Port Charlotte, FL 55 degrees cloudy
We awoke to a chilly 47 degree morning. It was supposed to get up to 65 today but I don't think it will get there. It's 3:30 PM EST and it's only 55 now. It's still nice enough to have doors and windows open though, so we'll take it.
We went to Burnt Store Marina for the Sunday brunch. This will definately become a tradition for us. For $9.95 we got all you can eat made to order omlettes, waffles, strawberrys and cream, bacon, sausage, excellent breakfast potatoes, and juices/coffee is included. They have live music starting at 1PM, but we were too early for it. It was wonderful. The service at Porta Bellos is only exceeded by the quality of the cooking. This is such a refreshing change for us. The marina in Phoenix was overpriced, with terrible service and there was always something to complain about. Not at Burnt Store. Our waitress, April, was very sweet and professional. She also told us that they have an all you can eat wood fired pizza night, every Monday, for $7.95. When we were here the other night for dinner, happy hour had half priced well, wine and draft. Kathy's wine was $2.38 a glass. You can't beat that. After breakfast we drove into Fort Myers to check out the marinas there, in case we can't get a slip at Burnt Store buy the time we sell the house and buy the boat.
The Fort Myers Yacht Basin is located on the Caloosahatchee River, in downtown Ft. Myers. It was a very urban setting. It's quite affordable, but you get what you pay for. At $9 per foot, it's cheap but when you look around you almost feel like you are living beneath the highway bridges. It's also not a very well protected basin. When we were there, the weather was similar to what we had at Burnt Store for breakfast; about 20 knot winds; however Burnt Store showed a very light chop and Ft. Myers showed 3-4 foot swells. Ft. Myers also charges $75 per month liveaboard and $40 per month for a one car parking spot. The only problem is with it being in the heart of downtown, there were noticable transients in the area and we would worry about security in the parking lots.
We drove back north across the Caloosahatchee and found the Marinatown Marina, also in Fort Myers. It was $11 per foot on annual contract (12 on month to month), better protected from the winds, but still no comparison to Burnt Store. However, if you were waiting for a slip at Burnt Store, this would be an acceptable temporary location. The harbormaster showed us some brand new high rise condos next door. They have 170 completed condos and only 35 ever sold. The starting price is 700k. For that price, I'd rather have something a block from the beach on Boca Grande.
We went grocery shopping at Sams Club in Port Charlotte and settled in at the condo to watch the AFC/NFC championships.