Wow! I have missed blogging and all my bloggie friends!
I just got home from a vacation in Florida with my friend Gigi (formally known as Lori, but since I've changed everyone else's name on this blog so I decided to change hers too. The name comes from the book I read on my vacay about a child's imaginary land with it's own language and gigi means sister--she is like a sister to me).
Anyhoo, Gigi and I planned this trip way back in May before my move. She got round trip tickets from Detroit to Tampa for $75. Too good to pass up. Poor Hubby said "yes" before he realized that we would be in "puppy purgatory". Needless to say, it was a long week for him (and the rest of the fam).
But not for me! The week was wonderful! We stayed with Gigi's parents, who have a place in The Villages.
When Gigi said we could stay with her parents for free at The Villages, I thought, "great! sounds relaxing!". I've seen tons of commercials for the place (every time I watch a golf tournament). I figured lots of old people, lots of naps, lots of shuffle board, ect. ect.
Boy was I wrong about that place!
First of all, it's a lot bigger than I thought. When Jim and Rosemary (Gigi's parents) drove us around and told us about the place, I was constantly lost. Jim was telling us all kinds of statistics....and you know how I am with numbers.....they are all a jumble in my brain (and when I look at their website to "refresh" my memory, I can't find them).....so lets just say it's HUGE!
24 executive golf courses. 9 championship courses. 2 downtown areas, a bunch of country clubs, club houses (pools), rec centers, a hospital, schools....I could go on and on and still not do it justice. It's the kinda place you have to see to believe.
Not only that, you kinda have to stay a while to experience it. It's hard to describe, but there is a vibe at The Villages. Rosemary mentioned a few times "the spirit of the villages" and I guess that's a way of putting it....
Here's a few examples of things we saw that changed my view of this "retirement community"
~the nightly gathering in the community squares with music, dancing, golf cart cruising, and people just hanging out!
~the 83 year old who bikes 30 miles a day (and 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday--in that Florida heat no less!)
~the daily list of activities that is an "insert" in the newspaper....it is bigger than my weekly community news insert at home.
~the thousands of older folks that we saw on the golf courses everyday....some looking like they could barely walk up to hit the ball. But they were out there.
~the group of senior giggling and doing jello shots at dance we went to.
~the beautiful sports complexes they have for everything from archery to Polo. Softball to tennis. Always bustling with people.
~all the groups and organizations and classes. Everywhere you looked, there were active people who were laughing and talking. Constantly going, going, going.
It is exhausting.
These people have more energy than my puppy. I swear!
And I'm still not doing the place justice....