Monday, May 17, 2010


We left Naples, Florida in the rain yesterday afternoon and arrived home at 12:30 AM today. And, yes, we are both pretty tired today!

Our last 2.5 days at the Naples Grande Beach Resort were as wonderful as the first 2 days. Friday morning we took another bike ride, this time heading south of Naples, and including some sightseeing stops. One of the travel magazines for this area advertised a show of some of Princess Diana's dresses at a local art gallery. Jim planned a stop at this gallery shortly into our ride, where we joined a local group of Red Hat Society ladies to view about 2 dozen of Lady Di's beautiful dresses. It was a great show and I was most impressed to read that she wore most of these dresses multiple times. We then continued south where the roads took us by some of the mansions of the very rich! What fun! We stopped for a walk out the famous Naples Pier before lunching at a sister-resort of the Naples Grande, where could use our food allowance. We needed to be back from our bike ride in time to clean up before heading to the spa where had booked massages for each of us. A massage was a wonderful treat, and was covered by the activity allowance that was part of Jim's award.

Friday night was the Awards Dinner and it was a lovely affair. Each of the 20 award recipients was honored and their achievements were highlighted. Jim's boss made a video to highlight the reasons Jim won this award and the video was entertaining, but also genuine and heartfelt. I was extra proud to be Jim's wife that evening.

Saturday was Everglades Day and the whole group boarded a tour bus for the hour drive to Everglades City, where we boarded airboats for a tour of the Mangrove forests. We had never been on an airboat and my initial thought was that they were a noisy way to get around. Well, they are noisy, but with some headphones for ear protection, I got a real rush when we were flying over the open waters and though the narrow passageways at 40 mph! We did see 2 alligators and a couple of manatees along with several birds native to that area. But by far, my favorite part of the airboat ride was flying across the water at high speeds!

Saturday afternoon we took another bike ride and then spent the late afternoon around the pool. A late dinner at the Strip Club (the hotel's steak house) completed another great day in paradise.

Sunday was our last day, but we didn't fly out until 6 PM so we went for another 43 mile bike ride, arriving at the bike shop to return the bikes just before the rain started. All together we bike over 154 miles in 4 days, a total we are quite pleased with. We returned to the pool for lunch and a couple more turns down the water slide. The rain started up again, just as it was time for us to clean up and pack up.

We said good bye to the Naples Grande after a wonderful vacation that was relaxing, refreshing, and most of all, fun! Thanks J & J!

Here are some photos from our trip.

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