After a great Thanksgiving .........
with my brother James and my sister-in-law Millie, the morning of December 3rd found them saying good bye to us and Naples. The evening of December 3rd brought my 20 year old nephew Adam to Naples from Chicago for a visit. Adam left Naples on December 13th. Yes, the holidays are here and yes, both my husband and I are exhausted after so many days of company.
What do you do to entertain a 20 year old in Naples? We didn't have to do too much since Adam has been visiting Naples since he was 4 years old. We enjoyed the beach, hot tub, and hosting a party for Adam so that he could see some adults that he has enjoyed spending time with over the years. We also were able to go out to some great restaurants, play some canasta, get some computer game time, watch some good movies take him to Hooters to eat some spicy wings and enjoy the Naples Christmas parade.
We missed the Naples Boat Parade which was disappointing as Naples boat owners go all out decorating their boats for the holidays. Attending that parade is also a fun event. I have to tell you watching a Christmas parade wearing shorts has its pluses!
The Naples Board of Realtors recently released the November 2008 Naples Home Sales Report. Single Family Homes showed a good increase of 24.78% in closed sales from the 12 month ending November 2007 closed sales in comparison to 12 month ending November 2008 closed sales. Prices decreased 31.18%. The highest number of closed sales occurred in the East Naples area, 25.84%! While the days on the market have decreased, we still have an inventory of single family homes enough to last 25 months.
Condominiums showed a slight increase in the same time frame. North Naples had the highest amount of closed sales for condos, 30.25%. Prices decreased 15.63%. As of the end of November 2008, there is a 27 month inventory of condos for sale.
The Overall Market Statistics show that the highes number of pending sales and closed sales are in the under $300,000.00 price range.
People have asked me what is a "normal" amount of inventory? Real estate trade magazines that I have read indicate an inventory less than 6 months. It looks like Naples has a while to go before it becomes normal again.
My husband Don and I wish you all a Happy Holiday and hope that 2009 finds you enjoying yourself in Naples, FL.
There are many things about living in Naples Florida that makes life special. According to my husband, Don, one of the best things about Naples is its proximity to Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando. We are a mere 3.5 hours from Universal Orlando.
Since my husband Don is a roll a coaster enthusiast, we are annual member to Universal Orlando. We try to get up to Universal at least twice a year. What do you get your husband of 31 years for Christmas? A trip to Orlando! We spent December 16th-18th at Universal.
If you are a Florida resident or an annual pass holder with Universal Orlando, you can sometimes get some super rates at on site hotels. I managed to book a room at Lowes Royal Pacific Hotel which is on site at Universal for just $128.00 a night plus tax. Florida residents can check on line for hotel rates and entrance pass specials at Universal Orlando. When you stay at an on site hotel, you are given a Fast Pass which allows you to go to the head of the line when waiting for a ride. This saves an incredible amount of time when the park is crowded.
Don was thrilled to learn that Universal Studios will be opening up a new roll a coaster in the Spring of 2009.
He actually shot pictures of the track of this new coaster.
Universal's Islands of Adventure will be opening a new Harry Potter attraction sometime in 2010.
Last spring we traveled to Universal for the opening of the Simpson's ride. For those of you who love the Simpson's just standing in line waiting for the ride is a treat. You are in Krustyland waiting to ride a coaster and the dangerous Side Show Bob has escaped from prison into the park. As you wait, you can see different Simpson's characters on screens inside carnival booths. Everyone who is into the Simpson's TV show has their favorite character. Mine will always be Krusty the Clown. I don't think there is any person in the world who could match Krusty's crass commercialism of Krusty products let alone Krusty's MANY product endorsements.
Want to get into a Christmas spirit? Universal Orlando is the place to be. Both Universal Island of Adventure and Universal Studios are decorated for the holidays with wonderful lights, festive garland and all sorts of Christmas ornaments. The parks are a delight to see.
Every evening during the holidays Universal Studios has a Macy's Christmas parade.
There are huge balloons,
young people dancing on stilts,
all sorts of characters,
and cannons shooting out confetti through out the parade. The enthusiasm of all the young people in the parade is contagious!
How these young people can dance on stilts is beyond me!
Santa's helpers circled the tree to help Santa light the tree.
On the count of three, the tree illuminates and cannons fire out confetti snow! What a parade!
Don just couldn't resist getting a photo with some of Santa's helpers.
The last night of our trip we had dinner at Bice at the Portofino Hotel in Universal. After a wonderful dinner we sat outside in the piazza and enjoyed an after dinner drink looking out at the decorated buildings and piazza tree.
On our way back from Universal we stopped at Parkesdale Farm Market in Plant City at 3702 U.S. 92 West 813-752-0502 If you are ever on your way back to Naples from Orlando, plan to make a stop here. The fruit and vegetables are marvelous and reasonably priced. The strawberries are out of this world. Don and I stocked up for the holidays while we were there.
Getting back to reality was pretty tough after being pampered at Universal. Does anyone else have Christmas gifts to wrap?Whether you are in a freezing climate or in a tropical paradise, I wish you all a wonderful holiday and a happy and healthy New Year!
The Florida Association of Realtors® recently released the Florida Sales Report for October of 2008 for existing Single Family Homes and existing Condominiums. Please note that the Naples Board of Realtors® does submit figures for this report but there are no line items shown for Naples in these reports.
The good news is that the number of sales State wide is up in both categories! While the median sales prices are still down in both categories, the increase in the number of sales is encouraging news. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area had the highest increase in Realtor® sales in both categories. Existing Condominiums in this area only saw a decrease in price of 5% comparing October 2007 to October 2008.
My Thanksgiving dinner for 10 went well. I owe sincere thanks to my sister-in-law Millie who helped me Thanksgiving morning. Without Millie, we might not have eaten until 9:00 PM! Here I am trying not to have a meltdown in the kitchen just before taking the turkey out of the oven.
Knowing my brother James flew down from Chicago to enjoy our Mother's recipe for turkey and stuffing, it gave me great pleasure to see his plate and our friend Yolanda's plate scraped clean!
While James and Millie were in town, they were able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday Naples style with a lovely sunset at the Sandpiper in Pelican Bay........
We were all able to enjoy a filling breakfast at our brother Patrick's favorite breakfast place in Naples, the Clock.
Don and James were able to get in some fishing but had to throw back everything they managed to catch.
While Don and James did not catch any fish, they were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
James & Millie even treated us and our neighbors, Charlie and Gloria to a fishing trip on a pontoon boat. Unfortunately NONE of us caught a fish but we had a great time.
James & Millie left on December 3rd. James called me yesterday to say he was back at work and the temperature in Chicago was only 6 degrees. He was already missing Naples.
My nephew Adam arrived on the evening of the 3rd and will be with us until the 13th. Don and I are blessed that we can spend some time with loved ones over the holidays.
Where ever you are this holiday season, I hope that you are able to enjoy the company of loved ones and good friends.
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