Keeping Your Home Safe The

In the last few years I have seen a lot of different things when it comes to real estate transactions. This one is one I never thought could happen. I took a listing in South Fort Myers and the home underwent an extremely unfortunate event. The home caught on fire. It still unknown what the casue of the fire was, but what is important is that everyone is safe.

The homeownder and I went to college together some time ago. I was delighted when they choose me to list their home. My heart breaks for her and her family.  About 10 days or so after the fire happened they contacted me about the lock box that I left there for the spare key. I was going to go retrieve the lock box, when one of the professionals were at the home. Well, when the professional went to get the lock box off the top of the fridge, it was melted and there was no way to get it off. The lockbox was now a peice of the fridge.

There are some things that you might not think about when listing your home, or maintaining your home. Here are some things you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe.

-Check your fire alarms

-Clean out dryer vents

-Keep all tree limbs, and bushes trimmed and away from the home

-Do not burn debris outside and close to the house, or on a windy day.

-Keep Fireworks away from the home

-Do not park cars on grass if they are hot

-Do not burn candles unattended

-Recycle all unused paints and solvents instead of storing them in a storage area,

-Keep an eye on the news and make a mental note to where the controlled burns are happening.

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Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Buying a home in Bonita Springs, Florida

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Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make, and it can be scary for some. Whether it is your first time buying, or your thousand, there are things to take into consideration. I have come up with some questions for you to take into consideration when you are searching for a home in  Southwest Florida.

The WHO. Who is going to live in your home full time? Who is going to visit you once you have your Bonita Springs home? Who may potentially need to move with you in the next 10 years?

The WHAT. What is your moving time frame? What are you needs and wants? What are you willing to compromise on? What is your work commute going to be?

The Where. Where is the nearest hospital? Where are things located for the kids  and adults to do? Where is the grocery store?

The When. When do we need/ want to move by? When do we start looking? When does traffic pick up?

The Why. Why are we moving? Why do we or don’t we like this area? Why are there so many things to do?

The How. How much is our budget? How are we going to get from point A to point B? How is the transition going to go? How do we apply for financing? How do we apply at the HOA? How long is this going to take?

There are many things to take into consideration, and only you and your family know what is best for you guys. I, as a Real Estate Professional and here to help you put your roots down somewhere that fits what your needs and wants are.

If you would like more information about me Angela Griffith, you can check out my about page and my blog or my Facebook. You can also call or text me at (239)-728-7599 or e-mail me at AngelaGriffith02@gmail.com

Home Inspections

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The home buying process has many steps involved.  You start with where you want to live, then you move onto what will fit your wants and needs. After some other things, you will then start looking for two of the most important things, a mortgage broker and a home’s inspector. I feel that the home inspection is one of the most important things. I mean, do you buy anything used without looking it over? I am sure your answer is “no”. We do live in Bonita Springs, Florida and if there is a little moisture something like mold can happen.

A home inspection will show you all the unusual findings in the home. These finding can be from an outlet not working, non-working light bulbs, missing or cracked tiles, mold, roof leaks, missing roof tiles/shingles, a non-working appliance among other things.

During one of the home inspection that I attended I noticed that they were using a yellow devise that the inspectors were using. They would point it at the ceiling, appliances, walls, and everywhere in between. So naturally I asked what it was, it turns out that it was a Thermal Image Gun. The Thermal Image Gun is used for finding many things such as wet drywall, defective appliances, even a live outlet that has been covered by drywall and many more things.

I have seen so many things come up on a home inspection report that you cannot see with your own eyes. I would have to say the item that comes up more often is wet drywall. It either comes up that there is a roof leak, or the condensation from the AC unit is dripping, even pipes leaking, and even a crack in the outside that is leaking in between the walls.

When a home inspector finds these defects, it is the buyers responsibility to communicate with the seller on what items they would like to be addressed, or if they would like to have a specific inspection based on the findings. Depending on the contract chosen, will depend on what items need to be fixed, and others are accepted as-is.  This will also trigger a  negotiation process, as the buyer and seller need to come to an agreement to what item are going to be fixed, or what is going to be as-is. This is normal, and most of the time everyone compromises, and is happy at the end.

