Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Bye Churchill Street Pickleball Players

Rich headed over to Pimlico this morning, and I, as usual went back to my friends at Churchill Street. This is my last day playing before we leave, but I don't think Rich will be able to go all day tomorrow without playing. We leave on Friday morning. So here a some of the people that I have had so much fun with this summer here at The Villages.

Jim, Louann ( better know to all of us as Muchkin!)and John. John and I had the best 2 out of three against these two this morning. That's Annie on the court.

Munchkin and Jim back in the picture with me and Paul. Paul and I didn't get to play together today, but generally we partner up a lot.

Two more of the ladies - Carolyn (when she's not playing pickleball she's line dancing!), and "I'm from New York" Maria. Marie sometimes plays over at Pimlico with Rich.

The group waiting for an open court. There are only four courts at this rec center. The lines are VERY short today. The other day we lined up almost to the door. They tell us that in the winter - the lines go OUT the door. Posted by Picasa

This is Stanley and Tom. Both of these guys are at the courts early in the morning.
That's Tom again with Sandy.
One of my favorite couples that play here - Paul and Roberta. Paul is generally one of the very first to the courts and Roberta always arrives later after she's walked the dog!
And this is Jim and Jeanne.
There were a lot of the regulars that were not there to play today, and I missed saying good-bye. So if any of you are reading this...Thanks for the great pickleball summer, will miss you! Irv and Charlie, Linda and Tony, Diane and Dick, Mary, Mary, Jane and Walt, Janet, Karen, Jim, Bobby.............I know I've forgotten someone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saying Good Bye to Greenie and Kathy

We wanted to make sure we saw the Greenfields one more time before we left The Villages. We phoned them to see if they would meet us for dinner and instead they invited us to their home, Monday evening. Now, I generally don't have any problem at all finding my way around, but we made a right turn when we should have turned left........... I had to refer to The Villages Map - but with just a short detour we found our way. Actually I should probably blame it on the weather. About half the way there, the skies opened up and it just poured! Now that makes for some pretty nasty navigating when you're not familiar with the neighborhood!

When we arrived Greenie immediately popped opened his giant umbrella, met me at the car door and escorted me to the front door. What a gentleman!!

All of us enjoy our pets, especially our dogs. We had heard all about Miss Molly - their Gordon Setter, so today we came bearing "doggie treats" to win over our new canine friend. What a sweetheart. Molly is 13 years old now, a very gentle dog, in good health and has a VERY GOOD APPETITE!. But she does have a little arthritis - which doesn't allow her to get around and go for those long walks she used to take with Mom and Dad. And did you notice those plants on the window sill? Kathy truly has a Green Thumb. The plants inside and outside along the patio were just beautiful.
Sorry folks - that's all the pictures. We were enjoying the evening, the conversation and the fine food so much - that I never gave it another thought. But I really do wish I had at least caught one of Greenie standing out there in the rain, under the umbrella as he prepared the main course for our dinner on the Grill! He did have company though. This little green tree frog found a nice warm spot on the side of the grill and stayed for the duration....
After a glass of wine we sat down to enjoy a fabulous meal. On the menu tonight was GRILLED Salmon, asparagus, a cucumber and green bean salad to die for and freshly baked rolls. Those of you who know me well, know that I do NOT eat fish. But I have to admit that this Salmon was really delicious. I cleaned my plate! For dessert Kathy had whipped up some homemade Apple Crisp; served it with ice cream and coffee and we were in heaven.
It was really a great evening with friends. We will miss both of them. But if they invite us back to another dinner like this one - you never know - we may be back at The Villages next year!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saying Good-Bye to Friends at the Sonrise

Click Picture to Enlarge
Every Saturday morning is breakfast at the Sonrise Cafe. Well - except for last Saturday when the group switched up and went to IHOP! Since we will be ending our stay here at The Villages on Friday - this was our last chance to meet up with friends for Saturday moring breakfast. We've really enjoyed getting to know all of them both on and off the pickleball courts.
The Ladies- Jeanne, Charlie, Lorraine, Joan and Louise.
The Men - Rich, Don, Coach Mo, Irv, Ray, Charlie and Golf Cart Joe.

Jeanne, Charlie, Irv and Don play pickleball at Churchill Rec Center where I play. Mo, Ray, Charlie and Golf Cart Joe join Rich on the courts at Pimlico. What a great group of people - we will truly miss them. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dinner With Friends

On Thursday evening we were able to meet up with The Cardoza's and the Corbett's..........for a nice evening at the OakWood Smokehouse in Leesburg. The four of them all live at Highland Lakes in Leesburg, so we made plans to meet them there at 5:15.

If you never been there - the atmosphere is casual and the food is quite good. The menu is varied, with a selection of fresh salads, Smoked Seafood, Beef, Turkey, Pork, Sausage and Chicken Dinners and Barbeque, and tonight the special was a FULL Rack of Ribs for $9.99. Manny and Rich went for the Ribs ..... and the plates were emptied, so I guess they were prrtty good!!
That is Manny and Marie on the left with Lynn and Ken unable to escape me and my camera outside after dinner as we said goodnight!!
Fortunately the restaurant was not real busy because we sat at that table for about 2 1/2 hours!!! I guess it's quite obvious we truly enjoy their company ; a lot to catch up on, talk about and laugh about. Marie leaves for CT on Saturday and will be gone for a month. Grandma is getting to spend some time with the children and a lot of time"sitting" the grandkids and the animals!! Marie we're not worried about you - but MANNY - How will you Survive???
Thanks you guys, for a great evening.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pickleball at Highland Lakes

Today we made a trip to Highland Lakes down in Leesburg. Monday night is Inter Community play at Highland Lakes and play began at 6:30. I know that Rich has not, until recently, been playing much, but can't believe this is the first time since we've been at The Villages that we went to visit Manny and Marie. We had been there one other time a month or so ago, and played with friends Ken and Lynn, but Manny and Marie were up North at the time.

Anyway - we had a great time and got to play a half dozen games or so with a lot of different people.

(CLICK on pictures to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page)As you can see - we got to play indoors at the "Arena. We had four courts going full time with people waiting to play. In addition to the residents of Highland Lakes, players came from nearby Legacy of Leesburg and Water Oaks in Lady Lake. Everyone was moving on and off the courts so quickly - we barely had time to get a conversation going and neither of us was sitting out at the same time as Lynn!!! We hugged and said "hello" when we arrived - and then never saw her again. But I did get her on camera a couple of times. That's her serving in the picture above (bottom photo).

Above the players chat between games. And as you can see, I am not the only one with the camera tonight. That's our friend Marie - standing on the stage with the camera, taking pictures for thei club's website. It was especially nice to see Manny tonight. (He's sitting next to Rich) It's just five month's since his hip replacement and he is back to all of his normal activities and just back to pickleball the past couple of weeks.
And here's Rich - playing with one of the ladies fromLegacy, and even a picture of me!!! And who is this young boy on the courts? The little guys name is Drew McGinnis and he just turned 10 years old. This kid is VERY good. I saw him a little bit playing with his grandmother against Rich on the court next to me - but then got a chance to see him play again while I was sitting out. He really enjoys the game He has been playing Pickleball for about 2 1/2 years now, whenever he comes to visit his grandparents at Highland Lakes and that is usually twice a year. Drew plays tennis back in Georgia. His grandparents (Marvin & Susan McGinnis) are tennis players from way back and also avid Pickleball players.
We stopped at Subway to grab a sandwich for dinner on the way back home and then settled in to watch the first episode of The Event on TV. Don't know if there is anything that can take the place of "24" but it looks like it might be OK.
Hopefully we'll get to meet up with Manny and Marie and Ken and Lynn one night this week for dinner - before Marie takes off again on Saturday to head NORTH.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Visit to Hawthorne at Leesburg

There are so many active adult communities around The Villages, either in Lady Lake or Summerfield, or Leesburg where pickleball is enjoyed everyday on some pretty nice pickleball courts. Since we've been in the area, we've been to the "indoor pickleball arena" at Highland Lakes, did a pickleball clinic at Legacy of Leesburg, and just yesterday headed down to a new one - Hawthorne at Leesburg.

This community, like Higland Lakes, and Legacy is located in Lake County, in the heart of central Florida, a county famous for its hundreds of lakes. Both Rich and I enjoy boating and fishing, and our interest was peaked when we learned that their Marina is situated on the river, just a short 1/2 mile ride to Lake Harris - the 6th largest lake in Florida. And in talking with some of the pickleball playing residents, Rich learned that the fishing is quite good.

Like most active adult communities they have an abundance of social and physical activites, crafts and hobbies. There are people who travel from The Villages to Hawthorn to particpate with some of the best ballroom dancing groups in the area.

We had met Ed and Carolyn Stein earlier in the year while playing picklebll at Highland Lakes. They asked Rich to come down and do a pickleball skills clinic for some of their players and so yesterday we headed that way.

