Monthly Archives: May 2019

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

With the Gulf of Mexico right in our backyard and the warm waters of the keys located just a short distance to the south, fresh seafood abounds in many Southern Florida restaurants. But our talented local chefs prepare more delicious delights than just seafood. And during the Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, you can taste their creations at a discounted price.

Local chefs in Naples, Marco Island and nearby cities put together prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus for Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019.

What: Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019
Where: Various restaurants around Southwest Florida
When: May 30th to June 12th, 2019
Contact: Summer Sizzle website

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

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Local Naples and Marco Island chefs join Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019 from May 30th to June 12th. So, it really should be called restaurant weeks. Several restaurants in nearby Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Estero/Bonita also join the ticket for these 15 days of mouthwatering culinary masterpieces. In fact, several of the restaurants that Naples Daily News’ own food critic, Jean Le Beouf named as THE top Naples restaurants for 2019 partner up for Summer Sizzle.

Each participating restaurant puts together their own prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus created specifically for Summer Sizzle. All you need to do to participate is to visit the list of restaurants, pick which one you want to go to, and give them a call. While reservations aren’t always required, they are highly recommended. This tends to be a pretty busy time. Click on the menu link next to the restaurant’s name to see what’s available on the prix-fixe menu before you go. And make sure you specifically request the prix-fixe menu when ordering from your server.

Sizzle SWFL Scholarship Program

When you order one of the prix-fixe menus during Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, $1 will be donated to the Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship. This scholarship award goes to students attending the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort & Hospitality Program. Between the two restaurant week events hosted throughout the year, over 60,000 meals are served. That helps several local students with their education. The Catch of the Pelican in Naples and Artisan Eatery in Fort Myers both pledged to donate more than $1 per meal served. So, show them some extra love when deciding where to eat. Bon appétit!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Botanical Garden Offers Free Admission for Veterans & Active Military

Memorial Day takes place in exactly one week from today. If you’re unsure where to go for Memorial Day weekend, might I make a suggestion? Naples Botanical Garden is full of blooming flowers right now. And, this weekend only, they offer free admission for all veterans and active military (with valid ID).

All retired military as well as active military and up to 5 of their family members receive free admission to the Naples Botanical Garden over Memorial Day weekend.

What: Naples Botanical Garden Memorial Day Appreciation Weekend
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore)
When: May 25th to 27th, 9 am to 5 pm
Admission: FREE for active & retired military members (with valid ID)
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275 or via email

Naples Botanical Garden Honors Our Military

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The garden offers several fun programs for all visitors this weekend. Dig Deeper offers sage advice for spending thyme in your own garden. Get out of the humid weather and take a walk through the Art of Mally Khorasantchi in Kapnick Hall. Or W.O.N.D.E.R. around the garden to find out what you can do to help Mother Earth thrive. Create wonderful works of art with recycled items. Learn more about recycling and reusing materials in your everyday life to keep them out of our landfills. There’s more life left in many objects than you might think.

Tickets cost $19.95 per adult (ages 15 & up). Kids cost $9.95 each (ages 4-14). Children ages three and under get in absolutely free. And, for Memorial Day weekend (May 25th to 27th), all active and retired military members get in absolutely free as well. Military members must show their ID to receive the discount. Tickets can be purchased online or at the garden’s box office.

Thanks to Blue Star Museums, active military and up to five of their families receive free admission any day through September 2nd. For more information about the Blue Star Museums program as well as what ID you’ll need in order to qualify, please visit the Blue Star Museums website here.

Marco Island Memorial Day Ceremony

The nearest Memorial Day parade occurs in Cape Coral on May 27th. However, that doesn’t mean that our vets are forgotten here in the Naples/Marco Island area. A special ceremony honoring our dearly departed heroes takes place from 11 am to noon on Monday, May 27th, at Veterans’ Community Park (901 Park Ave) in Marco Island. Organizers invite the public to pay homage to those we lost in battle over the years.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Landscaping for the Monarch Butterfly Population in Florida

For years, experts believed that nearly all of the monarch butterfly population in Northern America wintered in the warmer climate of Mexico. However, recent studies revealed that much of the eastern North American population actually stayed in Southern Florida during winter months. Plan on updating your Naples home’s landscaping soon? Consider planting these monarch-friendly plants to help our local population thrive.

