This has been a week of friendship and sharing laughter and tears with a group of longtime ladyfriends who joined me in Naples as our husbands celebrated their annual golf trip together. This time the guys played all around the Ft Lauderdale area for four days.
The ladies’ week revolved around food and cocktails. We had some great meals out (including brunch at our local diner Hoots, a ladies lunch at the 5th Ave tearoom Brambles and a dinner at our very fine local Indian establishment 21 Spices). We did shopping expeditions along 5th Ave and to our very own local emporiums at Anthony’s and Steinmart. We toured the Millionaires’ Row areas of Port Royal, Aqualane Shores and Gordon Dr., stopping just long enough to have a quick look at the Naples landmark 12th Street Pier. We did the boat ride at our adjacent housing development Isles of Collier Preserve as well as walking through their gorgeously decorated homes. One of our friends is a great cook and, despite being on antibiotics for a miserable sinus infection, she whipped up gourmet meals for us of pasta, pork tenderloin and some very fine steaks.
We attended a local Beach Boys tribute concert at the Naples Botanical Gardens, dined at our local Italian restaurant Brunina’s, toured Marco Is. and Goodland, and dined at the craziest, most crowded beachfront restaurant I have ever seen (March break in full swing,) Quinn’s at the Marriott. Great food, good music but madly busy with the greatest people watching ever.
As you can imagine, with so many activities (including my regular golf and fitness commitments) I have a lot of catching up to do with my tv programs.
We did watch a couple of shows together including the Fox live musical event The Passion. I was curious about this one as I have so enjoyed Grease and The Sound of Music live musicals. Unfortunately, this Easter production appeared to be for true believers only and was cheesy and tedious in the extreme. We turned it off in favour of Nashville, which we thoroughly enjoyed as we followed the stories of Rayna, Deacon, and the rest of the gang struggling to make it in the dog eats dog country music world.
We also watched Everything is Copy, a wonderfully inspiring documentary on HBO about the screenwriter/director Nora Ephron directed by her son. It was a marvellous biography about an ambitious, fiercely intelligent and accomplished woman who achieved incredible success in both the publishing world and Hollywood (she directed smash comedies like Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally). This film really emphasized her bravery and ruthlessness as she never suffered fools and was very difficult to work for. She died far before her time from leukemia and she concealed her illness from all but her closest family.
We watched the first few episodes of Flaked with Will Arnett on Netflix. This is yet another LA set series (Venice actually) featuring an aging hipster with an alcohol problem. Not charmed by it yet and finding it hard to care about any of the characters.
I furtively watched the last couple of episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix and found it to have a great ending which sets up the series for a third season. Very satisfying, although this time I found the endless fight scenes and their flying footwork a little less enthralling and a bit more tedious than I did with the first season.
Available On Line
I watched a very poignant episode of Comedians in Cars having Coffee with Jerry Seinfelt and Garry Shandling. As Shandling died of natural causes this week (an apparent heart attack as he waited for transportation to the hospital), this episode was very touching. The two longtime friends showed real affection for each other as they reminisced about their early days and their glory days. Shandling is very self deprecating about his poor health and general whinyness. At one point, a Jewish Kvetchiness counter is shown in the corner of the screen as he complains about a series of things. Hilarious, but a sad foreshadowing of his own death. He was a pioneer of the modern tv comedy series with his It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Larry Saunders Show on HBO.
My usual addictions
The Americans (FX) had a powerful episode this week as much was revealed by the clueless daughter to the creepy pastor and the chickens came home to roost.
The People v. OJ Simpson (FX) went behind the scenes of the trial to look at the jury’s experience during their long ordeal.
Billions (Showtime here and Superchannel, I think, in Canada) continues the cat and mouse chase between prosecutor (Paul Giammati) and prey (Damian Lewis).
I also managed to watch Black Sails (on Starz here, Superchannel in Canada), my favourite pirate series as events reached a stirring conclusion.
Everything else is still sitting on the PVR queue, waiting to be watched, including Better Call Saul, Grimm, The Catch, The Family, Gotham, etc. In the craziness of my week, I kind of forgot to record a couple of shows I like including Underground (about the Underground Railroad on WGN) and Outsiders (produced by Paul Giammatti for WGN) about the Kentucky Ferrell clan of hillbillies trying to stop Big Coal from blowing the top off their mountain!! Fortunately, On Demand here provided by Comcast shows programs within 24 hours of their airdate, so I will be catching up with the shows I missed.
British TV Series Alert
A friend who loves British TV series sent me a great article summarizing the shows that will make their N. American debuts shortly:
This will be a busy week for us as we try to get together with friends here that we are not likely to see again before we return to Florida. We’ll be having dinner with many Foresters alumni who are spending time in Naples this winter. We’ll be having a sunset dinner on the Naples beach with many of our neighbours here, and meeting other groups for dinner at local restaurants. The weather here continues to be glorious and we look forward to having as many of our meals outside as we possibly can. Hoping all our friends in the north are celebrating a wonderful Easter and enjoying the springtime (despite the occasional reports of ice storms). See you soon as we are in our countdown phase before leaving here on April 16. We’ll be travelling north via a trip to W. Palm Beach to visit family, St. Augustine (the oldest city in N. America), Charleston, SC (charming and scenic) and Asheville, NC (to visit the Biltmore Estate).