Just Another Day in Paradise

Monday (8/25/14)

Can I say that I really, really like Naples? I do.

I love our mooring. It is a very well protected area located between the City Dock and the Naples Yacht Club ($30,000 initiation fee to join). There is little to no current. The mooring ball is not constantly beating on our hulls. The dinghy dock is close by and easy to access. This is a great mooring field for only $10.00/night. There are only six balls available and one can only stay for four days consecutively, but it is lovely. And, being the off season, we have been the only one in the mooring field so far. And… No bugs! We bought all sorts of artillery to fight bugs after leaving Pelican Bay, but have had no problems since returning to civilization. Go figure!

The Palm Cottage House, the oldest house in Naples, dating from 1895

The Palm Cottage House, the oldest house in Naples, dating from 1895

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Naples is even more beautiful in the rain (We were refreshed with a rain shower while waiting on the trolley).

Naples is even more beautiful in the rain (We were refreshed with a rain shower while waiting on the trolley).

Another reason I love Naples is that I love good food. I’ve been eating so much, I think I’m going to have to crash diet during our upcoming time in Lakeland. There are wonderful restaurants in the area that are easily within walking distance with excellent food, service, and ambience. The only problem with that is – if I stayed here very long I’d have to go back to work full time to support my fine dining habit.

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This morning, after cereal for breakfast, we decided to take the Naples Trolley Tour around town. This is a two-hour-long massively overpriced ride around town in a Trolley. Our guide was nice, but I wasn’t all that impressed. We hopped off at Third Street South for lunch and then walked to the beach and the famous Naples’ Pier. We spent a relaxing two hours at the beach before hopping on the Trolley for a return trip to the City Dock.

On the Naples Tour Trolley

On the Naples Tour Trolley

One of the "sights"  on the tour

One of the “sights” on the tour

White sand and sunshine

White sand and sunshine

The underside of the pier

The underside of the pier

Naples Pier

Naples Pier

Pelican on the beach (This guy was way too friendly.  He's obviously been fed often.)

Pelican on the beach (This guy was way too friendly. He’s obviously been fed often.)

More wildlife on the beach.

More wildlife on the beach.

And yet more wildlife, as seen from the pier.

And yet more wildlife, as seen from the pier.

Naples City Beach

Naples City Beach

Tonight, we had a lovely dinner at Bleu Provence, a French restaurant which is both elegant and hospitable. Our meals were very nice, and so was the Creme Brûlée for dessert (Alright… I know you want to know. Cindy had creamy parmesan soup followed by salmon with spinach and fingerling potatoes, while I indulged in an arugula salad with smoked salmon and Loup de Mare [aka – Sea Bass) with asparagus and mashed potatoes.) Of course, these were paired with an appropriate glass of wine. Mmmmmmm!

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Bleu Provence

Bleu Provence

Dining at Bleu Provence

Dining at Bleu Provence

My beautiful blue belle

My beautiful blue belle

Back on board Beatitude, we are relaxing for the evening. There is a refreshing 10-15 knot breeze blowing out of the northeast which has chased away the oppressive afternoon heat . We sit on the front deck right now, immensely enjoying the aforementioned breeze. We’ll watch a movie tonight, or perhaps another European art history lecture before turning in. Tomorrow, we’ll have special guests visit us.

The end of another day of cruising.

The end of another day of cruising.

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