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The Icefields Parkway

The Glacier Skywalk juts out over the Sunwapta Canyon.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, also known as Highway 93, is 144 miles of natural beauty, wildlife, tourist attractions, and, in high season (July, August), a moving parade of cars, RVs, and tour buses traversing this double lane road. Paralleling the Continental Divide, it runs from Lake Louise north to Japer and passes through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. We traveled its length twice, the first time, enjoying all it had to offer, took more than nine hours. The second, using it merely as a route from one location to another, took considerably ... Read More »

Mad Memoirs of an Old School/Modern Goldsmith – Part II

Uncle Ernest Gravallese taught Richard Alan the trade. Submitted Photos

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Meanwhile back at old 333 Washington Street, which was then called the Province Building, namely because the building was built directly on top of the exact location of the former British colonial governor’s mansion. It was there since the late 1600s, and demolished in 1922 for the current jewelers building. (My uncle Ernest was one of the building’s first tenants.) Today it is better known as the Boston Jewelers Exchange Building. By age twenty-two I actually started my own trade business. How hard could it be? I still helped my uncle, who was now ... Read More »

Marco Island’s Unique Selection of Condos

View of Marco Island’s crescent beach from a Cape Marco condo balcony.

CONDO REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Marco Island has a remarkable variety of condos for sale. Today 375 condos are listed for sale ranging in price from $89,900 for a studio apartment at Coquina Gardens to $7,245,000 for a five bedroom Belize penthouse. All of them have a unique price, island location, number of bedrooms, living space, floor height, balcony location, pet policy, renovations, and age. Overall, the median list price of a condo on Marco Island is $519,000 and the median air conditioned space is 1,162 square feet. Median list prices and sizes are as follows: studio ... Read More »

You Can’t Take It With You

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “In the end, only kindness matters.”  – Jewel  I have a close friend who lives in Iowa. Her name is Mary, and before my husband and I moved to Marco Island, Mary and I were next-door neighbors for 27 years. That’s almost three decades of vigorous waves from the driveway, impromptu potluck dinners, borrowed cups of sugar, and shared Sunday brunches. We raised a combined seven children; we claimed a total of five dogs, and we buried four parents during our time as neighbors. We’ve shared tearful challenges and bladder-bursting laughter. Together, Mary ... Read More »

Alberta’s Canadian Rockies, Part I

Chateau Lake Louise

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Canada’s Rocky Mountains are located in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Within Alberta, the locations of Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff provide many opportunities for alpine experiences. The landscape includes peaks, valleys, canyons, rivers, glacial lakes, forests, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife. I will write about Banff, the larger, more commercial of the three in a future column. Lake Louise and Jasper serve as the gateways to the Icefields Parkway, surely one of the most scenic drives in the world. Lake Louise, with the stately Chateau Lake Louise facing the Victoria Glacier at the ... Read More »

The Pull of the Moon

Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer
The full moon sets over the Gulf at an early morning Beach Yoga class

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com She is our moon. Our tidal pull. She is the rich deep beneath the sea, the buried treasure, the expression in the owl’s eye, the perfume in the wild rose. She is what the water says when it moves. – Patricia A. McKillip The moon. Most of us have gazed at it on a clear night. Maybe even marveled at its changing shape, created by shadows and illumination. Some blame it for changes in mood or behavior. And a chosen few have walked atop its desolate surface, staring back at the Earth, tiny and ... Read More »

Mad Memoirs of an Old School/ Modern Goldsmith

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Part I My destiny of becoming a goldsmith was totally accidental. It was the mid 1960s. I was no more than eight or nine years old when my mother would leave me with her older brother Richard, who happened to be a goldsmith/jeweler, so she could go shopping in downtown Boston. (I was a bit of a nuisance to go dress shopping with.) My Uncle Richard had apprenticed with his step dad’s brother Ernest Gravallese, an accomplished and well-respected master goldsmith who plied his trade from his shop in the early 1920s in the original ... Read More »

Health Care Heroes Are Everywhere

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To Your Health Scott Lowe  Market CEO,  Physicians Regional Healthcare System A major part of my role as Market CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System is interacting with caregivers. As one would expect, this includes an exceptional group of physicians, nurses, clinicians and employees—those whom I am privileged to work alongside every day. The ability to witness their never-ending commitment to our patients—as seen through their focus on high quality, compassionate care—is truly inspirational. I also receive letters and emails from patients and their family members praising the care provided throughout our healthcare system. These truly make my day. We ... Read More »

South Seas Club – Unique, Desirable and so Marco Island!

Photos by Gary Elliott
View from one of the high rise condos on the beach.

CONDO REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com South Seas Club offers everything people are looking for on Marco Island including prime location, desirability, popular two bedroom, two bathroom condos, gated entrance and acres of green space with rambling walkways and benches. This extensive park-like setting features native to Florida plantings. The complex is rich in amenities including boat docks, Marco’s famous crescent beach, pools, clay tennis courts, pickle ball, bocce, kayaking, fishing and a great social calendar. Last week 166 popular two bedroom, two bathroom condos were listed for sale on the island. 54 of them were located ... Read More »

The Esplanade – a unique, upscale lifestyle

The Esplanade’s marina draws residents and visitors.

