St. Patty’s Day in Naples and a Full Free Day
by Jeremy Chance
After eight straight days of either traveling or performing, today has been a nice little change up. Today was actually a scheduled free day. Those are hard to come by in the Glee Club world. We’ll recap the past couple days.
Wednesday the schedule included a short performance at the Port Royal Club, some down time there and then some free time downtown Naples before heading back to the homestays.
Now, as I mentioned, we’ve been traveling and performing since early Thursday morning, so Wednesday and Thursday acted like a partial “light at the end of the tunnel.” We knew as long as we could get through the double performances Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would be two days to basically kick back and enjoy Spring Break in Florida.
As I wake up Wednesday morning, excited to spend some free time at the beach club, I look outside and couldn’t believe it. It was raining! I think I sent someone a text saying I felt like I was being punked.
I will admit, the rain absolutely put me in a crappy mood. I feel bad that I let it affect my mood that much, but it did. I didn’t want to perform, I didn’t want to hang out at the beach club, I just wanted to sit around.
Just for comparison’s sake, I took a picture this year in the same spot a took a beautiful picture when we there last year. The picture this year couldn’t fully capture the negativity of the situation, I was surprised how good this year’s pic turned out. I’ll let you compare:
If only my phone camera could have captured my emotion with this picture…
We did two short little performances for the people eating there. It was about 45-50 minutes worth of music. After singing we had a pretty large spread for lunch. It was the same as last year…just an interesting arrangement of items. It was buffet style, and, if I recall correctly, included: really thick hot dogs, french fries, chicken quesidillas, pizza with lots of toppings, lots of condiments (ranch, guacamole, ketchup, pickles, etc.), a huge tray of sliced fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, etc.), a huge tray of cookies and brownies, and then (the best part) Fiji water.
After lunch we headed out onto the beach. It had cleared up a bit and was actually kind of nice. I was okay with not a lot of sun because I burn really easily. It was definitely a nice way to kick off the relaxing portion of the spring break tour. Tossed a little football on the beach. I do have a laser-rocket arm, but I unfortunately kept throwing to John Lindstrom who was not on my team. Got a picture of the football and one of the beach and the guys playing volleyball.
We left the beach club around 3:30 and headed to downtown Naples for some actual legit free time. We had about three hours to take in downtown Naples and celebrate one of the best drinking holidays, St. Patrick’s Day!
After walking a little bit, we found this place that Joshua and I had been to two years ago for lunch when we were there for Spring Break. Fortunately for us, it was an Irish pub called McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill. Now, for my bar blog in class, I had to do a podcast preview of an event, and I previewed the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Nine Irish Brothers, the Irish pub on campus. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to that celebration because we’re in Florida, but it was really cool to find another Irish pub to celebrate the holiday the right way. I drank my fair share of Guinness, and you better believe it was a good day! Here’s a few pictures from the celebration:
Let’s just say we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day right. Some people may or may not have gotten out of hand in certain attire, but, for what it’s worth, those who were of age consumed (most of us responsibly), and I really hope there aren’t any negative repercussions from yesterday.
After downtown we headed back to our homestays to spend the evening. The crew at the Laphams hit up the hot tub and were able to stay in longer than the last time. While we were in the hot tub, it started to rain, and it was cool because the rain was kind of a chilly rain, and the contrast of the heat in the hot tub felt really nice! We once again had solid conversation, and it was a good night!
Thursday was a free day that was scheduled in just for us! I think all of us really appreciated it too! I was finally able to sleep in and I have to admit, it felt great! I think I got up out of bed around 12:15, which is a nice change from the earlier times of the week. After a quick lunch Tim, Ethan, his parents and I headed to the Corkscrew Swamp Audubon Sanctuary and walked the two miles of boardwalk through the swamp.
After the 2+ hour walk along the boardwalk, we headed to LaBelle, Florida, to eat at Flora and Ella’s Restaurant. I will admit, it was totally worth the drive. The chocolate meringue pie was breathtaking.
After dinner we drove back home and have been relaxing, watching March Madness, and talking to a friend on Facebook chat ever since. I have to admit, it’s a great feeling.
Speaking of Facebook chat, I want to say this: whoever thought of Facebook chat is an absolute genius. It’s the perfect way to waste time but keep up with your friends. It’s just easy. Instead of texting someone to figure out plans, just check to see if they’re on FB chat. And it’s something to do. Thanks to Facebook chat, I’ve kept a friend entertained while she was bored at work (told you I’d put it in there! 😛 ). So, kudos to that guy or girl for coming up with it! 🙂
Tomorrow’s the last day of our Spring Break trip here in Florida. It’s definitely had its ups and downs, I’ll say, but the performances have been nothing short of stellar, and that’s all that matters.
Tomorrow morning we have a convocation at Barron Collier High School before heading to the Royal Poinciana Country Club in Naples. I have bad memories of this show. First and foremost, this was the show two years ago they provided roses for us instead of our traditional carnations. This is also the show that I was called out to sing the second verse of Hail Purdue…and I kinda…sorta…screwed it up. This year will be better!!!
After the show we pack up and head back home again to Indiana.
It’s definitely been one hell of a trip. I’m glad we’re running on all cylinders with our performances, and I’m really excited to see where we’ll be, performance-wise, at End of Season. Should be a fun rest of the way.
Thanks for reading! 🙂