Once you have the agreed upon defects remediated it is always wise to have it re-inspected. For example, I recently sold a property that disclosed there was a leak under a window, there was a receipt saying that the work was completed, and everything that they did. When we were in there for the inspection, they home inspectors used their thermal imaging gun, and noticed it was still wet. They then looked for the drywall patch, and looked to see if the baseboard was taken off, etc.. We ended up calling the contractor who fixed it, and they came back out to redo everything again. They home inspectors re-inspected the work, and everything was dry.

Before you hire a home inspection company, do your research on them. I always tell my clients to make sure they have the thermal image gun, a ladder, and tools. I have attended one home inspection where the inspector did not have a ladder, or the right tools. It is very important to do your research as the consumer of this service.

Moral of my blog, is there are too many items that your eyes do not see that could be wrong. Knowing everything you can know about you future home is the best way to buy it… I mean if you were to buy a used car, you would take it to the mechanic to have everything checked out, so why wouldn’t you have your home checked out too?

I hope that this has helped you understand the importance of what a home inspection can do for you. If you found this helpful, you can check out the full blog with may other home buying and selling tips. You can also find out about me  too.

Collier County Honor Flight Misson 11

                                                           
Collier County Honor Flight is a 501c3 organization that takes veterans from Southwest Florida to Washington DC to visit their memorials for the day. A lot of these ,me mad women have never seen these great works of art. This is my second mission, and This time around I have a spunky lady names Jean.

Jean served in World War II as a Navy Wave. A Navy Wave is a women who………… Jean was also a store keeper. She was able to learn so many ne thing she said was that if the women were to be caught not wearing their uniform, they got in a lot of trouble. She said many of her friends got caught, but she didn’t even try. **wink, wink **

Our day started when the alarm went off at 3:00am. I met my Mother-in-law at her house at 3:45am, where we left Bonita Springs, and headed up to Estero to pick up her veteran Frank. Once we had Frank we were off to Southwest Florida Regional Airport (RSW) for our 4:30M check-in time.  Jean was a.ready there waiting for me, she was there at 4:00am. Once I checked in I grabbed Jean, and we headed down the concourse.

Our gate was D4. As soon as we got to the gate we were greated with breakfastsandwiches, juice, water, and some muffins. This is where we were able to see all 68 veterans that we’re going to experience this life changing day with us. Jean partaked in the breakfast, I was just a spectator. We took a look around and chatted a bit about the day, and what to expect. She was super excited.

Collier County Honor Flight charters a flight through American Airlines. This time we flew on a A320 aircraft. Now, let me tell you, this flight crew is absolutely amazing. They decorated the flight with flags, red, white and blue led lights, star garland throuout the whole roof of the aircraft and some other decorations throughout. Upon boarding and finding our row 7 seats, we were greated with a bag of snacks and comfortable seating. Jean was so excited, and her smile light up the plane.

At 6:05am we were backing away from the gate. During our taxi the plane was given a water salute. This salute is given to the veterans thanking and honoring their service. In the few row of veterans I could see, many saluted back, and even some geared up just a brim. By 6:10am we were wheels up, and headed north to Washington DC. After about 20 minuets in the air, when you looked out to the East, we were greated with a spectactular sun rise. Photos cannot describe the vivid colors. I knew then, this was going to be a very memorable day.


Phew! We had an amazing flight, with some awesom staff to Washington DC.  After a two hour and ten minute flight it was time to stretch our legs. Off the plane we went. We were greated by am occopella group, and a few hundred  smiling faces. With me having one of the two women on this Mission, a lot of people stopped us for photos, hand shakes, hugs, and of course the Thank You.

Our first stop of the day was to the World War II memorial. Here is where I found out that Jean grew up in New Jersey, but enlisted in the Navy in New York. So naturally we had to find the states and take photos in front of them. Jean marveled at the amount of people who showed up, as well as the memorial itself. We had about an hour to spend there, and we used every bit of it.when we were leaving I had Jean stand up at the top and look over. She immodestly had a tears in her eyes.

Meal Time!!!!! We had a picnic style lunch from Arby’s at the World War II memorial. I took this time to talk to Jean a little more. I learned that she met her 1st husband as a young lady, married, had two children 1 boy and 1 girl. About 9 years total was her 1st marriage. She soon ment her forever, her soul mate, George. George took on the role as step-father and spent the next 38 years with Jean and the kids. Jean lost George and found the courage to move by her daughter in St. Louis. After about 2 years she lost her daughter to cancer. Jean found herself moving to Florida to be close to her son and his family. Jean once again picked up and stared over. Though she missed her loved ones, she knew she had continue on. Jean began to tell me about her life in Southwest Florida. She is a busy little bee. she works at the neighborhood store, plays cards, and takes field trips all over the place.

After the World War II memorial we were back on. The bus and off to the Pentagon. Normally they do not allow bus loads of people to visit, but they made an acception for us. This building is massive to say the least. When you approach the memorial, there is the stone sigh with who was involved in the creation of the memorial as well as another stone sign that has all the names of who’s lives were lost  at the Pentagon. The memorial is located where the aircraft hit the ground and slid into the building. There is a mixture of rocks, and pavers to walk on. Each person is remembered with a garnet bench. With flowing water under them. If they were related to someone else who’ll at their life, their names are etched on the metal under the flowing water. The benches either face the building or the direction where the plane hit. If the bench is facing the building their lives were lost in the aircraft that hit. If their bench is facing the direction the aircraft hit, they were in the Pentagon. All of the benches are arranged by birth year, from youngest to oldest. There is a section that does not have any benches,  this represents that no teenagers were lost that day. Jean and I too a walk around, and just marveled at the details put into this memoirial. We also discussed that most freshman in high school were not born when this took place.

This time, Collier County Honor Flight had the honor to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetary at the tomb of the unknown solider. This time two of the board members and two veteran were honored. Jean was so amazed by how accurate they soldiers were. She loved when they clicked their heals. She also really enjoyed the procedure for the changing of the guards, and the wreath laying. She may have brimmed up a little when she watched her friend Sylevestar participate in the wreath laying ceremony.


Next stop was Imo Gma. This is the monument for then Marines. I have a brother who served in desert storm as a Marine I was only in 1st grade at the time, but I remember some of what we went through as a family. Most of which are photos, and remembering what my parents said was going on at the house at the time, or the trip to South Carolina to watch him graduate from boot camp (I think). Any who, this memorial is huge! There are  men raising the flag, it’s said that there are 13 hands built in the memorial. 12 representing the 6 men, and 1 hand from God. Jean and I took a stroll around the monument, marveling at its size, and what it stands for.

Final stop of the day was the Vietnam War Memorial Wall and the Korean War Memorial. However, we may have taken a detour and stopped at the Lincon Memorial as well. These memorial have a lot hills and ramps to go up and down. We first got off the bus and headed to the Lincon Memoria. Neither of us have seen it, and boy were we impressed with all the marble, details, and the height. After we looked at the monument, we turned around to see the vew of the Washington Monument and the Reflection Pool. Both of us were amazed. We then headed down the elevator and back down the ramps to the Vietnamese War Memorial Wall. Jean was impressed with the construction, and just how many names were on the wall . After we came up the other side, we saw another monument with some benches and somewhere from the flight we stopped to learn that monument is to honor the nurses who have served. She sat amongst the trees, and talked with my mother-in-law and her guy Frank about their day, as well some others. Once We were rested, we headed though aall the trees and hills towards the Korean War Memorial. Jean and I were so excited to see “real” trees, some of the leaves have started to change colors. We toured through the Korean War Memorial, and I told her about the significance of the different elements. She was really impressed with the statues of the men, and the wall of photos.


We headed back to the bus as our time was running out, and we saw a refreshment & souvineer stand, so we stopped. I ended up getting Jean a t-shirt and fridge magnet, I also got my kids a Washington DC t- shirt. We also enduldged in an ice cream sandwich and cold beverage. Sitting there we talked about how much we saw and accomplished that day. This brought tears to Jeans eyes, just to know that she was able to see all these memorials and monuments.

At the end of the day there are always two surprises for the veterans. One happens on the plane, and the other happens when we arrive back at RSW. Once we are are cruising altitude, you see all the pink shirts get up, and they make a special announcement. Following this announcement, you see lots of tears as these hero’s open up their presents. Once on the  ground, the pink shirts line everyone up in shirt color order, like the buses. This is where they hand the veterans the photo taken at the World War II memorial, and a Collier County Honor Flight  coin. Then they hear  hear the cheering, bagpipes, and chatter of what they think is just family members. What they do not know, is there is anywhere between 3,000-5,0000 or more waiting to give them the welcome home they never had. From the surprise in the air on the way home, to the welcome home at RSW, Jean was taken back by all the “magic” that happens.

