Archive for the ‘Punta Gorda is the Best Place to Live’ Category

What’s Happening in Punta Gorda: February and March 2017

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Is it February already? It’s hard to tell when it’s 80 degrees every afternoon. It’s officially season and our office has been a busy place this past month.

There is a lot going on in the next couple months, so I will get right to the good stuff.

  • Feb. 11, 8th Annual St. Vincent de Paul Walk for the Poor, Laishley Park. For information contact (941)505-7325. http://www.svdpcharlottefl.org/colony-pt-bridge
  • Feb. 11, Managing Stress with Dr. Demers, the Yoga Sanctuary. For more information contact (941) 505-9642 http://www.theyogasanctuary.biz
  • Feb. 12, Charlotte County Concert Band Concert Series, Charlotte Cultural Center. For information visit www.charlottecountyconcertband.com.
  • Feb. 13, Blanchard House Black History Month Film  and Performance Series, 500 Years Later Mid County Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd. 5:30 pm Blanchard House Museum For more information call 941-764-5859.
  • Feb. 18, American Heart Association, Charlotte Heart Walk 2017. For information contact (727)563-8083.
  • Feb. 18, Smuggler’s Downtown Hoedown, Marketplace property. For information contact (941)637-5953 or www.smugglersevents.com.
  • Feb. 20, Blanchard House Black History Month Film and Performance Series, Performance by Ray Kamalay, guitarist and storyteller: “The Haitian Revolution and the Rise of American Music” Mid County Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd. 5:30 pm Blanchard House Museum For more information call 941-764-5859.
  • Feb. 24, 2017, Behind the Notes with Maestro Raffaele Ponti at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street. For reservations contact (941)205-9743 or www.charlottesymphony.com.
  • Feb. 24-25, Florida Frontier Days, History Park, 501 Shreve Street. For hours and information contact (941)639-6746.
  • Feb. 24-26, Cirque Italia, Downtown Punta Gorda, Marketplace property. For information contact (352)502-3162 or www.cirqueitalia.com.
  • Feb. 25, 7th Annual Punta Gorda Pub Crawl and Food Drive. Downtown Punta Gorda. For tickets and information contact (239)872-1171 or www.puntagordapubcrawl.com.
  • Feb. 27, Blanchard House Black History Month Film  and Performance SeriesThe Legacy of Slavery  Mid County Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd. 5:30 pm Blanchard House Museum For more information call 941-764-5859.
  • March 3-4, Funk Fest Punta Gorda, Marketplace property, downtown Punta Gorda. For information visit funkfestpuntagorda.com.
  • March 3-5, Peace River Pickler’s Pickleball Tournament, Gilchrist Park Pickleball & Tennis Courts. For information contact (330)812-4500 or http://www.peaceriverpicklers.com/.pickleball
  • March 4, Luna Fest, History Park, 501 Shreve St. For additional information contact (941)637-3830 or peaceriverwildlife.org.
  • March 5, Yoga for Caregivers, the Yoga Sanctuary. For more information contact (941) 505-9642 http://www.theyogasanctuary.biz
  • March 11-12, iHeart Media Seafood Festival, Laishley Park. For hours and information contact (941)815-0324.
  • March 12, Charlotte County Concert Band Concert Series, Charlotte Cultural Center. For information visit charlottecountyconcertband.com.
  • March 17, 2017, Behind the Notes with Maestro Raffaele Ponti at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street. For reservations contact (941)205-9743 or charlottesymphony.com.
  • March 24-25, Pedal & Play in Paradise Bicycle Event, Laishley Park. For information contact (941)637-8326 or pedalandplayinparadise.com.
  • March 25-26, TNT Arts & Craft Show, Marketplace property. For information contact (352)344-0657 or tnteventsinc.com.
  • March 25, Guns and Hoses 10K & 5K Runs, 1133 Bal Harbor Plaza. For information contact (941)575-7482.
  • March 26, Punta Gorda Rotary Taste of Punta Gorda, Laishley Park. For information contact (941)875-5629

Have fun out there! Follow us on Facebook for more updates on our market and local happenings.

What’s Happening in Punta Gorda in December

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

By: Adrienne Andreae

There is so much going on in this town. It’s hard to keep up on it all!

