Old Naples and Naples Beach During Christmas

Our little trip thru Tamiami Trail ended in Naples where we spent the rest of our Christmas vacation. We are checked in to the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club which is situated right near Old Naples on the beach. The weather was a little chilly but we had a great room with the ocean view. Naples beach is one of my favorite beaches. You can see dolphins anytime. Sunsets are incredible. People are very courteous and nice. So we were very happy with our hotel and our room.

We immediately left our luggage and decided to take a walk on the beach. Our hotel is right on the beach and the water sports center was right in front of us. They had water bicycles, towable tubes, kayaks, canoes,  pool floats, beach chaise lounges and beach umbrellas. Since it was a little chilly nobody was in the water. So we decided we will do the full beach next day. It was in the afternoon with about two hours to sunset. We walked north on the beach to a nearby park. We saw a snowman made out of sand. It was a little bit windy and chilly but with the sun we managed to keep our warmth. On the way back we decided to sit in front of our hotel and watch the sunset. As you can see in the pictures below the sunsets are amazing. People from all over the US and world come to Naples to watch this sunset. Our hotel had a bar that right on the beach where people gather to watch and drink. Every night right after the sun goes down people cheer and celebrate. We joined the fun.

Old Naples was very nicely decorated for Christmas. Streets were all lit up. Fifth Avenue had snowmans, Santa, reindeers and you name it. There was lots of people walking, enjoying the vacation and the this time of the year. We could tell not everybody was like us coming from Miami. Most people were from the north.

The next morning I took a long walk to the south of the beach towards Naples Pier. It was about 7 am in the morning. The water of Gulf of Mexico was like a mirror. It was flat with no waves or winds whatsoever. Sub tropical birds were enjoying a beautiful morning. Some early birds like me were shelling or jogging. I walked about 5 miles south and turned back. I was walking in the water and my feet were enjoying the cool waters of the gulf. But after so many miles my feet started hurting so I decided to turn back and walk to the hotel. I took pictures of some nice shells, birds, palm trees, beautiful luxury houses, parked catamaran, canoes and all the nice things Naples beach has to offer. I could see people sitting on their patio furniture enjoying the morning like I was doing. During my walk, every person I passed by said hello. This never happens in Miami. Naples is a much warmer town. Everybody greets each other in the morning. If we ever move to Naples I have to get used to this.

 

 

 

Fourth of July Weekend in Miami Beach. Bring your Tents!

It’s another 4th of July and we’re in Miami. This is the day where Miamians that have been neglecting the beach decide to go the beach in masses. It is the busiest beach day in Miami. You will see large families of 10, 20, 30 and may be 40 coming to the beach, setting up their tents and gazebos for a long day.

This year the water was not all that good. It was a little wavy and little dirty. But again this doesn’t stop the Miamians. We like to dive in on the 4th of July. Here are some pictures of the beach on 5500 block.

As you can see lots of umbrellas, gazebos, tents. All this goes until 9 pm where the fire works start.

 

Beach Umbrellas on Miami Beach

South Beach - Miami

South Beach – Miami

Hot day on the beach? Too much sun? We run for shades. Even in Miami Beach sun worshipers run for shades when the sun is unbearable. But nothing is for free. If you forgot to bring your umbrella to the beach you can rent one for 10 dollars. Just walk up to hotel properties and talk to a cabana boy usually dressed up in white shorts and shirt.  They will bring your umbrella and place it where you are sitting. If 10 dollars won’t make it then a 20 will definitely work. If you think there will be a language barrier or your Spanish is rusty don’t worry. After all it is Miami where green does the talking. Just flash your green bills and you will be served.

Last week I went over the chaise lounges I saw on Miami Beach. Most of the same properties have their own umbrellas. These are not the umbrellas for rain. They are what we call them beach umbrellas. What’s so special about them? Let me explain:

Beach umbrellas are usually beach versions of market umbrellas. Market umbrellas are commercially durable versions of patio umbrellas. Since these types of umbrellas are used under extreme conditions they need to be able to handle the heavy use.  Most beach umbrellas in Miami Beach are staked umbrellas with pointed ends in the pole.  Beach properties don’t like to put heavy bases on the sand. First they are heavy and hard to remove at the end of the day.  They can’t be left on the beach because it poses an injury risk. So bases can’t be used on the beach; the second alternative is beach umbrella anchors. These are plastic pipe like drills that can be drilled into the sand which is later used to put the umbrella in the pipe. Lots of locals have these beach anchors. I even have one I bought from CozyDays.com. It’s great for individual use because winds will definitely take over your umbrella otherwise. Commercial properties don’t like to use the beach umbrella anchors. I guess that’s because of the injury risk as well. It can be a big liability if they are left over night in the sand. Umbrella manufacturers have solved this with making the pole with a pointed end which enables umbrellas to be staked in the sand. Most of the umbrellas I saw on the beach are wood pole umbrellas and some hybrid umbrellas with metal poles with wood staked ends. The parts that break the most in all umbrellas are the joints, ribs, and hubs. There are three types of ribs I saw in use. Wood ribs which can break on high winds, aluminum ribs which can bend in high winds and fiberglass ribs which are the most preferred ones because they are flexible. There are a few brands that we carry such as Fiberbuilt and Frankford umbrellas that offer fiberglass ribbed beach umbrellas. If your property is beach front you should prefer fiberglass ribs. Then comes the top material. The best material used for commercial umbrellas is Sunbrella marine fabrics. Sunbrella has an awning grade fabric which is tougher but most umbrellas are made with furniture grade fabrics. Other than Sunbrella you can see some umbrellas with vinyl tops, and some with cheaper acrylic fabrics. Sunbrella doesn’t fade which makes it the best fabric out there. If you see umbrellas with faded colors than you know it’s not Sunbrella material. Regardless of the top shape beach umbrellas need to be vented which allows the wind to go thru. Vent is an opening on the top of the umbrella just under the finial. They are also offered with valance which is mainly a cosmetic feature. Most of the beach umbrellas I saw on Miami Beach have valance. Pull-up mechanism is also one of the most important parts of an umbrella. Commercial applications don’t prefer cranks which tend to break easily. Cords of the pull mechanism easily jam in the crank making the umbrella unusable.  Almost all commercial umbrellas use a push-up mechanism. Some larger umbrellas use pulley and pin mechanism which is much simpler than crank mechanisms.

For commercial properties umbrellas are probably the item that needs to be renewed most frequently together with cushions. While manufacturers build stronger umbrellas every year umbrellas still are one of the annual expenses of hotels and condos.

During my walk from 55th street to South Pointe I saw many colors of umbrellas which were usually matched with the chaise cushions of the same property.  Since Sunbrella fabric can be used for both cushions and umbrellas it makes them easy to match colors. You can see pacific blue, green, orange, white yellow, alternating color panels and even pink. Miami Beach is a colorful place and property managers tend to use that color in their beach areas.

 

 

- Posted in Beach Umbrellas
- CozyDays - January 13, 2012