Naples for the Holidays


Daughters, parents, family, friends, holidays, birthdays… beautiful Florida weather, kayaks, motor boats, amusement parks, shooting range, golf, RC sailing, fireworks and lots of great food.   It is no surprise that our stay in Naples was a special time.


The first weekend we were in Naples, Sue’s daughter, Julia, had a weight-lifting competition in Orlando. We drove up and stayed at an incredible Marriott convention center. This place was huge and had all kinds of events going on.

Too bad it wasn’t warm enough to enjoy this
Strong women
She qualified for nationals in Chicago this spring!!!
Julia with her coach, Derek

While in Orlando, Anne and Mitch drove up and we spent the day at Animal Kingdom.  Mitch in his safari outfit looked the part and was asked by numerous other guests which way to this or that!

Photobombed by a T-Rex!

Vicky arrived from Charleston a couple of days before Christmas which gave us lots of time together.  Jeff’s parents scheduled a boat and the 5 of us took the inter-coastal waterway down beyond Marco Island to a neat little restaurant in Goodlette.  Warm sunshine and good food.  Just what Vicky needed after being in school the previous couple of months.

Jim and Vicky
Jeff and his mom, Aline

Jeff’s Mom has traditionally hosted Christmas dinner but had threatened that she wasn’t going to this year…  Until she heard we were coming.  And of course Anne and Mitch would be there..  And their kids Lianne and Ray….  And also their close friends….    The seating chart quickly had 15 people!  Needless to say, everyone pitched in and a wonderful night flew by.

Birthday Twins – separated by a year
With Jeff’s daughter Vicky

Mom always makes sure we have a Christmas tree in the RV!
Guides Mitch and Jeff

The day after Christmas we broke out the kayaks.  Anne, Mitch, Lianne, Ray, Vicky and Jeff kayaked out to Wiggins Pass for lunch.  It was busy on the water but they saw a dolphin and even a manta-ray that flew out of the water.  More great weather.  

New Years Eve in Naples is fun.  The town starts getting really busy.  In the evening, everyone heads to the beach with tables/chairs and lots of food and drink.  As the sun sets folks start sending off luminaries – you can see them for miles up and down the beach.   At the very social hour of 7:30, fireworks filled the sky over the Naples Pier.   We were joined by our RVing friends Mike and Kathie.  We first met them in Glacier National Park and have followed each others adventures.

Jeff, Mike, Kathie, Sue

Sue had to work most weeks, so she was busy traveling.  But she did hit a milestone birthday and can now legally order the senior meals at Denny’s.   Jeff’s parents also treated her to a delicious birthday meal in Naples.

We keep saying it, but it really is true – the best part of living on the road is being able to take our time and really visit with our family.   We had lots of great time with Anne and Mitch, but it was really special to be able to do so much with Jeff’s parents.  Puzzles, Spite and Malice, and kayaking with Mom…  Shooting, golf and sailing with Dad…  And Jeff got to play a round of golf with both of them where his mom was close to shooting her age!

Aline beat us all at Spite and Malice
Team jigsaw
She’s ‘really’ good at hard puzzles

While we can’t see ourselves living in Florida yet, we have started to understand more why people do.  Our blood is a bit thinner and our skin a bit tanner as we start heading west.

We’re off to Fort Worth, TX where Sue has a longer term work assignment like she did in Miami.



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