Archive for January, 2015

The Hard Truth about Punta Gorda and Groundhog Day

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015




When researching places to live, you may think: Wow, Punta Gorda has beautiful scenery, lots to do, and near perfect weather. It sounds wonderful. But how do they celebrate Groundhog Day?

The answer is: We don’t. Which is odd, because normally Punta Gorda residents find any excuse to throw a party. We average one festival a month, celebrate Octoberfest twice, and turn Halloween into a week-long fright fest. You’d think we’d at least have one local groundhog to rival Punxsutawney Phil.  Yet we don’t.

It’s sad until you understand why. You see, nobody in Punta Gorda minds if there are six more weeks of winter. In fact, sometimes we forget it’s winter at all. Who can tell? Maybe we need a groundhog to remind us that it’s winter. We could name him Winter Will, and he could always be looking for his other flip-flop.

Now, if you’re banned from using your non-emergency vehicle right now or spending the day wading through Juno’s mess, forgetting about winter might be hard to imagine. But it happens.

I say bring on six more weeks of winter. Or don’t. It’s all the same.

Even if a noticeable difference between winter and spring existed, Groundhog Day loses its suspense in a place that’s almost always sunny. The groundhog would see his shadow year after year. There’d be more winter. And nobody would notice.

If you get excited about Groundhog Day every year, I’m sorry. It’s just one of those things you’ll have to give up when you move here. You’ll leave it behind with your snow blower, ice scrapers, and remote car starters.

I can promise you this: You won’t miss putting your hopes and dreams in the eyes of a rodent. You may even look back and think: Why? Why was I so attached to what a furry marmot saw? Was winter in the north so horrible that I’d eagerly watch a groundhog for entertainment? I could’ve been in Punta Gorda playing golf!

And then you’ll pick up your clubs and forget Groundhog Day ever mattered.

10 Winter Words that Mean Something Entirely Different in Florida

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

by 65 degrees

Here’s something you may not know: It’s winter! Even though it’s been in the 70s all week, we call this time of year winter just like everyone else.

However, certain winter words have different definitions here in Florida. I’d hate for you to get confused while a Floridian speaks, so here are some definitions to help you out:


Up north: Any temperature under 32 degrees. (Scientifically correct, but I still wouldn’t want to live there.)

Florida: Any temperature under 60 degrees. (Scientifically incorrect, but feels saner.)


Up north: The mineral spread all over the roads, in hopes it will stop cars from sliding. Also, the mineral ruining the undercarriage of your car.

Florida: The white stuff on the rim of your margarita.

Black Ice

Up north: Roadway ice that’s turned black and is hard to see.

Florida: Growing up here, I never heard the term until I was 20. But if you drop your icy beverage in dirt, the ice would become black ice.


Up north: Large metal object used to clear snow out of the driveway.

Florida: Small plastic toy kids use to make sandcastles.


Up north: Apparatus used to tediously scrape ice off your windshield first thing in the morning.

Florida: The last nacho chip which becomes responsible for scraping up the remainder of salsa.


Up north: The act of wearing multiple layers of clothes, i.e. tights, long underwear, etc., in hopes of avoiding frostbite.

Florida: The act of grabbing a light sweater before heading to the movies.


Up north: A dismal place where the heat can’t find you.

Florida: Where you eat lunch, play golf, boat, etc.


Up north: The area you need to be to feel comfortable six months of the year. Also, the place with the least amount of fresh air.

Florida: It’s hard to say once you open your sliding glass doors. Do three walls and a lanai constitute inside?


Up North: That area out back covered in snow and ice. Only five months until you can use it again!

Florida: Where you should be sitting right now. It’s in the 70s today!

Snowed in

Up north:  A predicament where one is stuck in place due to a large amount of snow.

Florida: You eat too many sno-cones and have to take a nap.

Wintry Mix

Up north: A mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Florida: A mix of boating, golf, and tennis. For example, you boat to the golf course, eat lunch, and play an afternoon tennis match.

Has this post helped you?

I hope so. If you struggle with any other winter terms in Florida, let me know over on Facebook. I will translate into Floridian for you.



6 Big Things to Do in Punta Gorda this January

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015


You might think I’m crazy. After all, we’re tw2015-CareBall-Inviteo weeks into January. Punta Gorda is a small town. Are there really six big things left to do this month?

Yes, there are.

In fact, so much goes on in Punta Gorda every week, that I had to cull through numerous golf events, fitness opportunities, and live shows (including an Elvis impersonator) to keep this post from turning into a short book.

