Thursday, May 13, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
I just returned from having spent a week with a glimpse of what I would like my retirement to look like and I would like that retirement to come as soon as possible. My father bought a home in The Villages, a retirement community about an hour outside of Orlando and it is, in a word, awesome. Sure, I’ve heard the rumors that the senior folk around here “get busy” when the lights go down and they put the “active” in “active living”, but I don’t care because as far as I’m concerned, this as close as it gets to heaven. Now, I know I’m supposed to wait until I’m 55 to become a resident, but I already feel so close to these people and here are just a few reasons why:
- 1) The main mode of transportation here is the golf cart. Some are tricked out to look like old fashioned cars and others are decorated in the style of their favorite sports teams and some of them are just plain. As a rather slow driver myself, I completely appreciate a form of transportation that tops out at 20 mph and you can bedazzle to your heart’s content.
- 2) They are sticklers for the rules. That’s right, don’t even think about going to the pool without your pass AND your photo i.d., they do random checks and if you don’t have what they want to see, your ass will be removed from the property! I appreciate and respect that there are rules and they must be abided by!
- 3) There are pools all over The Villages that are for people 30+ only. You can’t even be in your late 20’s and think you’re getting in because they will take you down.
- 4) Pricing here seems to be a bit of a throwback to the depression era because it’s hard to go out for a meal and make it past $20/pp and that includes booze!
- 5) Happy hour is a way of life in The Villages. In fact, it’s much more than an hour, it typically goes from 11am – 7pm and that means that beers are $1, booze is about $2.50 and they love to throw in a “2 for 1” where it’s not that you and your friend each order a drink and only one person pays, it means that when you order, they bring you two of that drink right away so that they can be sure you get nice and loaded.
- 6) Everyone here really cares about whether you are having a good day or not. I mean, when they ask how you are they really pay attention to the answer and will follow up with a full on interview because they need to know where you’re from, who you are a guest of, how long you are staying and if you are drinking The Village Kool Aid yet and loving it here as much as them.
- 7) I feel really at home being hearing impaired because these people will either keep talking because as long as you appear to be listening they are happy OR they wear hearing aids themselves and we are like peas in a pod.
- 8) I’ve never felt less self-conscious in my life wearing a bathing suit in public. I’m always one of the youngest ones at the pool, I have my own hair, my own teeth and my mind is almost completely in tact and that’s all I need to be kind of a hottie around here. How nice for a change!
- 9) Everything is super clean around here and it kind of looks like the Truman Show set. There are actually buildings here that have nothing inside of them but they just felt that the area would look incomplete without a phony post office or bank building right there. I love it, it’s all about aesthetics and who cares if it lacks any other purpose whatsoever!?!?
- 10) A direct flight to Orlando is only 3 hours away from my home so that means that in just a few short hours, my happy little retirement community will always be waiting for me.
All in all, visiting The Villages was a fabulous experience and one I will be repeating again and again. All I can say is that this place is no Shady Pines. These people know how to party and they know how to do it right. If loving The Villages is wrong, I don’t want to be right.