Dave and I were impressed with the 2 Regional Recreation Centers that Bill & Barb took us to, so we decided to venture out and check some out for ourselves.
Laurel Manor is the 3rd Regional Center we visited. It was decorated elegantly with a Presidents theme.
And now our 6th, La Hacienda Regional Center, a Spanish theme. The best part of this center was the back yard.
The second picture is one of the rooms in the center being used for Chair Volleyball … I like that idea!
The painting is on the ceiling in the front entrance. Very impressive.
We took a couple days here and there and visited the Recreation Centers we wanted to see. There are many, many more. We were impressed with the ones we saw. Dave also got a chance to test out a lot of couches.
If you live in The Villages you can enjoy all these centers plus they say, as of April 2021, residents enjoy more than three thousand clubs that cover just about any hobby or interest a person could have. These clubs are managed by the residents and they say there is a club for people who do nothing. You guessed it, it’s called “People Who do Nothing Club. They also have sports teams and leagues and all kinds of other activities. Dave & I aren’t ready for The Villages, the average age is 70.9, but it was a impressive & diverse and we enjoyed our time spent in The Villages.
Adjacent to Recreation Plantation is The Villages, Florida. I just don’t know an easy way to explain it so here is my long version. . . .
The Villages started in the 1970s when Harold Schwartz, from Michigan bought the land and developed it into a mobile home park called Orange Blossom Gardens. He got his sons to help him and suddenly Orange Blossom Gardens was selling 500 homes a year. They expanded the development to add more golf courses, swimming pools and amenities and renamed it The Villages. ’’When I got here in the ’80s there was 800 people and now there are 140,000 so we did something right.” There are 81 different communities in The Villages and it’s still growing. Each community is called a village, and their number is constantly growing. Each village is either clustered around one of 50 separate golf courses or in close proximity. The average price for a home in the Villages in 2022 is $380,200 according to Realtor.com, well above the national average, and it keeps on rising.
One of the pluses of living in The Villages for many is that everything is easily accessible by golf cars. And they are the vehicle of choice. With over 100 miles of golf car paths including special bridges and tunnels that enable drivers to drive safely over busy main roads, this is a good thing! They are driven to the town squares, grocery stores, restaurants, and just about anywhere else, you can’t help but see them everywhere you go in these parts. People who live here say “ why have a car, when we never need to leave”? Even those who don’t play golf own golf say that. Some of them are very unique , residents fix them up to look like miniature Rolls Royces, Jeeps, fire engines, boats or whatever strikes the owner’s fancy.
The Villages has more holes of golf than any other community/facility in the world with currently 693 holes. (Mission Hills in China is second with 216 holes). Do you think they like to golf here? Hence all the golf cars.
There are three town squares in The Villages; Spanish Springs Town Square, Brownwood Paddock Square and Lake Sumter Landing Market Square. Each square has free live nightly entertainment with music and dancing from 5-9pm along with festivals and parades throughout the year. Aside from that, these areas are surrounded by cafes, shops, and almost all kinds of eateries. All have a movie theatre, banks, doctor’s offices and financial institutes. And of course a golf course is right there too! These squares are the hubs of community evening activity.
Within the villages there are 13 regional recreation centers , with 31 village recreation centers and 59 neighborhood recreation areas. The 13 regional recreations center complex are huge, they consist of multiple meeting rooms, exercise rooms, arts & crafts room, theater, pool and outdoor facilities such as bocce, pickleball, tennis, shuffle board, they even have corn hole at some of them
The Village recreation centers may consist of meeting rooms, card room, billiards hall, kitchen, pool and outdoor facilities. And The Neighborhood recreation area consists of an attached postal facility, pool, bocce court, shuffleboard court and usually a horseshoe pit. All for the residents to use.
February 3rd was our first real visit to The Villages our good friends Bill & Barb. They were our tour guides. We were so glad they showed us around all the major parts of The Villages.
They picked us up at Recreation Plantation in the morning, took us to their beautiful house in The Villages they recently purchased, then headed out to explore. They had two golf carts so Bill drove Barb and Dave drove me to lunch at the Chicken Salad Chick for lunch so we can experience driving a cart in the streets.
It was fun driving in the street with both cars and carts! We headed back to their house to turn in the carts and get Bill’s car. Now were off once more . . .
Yes The Villages as a Polo Club and a very impressive center and facilities. I don’t know a lot about polo, other than your on a horse with a polo stick attempting to score by putting the ball ball into the opposition’s goal. It was off season so the field was closed, to bad I would have lived to have seen a polo match after being here.
Barb and Bill took us to two of the thirteen regional recreations center complex’s, the 1st one was
The sinks were even made of gold,😂 In one of the any rooms an drumming exercise class was going on.
Then we drove out to see one of the 3 squares where the nightly entertainment takes place.
