Every Saturday morning we do not have to work my husband and I get up around seven and head out to the farmers market in downtown Naples. It’s a bit hoity-toity, catering to the millionaires and billionaires that live in my town. (As you can see in the picture above they have a bicycle valet, for crying out loud.) Lots of certified organic, artisinal goods, and specialty foods pack the two blocks of Third Street South. We have a very specific ritual and I want to tell you about it.
The first order of the day is to get breakfast. There is a lovely lady named Irene who makes crepes. She is from Brittany, is a tiny little thing, and is fiercely proud of her homeland. She often talks of the Côte de Granit Rose (pink granite coast) while she creates her heavenly crepes complet. She starts with a homemade buckwheat crepe and puts it on the iron and cracks an egg onto it and then adds butter and mixes it up. She then adds cheese, a slice of ham, and folds it together to cook, adding a touch more butter. Irene brings a small bit of France to us each time we visit. I always say goodbye with a “bonne journée.”
While we let our piping hot crepes cool we go to get coffee. We stop at Black Tulip to get a cup of fresh roasted gourmet coffee. It’s a bit pricey, but I swear to you it is the best coffee I have ever tasted. Smooth, chocolately, and hardly needs sugar. The couple who own it, Andrew and Cullen Daane, are so friendly. They always ask how you are, how was your week and then hand you a cup of perfection that was brewed right in front of you. Andrew is looking to find a brick and mortar store front and God help me if he does. I’ll be there every day saying, “Take my money!”
After we have crepe and coffee in hand we go to sit at a table and eat. Third Street South is packed with restaurants, most with outdoor seating. (This is Southwest Florida, after all.) We usually commandeer a table at Sea Salt and watch the crowds go by. This time of year it is particularly interesting. There are so many people from snowbirds to tourists, locals with their dogs, and families with their kids. Sometimes I see confused people who are pushing their dogs in strollers. Seriously, what is that?
There is also this one dude who has three cockatoos. We always see him wearing the same dirty red Hawaiian shirt and straw hat, three birds on his shoulders walking the two blocks up and down, up and down while people stare and take pictures. I wouldn’t mind him at all if his birds didn’t screech so damn loud. But they do. It almost sounds like a child screaming and it is unnerving while trying to consume a delicious hot crepe and kickass coffee.
After the crepe is eaten and the coffee is drunk, and we have had our fill people watching we stroll over to see our friends Ingrid and Tara. They own Ideas in Bloom, a flower and plant stall that sells gorgeous fresh cut flowers, potted plants, and fragrant herbs. We adore them.
Finally, if we have plans for supper and need veggies, we buy them. This weekend we picked up some avocados and limes to make guacamole and margaritas. We plan to grill out Sunday afternoon and will need sustenance while our chicken cooks.
It’s a lovely little ritual we look forward to eagerly every week. Woe to us the Saturdays we work when we know it is all going on without us. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it makes getting out of bed at seven on a Saturday all the more worthwhile.