Sometimes we just tend to forget how really beautiful the weather and environment is here in southwest Florida and more especially Naples. It took a recent trip, with my other half, back to where I had spent the better part of 30 years to really etch that in our minds.
I was excited as we planned my first trip back to the north shore of Boston
, since moving to Naples some five years prior. I was even more excited because I was going to show Pat, a Michigander who'd never been to New England, how really beautiful and specialÂ it was.Â The two week plans first called for flying into Boston, renting a carÂ then driving out to Littleton for a night's stay with my younger brother and his wife.Â
From there we would head out for Woodstock, Vermont to see our doctor friend, George Schuetz, who lived at the top of one of the highest hills in Woodstock, with beautiful views from anywhere on the property. (This was the friend, who on a visitÂ with us here in Naples one summer, remarked that he thought "living in FloridaÂ is like living in a pizza oven".)Â WeÂ would then travel down the Kangamangus Highway, weaving our way through theÂ mountains, with their gorgeous views, as we headed to Maine. A short night's stay there, then on to the north shore, where I would be able to show off Hamilton
Â and the other places that seemed stunning beautiful to me, when I lived there.
Upon exiting the plane at Logan International Airport
, a light rain just had just started and by the time that we were half way out to Littleton, it had turned into a full-blown nor'easter, which would dump bad weather on almost all of New England literally the whole time that we were there. (I guess that I had completely forgotten one of the reasons that I had moved to Florida, some five years earlier). The night's stay at my brother's house was fun, although because of the bad weather, we couldn't sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine on his wooden patio.
That next morning, we said our goodbyes, climbed into the car and headed out for the long trip to Woodstock, Vermont. It was raining the whole trip, andÂ we could barely see through the windshield. When we arrived, George greeted us, and despite the rain, took us on a tour of Woodstock. I was disappointedÂ that Pat really couldn't get a feel for the area because of the difficult weather, but was still excited because she would get to experience the breathtaking ride down the Kangamangus to Maine.
True to form, the rain greeted us in the morning, and after a hearty breakfast, we began the trip up to the Kangamangus and down through the mountains. The day's was a total blur because of the heavy fog in the morning and rain in the afternoon, and I had to be really paying attention to the driving, because the Kangamangus can be a dangerous road in good weather conditions. When we finally landed in Kennebunkport
, we hurriedly checked in toÂ our inn and set out for a late lobster lunch, down by the fishing docks. (I realized then how much I really missed the sweet taste of Maine lobster.) After lunch, we planned the short drive to view the Bush Compound, on the island off Kennebunkport. Through the mist and rain, it was hard to really see anything, but we gave it our best try.Â The next day, we again set out, this time for the north shore and the area where I had resided for so long. I still remained reasonably excited to show Pat all the wonders of the place, even though the bad weather had not let up.
As we rode around the north shore through Beverly
, Salem and Marblehead, I couldn't help but notice the dirty streets and many of the buildings looking as though they hadn't been painted in the last hundred or so years. I remember the grass being brown and the yards looking rather unattractive, certainly a far cry from what I thought when I had lived in the area. I never did say anything to Pat, but tried my best to put on a brave front.
When we returned to southwest Florida and Naples
, as we drove through the streets in Olde Naples with the bright sun shining heading to our home, we looked at each other and remarked about how beautiful and pristine Naples reallyÂ was. It was almost like there wasn't a blade of grass out of place and certainly no paper in the streets, like we'd seen all over New England. I guess that living in southwest Florida can spoil us greatly!