There was one part that sticks out the most to me. While Jean and I were sitting in the airport to come home, she looks over at me and says, “I have lived a great life, there may have been some bumps that slowed me down, but I had a great life.”

Weekend At Hyatt Regency Coconut Point

 

20160507_112647.jpgSometimes you just need a little R & R close to home. A few weekends ago the Griffith’s moved into the Hyatt Coconut Point. This idea was 100% my mother-in-laws, and the rest of us kind of crashed her idea.

We checked in on a Friday afternoon and checked out on a Sunday. We had a room on the 11th floor overlooking the Estero Bay. My sister-in-law and her husband were across the hall from us, and my mother-in-law and her other half were on the 9th floor. We all had fantastic views off our balcony’s.

First things first, we had to change into our bathing suites and head to the pool. Mandatory SPF 100 sunscreen was applied to everyone, since we have not been in the sun longer then going from a building to the car and back. Now that the essentials were taken care of operations stay-cation relaxation was in full force.

Aiden and Madison were super surprised to see the pool, now the first two pools you see are more or less adult only areas. Walking past these two the kids were a little confused, however they did not know the fun that laid just beyond the adult only areas. Finally after a little explaining to a toddler, we were there, the big kid pool. I am not sure Aiden even got his shoes off before he was off and running to the slide. Aiden was a goner, there was no getting him back anytime soon. Once he saw the huge slide, water basketball basket, and smaller slide he was off to make friends. Aiden was quick to find a group of kids to play with, and soon the group of boys were just bouncing back and forth between all the cool things Madison on the other had took a few moments. She has to take in everything, in this case she had to see where everyone was sitting, and what everyone was doing. Once she had her barrings on the situation, she was off to the walk-in area of the pool.

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Friday night we decided to eat at Coconut Point. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen. Yes we have eaten there before, and we know its 5 miles up the road from our homes. The kids were super excited because normally we eat inside, and tonight they got to eat outside.  After dinner, we headed back down to the Hyatt to explore a little more. We were able to find the game room, some weddings going on, and the fire pit.

Saturday morning was get a get dressed and head up to First Watch type of morning. The kids, Jonny, Jen, Colton, myself, and the kids headed up for a “kids” only breakfast. Once we got back to the hotel, the kids had one thing on their mind, and that was getting out of their clothes and putting on proper pool attire. However, 8:00 a.m. was a little too early since it was in the 60’s this weekend. We decided to take the kids down to the lawn where they have life size Jenga, Connect Four, Corn-Hole, and Hammocks. Engaging all of these games before the rest of the hotel was awake, was amazing! Once we started seeing people awake, we changed and staked some claim on some pool chairs and began our day of relaxing pool side.

Sunday we took the first shuttle over to Raptor Bay across the street from the Hyatt. When you are a guest at the Hyatt, you are able to enjoy the amenities that Raptor Bay offers. We took this opportunity  to enjoy the lazy river and their pool for the morning. Now you have to make arrangements to get the shuttle and wristband to gain access to the raptor bay amenities. We arranged for the 9:15 shuttle out of the Hyatt to go to Raptor Bay. In my opinion this is the way to do it. Since the shuttles are limited to times, its best to enjoy this in the morning, then head back and enjoy the Hyatt in the afternoon- evening.

While you are at the hotel, you are able to charge everything to your room, as well as pay as you go. Which ever you prefer. They have several restaurants on property as well as a full service spa, private island on the Gulf of Mexico (located across the pass from Dog Beach), space for weddings, or big functions and many other areas. They have scheduled kids events, and even a kids area. The kids area is an additional charge, and limited space, so make sure you make your reservation early if you plan on utilizing this.

The kids all have some many things that they loved, lazy river, swimming, corn-hole, fishing, the slides, the fire pit, life size Jenga, connect four, going on adventures, and ordering room service for breakfast. They still ask when are we going back to the Hyatt. Needless to say, this little gem is just a few miles up the road, and a great idea for some family fun!.

Do you have more questions about this amazing stay-cations, feel free to ask. You can contact me by voice or text at (239) 728-7599, e-mail at AngelaGriffith02@gmail.com, or visit the LifeInBonitaSprings webpage about me.

If you would like to plan your own stay-cation here is the link for Hyatt Regency Coconut Point.

