We've just completed a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable two-week house and pet sit in sunny Florida. The Villages is a retirement community of 157,000 and dubbed the only place in the world where residents can play complimentary golf for the rest of their lives. With 30 courses in all there are no worries when it comes to booking a tee time.
Where there are golf courses there are naturally golf carts and at last count at least thirty thousand are in use in The Villages. In fact, they are the preferred mode of transportation and all roadsides include golf cart lanes. So, while in Rome as the saying goes, we decided to give it a go. All aboard!
Some golf carts are electric, others run on gas and there are numerous golf cart shops waiting to service their every need. Think 1950s style gas stations with eager attendants ready and willing to do everything to your golf cart 100% efficient and bring a smile to your face.
If golf isn't your thing there are 2500 other organized activities to keep you busy. This includes everything from aerobics to line dancing to writing your memoirs or meeting regularly with folks from your home state. Also provided each night at the different town squares within The Villages there is live entertainment and dancing. Most people start it off with happy hour and half price drinks. The Villages is like Disneyland for seniors with more than 100 restaurants plus countless swimming pools. This one was right around the corner from us and includes a sign stating no one under 30 years of age is allowed.
There are, however, pools devoted to families - a must for when the grandkids come for a visit.
Housing varies from large luxurious homes with screened in private swimming pools backing onto the golf course to smaller more modest versions. There is literally a home designed to suit every budget and prices begin around $120K (USD).
Many of the homes were decorated for the holidays and were a visual delight both during the day and at night.
Our main reason for staying in The Villages, however, was to care for Winter and Reagan.
They stole our hearts and while John's favourite was the beautiful Miss Winter I fell hard for Reagan, the gentle giant.
One of their favourite things to do is go to the Bark Park to play with their friends.
But when no one else is around a game of Frisbee with a willing human will do...
The second dog park has more grass and is divided into two sections. One for big dogs and another for small dogs.
Another bonus is the pool. There is a pink one and a blue one and both provide lots of fun.
Typical Winter in that she had to dive right in. Mind you, John started it all, so who am I to judge? ;-)
Going to the dog parks meant going for a ride in the van which also happens to be another one of their favourite things to do and they were as good as gold.
Peanut butter on a spoon is another one of their favourite treats and this is served after Reagan goes to the end of the driveway to get the morning paper.
Earlier I mentioned how Reagan and I hit it off. Despite his size (his paws are bigger than my hands) he really longed to be a lap dog!
On Christmas morning Santa left Winter and Reagan a delicious chewy treat in their stocking.
The jolly old man also dropped off something for us as well. We can't thank him enough for these lovely mugs.
Homeowners Billie and Steve are wonderful people and welcomed us with open arms. We cannot thank them enough for giving us the opportunity to spend two wonderful weeks with Winter and Reagan during the holiday season.
Btw, please let us know when you begin your own housesitting adventures. It's a wonderful lifestyle that offers so many opportunities and we cannot recommend it enough. THANK YOU & HUGS. 💖
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