That’s what a recent buyer stopped in my office to tell me. When she said it, part of me filled with pride. I love that Punta Gorda is so active. Our town is a place for doers. People come here eager to get out on the water, go out on the town, and meet people.

Another part of me felt a little guilty. I used to be much better at keeping this blog up with all that was going on around town. I’m starting my resolution early this year to keep you updated every month on what’s going on around town.

This month we are celebrating Founder’s Week. For more info on Founder’s Week check out their Facebook page.

December 17: Don't miss the lighted boat parade!

December 17: Don’t miss the lighted boat parade!

  • Thursday, December 1: Luminaria Night at the History Park, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Shreve Street. Brought to you by Relay for Life. Celebrate by lighting the night, shopping, and have treats.
  • Thursday, December 1: Isaac Trabue Chess Tournament, Punta Gorda Kiwanis–Taking place all over town. To play or watch: Contact: Michael Haymans, (941) 661-5622.
  •  Thursday, December 1: Week long exhibit (December 1-7, 2016) “Then and Now” Monday through Friday-9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Where: Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud Street
  • Friday, December 2: Downtown Christmas Celebration Carol Sing & Tree Lighting, 5 pm to 8 pm, corner of W Marion Avenue & Taylor Street. For more information, contact (941)575-3302.
  • Friday, December 2: Annual Holly Days Home Tours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic Residential Area.
  • Saturday, December 3: 38th Annual Charlotte County Chamber Christmas Parade, from Charlotte High School to Downtown Punta Gorda. For registration and additional information contact (941)639-2222 or http://www.charlottecountychamber.org/.
  • Saturday, December 3:  Christmas Tree Yarn Bomb at the Farmer’s Market, 8 a.m. to noon, Olympia and Taylor, Trees at Hector Square decorated with colorful yarn.
  • Saturday, December 3: Celebrate the Holidays with Bella and Luna, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Peace River Wildlife Center, Ponce de Leon Park
  • Saturday, December 3: Down the Street Happy Hour, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at New Operation Cooper Street, 650 Mary St.
  • Saturday, December 3: Founders’ Day Southern Supper, 5 to 11 p.m., Hurricane Charley’s, 300 W. Retta Esplanade
  • Sunday, December 4: Latino Christmas at Cilantro’s Restaurant, 2705 Tamiami Trail. For additional information contact (941)621-4612 or cilantrosrestaurant39@gmail.com.
  • Sunday, December 4: Dare to Dream, an Afternoon with Amelia Earhart” 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan St.
  • Monday, December 5: Historic Trolley Tours and History Celebration from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tours start at Kays Ponger & Uselton, 635 E. Marion Ave.
  • Monday, December 5: Historic Punta Gorda City Hall Tours, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. City Hall, 326 W. Marion Ave.
  •  Monday, December 5: Freeman House Tours, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tour historic Freeman House with docents.
  • Tuesday, December 6:  Historic Walking Tours of Indian Springs Cemetery, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 9500 Indian Springs Rd. Contact: 941-629-7278
  • Tuesday, December 6: Raise the Roof for the Trabue House, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve St. Suggested donation $10. Proceeds help the Homeless Coalition and roof repairs on the Trabue house.
  • Tuesday, December 6: Founders Mural Tour, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Meet at Herald Court Parking Garage Breezeway. Suggested donation $10. Contact: Kelly Gaylord 941-979-2786
  • Wednesday, December 7: Old Time BBQ & Historical Poker Run, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., starts at Charlotte Community Foundation, 227 Sullivan Street, To register: http://www.teampuntagorda.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Poker-Run-Registration.pdf
  • Wednesday, December 7: 1st Annual Holiday Grub Crawl 5:00-9:00 pm, Downtown Punta Gorda, Tickets are $20 and benefit the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Call 941-205-9743 for tickets and info.
  • Wednesday, December 7: Final Isaac Trabue Chess Tournament – 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Top of the Herald Court Parking Garage. Punta Gorda Kiwanis sponsors final of tournament with giant chess pieces. Contact: Mike Haymans (941) 661-5622
  • December 14: Ugly Sweater Run, 5:30-8:00 pm., 1-3 mile Walk or Run, Call 941 347-7751
  • December 15: Alive After Five, (Formerly known as the Gallery Walk), Downtown. A great way to taste test local fair and shop as you go! For more info click here.
  • December 16: Third Friday Drive in: This month’s movie is Elf. It starts at 7:30 pm. Check their Facebook page for occasional last minute changes due to weather.
  • December 17: Punta Gorda lighted Boat Parade, begins at sunset
  • December 22: P. Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (Ballet in 2 acts with an Epilogue) Where: the Event Center  Who: The State Ballet Theatre of Russia 7:00 pm, Call 941-833-5444
  • December 24: Deep Creek Community Church Christmas Eve Services in Laishley Park. For hours and additional information contact (941)235-7325 or office@dc3.tv.

That list should get all of you looking to get out started! As I learn of more events, I try to keep you updated on our Facebook page. If you’re a local hosting an event in January, please email me the info at Adrienne@andreaegroup.com.

 

 

 

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Zillow to Find Your Florida Dream Home

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
This could be your winter.

This could be your winter.

By: Adrienne Andreae

It’s going to start snowing again soon. You might be wallowing in fall colors now, but they won’t last. You take to your computer determined to escape before the first flake falls.

While you may not know exactly where in Florida you want to go, you know you’re ready for the Sunshine State. You type in Florida real estate and Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, or Homes.com comes up. It doesn’t matter which one. This advice will work for all of them.

Before I get to my tips, I’ll admit: many realtors hate these sites. You can find countless realtor blog posts lamenting the hazards of using Zillow. I have my moments with Zillow and its competitors, but I also see why many of my customers start on them. My hope is this post will help you understand when these sites will help you as a customer and when they lose their value.

Do Use Zillow: When All You Know is You Want Sunshine.

You’re starting with a wide search radius. You want to go south. Your priority is to end the snow in your life. Maybe you’ve been renting a beach condo in Destin for ten years. You love it there, but you want to explore all your options. Maybe you haven’t been to Florida since you took the kids to Disneyworld in 1997. Maybe you’re even looking at Arizona and haven’t decided on a state yet.

Zillow and Realtor.com are fine sites for you. You can get started and see what areas fit your price range.

Don’t Use Zillow: When You Know What You Want Out of Retirement

You’ve waited thirty years to live near the beach or the golf course or, like many of my customers, to have your boat in your backyard. Zillow won’t tell you that Punta Gorda is consistently rated one of the best small boating towns in Florida. You may have to Google and ask your boating friends. You may have to play around on boating websites or read about us in boating magazines. You’re better off doing the research on areas that you allow you to successfully live your dream. Most realtor websites will let you check listings, and you will find them more accurate than Zillow.

Zillow can't tell you which dock fits your boat best.

Zillow can’t tell you which dock fits your boat best.

Do Use Zillow When You’re Just Curious

Want to know if it’s possible to find any house in Punta Gorda Isles under $300,000? You’re not looking to buy. You just want to know, like you might want to know what $1 million dollars gets in Boston versus Tampa. Zillow is a great distraction and fun site to poke around.

Don’t Use Zillow For Market Research

Zillow farms off the MLS. Therefore, it is often not current. Realtors may change a status in the MLS and sometimes Zillow and Realtor.com miss the update. I have gotten calls about foreclosures that happened years ago. Even in Zillow’s own Advice section, I found questions from homeowners looking to take the home they bought a year ago off Zillow. If you’re really looking for property, call a real estate agent or at least, use a realtor’s site.

There are countless stories of the Zestimate’s inaccuracy. I won’t get to into it here. I tried to figure out how they get their numbers, but I know too much about the Punta Gorda market. They make no sense.

(My favorite story about the Zestimates is the one about the CEO of Zillow sold his home at 60% of the Zestimate.)

Do Use Zillow: If you’re more than 3 years from retirement

You’re sitting at your desk right now dreaming of boating. I’m sorry. I did that to you with the picture above and now you’re wishing you could retire tomorrow. But the kids are small or in college and you know you’re ten years away, at least. You go on Zillow to play around, daydream, and find out what penthouses in New York cost. This is normal. Zillow can be fun.

