A Travellerspoint blog

Retail Lauderdale

large_5550_11783366824331.jpgThe pier at Lauderale-by-the-Sea.
A relaxing two-day stop with a bit of shopping at Sawgrass Mills, supposedly the largest outlet shopping mall in the world.

In New Zealand, the "Dickies" brand of clothing is quite sought after ... we pay three times the price that they are being sold for in the USA. Kim likes wearing them and also gets them cheaply whenever in Los Angeles ... we've come to the realisation that they're quite strictly workwear here, eg. for janitors, mechanics etc. So Kim had somewhat of a fashion crisis and felt the need to buy some non-janitorial apparel.

So as it turned out our stay in Fort Lauderdale [Fort-Lauderdale-travel-guide-20624] included quite a bit of retail therapy.

We also enjoyed some sightseeing around the beach and pier area where we had an excellent dinner at Aruba Beach Cafe.The meals here were so big in this restaurant that most people were leaving food behind or having it doggy-bagged.

We didn’t have much interest in anything else … and didn’t have the inclination to re-visit Miami (which we visited in 2000).


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Petrolhead Heaven

View 2007 Florida on alexchan's travel map.

A relaxing day at Daytona Beach. It wasn’t warm enough for us to swim in the sea or the pool.

We wandered around the town area, the beach and the pier. It was all a bit seedy … souvenir shops, t-shirts etc … mainly aimed at the younger set or petrolheads. After all, this is the venue of one of the most famous motor races in the world!

Kim went to the Daytona raceway and went around the track. I entertained myself at the mall across the road.


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Basic Human Right

View 2007 Florida on alexchan's travel map.

From talking to travellers I've met over the years, I understood that there's no mandatory or legislated minimum annual leave (holidays) for employees. I confirmed this with the timeshare people and they said that one would be lucky to get a week annual leave after five years service! And when people get tight with their budget, the first option is often to forfeit their annual leave!

How can this be? Even some third world countries have these requirements.

Wake up, people ... do something to change this! For a traveller like myself, this seems so inhumane and unacceptable :-(

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Timeshare Hardsell

View 2007 Florida on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_11783360423423.jpgOne of the many lovely homes in the town of Celebration.
Today, we attended the required timeshare tour … required by the package which I had been given by my aunt :-)

* It started with a free lunch in a fancy restaurant in a nearby town called Celebration [Celebration-travel-guide-20104]. The town is about 10 years old and expanding … it has beautiful classic American-style homes and a similarly styled town centre ... like Peyton Place or Stepford Wives. No megastores here; only boutiques.

Properties here are very exclusive … purchases were chosen from a lottery. Prices are high and with strict maintenance and gardening requirements, the town is visually a gem.

* Then came the tour of the Vacation Village at Parkway timeshare resort not far from Celebration.large_5550_1178336042117.jpgOne of the many lovely homes in the town of Celebration. Over 600 beautifully decorated and fully-equipped units on the property. Each unit is divided into two self-contained units, which I will call the main unit and the guest unit. Both have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/kitchenette and living area. There is even a spa in the main unit.

* Finally came the hard sell. They were very convincing. Initial price was about USD18,000 for a week’s share in a unit (plus about USD499 maintenance per year plus exchange or booking fee of up to USD199 when you book a holiday). Then they threw in two extra weeks of usage, meaning we could have three weeks usage instead.

As we weren’t in a position to purchase this, they offered a lower package … ie. they did not simply discount the same product.

And as that also failed, they then offered a similar product at older foreclosure property for a very attractive price of under USD4000.

Tempting but as you probably know, this isn’t our kind of travel.We spent over four hours with the timeshare people in total. It wasn’t wasted time as we got to visit areas we never would have found … and saw properties that I wouldn’t like to holiday in … they’re so gorgeous I want to live in them, damn it!

Anyway, they were very slick and professional throughout … except for our sales agent who had a handicapped placard seemingly for the special parking privileges all around town.


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mickey Mecca

View 2007 Florida on alexchan's travel map.

We’re in Orlando [Orlando-travel-guide-21721] (home of Disney World and Universal Studios and many other theme parks) … or Mickey Mecca, if you like. As I've mentioned, my aunt in Melbourne had a vacation package which she couldn’t use and was able to transfer it to us. I think the package was discounted which obliged us to attend a timeshare presentation (or tour as they call it).

We don’t plan on making a pilgrimage to see the world’s most famous mouse or seeing the other theme parks. Done most of that before. Just time to chill, perhaps.


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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