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You Can’t Please Them All

Mallorca Dreaming. Submitted Photo

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net You know I’m not one to vent. (Yah right!) With the 2016 season slowly coming to a climax, I’m still trying to find the time to reflect on the past months…Mamma Mia! Words can’t describe what just happened, what just happened? I feel like I just did 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! For me the madness started in the first week of December and from there grew to epic proportions like a snowball rolling down a ski slope (for those of you not familiar with snow, it’s kind of like the crushed ice in that ... Read More »

Shipp’s Landing – Serene Seaside Paradise

View of the Shipp’s Landing docks.

CONDO  REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net Shipp’s Landing is ideally located on a quiet, southern tip of the island adjacent to Caxambas Pass with incredible views of the Ten Thousand Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. This 206-unit condo complex on 14.6-acres of mature, manicured green space features a “village” of two to four story condos, a seven-story mid-rise and a 19-story high-rise tower. Developed and built by Harold Shipp from Toronto in the early 1980s, many of the condos have been renovated and upgraded. Last week’s list prices at Shipp’s Landing for a two-bedroom condo start at $525,000 ... Read More »

The Power of a Smile

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”  – Joseph Addison Our sixth grandchild was born in March. A perfect little girl with 10 fingers, 10 toes and bright eyes that follow sound and movement. I was lucky enough to hold her shortly after her birth and say prayers of thanks for her healthy arrival. Five weeks later, little Greer Elizabeth took her first plane ride from her home in the Midwest to Southwest Florida for a visit, and for six days she was (mostly) mine…except for the feedings and interrupted sleep that ... Read More »

Banff

View of Bow River Valley from Sulphur Mountain.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Ninety minutes from Calgary, in the Bow River Valley, Banff is the unofficial capital of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Located within Banff National Park, its development is tightly controlled. The population is capped at 10,000; only those with a “need to reside” can live there and businesses must provide accommodations for employees. Banff was developed in the late 1800s for tourism; even the main street was built to afford the best views of nearby Mt. Rundle. Its commercial center, with its variety of stores, mini malls, restaurants, coffee and toffee shops, is very busy. What impressed me ... Read More »

Diamonds…what’s the hype all about?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I remember the time I overheard a soon-to-be-engaged gentleman mumbling under his breath while one of my sales staff was gift wrapping his diamond engagement ring purchase. “Why can’t my lady be satisfied with a small chip of granite?” I laughed, and said try presenting his love with a granite and gold engagement ring and see how he makes out. But honestly, diamonds are one of the few small things that can cost as little as $20 to an outrageous $12 million or more, and still be worn on a lady’s finger. I have been ... Read More »

It’s Personal

A recent beach yoga practice, presenting a wide variety of “trees” on the beach. Photo By Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe Growing up in Iowa I was lucky enough to go on family vacations every summer. Four kids and my parents packed ourselves in a four-door Oldsmobile, pulling a pop-up camper with attached bicycles and coolers and fishing rods projecting like appendages on a bug. Our destination might be a lake in Minnesota or a valley in Colorado, but it always included a campground with plenty of space to wander and a ring of stones for a fire. And ... Read More »

Condos List and Sell Year Round on Marco Island

Smokehouse Harbour

CONDO  REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Over the last four years 560 condos, on average, change owners every year on Marco Island. The biggest month for closings is April when an average 76 condos sell, followed by May when 63 condos sell. The slowest month on average is November when 32 condos sell or 42% of the peak month of April. Altogether there are about 11,000 condos on Marco Island, so about 5% change hands every year. On a quarterly basis the first quarter of the year sees 129 condos or 23% of the condos sell; second quarter ... Read More »

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 »