CONDO  REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com The elegant Esplanade on Collier Boulevard, built in 2004, is one of the newest condos on Marco Island. The developer successfully created an Italian coastal village theme, complete with marina, waterfront promenade, and outdoor plaza with fountains and palm trees. The prestigious complex houses 71 residential condos, retail shops and offices. Last week seven condos at the Esplanade were for sale, ranging in price from $498,000 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1,368 square foot condo to a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom 2,174 square foot condo, listed for $1,100,000. On site is a large public ... Read More »

George’s Web

PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER
George Moore, Ambassador of Fun

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com   “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde Kevin Bacon is a well-known Hollywood actor. His career began in the early 80s and he’s been in scores of films including “Footloose,” “Apollo 13,” “Mystic River” and “A Few Good Men.” He once commented that he had worked with every actor in Hollywood, or with someone who had worked with every other actor in Hollywood, and a phenomenon was born. It was called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and was the creative brainchild of three ... Read More »

Travel to the Canadian Rockies

Along this road was typical (yet, no less beautiful) scenery.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  There are several ways to visit the main attractions of Alberta, Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Many companies offer package tours with various options. Some feature just the area around Banff and the Columbia Icefields, while others cover more of western Canada, including British Columbia. There are Canadian tour companies that provide organized hiking or hiking/camping tours. Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel) has active educational tours of the Canadian Rockies. You know how organized tours go; up at 6:30 AM, luggage out and breakfast at 7:00, on the bus by 8:00; herded into any lunch or dinners provided. ... Read More »

Yoga Magic

A magical yoga moment. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. – James Allen When we lived in Iowa, my husband and I used to have season tickets to the Iowa State University Cyclones basketball games. If you’re a basketball fan you might recognize the current coach of the Chicago Bulls as former ISU head coach, Fred Hoiberg. Fred is a “home grown” Iowan. He was raised in Ames, Iowa, home of the ISU Cyclones, where he was ... Read More »

A Genuine Imitation

Natural or imitation gems?

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Like a preacher from the pulpit, I have tried to inform, warn and hopefully educate the naïve to the pitfalls of buying fine jewelry; I think it is safe to say if the price is really cheap, so is the “fine” jewelry you just purchased. It can begin with poorly informed salespeople, for instance the woman you meet while on vacation in Mexico, selling her wares from a horse blanket on the ground; it will probably result in the gold ring not exactly being solid gold. And then you can get the exact result from ... Read More »

Local Gem

One of the ponds at Freedom Park surrounded by Florida flora. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber The joy of discovering someplace new doesn’t always have to involve a long car, train, ship, or plane ride. In the past, I’ve written a few columns on some of the wondrous places right in our own backyard including Shark Valley, Loop Road, and Bird Swamp Rookery. Following all of the rain we had earlier this year, a friend and I set out to hike through Picayune Strand State Forest. As we feared, the ground was too saturated to walk on and another option we explored was also too wet. We then decided to head for ... Read More »

Condo Fees

Aquarius Condominium Complex

CONDO REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com This week 380 condos are for sale on the island, ranging in price from $89,900 for an efficiency unit at Coquina Gardens to a Belize penthouse listed for $7,245,000. Just as condo prices vary greatly, so do condo fees. The Coquina Gardens efficiency condo fees are $2,136 per year, and the penthouse has fees of $18,000 per year. The median condo fee for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the island is $7,200 per year. Annual condo fees on the island vary from less than 1% of list price, to over 3% of ... Read More »

Naomi’s Rogue-Urinating Advice

Naomi busy at work supervising. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: I’m still being a really bad girl. I’ve managed to stay away from the stove after my touch-and-go paw-burning incident of last month, but I’m still peeing in sinks and spraying walls and doors. As “supervisor” over here at For the Love of Cats, Marco’s no-kill cat rescue, people are always asking me why their cat is misbehaving. Yes, I know, that makes me a hypocrite! Take the other day for instance. My driver was driving me to Naples when a call came in from an exasperated woman ... Read More »

To Your Health

Physician’s Regional works
hard to reduce ER wait time with a 30-minute ER Service Pledge. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Scott Lowe CEO of Physicians Regional   Healthcare Emergency? Why Wait? It is that wonderful time of the year, when our weather is balmy and northern climates are frigid. When people pack up and head south for warmer days, and fun in the sun. Yes, season is here. And as our population swells, we also see increased time spent waiting. Whether it be in traffic, as there are more cars on the roads; in restaurants, as more diners enjoy our great local food; at the checkouts, as retail businesses have more shoppers; on golf courses, as people enjoy being able ... Read More »

Cuba: From the Beach to the Mountains

The beach at Playa Ancón. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Trinidad, Cuba, featured in my last column, is situated between the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Escambray Mountains to the north. Our visit to Trinidad afforded us the opportunity to see both while staying at an all-inclusive resort. While it may not be held in as high esteem as the popular northern Cuban beach resorts of Varadero, Guardalavaca and Cayo Coco, we thought Playa Ancón was very attractive. A strip of land extending out into the Caribbean, Playa Ancón was developed after the 1959 revolution. Two and a half miles long, the off-white beach ... Read More »

How Do You Know That?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Questions, questions, always with the questions! And in case some of you out there don’t know it, I happen to be a goldsmith and jeweler to the stars. (This includes the sun, moon and deep blue seas.) So naturally I‘m asked a lot of questions on the subject of gold, jewelry, diamonds and precious gemstones, even subjects that I haven’t the slightest clue to the answer. For instance, “When do you think the price of gold will go up again?” If I knew the answer to that question I would be ruler of the ... Read More »