We think they did a good job!
Then we drove to Edna’s on the Green
Just steps from Marsh View Pitch & Putt and Hogeye Pathway sits Edna’s On The Green , where we went to next. You can bring your own lunch or dinner or get it from one of the food trucks here. It seems like a great place to sit back and relax under the shade of majestic oak trees and listen to the music going on daily.
On the road again to the 2nd square Lake Sumter Landing. This square represents an old sea side town. Dave & I were here before but it was great to experience it with Bill & Barb. It was also our first time we experienced one of the many nightly bands that plays in the villages squares 365 days a year from 5-9 pm., weather permitting.
We all enjoyed the band!
At some, point We got a pizza and headed back to Bill & Barb’s and left again to go to the final square.
Inside the square is Spanish Springs Bowling Lanes. The bowling alley and restaurant is really vast and decorated very appropriately. I never bowled at anywhere that was this nice!
Many Thanks to Bill & Barb for showing us around The Villages. We had an incredible time! They showed us and told us about many things to do and see in the area. Many of which we have since been to.
We met Don and Mary at Wekiwa Springs State Park. They are staying in Titutsville and were at Lady Lake so it was a place where we could meet in between. It was a great day, because not only was it our anniversary, but I got to see Mary, my best buddy whom I known from school, who was also in our wedding, so she was a wonderful anniversary present. The only bad part was letting my present go.
Forty-two million gallons of crystal clear water flow each day from Wekiwa Springs into Wekiwa Springs Run. The run joins with Rock Springs Run to form the upper Wekiva River. It was a really nice state park and we enjoyed walking and talking, mostly talking!
We went a mile and a half down the way to Wekiwa Island to a place called Without a Paddle Cafe for dinner.
This area was once a marina that was partially destroyed by fire in 1999 and then it was rebranded and reopened and now it’s a place to come to enjoy the area..
The neat thing about this restaurant is that it’s on the Wekiva River and you can watch canoeists, kayakers and paddle boarders go by while your eating. It’s also nice for them because they can dock and get a drink or a bit to eat too.
A week ago we met up with our friends Jim & Ginny, who are are now volunteers at Lake Louisa State Park. We met them when we were all volunteering at John Pennekamp State Park.
Dave & I camped at Lake Louisa a few years ago and like it very much. This time we were going back to visit with our friends Jim & Ginny. They use to live in Clermont were Lake Louisa is so they know where everything is at. After we walked thru some of the park we went to the old section of Clermont, by the water where it was renovated, for dinner and ice cream.
We had a great time with them and are are hoping to meet up with them in the coming years when we head out west. Thanks Jim & Ginny! 💖
Today the 17th Dave & I ventured out to Lake Griffin State Park
The park is about 15 minutes from where we are at Recreation Plantation. We spent a few hours walking around and enjoying the park.
Our first stop was to the Oak Tree, just not your ordinary oak tree. . .
We walked thur the campground area and down to the boat launch
Took the Cinnamon Fern trail to the Spur trail
And then we finished the trail
This boundary of the park is right next to a housing development. I guess if you gotta be right next to something why not a state park? We both liked the park and would stay here if we were ever to be in this area again.
And yes we went to a Magic Show at The Plantation!
It was really a good show and we both liked it very much!
There are 1079 sites in Recreation Plantation. It has old sections, some new sections and some newer sections. All the sections are nice. The park is mostly mobile homes and fixed RV’s, with a couple of sections open for fleeting RV’ers , like me & Dave usually are. Lots of golf carts and retirees, we seem to be the youngest people here.
It’s a 55+ RV community that has lots of activities going on. There are 3 buildings throughout the park where some of the activities and meetings are held. You can take part in softball, pickleball, tennis, volleyball, horse shoes, shuffleboard, table tennis, corn hole, or badminton. Exercise classes like water aerobics ,Zumba, Yoga, Dancercise, Walk Aerobics . They have games going on constantly like poker, hand & foot, bridge, euchre, 500, mahjong, bunco, etc. and of course Bingo. Square dancing and line dancing . You can meet to craft with woodworkers, quilters, knitters, and crocheters. There is a sheet with a schedule of activities going on every single day including regularly scheduled dances, dinners, and socials. They have free coffee and donuts on Thursday morning which we haven’t been to yet.
Where the transients are parked
Older sections of the park
Newest Section of the park
Third Recreation building. the building itself is open and very nice. This is where the ping pong tables are.
They haven’t finished putting in the pool or the hot tube yet. The owner is saying that he is having difficulty getting supplies in to finish it and the residents are saying it’s cause the owner bought more land elsewhere in Florida and is spending all his time and money there. Good thing they already have a nice pool and hot tube in the older section of the park.
The lots in the new section are double the size of the older section. Lots more room to spread out.