Monday, March 30, 2009

My Week in Naples

An exhibit of works by Andy Warhol at the Von Liebig Art Center in Naples. Small but startling, colorful, and bold. We were surprised by the four Andy Mouse pieces, a collaboration between Warhol and Keith Haring. The student exhibit had some extremely fine works in the collection, as well.

Lunch at the Greek restaurant, owned by friends of Scott; the best tasting tomatoes in the salad of anywhere I have eaten here. Naps on the rainy Sunday afternoon. S. goes off to work and I attend a crystal bowl sound healing meditation. The singing bowls are mesmerizing, and when the meditation was over, I was acutely aware of how much tension I have been storing up in my shoulders. And how much I need more of those kinds of healing experiences. What is considered "New Age," is actually very ancient, and full of great power.

Dinner at California Pizza, crunchy Thai salad, vegetable panini, yum. Lunch at La Playa, fancy resort on Gulf Shore Blvd., great view of the ocean, the food completely mediocre.

Lunch in Bonita Springs with an old friend, at Dixie Moon Cafe, "Southern Food With an Attitude," fried chicken, fried okra, mashed potatoes, three kinds of gravy, excellent peace cobbler, green beans with bacon, banana pudding with vanilla wafers!
An exploration of the "historical" section of town, about one block long, but still interesting. Walked along the Imperial River, and a vacant lot alongside, which we later learned was destined for a strip mall. Old, lush paradisical Florida once again being paved for a parking lot. Heartbreaking.

Many visits to the beach. Water was a bit cold the first few days I was here, but warmed up. The winds were brisk the whole time, so lots of waves to bob about on. The sand is clean and almost white. Unlike CT, where all the beach access is private, you can drive down almost any coastline street here and there will be a tiny or larger parking lot, and excellent access to the sand and ocean. Even the numerous McMansions cannot claim exclusive rights to the beach access, although there are private clubs that have restricted beaches.

Took the dogs to the dog park a couple of times where we met Cotton, a young fluffy white long haired Chihuahua, Sidney, a white bull terrier, Ben, an old golden lab, and Winnie, a black lab mix puppy. Bindi is clearly the alpha dog with the smaller canines, so actually does much better playing with the bigger dogs. Today two big dogs had both gotten their teeth on the same ball and were pulling in opposite directions, but there was no real danger, just a lot of growling and posturing.

Had delicious potato latkes at Fred's, the diner that allows dogs on the terrace. In fact, one woman who was there was passing out her dog sitting service cards, and she also drives people to and from the airport, so she's gonna pick me up later today and take me to RSW.

Made it to the Naples zoo again to see the botanical garden planted amidst the animals. Rather the botanical garden preceded the zoo, so the animals are nestled amongst the flora. There were two lion cubs, nine months old and already pretty large. Zebra, gazelle, gators, primates, parrots, and a gorgeous tiger. I felt bad for the cheetah, pacing in her cage. Although this is considered a fine zoo, full of "enrichments" for the animals, it is nothing like them being in the wild, or even on a very large reserve. It's a terrible compromise for endangered species to have to be caged.

Scott's pond behind his house has afforded many moments of enjoyment watching the muscovy ducks, the anhinga, the turtles, and other things I cannot identify. He says there is an otter living in the pond, but I never saw it. The muscovies roost in the trees at night. Yesterday I saw for the first time a female with fifteen chicks that must have just hatched, as they were so small and fluffy and following mama around.

I did no shopping this trip. I don't need anything, and need to save my money to hire help for after the knee surgery. I have very high anxiety about going home and making various arrangements and going to various doctor's appointments before the surgery. I'm very very nervous about it. This has been in the back of my mind the whole time I was here, but have managed mostly to keep the anxiety under control and have some good times.

1 comment:

Max in the Hague said...

sounds like a great trip! would love to hear more about it.