 

 

Day Trip In Paradise

20160522_123026.jpgSo every now and again my husband and I get some time to ourselves. This past Sunday my parents took the kids for the day to make memories with them. My husband and I took the opportunity to have lunch out on Captiva at The Bubble Room. The Bubble Room is located at 15001 Captiva Drive, Captiva FL 33924

When I moved to Southwest Florida in 1999, my parents moved our family to Sanibel Island. At the time this was a tough move for me, looking back I was lucky to have been able to live my teen year on Sanibel. It was at times very rough for me.. Now over 15 years later I just may feel a little differently about my time on Sanibel. Any-who, every now and again it is nice to take a trip out there and have breakfast, lunch dinner or visit one of the many beaches.

20160522_123806Sanibel Island is about 30 miles from Bonita Springs, and Captiva is just over 42 miles away. We decided to take the drive through Bonita Beach, and Fort Myers Beach to get to Sanibel and Captiva. We look at it this way, with in 1 hour of Bonita Springs, there are some amazing spots to visit, why not enjoy them too. People for all over the world come here, why not see what they are coming for, and experience it.  It has been just about a year since my husband has been on Fort Myers Beach, so we took the beach. Since they are undergoing a huge road construction project, it was nice to see were they are at, and what is going on down there.

Once you get to the Sanibel bridge there is a $6.00 fee to get onto the island. There are 3 bridges and 2 other smaller islands to cross before you get to the main island. Upon getting on the island, we went right and headed to Captiva. We passed Ding Darling National Refuge, and many other great places to visit. We were on a mission for lunch and amazing desserts.

20160522_130511.jpgWe got to The Bubble Room on Captiva around 1:00 in the afternoon. We were greeted by a smiling hostess and a few Bubble Scouts. Bubble Scouts are what your server identifies as. They wear a scout uniform with different patches on them. They are able to express their personality on their work uniforms with patches of their choice within reason and family friendly. Between the 5 different dining rooms, and all the things they have all over the restaurant, its a wonder that people don’t go there to just look around. Do you remember those Christmas Bubble Lights that you parents or grandparents had? Well they have them as chandeliers in one of the dining rooms.. What about your grandmothers glitter signs, they are in the shadowbox tables. So many amazing things to look at everywhere. There is even an old train that runs though the restaurant. Photos, antiques, trains, signs, stuffed animals, and more. You will have to see it to believe it.

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Above is a photo of their Summer 2016 menu. I had the The Buster Crabbie Cake, and Jonny had the Smoke In Your Eyes Swordfish Dish. Everything tasted amazing. We received a generous portion of everything. Now I am a picky eater, but as I’ve gotten older I have started trying new things, and surprisingly liking the new things I have been trying.

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Now, I will tell you from experience, you HAVE to have the dessert, there is no choice. They are known for their very generous dessert portions, and the melt in your mouth cakes. As the Bubble Scouts say  “What you see is what you get, it is all or nothing.” Katie Gardenia is behind these amazing dessert recipes. Again, this is not a choice, you have to experience these desserts. Even if you go out to just have dessert, and not even have dinner. Yes that happens quite often at The Bubble Room.

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While Jonny and I have some well needed mommy and daddy time on Captiva, the kids were in Cape Coral with their Boppie and Jaju’s making some fun memories with them. They got to have a yummy brunch of waffles, strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. After they filled their tummies with food, they worked off their energy in their pool. The kids had a great time. Jumping, diving, water guns, belly laughs and maybe a little nap.

After Jonny and I enjoyed the day, we ventured out to Cape Coral to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went out to dinner with my parents and the kids.  My mom picked a newer restaurant in the Cape that just recently opened. She chose Monarca’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine, located at 1604 SE 46th St, Cape Coral, FL 33904. She chose this restaurant because Aiden’s new food love is for quesadillas and Madison loves steak, rice and cheese. If you like authentic Mexican cusine, you have to try this place out! Located on the water just over the Cape Coral bridge on Del Prado, this little restaurant was amazing.

Feel free to contact me with any questions that you my have. I am available by voice or text at (239) 728-7599, e-mail at AngelaGriffith02@gmail.com or visit my page on LifeInBonitaSprings Angela Griffith Page on LifeInBonitaSprings.com

Want to learn more about the restaurants Jonny and I visited? Just click the links to take you to their page. Bubble Room  Monarca’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine

 

Passports

Recently I decided it was time for me to apply for a passport. I mean I’ve always wanted to go out of the country, but never had a passport. I figured if I did not have the proper identification it would never happen. So I started the process, and figured the whole family should have their own as well.

