Monday, November 9, 2015

Family Getaway to Naples - This Is 40

To celebrate my 40th, I decided it was time for a Family Getaway.  For a few logistical reasons, we all agreed to meet in Naples, FL for the weekend to spend a few days enjoying everyone’s company and welcoming the inevitable….my birthday.

I remembered a great little boutique hotel on Naples’ Fifth Avenue South that I never got the chance
to visit during my crazy travel days, but I had always wanted to.  The Inn on Fifth offers a prime location nestled on both side of Fifth Avenue South with the actual Inn (119 guest rooms) on one side and the Club Level (32 luxury suites) across the street on the other side.

Since we all wanted to be together, we booked on the Inn side; however, upon arrival we got upgraded to the Club Level side and we were ecstatic.  Guests in this intimate enclave also enjoy a range of pampering services and exclusivity including a private rooftop sundeck and whirlpool spa, daily deluxe Continental breakfast, afternoon snacks and evening cocktails with appetizers; complimentary transportation to and from the Naples Airport and around downtown in a Cadillac Escalade SUV.
Our first night was just my parents, husband and I and (after drinks on the rooftop sun deck), we wondered across the street (back to the Inn) for dinner at acclaimed Avenue 5.  The $3 million restaurant opens its doors onto prestigious 5th Avenue South and offers vintage glam ambiance. Guests experience the extravagant island bar, an incredible wine list featuring 400 varieties, two private dining areas and sweeping views of the Fifth Avenue streetscape.

On Saturday, we woke up and ate breakfast at the Club Level.  Then we did a little shopping (well, enough to work up an appetite) in the boutiques around our hotel and
then walked about 10 minutes to Tin City to the annual Stonecrab Festival.  This event is a weekend of food and fun starring of course, the stone crab, as well as a chance to explore the beautiful Naples waterfront with activities on land and by water in and around Bayfront, Port of Naples Marina, Tin City and Naples Transportation and Tours General Store/Heritage Museum.

We ate lunch (Stone Crabs, obviously) at the very busy Pinchers in Tin City.  It had a good atmosphere for watching the boats go by, and the service was great.  The beers and stone crabs claws went down way too easy, so the walk back to the hotel seemed longer than it was to get there.  Once we returned to the hotel, I found my room decorated with over the hill caution tape courtesy of Merideth Wohl.  That’s what younger sister in laws are for!! J  We were joined by the rest of our group and took the party to the pool. 

Lined with towering palms and colorful flowers, the beautifully landscaped 3,600-square foot pool deck is dotted with chaise lounges and umbrellas.  The setting was enhanced by the refreshing beverages and casual fare from Avenue5 that was delivered straight to us poolside.  We got to visit with everyone and enjoy some rest and relaxation away from our hectic lives.

After a few hours poolside, it was time to get ready for dinner at Truluck’s.  Specializing in succulent
steaks and the freshest seafood, the signature dish at Truluck’sSeafood Steak and Crabhouse is fresh Florida stone crab.  As we arrived, I realized that the Decoration Bandit had struck again.  This time Merideth made sure our table was decorated and I had a bag full of “old lady” supplies ready for my (now 40) every need. From hair rollers to adult diapers, she made sure my new decade started off well prepared.   We enjoyed amazing meals, great wine and fine drinks all conveniently just steps away from our hotel.  This was very convenient for my mom who had to be escorted home early due to being ‘over-served.’   After dessert, we concluded the evening with more social time in the Club Level common area.

We all woke up hungry and the fabulous concierge at the hotel recommended breakfast at The Café, which specializes in homemade, high-quality breakfast, lunch and baked goods. The menu combines the best of the European and American cooking and baking traditions. With roots in the relaxed Scandinavian lifestyle and influenced by the European café life, this is a place where everybody can enjoy really good food in an inviting and friendly atmosphere featuring an excellent patio area for outdoor seating and interior seating with large window areas towards the street.

Many thanks to the Inn on Fifth for a fabulous weekend.  Do not hesitate to call them to plan your next special vacation.  It was a getaway with some of my favorite people (I only say ‘some’ since our kids were not there). I welcomed 40 with the people who have made me the person I am today and who have loved me during my ups and down.  Thank you all for your wisdom, support and love.  I cannot thank you all enough. 


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