Florida, Day 6

Night out in Naples sounds like a good marketing campaign.

 Last night was our final evening here, we pack up today and fly back home to what some are saying is a wee bit of cold and snow in the Great North. Hate me for saying so, but I am sad to have missed the first few flakes, it’s always an exciting time of the year. The panic of winter-haters cracks me up, as if the snow will stay and winter lasts until June.

 I digress. We’re technically celebrating our 5th anniversary, which is next week, so we finished with a lovely dinner and some dancing in the lovely city of Naples. Driving in, we took the scenic route, weaving through Venetian Village, down Gulf Shore Blvd. past the swanky high-rises and old Florida houses, seeing peeks of the sunset through the buildings and palm trees. 

 “Downtown Naples” consists of Fifth Avenue South and South Third Streets. An array of very high-end shops and restaurants await hungry, thirsty and fashionable people who are interested in parting with their money. Since everyone down here seems to be from Minnesota, there’s a host of D’Amico restaurants from which to choose, but since their food is rather mediocre (sorry), we dine elsewhere. Something about the comforts of home appeals to the retired set, maybe? We did have a cocktail at the Campiello bar before heading to dinner.

 Sea Salt is our favorite fine dining spot in Naples. They have a large inventory of salts from around the world, and when you sit down, you’re greeted with a tray of assorted salts, various crusty and grainy breads, and a little bottle of really delicious olive oil. You tear, you dip, you salt, you keep repeating until you find your favorite blend. They used to sell bottles of their salts there, but sadly no longer.

 Lucky us, there was a chef’s summer menu of three courses. We shared everything! Tuna tartare with whipped feta and black sesame seeds, seared scallop and pork belly, crispy pan-friend branzino with a mushroom compote, bucatini with lobster and shrimp, and finished with a PB&J crème brule and a dark chocolate cookie and ice cream situation. Very dry rose went nicely with the whole menu.

 After dinner, we danced! It was a gorgeous clear night with a full moon, the trees and wrapped with twinkly lights, every expensive car you can think of parked on the streets or driving slowly down, and beautiful people everywhere. There’s no shortage of older gentlemen of ample means from which to choose, and the ladies are dressed to impress. Thankfully, there’s a wide variety of families with sun-kissed children, older couples celebrating their 50th anniversaries and people on business or pleasure from all over the world. It’s fun to watch!

 So we danced. Under the moonlight, on a gorgeous patio surrounded by candles and tree lights and the sound of happy people having a marvelous time.

 I’m really grateful for this second home of mine, and to be able to share it all with Karl and to celebrating loving each other and the incredibly five years we’ve had. It seems we cram a lot of love and life and tears and joy and chaos into every single year, which makes a little vacation break that much sweeter.

 I love you, Karl. I love being here with you and I love being your wife.

Jill Holter