I was able to find the application on line, and then I began the process for all four of us. I thought it would be a fairly simple process. The passport application was easy to fill out. I also saved a hard copy to my computer just in case. The hardest part was making sure I had all the proper documentation to provided to the Passport Agency. We had to provide original certified copies of our social security cards, birth certificates, a 2×2 photo taken on a while background, marriage license and any custody agreements that were in place. We took our photos at Wallgreens, they were about $14 each. They give you 2 photos. Also, along with the custody agreement for my son, I had to provide a notarized letter from his Biological father stating that he agreed to having a passport issued.

Once I had them all filled out and triple checked all the information was correct. We were then off to the Clerk of Courts office in Lee County. We decided to go right when the doors opened. Since everyone has to be present for the application process I asked my dad to meet us there to help keep an eye on the kids while we filled out any other paperwork. That was a lifesaver! Even after triple checking the applications before I printed them, There were still revisions that needed to be made.

One of the things that I was not 100% sure of was the forms of payment. I knew you had to pay by check or by cashiers check, however  I was not sure about everything. Well, You need 2 checks. If you have more then one application, you will only need one check per application and one check for the county filing fee. They can combine all the passports into one fee. One goes with the application, and the other one is for the court filing fee.

From beginning to end  the process took about 1.5 hours. Having my dad there to help with the kids was a life saver. I would make sure I brought a small snack and a drink for any little ones. My kids are 8 & 2, and they both got a little restless from all the “adult” waiting that was asked of them.

 

Top 10 Things To Do In Bonita Springs

www.Impeccablyflawed.com
http://www.Impeccablyflawed.com

 

With selling Real Estate, I talk to a lot of people who do not live here, and they want to relocate to the Southwest Florida area. The number one questions that I get are… “What do you do for fun?”, “What is there to do around here?”, “What is going on this week while we are vacationing here?”. Over the last few months I have tracked the things that we do as a family, and the things I look forward to each and every year.

I have come up with a Top 10 list of things to do in the Bonita Springs area. This is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do. There are so many other things that you can do in this area its unbelievable. However, this is just a starting point for you, a local, or a visitor.

I always tell people to head down to Barefoot Beach, and watch one amazing sunset. These sunsets are just breathtaking. As a local, I cannot tell you the last time  I had a chance to head to the beach and witness one of these amazing sunsets. As a visitor to the area this is a must do, as many times as you can. If you head down the Barefoot Beach, you can grab a bite to eat or a quick drink at Doc’s Beach House. Make sure you bring your camera so you have a quick snapshot of one of these amazing sunsets.

People also ask, “Where do the locals eat?”. Well this is an easy one, Buffalo Chips Restaurant. If you are a Bonitian, you have eaten here at least a few times. Buffalo Chips offers a full menu from appetizers to a dinner meal. They are known for the hottest wings in town, and the coldest beer around.  Buffalo Chips has been around for over 30 years. My husband grew up in Bonita Springs, and back when he was growing up that was the one option in town for food. He is a creature of habit, and he either gets one of their burgers or 10 zippy Cajun wings. This is always a super fun video to watch from when we were dating, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-ODKwQ83l4.

There are many nature trails around town. One of our favorite places to go is Cullum’s Trail at Bonita Nature Place, and the Bonita Springs YMCA. You can stop at Bonita Nature Place and see some amazing things, the thing my kids like to watch is the honey bees making a honey comb in the little house in front of the Nature Place. We then drive just down the street to the crushed shell parking lot, and walk the trail. The kids love to just walk in front of us and feel as though they are making the decisions. My 8 year old enjoys walking along the Imperial River, and seeing the different animals that you can encounter. I just recently wrote a blog post about Cullum’s Trail. There are many other parks in the area and you can check all of them out on the Life In Bonita Springs Website. www.Lifeinbonitasprings.com/parks

Renting a boat can be a little confusing on who to go with, and where does the water take you if you have never boated on the water in Bonita Springs. We as a family use Bay Water Boat Rentals on Bonita Beach road just before the bridge that takes you to Barefoot Beach. They have a very knowledgeable staff, and an great fleet of boats for their daily rentals. Like some boat rental places, they offer a Boat Club Membership. So you would pay an initiation fee, and a monthly fee and you get your choice in boats. Their main attraction boat, that is only available if you are a boat member is a 2 story pontoon boat with a slide on the back.

