Down time?

Happily, my ferry booking (early tomorrow morning) has enforced a 2 night stopover in Ft Myers Beach, but unhappily, it’s costing me $52 per night for my little tent…..but it’s  the cheapest in the area. The high cost is a combination of high season (yes, winter is high season), location, and no proper provision for tent camping. Camping for the majority in Florida (mainly retired snowbirds) means spending 6 months on an RV and Motorhome resort, with all the comforts of home.
Eavesdropping on a conversation at breakfast this morning, I learned that motorhomes are now coming equipped with built-in TV screens on the outside, as well as two on the inside! Must see about an upgrade of my tent……

Talking about breakfast, I treated myself to a leisurely all-American breakfast at the exceedingly popular Perkins Bakery (it was packed at 8am) this morning. Now I hope my American friends will not take offence at the following observations, but the American people have a serious problem controlling weight. Florida is probably atypical amongst the 50 states, it’s population currently swelled by the over-fed,over-weight retirees, that spend the winter lounging by pools or on the beach busy doing nothing, and still fuelling all that inactivity with three meals a day.
At 8am the restaurant was full of retirees, all ordering “the works” for breakfast, washed down with sodas and coffee, the tables groaning with sauces, ketchup and maple syrups of every hue. Some were so overweight, they struggled to walk from car to table. But once ensconced on a chair that barely contained them, they proceeded to pack away the food……as if there was no tomorrow.

Before I saw the size of their appetites, I felt guilty about ordering my modest portion of “over hard” eggs with genuine American hash brown (not the measly potato cakes we eat in the UK), followed by a dish of pancakes topped with cream, and drowned in (sugar-free) maple syrup. I tell you, that lot put a kick into the start of my day!

When I stepped out of the restaurant, I walked into this amazing assemblage of American classic cars, all beautifully pristine in their original livery:








I had seen the owners in a private room, having a breakfast meeting…..and interestingly, I don’t think even one of them was overweight…..there’s a hidden message there somewhere.


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on February 19, 2014, in Cycling Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m not sure it’s permissible for a cycling blog to mention cars, Frank. But at least these are interesting ones. Enjoy your break and I do hope the $52 campsite is at least in the lobby of a reasonable hotel.

  2. Maybe you can al least watch their outdoor tele! Enjoy your evening and your ferry ride 🙂

  3. Sir Burns,
    Kind sir, there ain’t no such thing as “sugar free” maple syrup! I, a Vermont, USA native (no, VT highway signs do not have state outline graphics) and renown source of “Vermont Maple Syrup”, sadly must inform that you must have been victimized by imitation flavored, artificial sweetner (some man made chemical) where as real maple syrup is in fact sugar, er, maple, and is not low calorie but it is so wonderful on pancakes that taking the plunge for a short stack once in a while is a culinary treat to appreciate. I would hope that you get to try the real thing. Cheers.

    • Ah, Joe, you shatter my illusion…..but I am happy to play the game of “let’s pretend”……that’s what the marketers want us to do. I was a happy victim…….!

      • I will be in London in April. Maybe I should smuggle a small container of “real” maple syrup in my luggage and deliver??

      • Excellent…..come and see us/stay a night….we are an hour in the train north, and we are only 8 miles from the station.

  4. As a token “gringo Americano” all I can say is how can I be offended by the truth? Unfortunately far too many ‘typical’ Americans struggle with over-consumption and the associated ill-health (diabetes, heart disease, etc, etc). It is sad to say the least. Raise your glass to the ‘atypical’ Americans!

  5. Thoroughly enjoying the reports on your journey Frank.

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