Don’t Use Zillow: If you’re within 3 years of retirement

You’re close. You may not know what city you want, but you do know you prefer west coast Florida over east coast. You want water in your backyard and sunshine. As you narrow down your scope and retirement gets closer, you should start contacting realtors. You may think four years is a long way out, but this is when you can start paying attention to the markets in the areas you’re interested in. Believe it or not, I’ve had customers call me ten years from retirement. This is a little far out, but it takes nothing for me to add them to my email list. You can start watching the market at anytime.

In Punta Gorda, where the rental market is fantastic, I have many buyers who start to see changes in the market and decide to buy now, rent the home out for a few years and then retire in it. You can only do that if you’re paying attention to good information.

Don’t Fall in Love with a Home on Zillow Before Talking to a Realtor

My final piece of advice is to resist falling madly in love with that great deal you found on Zillow. That house may be the deal Zillow presents  or it may have sold six months ago or have issues Zillow can’t know about. It happens often that a new customer calls me excited about the home they’re going to buy and I know immediately it is not what they think. I’d rather walk you through the process than be the one to tell you your dream is not what you see on the internet.

Have you used Zillow? Is it time to reach out to a realtor? We’d love to hear from you. You can call us at 941-833-4217 or email us at info@andreaegroup.com.

3 Things You Must Know When Buying A Condo in
Punta Gorda

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Sailboats docked at the Villas at Cedar Key

Sailboats docked at the Villas at Cedar Key

By: Adrienne Andreae

You’ve been taken care of houses for 20+ years. You’re tired. You want someone else to cut the lawn and maintain the pool.

Downsizing to a Punta Gorda condo could be the perfect solution. After so many years of homeownership, you may wonder what are the main differences in buying a condo vs. a home. I’m going to give you the basics about condo buying in a minute, but first let’s discuss the differences between a condo, a villa, and a townhome.

What’s the difference between a condo, a townhome, and a villa?

It’s my understanding that some parts of the country use these words differently. We’re talking Punta Gorda here, so I’m going to tell you what these words mean in these parts. A condo is in a multi-level complex. We don’t allow highrises to ruin are quaintness or cause traffic jams, so the highest living space you’ll see is three floors. (There is one exception to that rule. That’s another story for another post.)

Condo owners usually pay $350 per month in fees on the low side and $550 on the high end. Although, we do have a few complexes that go higher and lower in the area.

We tend to use the word villa more than we use townhome although they’re similar. A villa falls somewhere in between a single family home and a condo. You don’t have anyone above or below you. Sometimes they have two floors within the unit, but most are one. You will share at least one side with another villa. Villas have an association that takes care of the grounds and usually the outer shell of the building.

Villa fees in our area usually range between $500-650 per month.

1 Colony Pt, Vivante and Solamar complexes

1 Colony Pt, Vivante and Solamar complexes

When it comes time to purchase a condo, villa or a townhome, the transaction is very similar. Here are some basics you need to know:

Association Matters

Every association runs differently. You want an association that thinks like you do. Often I know the history of a complex or it’s reputation and I’m happy to pass any information I have on. However, the best way to learn about the association, bar going to a meeting, is to read their most current condo documents. When you put an offer on a condo, we attach a condo rider. This rider requests the listing agent give you the most current condo docs. I keep using the word ‘current’, because sometimes you’ll find these documents attached to the MLS or online. The seller pays for the most current and usually only buys them after an offer is put on the unit.

After you receive the documents, you have 3 days to back out of the contract if you don’t like what you read.

Check the Financials

Along with the condo docs, you’ll receive the financials. If a complex doesn’t keep reserves, a bank won’t give you a loan. Paying cash? You still have problems without reserves. What if the roof leaks? You and your neighbors will have to get together to fix it. The bank doesn’t give loans on these complexes, because they’re so risky. When you go to sell, you’ve cut out a fair amount of buyers.

So, how much should a complex have in reserves? That’s hard to say. Reserves are like savings accounts. Some people like to be safe and keep a lot of money in them. They will raise fees over spending money from the reserves. Some associations lean towards spending. Older complexes tend to have more in reserves, because they’ve had time to build them up. Of course, their structures are older, so you could argue they need more.

Fannie Mae likes to see a certain amount of the fees being put into reserves every year. Some complexes have great reserves and stop paying into them, like you might with a savings account. Because of this, I highly recommend using someone local for your loan. They are more likely to do the research early and find loan products that will work for you. (If you need help with this, call me. I know some great lenders.)

