Introducing State Rep Michael Reed, Nashua resident and on-site logistic supervisor in the trade show industry for ELITeXPO. This job requires a lot of travel, taking him away from his cats (and family) for approx 4-5 weeks a year. When he is in Nashua he serves as a state representative and a youth sports coach. He also owns the SNH Reds, an AAU Baseball Organization.
At last count Rep. Reed has been through some 65 airports and cities in the last 15 years. Through this blog he will give you the good, bad, and the ugly on airports and the cities he has spent time in.
As you plan your 2013 vacation, Rep. Reed hopes to offer suggestions that you can use in your plans. He does travel on business, so golf courses and amusements parks may not be his forte. First city for review is Naples, in Florida (not Italy.) Future reviews will include San Francisco, Las Vegas. - by Ed Stebbins
Any time I travel, I always fall back on the places I am familiar with (hotels, restaurants etc.), to give me more of a comfortable feel when away from home. So when I travel somewhere for the first time (which is rare these days) like Naples, I make sure I do a little advance scouting online to plan my "off" time.
For a trip to Naples, you have to fly into Ft. Myers and travel south for 25-30 minutes, as Naples does not have any commercial airlines in or out of its airport. I've been through SW Florida International Airport a few times (Fort Myers), mostly for personal travel, so I'm familiar with it. For those of you who have been through Manchester Airport, it's a lot like that – small, easy to access albeit a tad in the middle of nowhere.
I have nothing but good things to say about Naples, except I probably couldn't afford to live here, lol. There is a Bugatti and Bentley dealership here ('nough said?) The beaches are beautiful and clean as is the city. If you're a sea shell collector, it ranks just below Sanibel Island in abundance, and the sunsets here are magnificent. I would recommend a beach along Gulf Shore Boulevard. Downtown Naples has an old Florida feel with its shops and restaurants. (An aside: The show I was working at was at the Waldorf Astoria which was beautiful, and NOT where I was staying. I was very comfortably down the road at a Staybridge.)
Couple of restaurants I should note: I'm a big fan of "hole-in-the-wall" type places that locals would know. First, a place called Grouper & Chips. Outstanding food (fish and chips fare obviously), not a huge menu, but I would definitely recommend. Second, a BBQ place called The Black-Eyed Pig. I am very partial to BBQ because there are few places in New England that do it right. Any place that has real collard greens and brisket on the menu is on its way to doing that. I loved this place, and especially the food.
One oddity that I stopped at for lunch was Noodles Italian Cafe and Sushi Bar. Ever been to an Italian restaurant that serves sushi? I was confused, too. Not that the food wasn't good, just an odd combo. I'm a big fan of the food Network ("Diners Drive-ins and Dives" and "Restaurant Impossible") and Robert Irvine would have a ball with this place. The Sushi wasn't bad and neither was the calamari. The restaurant just doesn't seem to have an identity.
All in all, Naples seems to be a wonderfully laid back place to have a vacation and get away from it all. For early November the weather was pretty nice, warm, and the people are friendly. I look forward to coming back some day. Until the next trip ... stay safe.