Moms only week in Naples was a serious slice of heaven on earth. The sun was hot, the beaches were beautiful, and there was no one to take care of but ourselves. ☀️🌼💛🍋🍑🧡💫
Allegiant Air did us right with a cheap and quick flight from Norfolk (ORF) to St. Pete (PIE), and it was super easy renting a car with Enterprise to make the 2.5 hour drive to Naples…the Ocean views along the way helped, and we were all so excited for a break that we did not mind the drive at all.
Horizon beach was our first full beach day, and she was good to us. Public parking made it super convenient, and it was not as crowded as some other beaches we went to. Beach tunes, water noodles and overall a chill vibe. I know I saw a few locals toe-tapping and eyeing down our noodles in envy…we were just setting the tone and acknowledging our arrival for anyone who wanted to witness the fun about to go down. 😆
Barefoot Beach was the next days adventure, and although it was gorgeous, it was not my favorite beach. A little crowded, you had to pay for parking, no Beach cocktails allowed, and I felt like we could not jam loud enough to our tunes. I mean, it was a mom’s getaway trip…don’t judge! 😂
We got our game back with a late waterfront lunch at Coconut Jacks in Bonita Springs. I’m pretty sure we were the youngest group of females the valet boys had seen in a while because I’m also pretty sure I saw one of them frantically wave us into the parking lot. 🤣 Cocktail hour put us in the sweet spot.
Private, member only dance parties ensued almost nightly. Bodysuits, jean shorts and high school rap music (like from a thousand years ago when we were in high school) may or may not have been involved. 🙈
Day 3, and another new beach to explore. Sanibel. The drive over the Sanibel Causeway was gorgeous, and the island itself is adorable and littered with character and charm. Surprisingly, this was also not my favorite beach day, but we also kind of blew it and parked it on the beach somewhere in the middle of the island. We realized as we were leaving and stopped by the lighthouse and gulf end of the island that THAT was where we should have been. Note to self if you are headed to Sanibel, wait in line for a parking spot to open up on the lighthouse side…it’s worth it! We found tons of shells, I jogged with Brooke for the first time in like a century (and was sore the rest of the trip 👵🏻), and we had another fun day full of laughter and relaxation. This is also the day that somehow the Merkin jokes began, which I am still dying laughing over. I mean, every once in a while you just have to let your hair down (no pun intended 😐😂), and we were merkin the best of it.
By Wednesday I was starting to wait for one of us to get moody or needy or bossy…four girls who may or may not all be slightly OCD and control freaks…you know what I’m talking about ladies! However, it never came…these ladies are rock stars and I would take 1000 trips over with them! Good Vibes Only 🙌🏼
Sanibel is one for the memory books, and we ended the day with a fancy, ladylike dinner out at Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar. The hostess definitely gave us a look of ‘are you sure you are in the right place?’ when we walked in, and it became a running joke the rest of the trip that the majority of the population in Naples was disgusted by our youth. 🤣 (to clarify, I’m laughing because we picked the restaurant with the absolute oldest people in Naples and also because we are no longer that young ourselves 😭) Made for great laughs that night and a plan to find a younger crowd for our next dinner out. Brooke may or may not have been wearing a one piece under a sheer dress from our local favorite Honey & Hive (super cute look, by the way), and I may or may not have announced in the ladies room for all to hear that it was time for us to go skinny dipping. So the looks were SOMEWHAT justified 😉 #momsjustwanttohavefun #wedidnotgoskinnydipping 🙄
Day 4. Lowdermilk. I loved that palm trees lined the beach up and down, parking was free, and there was a more lively vibe even though it was pretty crowded. There were also super cute tiki huts along the beach that provided great shade, made for cute photo opts….and also looked like giant Merkins. It was going to be a fun day. I know, I know…enough with the Merkin jokes…they are merkin me crazy too. 🙊
Lowdermilk was one of my top 2 beaches, and we actually spent two days in a row at this beach. We walked down to the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club Beach Front Bar for an afternoon cocktail one day, which had great mojitos that you could sip on in a casual beach bar scene overlooking the water. We walked right up in our swim suits, and it was very laid back which we loved. We asked someone to take our picture, and ended meeting Paul, who was such a doll! He is a fellow real estate agent who retired to Naples and gave us tons of great tips on what to do and where to go. We were sad to miss the Sunday night dance party at the Naples Beach Hotel, but Paul told us not to miss Mercato for live music and dancing. We did one big night out with dancing at Blue Martini in Mercato, which will also go down in our memory books as some super special fun times.💃
We had to get to Naples Pier at least one night to check out the Sunset. It was a gorgeous spot and a stunning sunset…not to be missed!
Our last full beach day was spent exploring Clam Pass Beach. This was also in my top 2…and really takes the cake as my favorite beach in Naples. We parked for free at a lot at the North end of Gulf Shore Boulevard, which was a great beach spot in and of itself, and walked all the way down to Clam Pass, which we all agreed our kids would have loved. Tidal pools, beach front lounge area and bar, a little Bay Area…very cool scene, family friendly, and my favorite Sunset spot in Naples.
It wound not have been a proper goodbye on our last night in Naples without dinner at Hob Nob (get a ton of small plates and share them…the Scallop Ceviche, Tuna Nachos, Mushroom Pizza, Crispy Squid, and Octopus were a few of our favorites!!) and a giant Ice Cream cone on 5th Avenue.
(Leaf Print Jumpsuit from Vici Collection)
I have to say one of my most favorite memories is that I was re-named ‘vacation Heather’ on this trip, and all the girls, including myself, agree that ‘vacation Heather’ is a lot more fun than ‘working Heather’. Every once in a while you just need to get away from it all, and I can honestly say I feel most like ME when I am traveling, adventuring and exploring, whether it is with family and/or friends. So stay tuned because there are a lot more adventures to come!✌🏼
We ate well, soaked up the sun, and laughed until we cried (or peed our pants 😏), and it was merkin awesome. Much love for these fun-loving ladies I get to call some of my favorite besties. XOXO