All Condos within a Complex are Not the Same

Customers often ask me why a condo is priced so much higher or lower than the last one sold in the complex. First, it’s likely they have two different sellers. It is also likely that although they may have the same floor plans many factors go into the price of the condo.

Obviously, a differences in views or upgrades cause price differences. What you may not realize is in some complexes some condos have deeded docks and some do not. A deeded dock can add $30k-$50k on to the price of a unit.

Have more questions about buying condos? We have answers. Please email us at info@andreaegroup.com or give us a call at 941-833-4217.

Tarpon Cove condos (orange-ish roofs in the foreground) have private elevators and many have docks

Tarpon Cove condos (orange-ish roofs in the foreground) have private elevators and many have docks

 

 

 

3 Upcoming Punta Gorda Building Projects You Should Be Excited About

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Fishermens construction2Have you heard? BIG things are happening in Punta Gorda. Recently, Bloomberg put us on its list of top 18 cities to see economic growth this year.

We love being on any list with a subtitle that begins, “Florida Dominates.” There is also plenty to be excited about around our town.

1. The Fishermen’s Village $40 million Expansion: The expansion will come in two parts: first, an $8 million facelift that will add parking, update the entrance and the center court, and welcome the arrival of Scotty’s Brewhouse. The second phase will take five years and cost $30-35 million. It will include a new space for marina facilities and shops, an additional parking deck, and a sand beach with a negative edge pool.

2. Cheney Brothers Opens in Punta Gorda: Have you driven on I-75 lately and noticed the large building adorned with the letters CBI? It’s a new distribution plant for one of the biggest food manufacturers in the southeast. Since 1925, Cheney Brothers have been feeding Florida. They’ve also won numerous big business awards, such as the 2012 Business of the Year award by the Palm Chamber of Commerce and 11th of top 100 Private companies according to South Florida Business journal.

Their motto is Delivering Southern Hospitality since 1925. We think they’re going to fit in around here just fine!

3. The Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Garden: Coming in September 2016, the Peace River Gardens will feature 27 acres of world class sculptures and botanicals.

In Phase 1 of the project, visitors will experience 7 sculptures from world- renowned artists and a community center. Plans for future expansion include: an art gallery, children’s garden, multi-use facility, and an event stage.

What are you looking forward to in Punta Gorda?

5 Things To Do this Spring Break in Punta Gorda

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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It’s Spring Break time. College students from all over the country flock to Florida this time of year to party.

Visit other coastal towns and you’ll see spring breakers sucking down jello shots, yelling over hotel balconies, and drinking themselves silly.

When I was 17, I wished the jello shots and frat boys would make their way to my hometown. It sounded exciting then. Twenty+ years later, there’s not a midlife crisis severe enough for me to want to live in a spring break destination.

Instead, I prefer to do spring break Punta Gorda style.

Go Clubbin’

Start your day the Yacht Club or the PG Boat Club for socializing and boating.

Yacht club2compress

 

Then, head to the Turtle Club (where you’ll never see anyone funneling a beer) for a nice glass of wine and dinner.

turtle club compress

Serve up Shots to Your Friends

dagny tenniscompress

Go cruisin’.

Head over to the Muscle Car museum or join one of the many local car clubs. And the best part? You’ll never worry about traffic or where to park in Punta Gorda.

peace river car club

Soak up some rays…on the golf course

golfers

Watch the sunset at the Tiki Bar

2015-02-25 18.32.33

14 Reasons to Love Punta Gorda’s Harborwalk

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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Let me introduce you to one of my favorite places in Punta Gorda: the Harborwalk. If you’ve never been, it’s a 2+ mile trail that takes you along the Harbor and into town.

It’s an amazing trail. I know. I’m an avid runner who likes to take my running shoes on vacation. I’ve run a relay race through the beautiful mountains of Oregon, laced up to run along Lake Baikal in Siberia, and even trekked along the Italian coast.

And you know what? Punta Gorda’s Harborwalk beats them all. While many places have good walking and running trails, few have trails with so much to offer along the same route. The Harborwalk has everything.

