Naples - Clearwater - St AugustineJune 19 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
Managed to get to the 7 Mile Bridge over the Keys before another heavy thunderstorm hit us and followed us most of the way. Still, we enjoyed the country music on the way. As we arrived at Naples on the Gulf of Mexico coast, the weather cleared and we had a lovely walk around this beautiful city. It is very clean and upmarket with classy designer shops and fine restaurants. The homes lining the palm tree 🌴 avenues were gorgeous, and the area has been referred to as the Palm Springs of Florida. I remembered being here with Mags - can it really have been 34 years ago? - and we loved it then too. It really has to be one of the most attractive cities in Florida. Had a lovely walk along the old pier and saw a young fisherman catch a hammerhead shark, to the great excitement of onlookers, which he released back into the ocean.
Next day we headed north up the Gulf Coast and arrived at our next destination - Clearwater Beach. Another beautiful place. Today was hot and sunny and so we headed to the lovely white sandy beach. Although it was busy, there was plenty of space for everyone. I have to say though, with all the tanned, svelte bodies around, we looked a bit like Bette and Joan in the final beach scene of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Another lovely evening walk and another busy pier, this time lined with stalls selling arts and crafts.
Regrettably the sunshine didn’t last, as we left the Gulf Coast. We stopped for breakfast at a traditional American diner, complete with wisecracking waitress. The diner was located adjacent to a Dinner Theatre, a Lutheran Church and the County Courthouse. A middle aged couple in the booth next to us were having a heated discussion, presumably prior to their divorce hearing in the Court next door. ‘The bed may be yours, but I goddam paid for that sofa and you ain’t having that!’ declared the lady, as they exited the diner into their separate cars.
Next stop was an overnight at America’s oldest city - St Augustine. Although very touristy, it was an attractive town to walk around in, and the main historic area was pedestrianised and easy to get about. We particularly liked the beautiful former Ponce de Leon Hotel, now Flagler College, built by industrialist Henry Flagler, a key figure in the development of the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
Looking forward to catching up with Sadie and family tomorrow!Read more