After Trivia Night on Thursday, we made plans to meet up again with Mark & Janie on Saturday afternoon for a tour of the Villages, and then dinner.
We arrived at their house after lunch,
and climbed onto one of their golf carts for our tour – golf carts are definitely the vehicle of choice around here!
Mark & Janie live in the Sanibel Neighborhood, one of the newest Villages, at the southern boundary of the community. Each individual neighborhood has a Recreation Center – theirs is the Captiva Recreation Center, and it’s right around the corner from their house.
Neighborhood Recreation Centers have tennis and pickleball courts, as well as a pool.
The building includes a large banquet room, small party room and kitchen, and a billiards room. Each Recreation Center has a theme – the theme here is the beach – seashells, sand dollars, soft colors.
In addition to the Recreation Center, each neighborhood also has a smaller pool at the mail center. These pools are “adults only – 30 & over”.
Then, if that’s not enough, there are also Regional Recreation Centers that include even more recreation opportunities, a “sports pool” where there are fitness classes, pool volleyball, and lap lanes, and larger clubhouses that have even more banquet facilities as well as art rooms and fitness centers.
We stopped in at the Cottage Recreation Area.
It was very “cottagey” inside – more soft colors and lots of knick knacks all over . . . I wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for dusting in here (and there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere)!
There’s a quilt on the wall in the large banquet room, and Janie & Mark know I quilt, so they took us to see it.
It’s a beautiful day in the Villages!
Then there are the Golf Courses . . . I don’t even know how many there are, but it’s a LOT. As we drove around the community, there were golf courses all around us – Executive Courses and Country Clubs!
The next part of our tour was some of the new neighborhoods under construction,
including a few houses that are priced well over 1 million dollars!
There is a lot of effort put into the design of the back of the house – the lanai,
and other outdoor entertaining spaces.
Nice houses, but we’re really not in that market anymore – don’t need that much space!
The last one we went to was really over the top – the “birdcage”, as they call the screened lanai, was bigger than the house itself!
Looks like a nice, simple house from the front . . .
but when you go around back . . .
and the one next door is going to be even bigger!
The next stop on our tour was one of the Town Squares --
where there is shopping, restaurants, and an entertainment venue that offers live music every evening.
The facility is modeled after the Grand Hotel, which we are very familiar with.
There are several waiting areas, and all of them are beautiful!
Back outside, we spotted a cute golf cart right in front of the Visitor Center.
With our tour complete, we headed back to Mark & Janie’s house to rest a little before meeting Mark’s mom for dinner at her home. She lives in one of the Independent Living Apartments within the Villages. We enjoyed a delicious prime rib buffet, and toured her building, which is really nice. She’s got a 1-bedroom apartment that opens to an enclosed courtyard in the center of the building.
Pretty nice – I could be happy there when I’m in my 90s! They have their own pool, too!
We had a really enjoyable day, and I must say, I’m more impressed by the Villages than I thought I would be . . . it looks like a pretty nice place to settle down . . . if you want to settle down!
For now, we’ll keep travelling!