Naples: Then and Now

Yesterday, I returned from vacation, to a semi-clean house, only to have it explode in less than eight hours.  The new mess coupled with the mess left behind (all the piles of clothes upstairs, laid out in my packing efforts) and the unpacking of the suitcases has left me feeling more than a little overwhelmed.  With the boys off at school and Little Lady napping, instead of tackling the mess, I’m uploading pictures and doing a little reminiscing.  Escapism at its finest.  Want to come with me?

I’ve talked about my love for Naples, before, and truly, that love affair has not ended. It’s the perfect spot for some R&R, a little glamorous, a little laid back, with just enough to do…or not do, it’s really up to you.

We are lucky, my parents have a condo there and Spirit Airlines runs all sorts of deals (if you’re fast enough to catch them), so, when I snagged us five seats for under five hundred dollars during spring break week, we just had to go.

Every time we visit Naples we do the things we love, but add on something new, like trying a new restaurant, or activity.  As for the tried and true, well, of course, there’s the beach, which we hit twice this time around.  I have to tell you, though, our first day there, my dad got a mysterious bite/scrape/who the heck knows what, on his foot that left him limping for quite a few days.  After that, I was a little hesitant to go back in the water, again.  But, we did, and thankfully, we left with all our appendages intact.There’s also always a visit to Friday’s.  Yes, I know they are everywhere, but I love that they have an allergen menu, so it’s one of the few restaurants where First Son can eat dessert.  Everyone should enjoy dessert when they’re on vacation!Then, there’s Joey’s Pizza in Marco Island.  Discovered last year (at least by us), and visited twice on this trip. There’s also the park, and Art in the Park, which I love.  The girl in the picture, on the far left, is playing a violin.  It’s so cool to hear music while strolling through the park.Second Son loves the park, too, especially the water feature.  It never gets old, even if he does.  That’s him, then.  What a cutie!And, now.  Still cute, but so much bigger!Someone else got in on the water love this year.

We also enjoy lunch at the clubhouse.  This was then. And, now. Sometimes, when it’s just my daughter and me, people will tell me that we look alike. I wish I could agree, but I don’t think we even look related.

Here’s another clubhouse, then.And, now.  These two were paper buddies, up at the crack of dawn for the walk to the clubhouse to buy the morning newspaper.

Of course, we also enjoy the pool.  Here’s my first born, way back when (someone, please pull that scrunchie out of my hair). A while ago.  And, now.  Holy cow!

As for the new, well, this year, at the pool, there were a lot of little friends for my sons, which meant more fun for them and us. We also did a little miniature golfing, which Second Son surprisingly dominated (look at that shot). And, we also tried a new restaurant, Tommy Bahamas, which I’m sorry to say was a bit overrated (and overpriced), but still a good time, and good photo op. Much different from another photo op taken over six years ago, in front of another restaurant, Ridgeways.  This was our first trip to Naples.  My how we’ve grown!I like this one, too, but I think I need to give my dad a little more direction in holding the Lady.  Is it just me, or does he look a little awkward?  Kind of like he’s holding groceries. 🙂And of course, the iPods were new to the trip.  As much as they get on my nerves, I have to say, they made everything, from flying to down time, easier (no more portable DVD players and DS).

As for my vacation flubs, last year it was not weighing the suitcases, this year it was forgetting my daughter’s sneakers.  It was kind of hectic when we left for the airport and Little Lady, unbeknownst to me, got into the car, shoeless.  You can imagine my surprise when we got to the airport and realized we didn’t have any shoes for her. Just for the record, I was not the one who buckled her into her seat.

Thankfully, we were meeting my parents at the airport, and since I had left behind her Crocs when we visited them Easter (don’t ask me why we keep forgetting shoes), she had them handy in her carry-on. Crisis averted.  

Vacations are awesome. The memories made not only last a lifetime, but get better as time goes on, erasing any lows (tantrums and tiredness) with rosiness.

Vacations are a time to be together, uninterrupted by school and sports schedules, and really, just a time to relax.  Little Lady had no trouble doing that at all, on her first trip to Naples. Either did First Son.  They’re still pros. I’m so glad we went.

And now, my obligatory airport picture (that I force everyone to take) each time we leave an airport.  Then.And, now. Enough reminiscing. Time to get back to the grind.  Have a good weekend.

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