Island Gypsy Cafe & Marina Bar in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Island Gypsy Cafe & Marina Bar in Naples, Florida! Take a side turn off the main drag and you’ll find yourself on a winding road to the magical Isles of Capri, a charming waterfront community as sought after as a coveted treasure map. The Island Gypsy Cafe is recognizable by its weathered bar, salvaged from the stern of an original sea vessel destroyed by a hurricane years ago. Once upon a time the Island Gypsy was a 65-foot fishing boat. Absorb the history of yesteryear among the ambiance of present day. The outdoor Café serves a delightful array of fresh seafood, including coconut shrimp, citrus crusted tuna sashimi, and macadamia nut mahi-mahi. Anyone who has a taste for onion rings will want to add a basket of hand cut batter-fried onion rings to share. The cocktails are as tropical as the desserts are famous. Find your path for hidden riches. And don’t forget to pack your appetite.

Lighthouse Treasure Trove

The night the moon was full from dusk to dawn, the ocean seemed black as coal and restless as a cat. Across the bay an amber-tinted beacon of light on Ninini Point flashed methodically, enough to mark the coast for the landing strip at the edge of the cliff. On the ground two or three sets of faint headlights indicated a road must lead to the old lighthouse. The next afternoon we were on a quest to find out. Like a treasure hunt, signs promised shore access to Ninini Point. However, at the end of a paved road the trail became difficult to navigate. Pick-up trucks and SUVs climb over the rough terrain with ease. Not so much the rented Mustang convertible. Clay ruts and lava boulders made the ride bumpy at best. Around each impassable turn I wondered what lurked beyond the thick wall of yucca spikes and swaying grasses that smacked against the car door. At the end of the road, we finally arrived in one piece. Finally. With the lighthouse towering above us, an unexpected eerie feeling crept in. At the foot of a low gnarled tree was a collection of memorial paraphernalia including beverage bottles, dried flowers, good-luck charms, and religious statues. Messages scrawled on a broken surfboard, suspended across a tree branch, indicated heartache and loss of love. Such a tragic sight to behold. I wondered what other disappointments this old lighthouse had witnessed. Life could not have been easier to face in 1897. An isolated existence of lighting the lamp daily and maintaining the structure against nature’s ferocity had to prove challenging. In time, the government would intercede and rebuild the current seventy-two foot concrete tower, dated 1932. Like others, Nawiliwili Lighthouse became automated. A cliffside view of the cobalt waters and crashing waves afforded us the perfect spot for whale watching, six-man canoe races, swirling water spouts, and landing planes. A treasure trove, indeed. 

Lakefront Town is a Paragon of Serendipity 

Discover hidden treasures while meandering among the unique shops, galleries, and food joints in Mt. Dora, Florida. You never know what you’ll find. It may be a vibrant needlepoint pillowed Picasso in the Modernism Museum Shoppe, the most gigantic hand-blown witches ball you’ve ever seen at Home & Garden Treasures, or “talking flatware” by Uncommon Love at the local Farmers Market. Mt. Dora is a paragon of serendipity you’ll want to add to your list of places to visit. Imagine my delight at meeting Erin, an expert handicrafter of “talking flatware”! She is skilled in the art of creating messages on silver-plated utensils with exceptional results. You may have noticed I tend to use such accents while showcasing the recipes on my blog, Snapshotsincursive. The food section is entitled, “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet”. I am pleased to announce, from time to time, future dishes will be complimented by some of Erin’s designs that I purchased that day. You are invited to accompany me on this mouthwatering journey of the palate.