If you're thinking about adding new landscaping to your Naples or Marco Island home this year, consider plants that help the Monarch butterfly population in Southern Florida.

How to Help the Monarch Butterfly Population in Southern Florida

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One of the best ways to help the Southern Florida Monarch butterfly population is to plant milkweed around your home. Monarchs lay their eggs in milkwood plants so that their larvae have a rich food source directly at the ready once they hatch. But not all milkweeds are created equal. The best thing to do is to include plants native to Southern Florida. Mix it up between plants that help the larvae population and nectar plants for adult Monarchs to drink from. As an added bonus, the nectar plants also entice hummingbirds to come to your garden.

Native Plants for Monarch Butterfly Larvae

  • Butterfly Weed
  • Curtiss’ Milkweed
  • Fewflower Milkweed
  • Green Antelopehorn
  • Longleaf Milkweed
  • Savannah Milkweed
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • White Vine
  • Whorled Milkweed

Native Nectar Plants for Monarch Butterflies

  • Blazing Star
  • Cat’s Tongue
  • Climbing Aster
  • Crownbeard
  • False-Blazing Star
  • Flat-Topped Goldenrod
  • Goldenrod
  • Hempvine
  • Mist Flower
  • Scorpiontail
  • Spanish Needles
  • Yellow Top

Talk to your local nursery to find out which plants would work best in your Naples or Marco Island yard to encourage our Monarch butterfly population. Ask them about proper care for those plants as well. With a little careful planning, you’ll have butterflies and hummingbirds visiting your backyard on a regular basis.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season is Underway Now

The Naples sea turtle nesting season officially started on May 1st. However, some people spotted evidence of nesting as early as April 22nd. During nesting season, sea turtles come up onto the beach, seeking shelter in the vegetation growing there. That’s where they lay their eggs. So, we should start seeing the hatchlings searching for their way back to the sea starting sometime in June. To keep this beautiful part of the eco-system safe, here are a few things you can do to help.

The Naples sea turtle nesting season is upon us. Between now and Oct 31st, we may see turtles and hatchlings traversing the beaches around sunset. Follow these simple rules to ensure their safety during this time.

Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Lights Endanger Turtles

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Mama sea turtles and their babies travel our beaches at night. They use the light reflecting off the water to find their way back and forth. Streetlights, flashlights, and even camera/cell phone lights confuse them. This could endanger their lives by sending them off in the wrong direction, towards vehicle traffic that may kill them. Therefore, keep lights away from the beach.

When at the beach at night, turn off any light sources (lanterns, flash photography, flashlights, etc.). Use only long wavelength lamps/amber LED lights when needed. Shield them and keep them shining directly onto the ground in front of you. Lower your blinds that face the beach side of your Naples home. Keep light sources away from any window that faces the beach. Turn off exterior lights on your house, including porch lights, landscaping lights (solar, too), and any decorative lighting. We don’t want to confuse the hatchlings or their mamas.

Clean Up After Yourself

This makes sense anytime you visit a Naples or Marco Island beach. But, it’s especially true during the Naples sea turtle nesting season. Pack up all your beach chairs, towels, coolers, bags, umbrellas and trash when you leave. Fill in any holes you may have dug or that cropped up from your beach chairs. We need to leave a clear pathway for the turtles to travel.

Leave Them Be

If you’re lucky enough to see the turtles coming and going along the beach, stay back. Give them plenty of room to roam. Bright lights, loud noises, and even simply walking up to them could cause female sea turtles to turn around and abandon their nests. Also, let the turtles return back to the sea on their own.

If you come across a nest, leave it alone. Any eggs that have been handled by a human or moved from one place to another may harm the hatching process. It could even kill the hatchlings before they’re born. Even if you think you’re helping by moving the nests to what you feel is a more secure location, don’t. And leave all beach vegetation alone. Female sea turtles use this to protect their nests. If you trim it, it could leave the nests vulnerable to the elements.

Between now and early summer, Naples sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. After that, we’ll be seeing hatchlings returning to the ocean all the way through the end of October. Please be aware of these amazing creatures as they traverse our beaches over the next few months. We want to keep them safe on their journey so that they live nice long lives.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?