1. We’ll start with the obvious. The view is amazing.

While you’re gawking over the view, try to imagine the salty smell of sea air. I wish I could send you the sea breeze straight through your computer. You’d never want anything else again.

2015-03-08 08.10.38

2. No cars allowed. You can bike, run, or walk without worrying about traffic.

Want to tour Charlotte Harbor by bike, but don’t have one? You can borrow one with Team Punta Gorda’s free bike loaner program.
no motored vehicles

3. You’ll never worry about having a flat. There’s a fixing station.

(If you don’t know how to fix one, ask around. Harborwalkers tend to be very friendly.)2015-03-01 07.45.17

4. Thirsty? Stop and have a drink at the Tiki bar.

Very few trails, if any others, have Tiki bars. Which is a shame, because I often think while running, “I’d rather be at a Tiki bar, right now.”

2015-02-25 18.32.33
5. If boat drinks don’t fill your belly, hop into Hurricane Charley’s for a meal.

charlies

6. You can get a full workout in at the FREE adult fitness zone.

adult fitness

7. You’re little friends can expel some of that never-ending kid energy on the playground.

2015-03-09 11.09.52
8. Adults can play too. There’s basketball and tennis.

basketballbetter
9. And of course, pickleball.

(What’s a walk without a pickleball game overlooking the Harbor?)
pickleball

10. A quick detour and you’re shopping at Fishermen’s Village!

shopping
11. You might make a new friend.

2015-03-09 11.56.17
12. Or stop for a dog.

hot dog day

 

13. Even when the route takes you away from the harbor, it’s still gorgeous.

This is where a lot of trails fail. They suck you in with a small section of beauty. Not our Harborwalk, it starts pretty and stays that way.

tree lined

14. You might see a dolphin, but you won’t see any snow.

ALL of these pictures were taken in February and March 2015. That’s right. While my northern friends were using words like, Snowpocalypse and Snowmeggedon, I was running along the trail in short sleeves!

20150310_092658

 

Want more information on beautiful Punta Gorda? Follow us on Facebook for updates.


8 Great Things to Do in Punta Gorda in March

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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Chocolate and running in one event? Yes! I love Punta Gorda!

Chocolate and running in one event? Yes! I love Punta Gorda!

Well, we made it through our annual three days of winter. If you missed it, we had a couple of chilly days in February. It was awful. We all wore sweaters and closed-toed shoes.

Thankfully, we’ve made it back into spring weather which usually lasts about 360 days. If you’re ready to get out and enjoy paradise, there’s plenty for you to do in Punta Gorda next month.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

March 1 All Corvettes on the River: Everybody loves a corvette. This event showcases pairs some of the most stunning cars with a gorgeous Peace River backdrop. The event is hosted by Corvettes of Charlotte County. Judging starts at 11:00 a.m. Awards are presented at 3:00 p.m. Where: Gilchrist Park

March 6-8 22nd Annual Conquistador Cup Regatta: This year is the Punta Gorda Sailing Club’s 40th anniversary, and the club is ready to celebrate! This year’s regatta includes a little something for every boater, including a “poker run” for the non-race crowd on Sunday. A cocktail party starts the party on Friday night. For more information, go to the Punta Gorda Sailing Club’s website.

March 8 15th Annual Celtic Festival: Start your St. Patty’s day celebrations a wee early! Enjoy live Celtic music from 12:00-7:00 pm. Where: The Celtic Ray Cost: $5 More information at Celtic Heritage Productions.

March 19 Women in the Military Reception: The Military Heritage Museum salutes local women who have served our country. Show your support at the entrance to Fishermen’s Village from 4-7 pm.

March 21-22 Peace River National Art Show: Charlotte County’s largest juried art show happens outdoors. See art glass, jewelry, metalwork, paintings and more from nearly 100 nationally recognized artists. When: 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Where: Laishley Park

March 28 Pedal and Play Bike Ride: With three different routes ranging from 15 to 62 miles, there’s a ride for everyone at this fun event. You can even sleep late and ride in the afternoon’s history tour. Proceeds go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s Bicycle Friendly Community Initiatives. For more information, check out the website.

March 28 Chocolate Fantasia Run: Pedal and play in the morning. Run for chocolate in the evening. This 7k run starts at 8 pm, so you have plenty of time to get a nap in after your morning bike ride. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself!) Proceeds go to the Tender Hearts Partnership. For more information and information on other local runs, visit the Foot Landing’s website.