Way back when, the Everglades Wonder Gardens was like a zoo. They had lions, tigers and bears… oh my! This was the place to go in Bonita, people from all over would come to see all the attractions. There was a monster alligator that used to take up residency at the Wonder Gardens called Big Joe. He is still there, except he is now on display in the gallery. Now a days the Wonder Gardens is a botanical garden. They still have the alligators, birds, turtles, and tortoises that people have grown to love. They have also expanded and added a really nice garden/grass area to just hang out with the family, as well as some more native plants, and a butterfly garden. My kids and I go there a few times a year just to see whats been going on. There is also a photo gallery to walk through when you enter the front doors. The new owner sure has a great eye and captures some amazing shots.

Every now and again we all get together out and about. We like to go out the Circle Bar at the Promenade in Bonita Springs. They are located close to DeRomo’s  Gourmet Italian Bistro and Market in the shopping center. They also have some great music from time to time. We have been known to get some pizza from DeRomo’s and take it to the tables at the Circle Bar and enjoy some music.

The city of Bonita Springs may be small compaired to may other cities, but we are a close city. There are many things that go on in the center of town at Riverside Park. We have The Taste of Bonita, Celebrate Bonita, Trunk or Treat, Bonita Blues Fest, Art Walks, Holiday in the Park, Wednesday morning Farmer’s Market and may schools and organizations get together and have concerts.

We have all heard the country song by Zac Brown band… ” I got my toes in the water, “toes” in the sand, Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand, Life is good today. Life is good today…”. This one of  the many beach anthems that come to mind when I think of the beaches that Southwest Florida has to offer. Bonita Springs has some breath taking beach front real estate. Our beaches offer soft white sand, blue waters, and if you in the right spot, there is some food and drink right behind you. When you are here, you need to make time to see a one of a kind, picture perfect sunset. They are kind of like snowflakes, not one looks like another. Our beaches are picture perfect! I know when I am away from home, and I hear that song, it brings me back home. Are you not close enough to the beach to see it all the time? No worries we have created a fantastic movie of what it has to offer… Take a look at the Bonita Springs Beaches.

What goes better with the beach besides a drink in your hand and a sun-kissed tan? How about a day on the water with a fishing charter. We are creatures of habit, (okay, so its not just my husband) We have used Ryan Clase with Dynamic Fishing Charters. He has everything you need except food and sun protection. He picks you up at Lovers Key State Park boat ramp, and depending on what you want to go fishing for, he will take you to all the great spots. We have never been disappointed in the action we have seen on the water. My 8 year is always super excited to go out on the boat with Ryan. He looks forward to it once he is told that we are going. Ryan is amazing with him, and how he teaches him, talks to him, and interacts with him.

Most people like the weather, beaches, dining, and hiking, however there is a huge amount of people who enjoy the golf game. A round of 9 or 18 is a personal choice. The Bonita Springs area has a few public golf courses that anyone can choose from. Now, depending on the time of year, will depend on the availability for prime t-times. Some of the public golf courses are Stoneybrook in Estero, Bonita Fairways,and Bonita National. Now if you are a resident in one of the Bundled Golf Communities, you will be able to play on the course that you are a resident of, and any other sister courses that they have available.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the top 10 things to do in the Bonita Springs area. If you have any other questions about what is going on in the area, you can  join the Bonita Springs Estero Community Forum group on Facebook. You can also call or text me at (239)728-7599, or e-mail me directly at AngelaGriffith02@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Filled Weekend

 

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This last weekend was one for the books for our family. With my husband I and running our own businesses, and the kids in school, it is not often we get a few days in a row that we all get to do stuff together. We made so many memories this weekend. I love the fact that we were able to do so much together in such a short amount of time. The kids had such a great time as did the adults.

