Pesos No More

We finally made it to Tampa yesterday. The flight left on time and arrived on time. We make the move to our beachfront condo on Anna Maria Island later today. The weather, sad to say, offers brilliant sun and warmth.

We went to a large shopping mall yesterday and I could not help but notice that the Canadian dollar has gained sufficient strength that it is now much cheaper to shop in the US of A. A couple of examples: a new release DVD is $3.64 cheaper and a new bestseller novel is $5.78 cheaper. I had just purchased the same new release DVD and bestseller in Canada and compared prices at this mall in the States. I took into account sales taxes, which are 7% in Florida versus 15% in Canada, as well as today’s currency exchange. A casual review of other items suggests about a 15% advantage in price at today’s currency level.

The other thing that I could not help but notice was the relative opulence of their shopping centres. We have high end shopping malls in Canada but they do pale by comparison in terms of sheer size and finish.

And, they eat like pigs down here. We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I ordered a salad. Our server suggested that I choose the appetizer. He was right. The appetizer salad was roughly 5 times the amount of food I would normally eat. I left most of the food on the plate.

Did I have any cheesecake? Boy, I was tempted. But I worked very hard to lose almost 50 pounds this year. Ain’t going to go through that experience again. I did take a small spoonful from my son’s cheesecake. Although not the same as eating a couple of pounds of cheesecake it did give me a rough sense as to why it is much easier to gain weight than lose it.

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