The Isles of Capri (IOC) has a small-town feeling with like-minded residents who enjoy each other, fun and more fun. Here are a few examples: 16 competitive Bocce Teams—Congrats to the 1st place Mermaids team and kudos to the other groups that just want to play for fun. Wait, they ALL have fun! For more enjoyment add in yoga, Mahjong, ice cream socials, Bridge, challenging book clubs, Mexican Train, golf cart parades, Bingo… Whew, take a breath!
Okay, to continue, the Capri Christian Church has convenient community blood drives, seasonal cake and cookie decorating for the kids, commemorative pavers on which to share ideas, beach gatherings, a special tropical luau on Keewaydin Island—thanks to Beau and Evelin Middlebrook.
More? Okay, how about special seasonal events like Gypsy Sue’s—a four-legged friend—September birthday party at The Island Gypsy to collect food for animal shelters inspired by owners Gail and Mike Cochran. Adults bring their fav pups and have more laughs than the pups who get treats and meet new furry friends. Then, there’s a Halloween parade and games/treats for the kids, House decorating at Christmas, January All-Island Yard Sale, the 4th Annual IOC Golf Cart Pub Crawl and band to honor St. Patrick and an All-Island Barbeque with lively music until sunset. More?
IOC Resident, Ann Hall, the editor of the Coconuttele, emails information to subscribers on the Isles of Capri with news, updates about most everything including information from Greater Naples Fire Chief, Kingman Schuldt, regarding COVID-19, items for sale, election information from the Supervisor of Elections Office, answers to questions, help needed, upcoming events, reminders, photos and kudos to other residents identified for donating their time/skills/expertise for the benefit of the Isles, and there are lots of them, believe me! Thanks to the fun-loving Capri Association President, Joyce Beatty, officers and Board, there will always be fun, entertainment and activities because that’s who they are!
But wait, did I mention that this community is also interested in enriching themselves? Recent speakers at the General Capri Community meeting include Mark Strain, a whiz on information about Collier County development, Capt. Drew Naeckel, a local fishing guide, both with insights into their areas of expertise and County Commissioner, Donna Fiala, is a frequent visitor and speaker. On Tuesday, April 14 at 7 PM, at the Capri Community Center on the IOC, there will be a candidate forum for those running for Donna Fiala’s District One County Commissioner seat. For those in District One that haven’t attended a forum to listen to all six candidates, this would be a great opportunity to learn and make an informed decision.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend an informative session with Mark Strain, and studied his slides and diagrams, you’re really missing what the future of Collier County looks like. There are so many residential communities, apartments, condos, businesses already planned and permitted. An important factor in the development process is adapting the infrastructure so that the present roads don’t become parking lots with mega-traffic going nowhere. And a good question to ask might be, “How can the hundreds of additional residences be built and occupied when additional roadways haven’t been started (some are in the planning stage) to meet the needs of businesses, tourists and all the people presently living here who negotiate the traffic to and from work and play, especially during Season?” According to Mark, the population of Collier County is predicted to double in the next 10 years. Since my head was down while writing my notes, that comment almost gave me whiplash.
The Isles of Capri have had a plethora of presentations over the years including speakers from Rookery Bay, Waste Management, important forums during election years, Henry Lowe—whose family homesteaded on one of the islands of the Isles of Capri back in day when his dad would row him over to the school on Marco in a rowboat—Treasure Hunter Capt. Carl Fismer, Burrowing Owl expert information and many more, all appreciated and well-attended.
The three restaurants on Isles of Capri, Pelican Bend, The Island Gypsy and Capri Fish House are frequented by Capri residents, off-islanders and seasonal visitors who enjoy the wide variety of fish, salads, sandwiches and burgers. These are fun-loving groups, witnessed by repeatedly making these locations their destinations of choice. The servers are congenial, competent and candid about the food and very prompt with beverages to quench your thirst in our seasonally hot weather.
Pelican Bend has added additional outdoor seating for lunch under umbrellas so patrons can avoid the direct sun and still enjoy the water and boats nearby and observe the fishing guides cleaning fish for their clients at dockside. The sight of pelicans brings a real Florida flavor to the food which is served promptly.
If you choose to sit outside near the water and are in tune with our natural environment, you might observe some wildlife when outside at any of these venues. There’s a wide variety of birds, especially pelicans, osprey, and the occasional eagle and you may see aquatic adventurers including dolphin or manatee, jacks and a Goliath Grouper, who seemed acquainted with the timing of the captains’ returns. And, if you’re like the residents, you’ll enjoy the natural environment on the Isles of Capri and want to repeat your experience for years to come. Have fun!