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Postcard from Naples, Florida

Posted by Ali | Tuesday May 7, 20136 comments
Naples, FloridaLike so many Canadians, I escaped to Florida this year to flee the cold. I don't know about the rest of Canada, but Toronto's winter felt never-ending and spring has been more than fashionably late. So, late one April evening, I found a deal and booked a one week air and hotel package at a Hyatt resort somewhere between Naples and Fort Meyers.  I justified the trip as a babymoon for #2, who is due this summer.

Naples, Florida
The Kiddie pool at the Hyatt Regency, Coconut Point

This was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable trips we've had. My boy, not yet two years old, was beyond thrilled about the weather and scenic resort complete with multiple swimming pools, water slides and a boat to a private island. He ran around the resort everyday babbling excitedly in his mother tongue (baby language), "grrrea grrrea grrrrooo!"  He excitedly exchanged "hi's" with anyone in his path, from the elevator to the pool.

On the balcony of our suite playing hide and seek with Daddy.

This was my first trip to Florida outside of the Miami airport and I quickly fell for the weather, fresh Red Snapper and unsweetened iced tea.  This is the easiest drink to make and yet here if you order iced tea it's rarely the real deal.  If it comes from a bottle or machine I don't care for it.  I have been inspired to make my own tea and keep it on hand. Sidebar: how much do you love these vintage style paper straws I found at Eat Your Words?
Iced Tea
Homemade Iced Tea:  A new favourite drink
Naples, Florida
Big Brother-to-be and me

I was surprised to see how many at the resort were baking their bodies in the full force of the sun.  Call me pasty, but I felt no shame being the palest of the pack, carefully protecting my skin with layers of serum, sunscreen and a hat.  Thankfully husband and toddler were quite cooperative with their sun protection.  I had a bunch of products along to test for the trip thanks to some thoughtful PR friends.  These were my favourites:

Favourite 2013 Sunscreens
1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic; 2. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50; 3. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion; 4. Consonant Body the Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30; 5. Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30; 6. Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Though I didn't meet any exotic local wildlife (snakes, alligators and such), we did get intimately acquainted with noseeums. Like the name implies, these are tiny black bugs that are so small and bite you so fast you don't even see them. Poor Alex proved a very tasty meal. I must have too much mosquito venom in my veins from growing up in Winnipeg.
Sanibel Island, Florida
On the beach at Sanibel Island

We rented a car for the 1 hour drive to Sanibel Island where there is an endless stretch of beach covered in white sand and an incredible selection of sea shells. 
Naples, Florida
The one time it rained.  Sadly, it happened on our last night at our beach front dinner where we had planned to watch the sunset.

This was without a doubt, one of the easiest most relaxing trips we've done as a family.  Remember New York?  The prices were reasonable, the weather amazing (30's all week!) and the flight was less than 3 hours from Toronto.  I can pretty much guarantee we'll be back next winter.

But, since you know I like to give advice, I leave you with the following tips:

1.  If the reviews for the resort you are considering reference the "great conference" they attended there, you may want to book elsewhere.  There was a conference almost every night of our stay with loud music into the night.

2.  When pregnant, buy your swimsuit the day before you leave.  Even a week can be the difference between a well fitting suit and having things peep out, as I discovered.

3. Do not buy a paper hat, even if it is only $14.99.  Just a splash of water is all it takes and the hat will be flopping around your ears.  You can see it started to happen on Day 1 in the above pictures.  By the end of the week, I had to hold it up to see where I was going.
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on July 02, 2013  klang bus said:

This the way you just did.I’m really impressed that there’s so much about this subject that’s been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class. Good one you, man ! Really great stuff here.

klang bus

on May 09, 2013  KatelynRose1984  20,704 said:

Looks like you're having a fabulous time! Beautiful pictures, and beautiful family. Congratulations!

on May 07, 2013  fredamans  12,209 said:

Your lil guy is adorable!!!

on May 07, 2013  LissaG  6,010 said:

Looks like a gorgeous place! And you're good for wearing lots of sunscreen...everyone baking in the sun might look nice and tan right now, but in a few years they'll be wrinkly and spotty! Won't envy anyone then haha.

on May 07, 2013  smiley_gen  9,832 said:

What a beautiful resort! I love the hide and seek picture of your little man, so adorable!

on May 07, 2013  takoda  28,648 said:

Love your pic's Ali! Your little man sure is getting big. It seems like just a few months ago we were talking about you being over your due date. Time sure goes by fast and even faster when you have a little one. So enjoy every minute you can with both of them.

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