March 5-April 4 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training: Take yourself out to the ballgame! Spring training is here. You can find game times and buy tickets here.

For more of what’s going on in Punta Gorda, Like our Facebook page.

 

The Single Worst Thing You Can do When it Gets Chilly in Punta Gorda

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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Taken in BSI this week--I'll take kayaking over thunder snow any day

Taken in BSI this week–I’ll take kayaking over thunder snow any day.

It’s chilly in Punta Gorda today. Here you are living the dream, and now you have to throw on a sweater and long pants. I know. It’s awful.

The highs won’t be in the 70s and 80s again until Saturday—two whole days from now!

What are you going to do until then?

You can go to the Club and have lunch. Get projects around the house done. Binge on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t make  this one horrible mistake.

Do not, under any circumstances, call your northern friends and attempt to commiserate with their winter woes. Don’t try to get their pity. It won’t work. I’ve tried. I lived in Boston for years. My Boston friends have no sympathy for me when I whine about highs in the 50s.

I try to tell them, 50s are “Florida freezing.” They don’t want to hear it. Remember, northerners associate 50 degrees with melting snow, clearing roads, and fewer layers. It’s amazing to think in some places 50 degrees is a sign of hope.

But it’s true. It’s likely that you’ve spent the last few months talking about your boat trips, casually mentioning golf scores, and posting pictures of you at the TT’s Tiki bar. You lost any hope of sympathy months ago.

You’ll must wait out Punta Gorda’s winter with other locals.

The Good News about Punta Gorda Winters

You may never get the sympathy you deserve for surviving the chilly front of 2015. I do have good news though.

1. Punta Gorda winters last 2-10 non-consecutive days. We had a couple of cooler days last week. This cold front is supposed to last through tomorrow. Last year, I think we had four days of winter. This year we may have as many as six. It’s rough. I feel sorry for us, even if your northern friends won’t.

2. You’re life will never get to the point when you’re waiting for thunder snow. Even on our worst weather days, you’ll never go so crazy you stand outside in 87 layers hoping for thunder snow. When I see this, all I can think is, “I hope they pay that guy really well.”

cantore-thundersnow-boston-3

 

Nobody is paying your northern friends to stand out in the snow. Yet they’re still up there, not feeling sorry for you. All you can do, is get out your winter jacket and bundle up. It’s going to be a chilly, two days of winter.

How to Stay Cool in Punta Gorda this February

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

by

See how we have it?

See how we have it?

Every February countless blog posts appear instructing readers how to stay warm as the Polar Vortex attacks their homes. Northerners need these articles to survive. Any attempt to stick a toe outside could be met with a falling icicle, sock-wetting slush, and/or slippery black ice.

It’s awful for them. And I do sympathize.

But what about us? People forget how hard living in paradise can be. The highs have been in the high 60s and 70s almost every day this winter. While those seem like perfect temperatures, they impose hardships. And nobody seems to sympathize with us. Luckily, I’ve lived here long enough to help you survive 70 degree days in February.

Before I get to the solutions, let me explain the problem. (I fear some of you don’t see it.) February nights sink down into the high 40s and low 50s. Yes, it’s perfect sleeping weather. Yet when you wake up, it’s easy to get ready for the day as if it will be freezing all day. (We consider anything under 65 degrees ‘freezing’.)

If you’re not careful, you could walk out the door overdressed, and find yourself tad warm by noon. To your average northerner, a ‘tad warm by noon’ sounds nice. But Floridians are different.

Remember the story of the Princess and the pea? Only the Princess lived in such comfort that she could feel the pea under her mattress. Well, Floridians are a lot like the Princess when it comes to weather. We appreciate good weather. We’re connoisseurs of good weather. We prefer to keep our bodies the perfect temperatures at all times.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. Get up in the morning.
  2. Dress like it’s 70 degrees outside.
  3. Throw on a sweater.
  4. Take off the sweater when it gets warm.

As you can see, winter in paradise takes effort. People don’t know how hard we have it. If you have a friend or loved one who’s struggles to maintain to stay cool in February, share this post with them on Facebook.