Our first winter destination in Florida was in the central area of the state – near The Villages. We have a few reasons for staying here – we have friends in the area that we are looking forward to visiting with, we’re researching the area for the future, and one of our friends was looking for somebody to house sit for them for a couple weeks. We aren’t doing it, but Tom’s Dad decided to fly down to check out the area and he’ll be staying in their house. They got guest passes for all three of us, so we could all check out the various facilities and activities that The Villages has to offer.
We had originally made reservations at Wildwood RV Village, in what was supposed to be a brand new premium site. We arrived to find out that the new sites “aren’t quite ready” – we walked to the new area to see large construction equipment still moving dirt around – yeah, they’re not going to be ready for a while! They offered us a site, but it was at the edge of the park, right next to a very busy truck stop. We were not thrilled with it, so the owner offered us a site in one of his other RV Parks, at a lower monthly fee. Lake Pan RV Village is a few miles south of Wildwood, but still pretty close to The Villages, so we settled in for the next month & a half.
We had a week before Tom’s Dad arrived, and we spent that time exploring all the new areas that have been added since we last visited three years ago – the amount of expansion going on in The Villages is really amazing!
Tom and I took a trolley tour of the newest area, and after Dad got here, we took him on a trolley tour of the Spanish Springs area, which is the historical tour through the oldest neighborhoods of The Villages. Both were really informative and interesting!
On this tour with Tom’s Dad, we stopped at the Mulberry Recreation Center. Each recreation center has a different theme – this one is a country barn theme.
Very cute . .
with comfy sitting areas,
and game areas, too.
The large banquet room had several quilts on the walls, too.
There are 3 Town Squares in The Villages, and each one offers live music every night of the year, and many evenings they will also have a car show, or a craft fair, or market night. We enjoyed the music and warm evenings several times,
and even a Halloween celebration at Brownwood Paddock Square – it was a rainy evening, but that didn’t keep the people away!
Dancing even in a full downpour – we were fortunate to snag seats under the roof!
Many Villagers brought their classic cars out for trunk or treating by the local kids,
and there were carnival games, crafts, and hayrides,
as well as lots of costumed characters!
One lone classic at the end of the night . . . looks good under the lights!
Another day we visited the Fenney Recreation Center and had lunch at the Fenney Grill. Lunch was delicious, and the setting was beautiful! After lunch, we walked out to the pool and the nature trail around the spring.
The boardwalk trail around the spring was very pretty,
and an enjoyable walk. We spotted a little bit of wildlife, although the alligator remained elusive.
One weekend, we visiting my favorite small town in Florida, Mt. Dora, to attend a Craft Fair . . . and it was HUGE! We were amazed by the number of people there!
Dad went with us, too, and our new friend in the RV Park, Sue, and we just spent a couple hours fighting the crowds in the heat.
On the way home, we stopped in another small town, Tavares, where we had some dinner and checked out a Vintage Shop that was pretty cool – Through the Years Vintage Market – I’ll have to come back here again.
I especially liked the kitchen stuff – pretty cool!
Before Mark & Janie left on their vacation, we had a really enjoyable evening at an Elton John Tribute concert at the Savannah Center, another Recreation Center that was built as small entertainment venue.
He was REALLY GOOD – authentic, a great singer, and an outstanding pianist! We really enjoyed the show!
Afterwards, we enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Nancy Lopez Legacy Club – very nice!
That’s what we’ve been up to so far . . . more to come!