My Holiday Home in Bonita Springs, Florida

By Adele Sharman

9 August 2022

Who would have thought I would have purchased a second home? Well, I have one in Bonita Springs Florida USA. 

Who would have thought I would purchase a second house? Well, I have one now in Bonita Springs, Florida, USA. I need to share this story with you. I had always dreamed of visiting Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida when I was a child.… The dream didn’t come true. I used to ask my parents and sister when we were going back to Disney. They would tell me we had never been there. I don’t know why I thought I had been there as a kid. I wondered if it had been with another family! But I honestly thought I’d had that experience. Was I going crazy or was it a vivid childish imagination? Believe it or not, I finally managed to go there as an adult with my two small daughters. That time I made sure that I had taken enough pictures for them not to forget that adventure. I have always said I will settle in Florida one day and I did. 

Fast forward 20 years I have been back nine times and the most recent was October 2021 and guess what I now own a home in Florida…well, a condo. Let me explain: a condo is like an apartment with a lanai (balcony to us English folks). It’s not in Orlando but it’s still Florida.

Welcome to my holiday home at Bonita National Golf and Country Club in Bonita Springs. Before my adventure back in October 2020 I had never heard of this place, I knew of Fort Myers and Naples which were not too far from here but never heard of Bonita Springs and I thought I didn’t want a place in a gated community where old people live. How wrong was I?

Bonita is in Southwest Florida and is a gated community around a wildlife preserve, with a Gordon Lewis-designed 18-hole championship golf course. The husband was happy. Professional tennis courts, a fitness centre, spa services and pools. Some amazing wildlife: turtles, alligators, bears, lizards, deers, eagles and an array of birds. I don’t know the breeds as you know I don’t like birds, but I had to get used to them out here though.

I always thought that gated communities were for retired people. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot like that in Florida, for over 55s, the husband could move into one but I would have to wait a good few years.

Although, Bonita National reminds me of the film Cocoon where people who live or visit there are energised with youthful vigour. They may have 20 years on me but they know how to live a life! It is the Florida sunshine, the morning walks followed by a game of tennis and an afternoon round of golf. Then you finish off with a relaxing evening by the pool with a white claw or Margarita. I mean, it could be Botox or a facelift too…these people look amazing.

Who said life has to stop at a certain age? Not here in Bonita.

I can go for a morning swim with my friend Joe who I could chat to all day about alligators, guns and how to cook fish. A lovely stroll round the complex or I can jump on my bike, it had to be pink with a basket on the front, of course, and a unicorn horn… I’m still waiting for a golf buggy, that’s another mode of transport here.

Why did we choose Bonita National Golf and Country club? 

If truth be told, I would not normally have even looked at this place. It happened because we had some friends who lived here and one day they invited us over. It’s down to Karen and Mark, the reason we even thought about flying to Miami in the first place. We will be eternally grateful to them for planting that seed in the first place. Our adventure may never have happened otherwise. They showed us around the complex and an opportunity came up for a rental and the cost worked out much cheaper than a month in the Ritz Carlton in Naples.

I even went round and looked at the new houses they were building with swimming pools, a dream-holiday-home material right there. Obviously with an excellent price tag to go with it.

After returning from the Dominican Republic, we decided to rent in Bonita again, we also made some nice friends. The people make this community for me. Shortly after, an opportunity came about to purchase a condo. We did look at a few all in different price brackets and different floor plans. Most of the condos come “turnkey” (I never heard of this before). So, it means everything is included from furniture to silverware washer and dryer. It’s great that when I return to the UK all my clothes are washed. Television and lanai furniture (remember like a balcony in the UK) are included as well. We changed a few things and added our personal touch to the place – any excuse to go shopping. Thank God for TJ Maxx (TK back in the UK) and HomeGoods (HomeSense in the UK). I loved buying beach towels and bedding and my pink bicycle with a basket on the front with a unicorn bell. 

We had a base to travel to other places in the United States from and we had made it quite homely, that’s for sure. Here is to fun times at Bonita National Golf and Country Club!

Let me tell you about one lady Sharon, who is the Mayoress of Bonita, (someone gave her the nickname) and an extremely friendly woman. She brings the best snacky bits to the pool, which usually involves Vodka. I think it took her weeks to understand my accent, so in the end, I bought her a book with translated English words so that she would understand me. It was like learning a new language, the laughs we encountered were so special to me. I have friends from Memphis who I could listen to all day. Their accent is fabulous. “Y’ALL” is how they say “Hi”.

These people were extremely social and lovely. We could chat all day long about all the different kinds of foods we have in the UK compared to the USA and trying to explain some stuff, just ends in laughter. Trying to explain that we eat Tea and drink Tea! (Tea is from Yorkshire, and dinner is down south) was the most hilarious thing in the world!

This place is a holiday home that welcomed us with open arms. Florida love is deep-deep!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *