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Five things I miss from my Naples, Florida vacation

I returned to Michigan last week after five beautiful and relaxing days in Naples, Fla. It was a fun family vacation with my dad and sister. These are the things that I already miss …

1. Warm weather and sunshine

High daytime temperatures in the 80s and evenings cool enough to don a cardigan — what a perfect transition to summer. Oh, wait. I’m back in winter weather now. We had sunshine for swimming and sunbathing by the pool and at the beach. At night, it was comfortable to dine al fresco or sail the open water wearing a light jacket or sweater.

Sunshine and temperatures in the 70s and 80s made sunbathing by the Bellasera Hotel's pool irresistible. (Instagram photo by @erinklema)

Sunshine and temperatures in the 70s and 80s made sunbathing by the Bellasera Hotel’s pool irresistible.
(Instagram photo by @erinklema)

2. Beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico

On our last night in Naples, my dad and I drove down Central Avenue to where it dead ends after Gulf Shore Boulevard at the beach. We paid several quarters to the meter and set off for a walk along the sand as the sun dipped below the horizon. It is such a beautiful sight to see.

The sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico on March 16 at the beach in Naples, Fla. (Instagram photo by @erinklema)

The sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico on March 16 at the beach in Naples, Fla.
(Instagram photo by @erinklema)

3. Waterfront dining

Whether I was drinking a bottle of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon or a frozen strawberry daiquiri embellished with an orange paper umbrella and a slice of pineapple, it was the waterfront view that I was really drinking in.

Strawberry daiquiri at Coconut Jack's Waterfront Grille in Bonita Springs, Fla. (Instagram photo by @erinklema)

Strawberry daiquiri at Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille in Bonita Springs, Fla.
(Instagram photo by @erinklema)

4. Delicious seafood

On our first night in Naples, we dined on fried calamari and entrees of salmon and scallops at Sea Salt on Third Street South in Old Naples. The following night we ate Italian, but again seafood was a central theme in our orders at Campiello — another fried calamari appetizer served with a delicious lemon aioli; a Tuscan panzenella salad; linguini with king crab, tomatoes and basil in a white wine sauce; gnocchi with Maine lobster in a butter truffle sauce and a Florida Gulf shrimp salad. To celebrate my birthday, we dined on jumbo lump crab cake, jumbo Florida Gulf shrimp, filet mignon, beef wellington and Chilean sea bass at T-Michaels Steak & Lobster House. Even at the casual eateries, seafood reigned king. Poolside at our hotel, I ate delicious coconut shrimp served with a sweet Thai chili sauce. At Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille in nearby Bonita Springs, Fla., we again ordered coconut shrimp, which was served with mango and raspberry sauces, and a refreshing seafood ceviche.

Delicious seafood during our Naples, Fla. vacation: Ora King Salmon at Sea Salt, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake at T-Michaels Steak & Lobster House, lobster and shrimp ceviche at Coconut Jack's Waterfront Grille in Bonita Springs and oysters at Sea Salt. (Photos by Erin Klema.)

Delicious seafood during our Naples, Fla. vacation: Ora King Salmon at Sea Salt, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake at T-Michaels Steak & Lobster House, lobster and shrimp ceviche at Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille in Bonita Springs and oysters at Sea Salt.
(Photos by Erin Klema.)

5. Poolside Bloody Marys

If you’re going to be hungover from too much vacation fun — AKA wine — you might as well cure your hangover sunbathing by the pool with a cool and spicy Bloody Mary.

Best. Hangover. Cure. (Instagram photo by @erinklema)

Best. Hangover. Cure.
(Instagram photo by @erinklema)

Wish you were here,

Erin

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Sounds like a nice place to escape during a long drawn out cold, snowy Midwestern winter.

    March 27, 2014

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