South and North

I have to admit that I have been a bit delinquent in my blog writing for the last two weeks. Lots of stuff going on now that season is here … and here in a big way.

   First of all, Gulfshore Playhouse’s production of “Venus in Fur” got off to a very successful run as GP’s first play of the season. The reviews were incredible, the attendance was terrific and there were standing ovations from the very first night.

Paradise Posts blog   Then, of course, there is the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars.” My husband, Bob, and others have been steadfastly rehearsing at a furious pace for this event. In case you missed it, the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County holds this fundraiser annually. This year it will be held at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club Friday, November 8. I know Bob, as well as the other participants, want to do their very best to put on a good show, and I am quite certain no one will be disappointed. There are a few tickets available for the big night, so if you want to be thoroughly entertained, call the Literacy Volunteers of Collier County at 239-262-4448, ext. 2013, for more information. And we would appreciate your mentioning “Bob Harden’s Dancing with the Stars for Literacy Fundraising Campaign.”

   While all this has been going on, many changes have been happening all over Naples. The originally named Registry Hotel, renamed The Naples Grande Beach Resort, and finally—although I don’t like to say finally—the Waldorf Astoria Hotel has been sold yet again. The buyer is a company called Northwood Investors, which has offices in New York, Los Angeles and London. According to reports, all the rooms and common areas of the Waldorf will be changed and updated, but the name will remain the same. Also sold was the Naples Grande Golf Club.

   I had mentioned some time ago that the owners of the Bay House Restaurant were planning on expanding their presence in North Naples with a boutique hotel, a bakery and a brewery. Those plans are still in the works in a big way; they are now in the permitting stages with Collier County. I did a drive-by the property the other day and cannot figure out where the other businesses will go. I cannot wait to see how everything comes together. The Bay House is a delightful destination, so I am sure the completed project will be wonderful.

Bob Harden dancing   It seems like the restaurant news in Naples is moving and changing weekly. A Mexican restaurant named Manzanillo’s has taken over the space where EVOO Bistro used to be. Inca’s Kitchen will definitely be opening a second location in Naples that will be in the Pavilion Shopping Center space formerly occupied by China Pavilion. The opening is slated for spring 2014. And in Old Naples, another French restaurant, La Bazeena, will be opening on Fifth Avenue South on the same block as Café Lurcat and Osteria Tulia.

   Now I have a confession to make about my delinquent blog. Not only have we been busy with all things Naples, but both Bob and I are crazed Boston Red Sox fans. It’s true. We have lived all over the country and gone from being Minnesota Twins fans, to Los Angeles Dodgers fans, and then Baltimore Orioles fans. But something happened when we moved to Boston. I can’t explain it—maybe it was in the water or the air, but when we lived in Boston, we became totally immersed in Boston sports—especially the Red Sox. So the last couple of weeks, Bob and I have been pacing, staying up late, pacing even more and yelling at the TV screen while we watched every single playoff game. We never missed one. And now it has come to this—the 2013 World Series! The Red Sox have made us proud. Hot dog! I already have my official Boston Red Sox jersey (with Dustin Pedroia’s last name on the back) ready to wear. For the next week or so, I will wear it during every single game of the Series. After that, baseball season will be over for another year, and Bob and I will get back to all things Naples. But until then, it’s “Boston Strong!!”

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