A final post from Naples

We’re packing up for the trip back to Ypsi tomorrow morning. So here are a few thoughts and pictures:

* On New Year’s day, Will and I drove around Naples a bit while Annette and her mom went gambling on one of these boats that takes you out to international waters. Will and I stopped briefly on Vanderbilt beach; we saw cool and giant sand castles right by the Ritz-Carleton, apparently built by that hotel’s professional sand castle builder. Annette lost money on gambling boat, but she said it was like a mini cruise, so it was okay.

* Sometime toward the end of New Year’s day, I developed a nasty cold. I think I’m feeling better now, but it’s a good thing I’ll be to bed early again tonight.

* We went to an art show the day after New Year’s day in downtown Naples. Pretty good stuff, about the size of the Plymouth art fair with some of the same artists. I almost bought a cool photograph of a hand-painted sign advertising Internet service in a little town in Mexico. Here’s Annette and Will in front of art:

Will also enjoyed climbing on this elaborate playground set-up in Naples:

* Today we went on a proper visit to the beach: suntan lotion, beach chairs, laying there, etc. Here’s Will enjoying the sun:

* After the beach, we came back and swam in the pool (the ocean is about 65 degrees this time of year). Actually, Annette and Will and the grandparents were in the pool quite a bit during our visit; I even went in and waded around a couple of times.

* Despite what some might want to admit, Doritos do go very well with margaritas.

* I doubt I’ll visit my parents or the in-laws without the wireless router ever again. I’m not completely ready to start school in two days, but it definitely saved my ass Internet-wise.

Update (about 5 hours before I need to be getting ready for the flight back home):
Never mind that last bit about the wireless router.

To make the long story short, my in-laws’ internet connection worked fine before the router, it worked fine during the router, but it stopped working after I disconnected the router and I tried to reconnect their computer to the cable modem. I was on the phone for a long time with techno-geeks around the country and with the dimwits at Comcast, and the general answer I received was “wow, that shouldn’t happen.” Thanks, thanks a lot.

I think that ultimately the problem is with Windows XP, and probably the infamous “Service Pack 2.” I think I could get the in-laws’ connection up and running again if I reinstalled the network card drivers and/or Windows XP, but a) I don’t think my in-laws would allow that at this point (and who can blame them? after all, the last time I messed with their computer, this happened!), and b) reinstalling a bunch of key software seems like a pretty lame way to solve a problem.

Anyway, let me publicly and profusely apologize to Bill and Irmgard: I had no idea that this would happen, everyone told me it wouldn’t be a problem, but still my bad.

Now, the good news (sort of) is that I was able to reconnect the router and everything works fine. And if there is more silver lining to this: it probably isn’t a bad idea security-wise for them to have a hardware device that has a firewall built into it (we’ve never had a spyware or other problem on Will’s PC, and I think this is one of the reasons why), and since we will be coming here again with our laptops (Annette just got one), we will use this again. It’s a pisser that I’m going to have to buy another router when we get home and I might face the same problems hooking up our PC, but considering the relatively low price of wireless routers nowadays and the usefulness of good internet connectivity while we’ve been in Florida, I think it’s a kind of “break even” deal….

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