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We started out on Thursday night. We surprised the kids with a trip to the Collier County Fair. The kids were so shocked when we pulled into the fairgrounds parking lot, you would of thought they won the lottery. I mean, who doesn’t like to fill their bellies with fair food, right? Upon entering the gates, we stopped and looked at the 4H animals, then off to the petting zoo tent. I purchased 2 cups of carrots for the animals, and the kids and adults had a blast. Off to the rides. Now Aiden my 7 year old is just about tall enough for the big rides in the back, but he still loves the kiddie rides. Madison, my 2 year old wanted nothing to do with any type of ride about 2 months ago, however it was hard to keep her off the rides this time. Its amazing what a few months do. The kids had a blast between the Fun Slide, Wiggle Worm, The Flyer, and many other rides. The admission was $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and 2 and under are free, wristbands were only $15.

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On Friday, I took the day away from the electronics that keep me in touch with my business as Real Estate agent, and spent time chaperoning Aiden’s field trip to Germain Area to see Disney On Ice, Frozen. We were in section 106 and up in rows 14 & 15. There was about 60 people including chaperons. Aiden really enjoyed the performance. Germain Arena is located in Estero, Florida, which is just north of Bonita Springs. It is also next to the new active adult community, Tidewater.

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Following the field trip, Aiden competed in a Basket Ball competition for his school. They picked the top 2 boys and 2 girls in each grade level to compete against the other 2 schools in the area. The Bonita Springs campus took home the most gold medals. Aiden took home 3 gold medals and 1 3rd place ribbon. It was fun to watch him compete against the other two schools. This was his second year in a row competing in this competition.

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On Saturday, Jonny and I took the kids to see Frozen On Ice. Aiden got to see it twice since we went with his school on Friday morning. He enjoyed it just as much if not more the second time around. I learned that everything is $15 these days. It was $15 for cotton candy, $15 for the Olaf drinks, $15 for souvenirs, it just never failed. Its amazing how expensive these things are. We sat in the 5th row on one of the corners, Madison never took her eyes off the ice. She got excited when Mickey and Minnie came out to greet everyone. Then, all the other characters came out, Goofy, Donald, Cinderella, Ariel, Nemo, Dory, Buzz, Woody, and many others, and her eyes just lit up more and more with each one. Once the music started from Frozen, she got super confused at first, but once she realized what was going on she just stared and was mesmerized with what was happening. When intermission came, she said “mommy, we no leave.” I explained to her that it was just a break, and they would be back. Well to my surprise she kind of understood, at least for a 2 year old. The lights went down, and her eyes got big. They opened the 2nd half with Ana and Christof finding Olaf. She just giggled, and smiled the rest of the time. Once it was over, she waved good-by to all the characters and out the door we went. When we got to the car she said “Mommy, this fun, Princess Elsa & Ana.” Aiden also said how much fun he had watching it the second time.

Saturday night we then had some friends come over and cook out. We live in the Heitmans area of Bonita Springs. We are close to Riverside Park, and the downtown area. Though we doing go up there as much as we should, its nice to live close to everything. The kids had a fun time playing together.

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Sunday was a slow starting day, as we all slept in just a little. Aiden and Madison came in our room to watch Sunday morning cartoons, and snuggle just a little longer. It was soon time to get up, get dressed and head off to Cape Coral and visit with my parents. We headed out to their house for dinner. We were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and preparing for Easter all in the same day. As soon as we got there the kids wanted to play outside on the lanai. They were happy to play basketball, jump on the trampoline, blow bubbles, and go swimming. Before we ate dinner, the kids dyed some Easter Eggs. Now This is the 1st year Madison really dyed them, and Aiden is such a pro at it, he was able to do it all on his own this year. After the eggs, we ate a yummie dinner of Corn-beef, cabbage, and ham, with potatoes, carrots, green beans, and apple sauce. Dinner was over, and I took a nap and the kids played some more. Dessert was from Delicious Orchids in New Jersey. My parents and I used to go there when we lived there. It was nice to have a little taste of home for dessert.

What a great way to end a family filled weekend!

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Manatees In The Estero River

 

With it being high season, I am in and out of homes all day long. On this particular day I was showing waterfront, Gulf access homes on the Imperial River. We looked at 2 story homes, ranch homes, and empty lots.

We were in the Bonita Farms area of Bonita Springs, Florida on the Imperial River, and we all took a moment to look at the water, and we saw 2 manatees, followed by another 2, and another 2…For a total of 6 manatees going about their way down river. I was excited to watch these animals doing their own thing.

I have seen them before in Sea World, and Manatee Park, but not just swimming along it was a fantastic sight to see.