Naples, FL Trip Recap
Last week, I met up with my brother, sister and dad in Naples, FL.
It was the first time we'd ever been to that area of the sunshine state. They flew down from Jersey on a Friday and I met up with them on Saturday since I left from California (even though my layover was in Newark anyway lol).
Typically when my family goes on vacation, we make it a point to move around and experience the local culture (when we go to new countries/different states). This was the first time in a long time that we just took the week to relax and reset. We rented a house about 20 mins away from the beach and after the first day or two, got into a routine.
6:30am - Julianna wakes up, makes coffee, does her habits (devotional, prayers, read, stretch, workout)
8:00am - everyone else wakes up, drinks coffee, makes breakfast, gets dressed for the day, etc.
9:00am - everyone chips in to pack the cooler and get the beach gear into the car
9:30-10:00am - we head to the beach
10:00-10:30am - we get to the beach, set up camp, relax, do beach-y things (not gonna lie, took a mid-day beach nap everyday - nothing beats it haha!)
2:00pm - head back to the house
2:30pm - unload the car, unload the cooler, shower up
3:30pm - relax, run to the store if needed
4:00-4:30pm - start prepping dinner
5:30-6:00pm - eat dinner
6:00pm until bed - relax, play a card/board game, have a drink, ice cream, sunset
Although we love adventuring a bit more, it was definitely nice to have a week of dedicated "slow down" time.
On Sunday, we went to church at St. Peter the Apostle Church. Although it was definitely a more modern structure, it was beautiful, mass was jam packed and the community was super vibrant and friendly. If you're ever looking for a good mass to go to in the area, I definitely recommend St. Peter.
In terms of food, we only ate out one of the nights, but it was pretty good! We had some Italian and seafood at this little restaurant called Parmesan Pete's. Then, we had some insanely good ice cream at this place called Scoops Ice Cream and Acai Bowls (I may or may not - but definitely did - embrace my inner child with mint Oreo and Cookie Monster on a waffle cone lol). As for home cooked meals, we had chicken with my greek-style watermelon salad, homemade tacos (on Tuesday *wink wink*), wild-caught shrimp with greek lemon potatoes and a traditional greek salad with pita bread and chicken the last night we were there.
Something to note if you've never been to Naples before: there are no open developments. The whole area is full of gated communities (which are beautiful on the inside, but it's kinda weird to get used to). The roads and the intersections are also really wide.
We tried out two different beaches while we were down there - Naples Pier beach and Vanderbilt beach park. Naples Pier was nice but it was smaller with a lot more people. We only went there once before making Vanderbilt (which was gorgeous and a lot bigger/less crowded) a part of our daily routine. The water was like a bath since it's the gulf coast and the sand is white and powdery. There's also a ton of wildlife to see - all different kinds of birds, lizards, fish and dolphins swimming close to shore.
It was also nice to get to see some family while we were down there! All in all, we had a nice time. And spending time with my brother and sister is always a great time!
I hope you're having a beautiful summer so far. Wishing you and your loved ones safe travels.
Sending love always,