The Traveling Steve's

Happy Fourth of July Week!

It’s Tuesday night as I write this, (again, another timeout from the China trip blog) and Steve (DOS) and I are staying at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point this week.

This is our first time staying at this resort in Bonita Springs, Florida, which is less than half an hour north of Naples, Florida. We drove down from Orlando last weekend (Saturday), and it was a quick four hour drive to the hotel, even with a quick stop for lunch and a couple rest area breaks.

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point (Bonita Springs/Naples area)

While there are quite a few families here for summer vacation, the area itself and down thru Naples is very quiet, as the “snowbirds” are back up north or elsewhere worldwide. It is quite hot outside, so the afternoon showers are definitely welcome! There’s even a small golf putting area and a nearly impossible “hole in one shot” if you can make it on the floating island to the left of the dock.

The Hyatt resort is gorgeous, with fountains, multiple pools, water slides, lazy river, etc, all overlooking the bay leading to the ocean. While the property is not oceanfront as it borders the bay, the hotel has a complimentary boat shuttle to take you to the nearby beach that lies on the Gulf of Mexico.

There is a long nature boardwalk that takes you thru the marsh area down to the marina where you can take a boat to the beach. The boardwalk area itself is a nice nature walk thru the green trees and bushes, where you will probably spot varied wild life along the way.

We are staying in the Bay Suite on the 14th floor of the hotel, and have a beautiful view out of our 3 balconies, one with a sitting area. The views of the pools, bay, and sunsets are spectacular, and our corner suite is very quiet. We have a seating living/dining room with bath, and separate bedroom with bath.

It’s quite comfortable for the two of us, and I’ve even used one of the two large screen TVs as a monitor to my laptop via HDMI cable.

I’m working this holiday week from the hotel (except for the Fourth of July), but it’s nice to work inside with such a nice view. Quite frankly it’s a bit too hot to be outside in the daytime anyway, and we enjoy the evenings after work, strolling thru the property and going out for dinner.

The property has several restaurants and lounges, but so far we have gone off property for dinner. We have breakfast in the Concierge Lounge, and a couple nights have been there for the evening hors d’ourves as well. While not complimentary like some Hyatts, beer and wine are half priced in the evening, and the hors d’ourves are quite nice. The evening walks around the property are quite pleasurable as the heat of the day has cooled off and the gentle evening breeze sets in.

On our first night here (Saturday night), we Uber’d to The Capital Grille in North Naples, (about a 20 minute ride) for the annual Generous Pour wine event. We normally go and stay at the Hyatt Orlando Convention Center for this as there is a Capital Grille next door to the hotel, but seeing that there is one nearby in Naples, we had to try it out. Believe me, after going to the Generous Pour, you don’t want to be driving home, so Uber is the way to go this week!

The Generous Pour doesn’t official start until July 9th, but for at least the last three years they have unofficially started it a week to 10 days early, alerting people on their email list the event has begun. Each year there are different wines and themed together, (this year the Jackson Family wineries are featured) usually with three white wines and four red wines. For $28 a person (plus the cost of your meal) you get unlimited (i.e. Generous) pours of the seven wines featured for the event. Each year we say this is the best year, but we really love two of the wines especially this year (Arrowood Cabernet, and Freemark Abbey Cabernet).

We arrived about fifteen minutes before our 8am reservation thanks to the light off-season traffic (so our Uber driver told us), and were seated at a nice booth. The North Naples Capital Grille had a different layout and vibe than Orlando, probably due to the lack of Disney/Universal tourists and the ultra-wealthy surroundings. There were several semi-private rooms, and even in the main room where we sat, the noise level was quite reasonable; unlike some restaurants that are noisy with conversation.

DOS and I had a nice 3 and a half hour meal(!), as we like to have a couple appetizers served separately, salad, main course and ultimately dessert. As it was the Generous Pour, it was also nice to try and pair the different wines with the different courses. We started light (as in the whites first) and gradually moved to the reds. We didn’t care for the Chardonnay, but the Sauvignon Blanc and Rose were quite refreshing in the summer heat.

Our service was outstanding from our waiter Vlad, so much so that we’re planning on going again tomorrow (Wednesday) night!

Of course in our usual Traveling Steve’s dining style, we were nearly the last people to leave the restaurant!

Here DOS arranges for an Uber ride back to our hotel,

but unfortunately this Bentley (valet’d at Capital Grille) wasn’t our Uber ride picking us up. LOL!

On Sunday we toured around Naples on our own, going to fashionable 5th Avenue and the nearby beaches. Fifth Avenue was fun to walk around, but by day it was quite hot, and being off season was really quiet. I’m sure at night it comes to life, and especially in the winter season.

We went by a couple of the nearby public beaches, located down narrow streets lined with multi-million dollar homes. The wide, white sand beaches were very beautiful, but I’m sure the ritzy neighbors don’t like people stopping in front of their house to take photos (like us! LOL!)

Back near the hotel, we’ve also been to a couple other places close by, including some of the chain places such as Five Guys (for lunch), and Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grille, and a local establishment called The Pewter Mug for dinner. The Pewter Mug was especially nice as it was a local (non chain) restaurant, and specialized in delicious Prime Rib (my favorite!) Florida dining here is quite casual, so with the exception of The Capital Grille, we have been wearing shorts everywhere.

Anyway, a patriotic photo from the Hyatt lobby here to close out this post, and we will return to the rest of the China trip soon. Happy July Fourth week, stay happy, stay safe, and God bless!

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