I probably shouldn't write this seeing as I don't want any more people going down to Naples and driving up the real estate prices, but here I go. Naples has become for me a destination of sorts. During the winter season one of my relatives from Ohio lives down there and a very good friend puts my whole family up for our stay. We've stayed with him twice, and so far as I can discern, he doesn't seem to be too disoriented by our stays. (A couple days with Samuel, especially when you're used to living alone, can be something of a trial.)
I love Naples because of all the interesting things nearby--first and foremost--the ocean. I have always loved the ocean, and down near Naples, it begins to have that turquoise cast that is really predominant in the Keys, and perhaps much of the Caribbean. But also within easy reach of Naples are two different "swamps"--Corkscrew Swamp (which as an Audobon preserve is nearly perfect with a lengthy boardwalk and a fine interpretative center; and the Everglades. There are places of historical interest close-by and lots of shopping and other recreation.
This weekend I spent four days in this demi-paradise. It was a bit chilly, getting down to sixty at night and peaking at, perhaps, 80 for the entire time. Also, the ocean water temp (which is really important) was only about 69-70. We went to the beach twice and had lunch with the relative I mentioned after visiting the residence.
Any way, just wanted to say a word or two about my absence and to reiterate how much I wish I were there right now. With the building of Ave Maria (the official groundbreaking of which was just last week) much will, undoubtedly, change. Those who live near college towns will know what I mean when I say, not necessarily for the better. But it will bring new life and new attention to the town and I expect that there will be many fine educational offerings. Although, there will always be the swamp-buggy competition and the "ferries" to Key West.