A few days away at a resort that seems to anticipate your every move before you make it! I last stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Naples thirty years ago. It was a great feeling to be able to go back with my husband and daughter for this mini-vacation.
Trying to work around four schedules to plan a few days at the beach can be challenging but we managed to work it out. Being able to spend a few days with my nineteen-year-old daughter, Hanna, before she goes back to college was an added bonus; I love all of the traveling she is doing but miss her when she is gone. My seventeen-year-old son, Sam, was traveling through New Zealand and Australia on a school trip.
Walks on the beach, looking for seashells, and swimming in the Gulf were the perfect way to spend the four days. Watching sunsets, great food, and creative drinks make for perfect evenings.
A few restaurants I would suggest if you do visit this area: the Turtle Club is set right on the beach and the food is amazing. The funniest part of the evening was that we were sitting right by the door that lead to the outside tables but my daughter and I had no idea that these tables were literally on the beach itself. Of course, we had to have an impromptu photo-shoot and met a few women who were doing the same thing. They had an interesting story. It was four women, I would say in their forties or fifties, and they had posed on the same beach ten years earlier. The blanket they were all sitting on had the picture they took from ten years ago. I loved this idea!
The restaurant we ate at the last night was The Bay House. These were my husband’s picks and it was very interesting that two of my favorites were owned by the same person. The menu was creative, the wine list extensive and the food was delicious. It was the perfect way to spend our last evening.
Gumbo Limbo is located within the hotel and right on the beach. Perfect for lunch and even more perfect for cocktails in the evening. The salads were amazing, though the wine list was priced a bit high, but I preferred the strawberry daiquiris anyway.
We were there for July 4, so we enjoyed dinner and fireworks right from this spot.
While hunting for seashells is always exciting, let’s talk about the shopping, because there are treasures you can find in the store too.
The boutiques in the hotel are so much fun to shop in. I first went to the showcase for one of my favorite designers, Julie Miles. I already have a beautiful pearl necklace from her collection and wanted a bracelet to match.
I had no idea the boutique also carried her line of dresses. The prints are gorgeous. It was very hard to choose, but in the end, blue is my favorite color and I am so happy with my choice. I might add that Julie is a pleasure to deal with and is available to discuss any of her designs.
My next purchase will be one of her signature rings; unfortunately, they did not have the ring in my size but Julie has already offered to look at her inventory to check on availability.
There was a case of Biancanova Jewelry that I was unfamiliar with. Beautiful unique pieces and there was a ring that reminded me of the gulf as soon as I saw it. After purchasing the ring, I started to do some research online. It seems her designs are inspired by nature, which only makes me more interested in this designer. The price point was good and every time I wear it, I am reminded of the Gulf.
And this gorgeous suit is Trina Turk. This was my first purchase from this brand and, although a little pricy, the minute I put it on, I knew it was worth it. It fits as if it were custom made. I was able to buy it as separates, which made the sizing a bit easier. I have joined their mailing list and they have some great sales going on as well. I have attached the exact suit as well as others styles below.
Now, let’s talk about the vending machine, the cutest bottles of Moet that just make you want to own them let alone drink them. The ‘coin’ comes from the Gourmet Shop around the corner from the machine. Yes, they do check ID; no, they didn’t ask for mine. You are given a gold funnel that fits right into the bottle to drink from. Check out my instagram account to see how it works.
It is meant to become your glass, a very enjoyable way to end the evening celebrating nothing at all other than a few days of much needed down-time with my husband and daughter.
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Please share in the comments below someplace you love to go and what makes it so special to you!!