Monday, February 27, 2012

Packing Up To Go Home

It was tempting....but we decided NOT to buy any Naples real estate and stay here permanently. In a couple days we are heading back up north, to our home in NY.

The highlight of this trip was having my first wife with us here for 2+ weeks at the end in addition to 5 days during our first week.

This year we branched out - as we always do. Habit is the hallmark of 'old coot'-hood!

For the first time we went to beaches other than Vanderbilt Beach.

Delnor Wiggins Beach, just a little bit north, was fantastic!

We didn't like Barefoot Beach as much - although it was cold that day and may have affected our assessment. It seems like Barefoot Beach is where all the Ft. Myers people go to get away from, well, Ft. Meyers people!

We also went to Lowdermilk Beach. That too was fantastic. If you go, be sure to be there BEFORE 9:30am because the tiny lot fills up quickly.

And today we ventured all the way down (25 miles?) to Tigertail Beach on Marco Island which was nothing short of spectacular. The best *shelling* I've ever experienced.

I did play golf twice - once at the Country Club of Orlando with a Philly jabroni and again at Arrowhead in North Naples. Arrowhead is okay as a layout but its greens are terribly slow, as is the pace of play. While there are plenty of golf courses in Naples most of them are private and only really cost effective and accessible in the off-season. Arrowhead is one of the only ones with a decent price ($50-$80) that is open to the public. So it's mobbed. I don't know that I'll play golf here again in February.

Although I did get plenty of much-needed practice putting in - on the condo development's artificial green. I was putting every morning AND every night for a good 30 minutes. It definitely paid off...

Yesterday we hit Randy's Fishmarket - apparently it's a super-famous restaurant here. Who knew?

Well it was sensational. And realize that I am a complete, spoiled NYC food snob when I say that. I thought it was awesome, as did my wife, and another NYC couple that dined with us. And, get this....I don't even like seafood!

So if you are in Naples, do try to get there. Warning - at 5pm or so it gets packed.

The kids got a ton of schoolwork done - as they always do. Luckily the library down here sold us a temporary library card for the whopping sum of $10. 40 books per week were consumed, easily. And before my wife got down I had them doing a significant amount of math each day too.

The condo we rented was terrific. For $3,200 (all in) we enjoyed a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath unit with 13(?) foot ceilings in the Bridgewater Bay development. It's 1,800 square feet and going for between $200,000 and $215,000 these days....down from $435,000 or so at the top.

The units downstairs are a little smaller - 2BR, 1,400 square feet - and get this....the guy downstairs owes $370,000 on his! On the market today they are only going for around $170,000.  How'd you like to be the bank holding that note???

I actually took this pic!

Yeah, there are a ton of 'old coots' here. Everywhere you look you see them. Invariably they are DOING NOTHING, TALKING ABOUT NOTHING, reading vaping non-fiction books through closed eye-lids, and MOVING SLOWLY. People have asked me *how can you stand being around all those dinosaurs???*.

Well, it's easy. As a lifetime golfer I'm pretty used to 'old coots'. Plus, it's not like there aren't annoying people of younger ages everywhere up north - or a bazillion drooling, napping geriatrics!

We had an absolutely great time this year - it was the best snowbirding month we've enjoyed yet. Perhaps my wife is right about February being better...

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