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Naples - The Journey – Drive From Clearwater


Although I wanted to head out early I also wanted to try the Little Toot, and it was well worth it!  I tried to follow the idea of driving for an hour, then resting and so on, but it just didn't work out that way, as several places I stopped were closed for lunch, didn't serve tea (could not drink espresso at that point) or the only thing that looked good was reserved for a dinner special.  Not very welcoming – especially compared to the overall excellent welcomes in Florida from most establishments.


The quickest route to Naples was to head back through Tampa, but I wanted to hang to the coast to make the driving more interesting, take a quick look at some of the beaches and also drive over the cool Sunshine Skyway.


As I finished my dawdle down the coast and headed onto the bridge my stomach lurched, it truly is one impressive and slightly scary ride (and cured me of any need to experience all the funky bridges in the Keys).  A great part of the drive that made me feel I was truly on an American road trip (and not just any bland road anywhere in the world!)


There are plenty of incredible places to stop on the drive down to Naples, but with the weather closing in my plan was to stick to I-75 straight down.  Unfortunately the weather had other plans (plus I had to refuel) and I found myself wandering around Starbucks, BP forecourts and Wendy's either to grab a necessary rest top, or just to pull off the road as I couldn't see the other cars.


I ended up on Route 41 for much of the time, just because it was easier to pull over if the rain got too much again.


Finally I arrived into Naples, parked up at the hotel and tried to figure out what to do with my body which had been messed up by such a long drive.




Wendy's - any port in a storm

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