US Dollar $1.21 = £0.80p
Fort Myers Beach is an absolutely stunning sand island in Florida. Boasting the whitest sand I've ever seen or indeed ever felt between my toes it felt so fine it was almost as if walking on talcum powder.
Fort Myers is built up mainly of hotels and condominiums, a posh word for apartment complexes with shared facilities.
SNOOZE: We stayed at the ocean facing Harbour Pointe with Jacuzzi, swimming pool, boardwalk and stunning gardens. Whist it was beautiful, it was, dare I say, quite literally a retirement complex! I admired the elderly from various parts of the world, who felt they'd added 10-15 years on their life by enjoying the sunshine, outdoors, community spirit and daily activities. The positives were equally negative, as within the luxurious complex I don't think I saw any couple below 65-70 years old, but I did see several visiting grandchildren!
In my quest of my 80 pence budget, this beautiful island whilst it is one of USA's lowest VAT rates at just 5.5% compared to New York at 9%. It was still typical US standard shopping i.e., thrift (second hand shops) stores and Dollar stores were the best places to shop, where 80 pence could buy almost anything.
BOOZE: Every evening in a different bar/restaurant was the Happy Hour Specials where Americans favourite beer-Miller Light or Red/White house was $1 between 5-6 pm! Not quite alcohol but I was surprised to find (USA small but by UK standards large) coffee at just 25¢ (16 pence!)
CHEWS: Without the need for Groupon or any Vouchercodes, most restaurants on different days had special offers for breakfast, lunch, ladies evenings. 'Moderate Madness', 'Cheap Tuesday' 'Worth the Money Wednesday.' You get my drift, but every night a cheap meal could be had somewhere! In fact slightly different to the UK Happy Hour was 5-6.30 pm, then after 9 pm. It was a bizarre nightly environment with packed restaurants above budget yet very cheap where most of the retirees seemed to eat out especially before 7 pm! Super-sized American diner style food was cheap but with a fisherman on our trip I desperately wanted a home cooked grilled fresh fish meal, budget - FREE! However, that didn't happen, as red tide - a bloom or explosion of an algae with neurotoxins were killing the fish
, which were being washed up on beaches.
AMUSE: As I often say fully embracing the surroundings and the moment is definitely the best way to Sunbathing or watching the sunset on the white sandy beach, Jacuzzi on a warm spring day, lounging and reading on the boardwalk. I also managed to indulge in several exquisite freebies including Fort Myers Beach Boat Show with free canapés and champagne. Plus the delightful, artistic craft, clothing and store where complimentary samples of home made cakes, finger sandwiches, coffee and wine were served at the in-store bar by an incredibly charming James Bond fully tuxedo-ed look-alike. He entertained the gentlemen whilst the ladies leisurely shopped.
dawne b stewart
Twitter : @dawneb007
Article by Dawne B / 7th March 2013
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