Here’s the big list to get you through the end of the month:

  1. Gallery Walk: Thursday, January 15, 2015 If you haven’t been to a gallery walk yet, stop putting it off. It’s a great way to get to know our downtown businesses. Shops stay open late and many offer demonstrations. You’ll experience live music and the friendly atmosphere Punta Gorda is known for. Hours: 5:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  2. 18th Annual Sullivan Street Crafts Fair: Saturday, January 17-Sunday, January 18 For 18 years, artisans have set up their wares at the Sullivan Street Craft Fair. You can find great gifts, jewelry, and items for your home. It’s an outdoor festival. (We can do that here in January!) Admission is free. Hours: 10:00 am-500 pm.
  3. Punta Gorda Home and Garden Show: Saturday, January 17-Sunday, January 18 Get ideas and tips for everything from your roof to your lanai. Hours: 10:00 am-5:00 pm Where: Charlotte Harbor Events Center Free and open to Public
  4. The C.A.R.E. Ball: January 24 This year’s theme is the Road to Morocco. Take this chance to dance in your best Moroccan garb. (Moroccan attire not required, but encouraged.) Even better is all the proceeds from this fun event benefit The Center for Rape and Emergencies of Charlotte County. R.S.V.P. by January 16 at 941-639-5499.
  5. 7th Annual Hands Across the Harbor: Saturday, January 31, 2015 Get ready for the Chili and Beer Fest (see below) with a jaunt across the harbor. Choose from a 5k walk, 8k run, 8k longboard race, or 10 or 20 mile bike ride. (Doesn’t every small town have a longboard race?) Pre-registration is available now ($25 per person; $20 per student). Day-of registration ($30 per person; $25 per student) begins at 6:45 am. Start times are: Yoga stretch–7:30; Bike ride—7:55; Longboard race—8:00 am; Run—8:12 am, Walk—8:15 am.
  6. 4th Annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival Fest: Saturday, January 31 Test your neighbor’s chili-making skills, enjoy live music, and have a beer. 25 teams will compete for best chili. You vote for the People’s Choice Award. Wash it down at the beer tent where over 15 micro-breweries will be showing off their suds. Where: Laishley Park Admission: $3 Children under 12 are free. Starts at 12:00 pm. Ends with the award ceremony at 5:00 pm.

I hope this list leads you to enjoy the rest of your January! To keep up with more local events, Like our Facebook page now.


How Much More Does the Andreae Group Sell in Burnt Store Isles? (The Numbers Might Surprise You)

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

by Punta Gorda pride

The 2014 sales numbers are in! It may come as no surprise that the Andreae Group has maintained the number one spot in Punta Gorda real estate sales again this year.  (We’ve held the top spot for almost 30 years.)

But have you ever wondered how much more does the Andreae Group really sell? Are we eking by to stay at number one? Well, no.

It’s easy for us to tell you we’re the best. It’s much more work to achieve the numbers to back it up. To give you an example of the difference between the Andreae Group and the rest, let’s look at just one segment of Punta Gorda real estate–Burnt Store Isles listings. Here are some things you should know about 2014 home sales in Burnt Store Isles:

  • 54 houses were sold in BSI last year. Luke Andreae was the listing agent on 17 of those homes. No other realtor had more than 3 listings sold in BSI last year.
  • The total value of BSI homes sold last year was just over $20 million.
  • Luke Andreae listings’ sales accounted for $6 million of that $20 million.
  • 31 realtors split the rest. No other realtor can claim even $2 million in BSI sales.

Why do so many people list with Luke?

Few people know Burnt Store Isles as well as he does. The Andreae family moved to BSI in 1981 when there were only five homes in the neighborhood. (His grandparents occupied one of the other four.)  In the 1980s, vacant lots stretched across entire streets, like the now-populated Licata Ct., where Luke learned to ride his bike and first discovered a cul-de-sac makes an excellent stick ball field.

By the mid-1980s, Nancy Andreae was a top realtor in town. As homes went up, Nancy would frequently load the kids in the car to tour each home’s progress.

If you live in a BSI home that was built in the 1980s, it’s likely little Luke Andreae watched your walls go up.

Luke is still a BSI resident. He still plays stick ball around the cul-de-sacs with his two daughters. (I hear the girls even let him win sometimes.)

Of course, much of the listings come from referrals. When you know an area so well, the people know you too. You can read what people say about working with Luke on his Zillow reviews page.

Have you ever worked with the Andreae Group? Do these numbers surprise you? Let us know about your experience over on our Facebook page.