Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 6-14, 2013 The Villages, Florida and Home

Friday, December 6, we left the Disney area and went to The Villages.  The Villages is a large community for Senior citizens. We went on a program called "Lifestyles" that allows people to come into The Villages for several days to get a feel for for how living in this community might be.  It is quite a unique place as it is a golf cart community meaning that most places within this community can be accessed by golf carts.  Golf cart pathways are so busy that I told Tom it looked like ants scurrying along ant trails.  There are 3 town squares that each one has entertainment nightly that the residents come to listen, socialize or dance.
From The Villages
 Recreation areas are set up providing lots of activities- swimming, golf, hobby interests- almost anything that can be thought about.  We spent a week and enjoyed our time.  Everyday there are numerous open houses of new and preowned homes.  A realtor, Tim Collins, gave us a tour of the facility our first day and then arranged for us to see some  homes later in the week.  Tim was very easy going and did not try to pressure us into buying anything.  The weather was wonderful all week (80 degree temperatures)- ironically, in Maryland it snowed during this week.  On Sunday we attended church at The Villages United Church of Christ and got a good feel for the church.  We liked what we saw in the Villages but have not committed to anything at this time.
Thursday, our last day, we were out in the car ( our Pontiac G6) going to a restaurant for lunch when a warning appeared on the dashboard about the "power steering".  After eating and driving off the warning again appeared so we decided we had best get this checked out before heading home on Friday.  We drove to a Chevrolet dealer in Leesburg.  After checking the car out we were told that we needed a new steering column but the good news was that this problem would be covered under warranty and would not cost us and we would also be given a rental car at no cost.  The job was to be done the next morning. We were taken to an Enterprise car rental and were given a Cadillac.  We had hoped to leave early on Friday morning for our trip back to home but that was now changed.  Our stay at the Villages was to be over at 11am Friday morning so we about 10:30am we loaded up the rental car and left.  Hoping that we could get on the road in the early afternoon we ate lunch and then stopped in at the car dealership to see if the car was near to being done.  Unfortunately, we were now told that it would probably be 3 or 4pm until it would be finished, as they wanted to be sure there would not be any problems for us going home.  We then went to the local Mall and decided to take in a movie.  We saw  "A Madea Christmas", a Tyler Perry movie that was entertaining and filled in time for us.  After returning to the dealership we still had to wait until almost 5pm when our car was finally repaired.  Of course, then we had to move everything from the rental car to our car and then we were able to travel.  We did drive to Brunswick, Ga. about 200 miles before stopping at a motel for the night and a Cracker Barrel restaurant was next door that we were able to get a bite to eat.
Saturday morning we were on the road by 7:30am after eating breakfast at the motel.  We were somewhat anxious about our travels as a winter storm was moving east in our travel direction.  We did hit a few rain showers through the Carolinas but it wasn't until just south of Richmond, Va. that we hit steady rain.  North of D.C. we started seeing snow along the roadsides but it was not until we were through Frederick that we we driving through slushy roads.  And the streets in Taneytown were snow covered although it was now raining.  Our driveway was covered and Tom needed to back out and get a running start to get up into the driveway.  We traveled a little over 700 miles in 12 hours with a stop at a Burger King for lunch.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Disney- December 2-5, 2013

We decided to spend 3 days at Disney parks.  So Monday we were in Epcot,
From The Villages
From The Villages
Tuesday at Animal Kingdom
From The Villages
and Wednesday at Hollywood Studio.
From The Villages
From The Villages
 The weather was perfect with temperatures in the upper 70's to mid 80's.  The parks were well attended but we didn't have to wait in long lines but for 1 or 2 attractions at each park.  We opted out going to the Magic Kingdom since we had just been to Disneyland in the spring of this year.
Today,  Thursday (12/5), our last day in this area we did some Christmas shopping and then ate lunch at T Rex, a restaurant in Disney Village.
From The Villages
 As the name implies the restaurant is  dinosaur themed and every 20 minutes meteor showers begin and the dinosaurs become animated.  It was rather noisy and could be scary for some kids, other kids were excited about the activity.  The food was good- I had fish tacos and Tom had a rib/chicken combination dinner.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Thanksgiving and Florida, November 28- December 1, 2013

Thursday,Thanksgiving day,(11/28) we had decided in September that we would have our Thanksgiving dinner at the "Noisy Oyster Restaurant".  We arrived at the restaurant about 1pm and ordered the Thanksgiving meal.
From The Villages
 We were not disappointed as the meal was wonderful- turkey, ham, turkey and oyster dressings, mashed red skin potatoes, corn, green beans, collard greens, Mac and cheese,sweet potato and pecan casserole, applesauce, cranberry sauce, orange and cranberry bread and pumpkin or sweet potato pie.  It was all you could eat.  Plates full of food were brought to the table, no going through a buffet line.  The food had a taste of homemade.  And the cost of $17.95 per person extremely reasonable.  We were unable to eat pie after the plateful of food but were given a to go box with pie to take with us and we ate later in the evening.  It was a nice day in spite of not being with our family.  We did enjoy talking to Todd and Beth on the phone.
Friday morning (11/29) we were up early, packed up and on the road by 5:30am traveling south.  We drove 500 miles to Lake Bueno Vista, Florida and Marriott's Royal Palms, a time share.  We were in warmer weather.  Leaving Myrtle Beach the temperature was 30 degrees and in Florida at 3:30pm it was 70 degrees.  We had stopped for lunch at a Sonny's barbeque so being tired we just settled in and ate some food in our unit that we had brought with us.
Saturday (11/30) we went out to a Cracker Barrel restaurant for breakfast before going to a grocery store.  Later in the day we went to Disney Marketplace which was crowded with people.
Today, Sunday, (12/1) we visited a friend, George Calendar, that we met when we first started traveling in the motorhome.  George and his wife, Pat, had lived in Maryland before relocating to Florida.  Sadly, Pat lost her fight with cancer about 2 years ago.  It was a nice visit catching up on travels and the goings on of mutual friends and acquaintances.