Waldorf Astoria Naples FL
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Naples FL for the wedding of the daughter of a dear friend. I'd never been to Naples, actually never further south in Florida than Tampa. My expectations were rather high since we were staying at the Naples Waldorf Astoria. I don't know about you but the words Waldorf Astoria conjur up all kinds of high brow images to me: butlers, women in large sun bonnets, men in ascots and little pocket/purse dogs on leashes with "bling". But what I came away with is - it's a nice place to visit, but I'll keep my home in paradise, thank you.
The drive down reminded me once again how large our state of Florida is and the fact that I've always felt we needed to break it into three states called North Florida, Central Florida and South Florida. I liked visiting South Florida and the east coast because it was a new area to explore and because it held a different type of beauty than North Florida. We encountered taller palm trees with large leaves more reminiscant of the post cards most of us remember of Florida from our youth. There were also mangrove trees whose roots poked back up through the ground like our Cypress trees.
The resort was located along the Gulf Coast (coast of the Gulf of Mexico) and although the water is the same sparkling emerald green waters as we have in Panama City Beach, the beach was entirely different. You rode a tram through about 1/2 mile of mangrove trees as thick as a jungle and then broke through the forest to a wide grey-white sandy strip with beach umbrellas and lounge chairs as far as the eye could see. I don't have to remind you if you've spent much time in Panama City Beach, Grayton, Santa Rosa along the beaches of 30A and Destin that we locals are sand snobs. That's right, we don't think anyone has as beautiful sand as we do along the northern Gulf
Boardwalk in the Mangrove Stand
Coast of Florida. And truthfully, there are no more beaufiful beaches than here. The combination of the white sand and emerald green waters will make visitors want to quit their jobs and move here tomorrow. We understand. That's why we live along the "World's Most Beautful Beaches" in our own version of paradise.
Grey White Beaches of Naples FL