Monday, February 13, 2012

Pickleball in Naples, Fl

On Friday afternoon we headed for Naples, Fl for the Collier County Pickleball Tournament. This is where the annual Collier County Senior Games are played each year, but this year, due to lack of funds the county elected to cancel the entire event.  So our good friends and fellow USAPA Ambassadors Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman decided to have a pickleball tournament anyway.  With 12 courts and lots of interest, they made it a USAPA Sanctioned event open to ages 16 and older and drew almost 130 players.

We arrived in Naples around 6:00pm, checked in at the hotel and headed for the courts to watch the singles competition for a while, then  stopped at 5 Guys Burger and Fries for  late dinner before we headed back to the room.  We stayed at the Best Western on Pine Ridge Rd and it was one of the nicest places we've stayed.  The room was huge with a small kitchenette (sink, micro, frig, coffeepot) and the price was very reasonable.  The only down side was that our room was directly in front of an entry door and across from the ice machine and elevators, so we did get disturbed a little during the night. You can't believe how many people go for ice at 3 or 4 in the morning!!  A great complimentary breakfast in the morning.  We would definitely recommend this hotel if you're in the area.

Saturday was the doubles competition and we were not surprised to see many of  the same people we've come to know and play with over the years; Linda and Diane from Tanglewood, Tim and Marlene Difenderfer and Gary and Cathy Miller from Solivita  and Cindy Eddleman and  Nancy Meyer. from Ft. Myers.  This year  we were pleasantly surprised when we ran into  John and Carla Foard.   John partnered with one of his fellow Venice players. 

The games were delayed about an hour because of rain during the night.  While the day remained partly cloudy,  everyone could shed the jackets and coats when the sun did shine. As the day progressed, the winds got stronger.  Players were battling winds 16 to 18 miles/hour  with even larger gusts that more than once toppled the nets.   But this group hung in there. Linda and Diane took the gold! The rest of this crew all went home with Silver Medals!.  
Rich played with Mark Stemmerman, from The Villages.  They had a couple of matches that they took easily, but they also had a couple that were very very competitive, and went three games.  As usual, they played the very last game of the competition on Saturday and  finished with the GOLD!!

During the second match of the day, Rich slipped on some loose stones and turned his ankle.   Once the match was over he bandaged up the ankle and continued on, hobbling a bit at times, but still coming out on top!

On the way home we stopped for dinner at a great Italian restaurant called Meravelas.  They advertise Pizza, Pasta, Subs and Salads. 

Rich had the small Stromboli - which was big enough for the two of us.  I had the Pena Pasta with meatballs.  Both were excellent as was the service! 

When we returned to the hotel, Rich removed the bandage from his ankle, and it was very very swollen, and hurt to touch.  As much as he wanted to play, we both decided it was best that he not get back on it for a while.   So rather than head for the courts on Sunday, we headed for home.  

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