An Up to the Minute Snippet

Hi, everyone — I hope you have all had a great summer season so far. Bob and I certainly are. It is SO nice to finally have time to spend some terrific time with friends who live in Naples full time like we do. By the way, when many of you left for your summer homes, Collier County was in the middle of a BAD drought and there were fire danger warnings on a daily basis. Well, those days are long gone. We have been DELUGED with rain — well over two feet of the wet stuff. All the little lakes around the area are full to overflowing and every plant, tree and flower are washed clean and looking beautiful.

I will start out with a bit of restaurant news — for those of you who are in town and you love Cibao Grille, the restaurant will be closing early this summer for their month-long vacation starting on July 15 and reopening on August 15. We love that place — meeting friends there tonight, as a matter of fact. Another favorite of ours, Bleu Provence in Old Naples has just won the Wine Spectator Award for the best of the best for the third year in a row. Barbatella’s on Third Street South revealed their summer menu a week or so ago and Bob and I were privileged to be in attendance. Every single bite of every single dish was delicious. Six courses later, we were STUFFED….needless to say. Two new dining venues will be opening soon in Old Naples. The Bevy will be opening on 12th Avenue South and Sail will be opening in the space formerly occupied by American Momentum Bank on the corner of 5th and 3rd. True Food Kitchen in Waterside has become another favorite destination. The Wild Mushroom & Asparagus Pizza is to die for.

Whole Foods has gone through some very positive redecorating within the last few weeks. I think all the changes look great — and they are not done yet. For any of you who missed the news, Amazon is in the process of purchasing Whole Foods for billions of dollars. I love Amazon (and my Echo & Echo Dot) and I love Whole Foods — so I cannot wait to see what is in their future.

For those of you in Pelican Bay & Bay Colony, the new condo project, Mystique, is finally showing some signs of moving forward. The Pelican Bay Foundation is looking to spend $7 million to “redo” the Sandbar Restaurant. And I have personally been trying to be a “thorn” in Pelican Bay’s side to get them to improve the walkways throughout community and around Artis. I have heard of folks tripping & falling on the decrepit asphalt which is full of holes and is buckling everywhere. It finally took a friend of ours falling & cracking two ribs to get their attention.

For those of you who are wondering about the “One Naples” development which Stock Development looks to build on Vanderbilt Beach Road and Gulfshore Drive, I have heard NOTHING about it from anyone. Even the web site has had zero activity since the end of May. I am quite sure that Stock was more than a little surprised by the pushback they received from the vast majority of attendees at their May 17 “Open House.”

As a result of my telling folks about the One Naples Open House, I was advised of a battle that has been going on for a while against Kalea Bay. For those of you who may not know, Kalea Bay is a HUGE development consisting of 5 condo high rise buildings and is located just north of Wiggins Pass on Vanderbilt Drive. The residents of neighboring communities have hired lawyers and are fighting the changes that the developers have been making in the size of the buildings without anyone’s approval. These residents are actually going before the Collier County Commissioners this coming Tuesday, July 11, at 1:30 to try and stop these changes. I am thinking of attending just to see what kind of argument these folks have. It could be interesting.

Allegiant Airlines is the airline that Bob and I use when we visit friends in Asheville, North Carolina since it is a direct flight from Punta Gorda Airport. Now Allegiant is adding six cities to their nonstop services and they are FLINT, MICHIGAN – MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA – NEWBURGH, NEW YORK and PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Punta Gorda is an hour’s drive from North Naples and the airport is easy in and easy out. Parking is a breeze. Just an FYI for those of you who might be looking for alternative travel to and from the north.

Finally, a housekeeping note: PLEASE DO NOT hit the UNSUBSCRIBE notation at the bottom of this “Greetings from Paradise” unless you do NOT want to receive it any longer. If you choose to unsubscribe, I cannot reinstate you — you have to go through Constant Contact to sign up again via a new link. Some folks have accidentally hit unsubscribe and wondered why they stopped receiving “Greetings.” So, DO NOT CLICK on UNSUBSCRIBE. Thanks.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your summer. I will be back with news from paradise as it happens. And oh, by the way, I would not mind hearing from any of you out in cyber space to let me know you are out there.
Cheers –