We arrived, parked and were immediately greeted by Ed and Caroline who escorted us personally via the back seat of their golf cart, to the pickleball courts. They have three dedicated pickleball courts. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but the three courts are situated side by side, with a fence between each court, which is great for keeping your balls on your own courts!
The guys outnumbers the ladies - but everyone seemed to have a good time. We started at 6:00 in the evening - which was great. The weather was great...........low humidity and no hot sun!!!
Here's Rich with the the group that attended. What a great group of people. They made us feel very welcome and we had a great time meeting everyone.
A lot of the communities in the area get together and play - they call it Inter-Community Play, during the summer months, until all the snow birds return. So Rich and I are thinking of heading down to Highland Lakes on Monday night. Hopefully we'll meet up with some of these Hawthorne players there. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Pickleball Friends Heading Back North!

Above are Pat (heading back to Delaware), Diane ( just purchased a home at The Villages, but heading back to PA), Janice and Diane's sister, Beverly (PA). Rich and I just met these ladies the other day, when he and I were over at Churchill, just the two of us, hitting the ball back and forth. Diane is an excellent player, and just this month taught her sister and friends how to play the game. They've been out in the morning at the courts at Churchill, just the four of them practicing until the crowds of players arrive. Janice needed to rest - so I stepped in and played with Beverly a couple of games. They play tennis - so pickleball came easily to them! Like most of us who learn how to play - They Are Hooked - and will be checking out the USAPA Places To Play to find some courts in PA and Delaware. Diane and Bev will be back in October - but we'll be gone by then. So glad we got the chance to meet them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Surgery Done!! Back on the Courts!

Rich was scheduled to arrive at Tampa General Hospital last Wednesday at 10:00. As I said before, neither of us had every made the trip to Davis Island until his appointment with the doctor at USF Health. For as long as we've lived here, driving in downtown Tampa has been something that we've continually avoided. But you must go through downtown Tampa and cross the Davis Island Bridge, because that's where Tampa General Hospital is located. The view of the water and of Bayshore Blvd across the way in Tampa from the 3rd floor Waiting Room was indeed quite beautiful.

Rich was called in just a few minutes after 10:00am and went through the normal pre-op workup - blood pressure, temp, drawing blood and getting hooked up to the IV. He didn't actually go in for surgery until about 2:00 pm ( Now remember - Rich has had NOTHING to EAT or DRINK since the night before and he is definately a COFFEE JUNKIE!!) So by this time he's not very happy! About 4:15, Dr. Armostrong came out to the waiting room to tell me Rich was doing GREAT! Now it was getting through the required four to six hours of bed rest, ( He FINALLY had his first cup of coffee of the day about 7:00 pm, followed by his first meal of the day at about 8:00pm) no driving or heavy lifting for 24 hours, and the LONG WAIT until Monday when the doctor said he could play pickleball again. He was out walking on Saturday and bike riding on Sunday and back on the courts early Monday morning. He played at Pimlico - and I went over to check on him about 9:30 and he was doing fine. Tuesday he played at Pimlico in the morning, came home about 11:00 to grab a quick lunch and then went to Hacienda to play until about 3:30 that afternoon. I think he probably would have gone to Churchill at 4:30 to play with the guys - but it RAINED!!!! Life is back to Pickleball Normal!!

Last night we went out for Mexican - They just recently opened the Ay! Jalisco Mexican Restaurant here in The Villages. We had been to Ay! Jalisco over in Clermont a year or so ago when we were staying at Thousand Trails Orlando and liked it - so we thought we'd give this location a try! I had the Chickeen Fahitas and Rich did the Chicken and Beef Burritos. Both were excellent. We'll probably visit this restaurant again before we leave.

We'll be heading over to Del Webb Spruce Creek to do some Referee Training in a week or so and we've got a Clinic scheduled at Hawthorn, an active adult community in Leesburg on the 15th - so we' re looking forward to that. Things are back to normal - Pickleball in the morning, 11:00am Pickleball Group Meeting and Trivia at Dunkin Donuts, Saturday morning breakfast at the SonRise Restaurant, Dining out with Friends, Watching the Tampa Rays/ Yankees fight for the Division Title, (GO RAYS!!), hoping that Kim Clisters CRUSHES Venus Williams on her way to the woman's US Open Title, and watching as the American men dwindle in the men's draw. Will it be another Federer win! Or will Nadal FINALLY win his first US OPEN?