Thursday, September 12, 2013
We have breakfast before checking out of Inn of Naples. Down the street we meet a local who recommends heading further down the coast to Marco Island, the largest barrier island within Southwest Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands area. It’s a lovely isle with beautiful people, beautiful restaurants and a comedy lounge/restaurant that showcases famous comedians that don’t mind having their picture taken with you. Many of the restaurants offer a daily printout of the day’s catch. They will list the captain and sometimes a photo of the boat that brought in their fish. You can book fishing trips on those boats and then bring back your catch to sell or donate to the restaurants. If you’re considering driving to Key West, Hwy 75 gets you there faster but Hwy 41’s scenic route is a great way to view another side of Florida. It allows you to see all the different communities along the way and you will really see the Everglades. There’s a good chance you will see alligators. There have even been Florida panther sightings! Another way to see Florida is aboard the ferry that goes from Ft. Myers to Key West. Cars load onto it for the approximately 4 ½ hour ride. If you arrive early enough, you can see dawn break over the water. You can even purchase a glass of wine to sip as you relax and enjoy the view from the second level. Arrival in Key West is around noon. After you spend a wonderful day on the key, the ferry picks you up for a sunset ride back to Ft. Myers. The $150 fee can be factored in as part of the experience. Thanks for the tips, Mike!
We go by the beach one more time before leaving town. There, we meet two simply charming sisters. One from Boston, the other from The Woodlands, Texas – just north of Houston! We compare notes on travel. They bought a condo for their parents and leave a car here so it’s easy to get around whenever they fly in to visit.
They tell us about 5th Avenue, the fancy part of Naples. So, we follow them out as they drive through it. We lunch at 5th Avenue Coffee Co. It’s casual, with affordable, good food.
Here we are, Miami! Coconut Grove is an area that has had it’s heyday. It is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in Miami. I am so glad to see the Courtyard Marriott has a recycle section in the trash can. We recycle in Sugar Land and I feel so guilty throwing perfectly good, clean maps and brochures into a regular trash can! On our trip, only Courtyard and Sheraton have offered recycling. Wish more hotels would recycle. This is the first time during the trip that we could actually walk down the street to dinner. The restaurants on the side streets were filled with locals. There’s a nice neighborhood feel. I liked how one place described their style: