are the TVs and for someone like me who cannot sleep or read on planes, they tend to be a lifesaver. I was cursing myself for being cheap about the extra $40 and contemplating if it was worth switching to a middle seat for a working TV (I normally would but in pregnancy I'm supposed to get up every hour and I didn't want to drive the person next to me crazy!) As luck would have it, the guy across the aisle from me planned to sleep the whole flight and happily switched spots. Delightful.

The rest of our Friday included a delicious lunch at a place called Flatbread, some relaxation and of course dinner with a view. Everything in Naples was so convenient we never drove for more than 10 minutes.
On Saturday I woke up and decided I absolutely had to have a swim in the ocean. How could I not?
The ocean in the area often has jellyfish and sting rays, but there were no jellyfish to be seen (thankfully) and the sting rays stayed far away. As I was swimming laps back and forth, Eric called out to me that he saw dolphins. Sure enough I only had to stop for a minute and I could easily see dolphins ten feet away. It was so amazing to think that people pay lots of money for swimming with dolphin trips (including us in Hawaii!) and here we were just swimming outside our hotel and there they were. I was completely sold on Naples and maybe even the entire state of Florida from this moment forward.
The wedding ceremony was at a beautiful church with great lighting for pictures. I admit this is my main concern when it comes to church weddings :)

The reception was back at the hotel, and the cocktail hour was absolutely amazing. Due to Naples location on the west coast of Florida, we could enjoy cocktails (or water in my case) with a view of the sun setting over the ocean. It never occurred to me that there was somewhere on the east coast to do this!


The only minor set back of the night was when I forget about my inability to stand in heat for long periods of time. This was a huge issue over the summer, but I had near forgotten about it (mainly because I stand at work all day without issue, but I think the difference is I never stand in one place?). I stood up enjoying the weather for over and hour and then got suddenly really nauseous and faint. Luckily, a quick detour back to my room, my feet up and some water and I was back before the reception introductions. Lesson learned.


I have to just say that I absolutely love weddings. If you asked me why last year, I probably would've said its a lot of fun to have some drinks, hang out with friends and family and dance! Without the drinks, I can see even more clearly the number one reason I love weddings. It's just such a wonderful feeling to watch family, old friends, new friends-whoever it is getting married- be so so happy! The speeches at this wedding were wonderful. My friend's younger sister who is in middle school (she was born when my friend was 16, I still remember it clearly!) gave the cutest speech with my friend's college roommate who was the second maid of honor. The best man told the story of meeting the groom in kindergarten, a fact I will definitely share with my students. It's just impossible not to be happy at a wedding, at least for me. But, I'm not sad to say goodbye to sober weddings for awhile :)

The third day of the trip just helped me further fall in love with Naples. I had another wonderful swim, and a great French toast brunch where I got to see the bride for a bit.


For dinner, we went to a delicious restaurant in the downtown area called Campiellos (fun fact the same restaurant is also found in Minneapolis!) and enjoyed an insanely good bittersweet chocolate cake with caramel gelato.


We even made it back to the beach for our last sunset and a glimpse of the dolphins that I could never quite catch on camera.

To round out a great weekend, both the Patriots and the Red Sox both won in last minute comebacks. I didn't witness either of them in real time but it did occupy my flight home to watch the replays on Eric's TV while I watched The Great Gatsby on mine :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know many of you were on big trips, running marathons and maybe even celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving!



  1. What a great weekend - those sunsets are gorgeous! Haha I'm totally a Florida snob too - maybe because I've been there so much growing up (soccer tournaments, trips, etc), but it's not even in my top 20 for vacation spots - I'd rather see places I haven't been to. I haven't been to Naples though so maybe that's something to consider!

  2. Looks like a wonderful getaway! Love the sunset photos. And you look so adorable pregnant, by the way! I actually do not have the best opinion of Florida for some reason, but then I see pictures and I am like - oh that is so pretty! :) I will be going down to Florida in March to visit family and I can't wait. And how cool that you went to a restaurant that has a location in Mpls as well. ;) In a way I bet you could sort of consider this a little babymoon!

  3. That last photo is truly amazing! Florida isnt so bad! Another place to check out if you ever can is Destin on the Gulf Coast. The water is perfect and pretty clear (a major deciding factor of swimability for me).

  4. Sounds like an awesome weekend!! Love your wedding photos!

  5. You clearly don't spend enough time in Wellfleet or Provincetown -- both are situated looking WEST over Cape Cod Bay and provide some wonderful sunset opportunities. =) Nevertheless, Naples at this time of the year looks beautiful! Glad the trip was a good one!

  6. It makes me so sad nobody likes Florida. :(

    I've lived in this area my whole life and I LOVE this state. Also, Naples is not that are from me so I am so bummed I had no idea you were here! Florida is beautiful and wonderful and awesome.

    Glad you had a great time!

  7. Glad you enjoyed Florida! I love it there having lived in Orlando (suburbs) for a few years as a kid and I make treks there once a year to visit friends if I can. I'm a beach gal so give me a beach and I'm a happy camper for sure.

    Weddings make me happy for the same reason; everyone is happy, it's so full of love and life and celebration!

  8. Wow! Looks so beautiful. The sunset photos are amazing! I'm glad it exceeded your expectations. The only time I've ever been to Florida is when we went to Orlando which was strictly to go to Harry Potter World, but I think I would enjoy visiting the beaches in Florida one day and I bet it's cheaper to get to than some other tropical destinations!

  9. I love the west coast of Florida! My favorite beach in Florida (so far) is there. Anna Maria Island. Love the place, the sunsets and ahhh. We are going to Panama City for Spring Break and it's a place I've never had a desire to see but my BFF's relatives have a condo we are all going to stay in for cheap so, ya know, when you're cold in the winter, anything will do! We are going to road trip down and I'm excited for stops around the way. Oh another Florida favorite is Ft. Myers Beach. Wasn't that thrilled with Clearwater.