Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5-16-17 a very happy birthday to me with a trip to Naples!

We lived in S. Florida for a year and only made it to Naples once in that time!  Now that we're vacationers again, I was anxious to get back there.  We saw the most spectacular sunset there last time.  So about 11 we took off on our 2 hour ride to Naples.
But first---we stopped at my favorite thrift store of all time----to look for beach chairs.  We were successful!  2 chairs in one carry bag and a grass matt all for $6.  Ken's even considering bringing them home by checking them as luggage.
Then we made our way to the toll road---75---Alligator Alley---and on across the state.  I even logged in to our Sunpass account to see if the portable transponder we bought was doing it's job.  It did---Yea!  Only slow down was this accident.  It was a long way for an ambulance to go!  Hope everyone was ok.

Near Naples the everglades looked like it had fire damage.
just a view of Alligator Alley.  No alligators on the road now that there is a fence all the way across.
Finally into Naples.  It's such a pretty city.
We went straight to the pier.
With our new chairs set up under the pier and all my back packs on the grass mat, I was anxious to head into the water.
the water was about 84 degrees and calm.  Felt so good.
Can't believe Ken sat under the pier the whole time.
Ken chilling out.
Even the view under the pier is interesting.
a rose enjoying the water, too.
After about 2 hours in the water, I decided to dry a bit then walk along the top of the pier.

There are 3 or 4 dolphins that hang out here.  This one was in really shallow water.
Then I notice a commotion farther out.  didn't know what was going on at first.
Then saw this tarpon being thrown out of the water.
2 dolphins were attacking the tarpon.  They covered quite a distance, even coming really close to an oblivious swimmer.
About here the swimmer noticed the raucous.   That's also about the time the dolphins split
I continued to the end of the pier.
watched a few pelicans
looked back at the shore
one of the dolphins on its way back out.  Looks like it has something in it's mouth
lots of fishermen on the pier.
one guy's fishing gear get-up.  Pretty impressive!
one of the water birds hanging around.
Another water bird
Then I noticed a fisherman walking up the pier with the tarpon.  He was telling the other fishermen that the dolphins left it and he wasn't going to let it go to waste.  Wonder if tarpon are good to eat?
a couple more birds---the little one was chasing what looks to be an osprey.
more pelicans
If seen these a couple times before.  Seems to be a really neat idea.
zoomed in looking north.
After 3 hours, we decided to head out for awhile.  Got to the car just in time---it started pouring soon after.  But we rode around awhile and in between rain squals, I took lots of pictures of the beautiful homes in the area.
So varied
another squall and thunder.
a break in the rain and more beautiful homes.
so many of them!!!
a rather different one.
a "little" house, but the yard and house decor was different.
About 5 we headed to the historic 3rd street area.
love all the tree lined streets
one neighborhood had it's own little ibis tree.
loved the controlled ivy cover.
another style of home
loved the yard art
love all the flowering trees in S. Florida!!!!  I really miss them.
back in the old town area.

I decided it was time to get dinner so we'd have plenty of time to make it back to the pier for sunset.  After checking out restaurants on my phone, we decided on Cosmos Cafe and Pizzeria.  It had high ratings and lived up to those ratings.  I was a little surprised when we found it.  It was a little store front in a little strip mall.  We shared a really good salad and a really good meat lovers pizza.
Then drove around some more.  Liked the color of this house.
nice driveway.  The house isn't bad, either.

We even started driving to the ends of some of the roads and I'd walk out to the beach for a few more photo ops.
another type of water bird.
I thought this area of old post was interesting.
  The sky wasn't cooperating too well,, though.  It was suppose to storm around 6 then be partly cloudy by sunset.

The cute little half flowers that are so common in hawaii.
So to kill more time we rode around some more.

more my style
or this---with the big patio!
had to stop for ibis crossing

another cool driveway
and another one
Really makes me wonder what all these people do to have that much money!
another cute little water bird.
by now it was about 7:10 and it wasn't looking too promising for an 8:08 sunset.
But we made our way back to the pier anyway.  Figured as long as it wasn't raining we'd stay and see what we get.  Love the mosaic turtles they have all over the base of the pier.
love the way they trimmed the folliage to reveal the signs at the parking lot.
a little info on the pier.
Did see a few roped off areas of turtle nests.
heading back down to the beach
still really cloudy,, but at least it wasn't raining.

did get some color off to the south.

looking directly west.

back to looking south.
much to everyone's surprise, the sun actually came out right before setting!
certainly not like the sunset we saw last time, but still nice.
and it's set.
there were even a couple church bus loads of people here for sunset.
waiting to see if any more clouds light up.
and a few did.
especially the ones to the East.
Not quite the day I had hoped for, but a great one none the less.  That it was my birthday made it even more memorable!  Happy 61st for me!

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