Monday, July 25, 2011

Injuries ! What a Bummer!!

It seems like forever since I've been able to play pickleball, and it seems like Rich is playing non-stop!!!  I've lost track of time, but it's probably been close to four weeks now.  Twisted the knee on the pickleball court.  Rested it for better than a week.  Tried to play, but called it quits after two games.  Waited another week and purchased a brace for the knee which  allowed me to play for several days in a row.  But last Saturday, with the brace on it hurt like a hoot when I turned for a backhand shot.  Seems like when I stop or start real fast or move the knee to the side that it just feels like something is "moving" and it hurts!  Went to the doctor on Monday hoping to get an MRI an see what's wrong.  He told me he "thought" I had bruised the ligaments, even though I was not in any pain, and could walk OK - just not too fast.  Even though I insisted that I did not need a shot of cortizone........HE INSISTED that I did.   The shot didn't hurt at all, but the knee sure did for the next two days.    He's on vacation until August 19th...........................and whatever was wrong with the knee is STILL wrong.  

In the meantime, Rich is playing every day and sometimes twice a day.  Last year it was him who was having the medical issues with his feet and was out of commission.  And while I truly wish I could get back on the court, I am so happy that he is able to make up for all the time he lost last year.  He is definately taking advantage of every single day.......

But what is that saying?  "Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll."    And over the past few days I've had some pretty big smiles.
Got a chance to talk with my good friend Barb(pictured above with hubby Dennis) who is now out in Oregon.  We were hoping that she and Dennis would head back to Florida this winter.... but it's not going to happen this year.  In the meantime she looks great, feels great and called to tell me that she won her very first PICKLEBALL GOLD MEDAL!!  She and Dennis took the Bronze in the mixed doubles.  But in the ladies doubles she to the Bronze in the B Division and the GOLD in the C Division.  Congratulations!

Then yesterday I put the knee brace on and decided to go for a walk.   It was just after 7:00am.   I hadn't gotten a block from the house when I heard someone make a smart remark.................And when I looked up I saw these  two cyclists stopped in the middle of the road. After removing the sunglasses, I was shocked to see our friends Ken and Lynn Corbett!!!   It took me a couple of seconds as they donned matching helmets and bright neon colored shirts!!!   But Ken and Lynn it was!!!!!  I was so surprised because they were about 23 miles from their home down in Leesburg.  But that's nothing unusual for these two.  They were on their way to Oxford before they headed back and said that this was their 8th Sunday in a row for a cycling road trip.   Gosh I wish I had the camera with me!!!!!   These two looked like a couple of professionals in the "Tour de France"!!!!!!  

What a great surprise!  Absolutely made my day!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Checking out Orange Blossom/Country Club Hills

On Sunday we made plans to meet up with another of our Villages friends, Kathy and Greenie.  We met Greenie back in 2008 when he was the USAPA Regional Ambassdor for the Atlantic South.  When we visited The Villages back in 2009 we had the pleasure of meeting his lovely wife. Since then we have made a point of spending time with them whenever we're in the area. 
The two of them had suggested the Orange Blossom Country Club for breakfast/brunch one Sunday while we were in The Villages last year,  and for one reason or another we never made it there. So it made sense that the first time we got together this year that we meet at the Country Club.  It was nice catching up with what they've been up, and we learned that they had just returned from a family visit to Michigan, Kathy continues her volunteer work, and Greenie's health allows him to get on the pickleball courts just a couple of times a month. 

After breakfast we decided to check out the rest of the Village of Orange Blossom.  In addition to the golf, the Country Club and the beautiful swimming pool, it is also the home of the Paradise Recreation Center, where, like all the otheres include tennis/pickleball courts and lots of indoor activities.  
One of the very oldest sections of The Villages, it is located at the far east of the city just east of Hwy 441/27 and not far from the Spanish Springs Town Center.

Orange Blossom and one more Villages just a bit further south are Modular Home communities, and many of them, like pictured above are located along the shores of this small lake.  Also along this small lake is Paradise Park with.....
large shade trees and a picnic area. 
A variety of Florida water foul and birds as well as these shore birds that appear to be a couple of american coot......... Was looking for some sandhill cranes but didn't see any today.

There was an abundance of shore birds including these beautifulWhite Ibis.
And of course the water attracts a multitude of ducks.
Adjacent to the water area is Paradise Dog Park.........where Villages meet up and let the little ones wander and run and play.
And if you have the urge to sharpen your hunting or target skills a hugh Archery Range is located just down the road from the dog park.

So many times as we have travelled by car through the Villages we have passed under this bridge that crosses highway 441/27.  We've been through many a golfcart tunnel, but we have yet to use this "golfcart bridge".

And from right here in Pardise Park you can hop on the golf cart path and make your way to shopping and entertainment on the other side of the road.

And today there was a good bit of traffic. 

And the rest of the day was just being lazy........................

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sumter Landing for Market Night.

The afternoon rains have kept us a bit secluded in the afternoons this past week.  Fortunately the storms have held off long enough for us to get out in the AM for some pickleball.   By late Thursday afternoon the skies had cleared and it looked to be a decent evening, so we decided to take a ride on down to Sumter Landing again.  Thursday night was market night.

We took a stroll around the square to check out all the vendors.   A little something for everyone.......luggage, beautiful wood carvings, hats, sports paraphernalia..........
And what would Market Night shopping be without a PICKLEBALL BOOTH!   Lots of paddles and shirts and bags and I really liked the towels.  A little bigger than a regular hand towel and bearing a pickleball emblem of some sort.  Very nice for $12.

Where else but The Villages would you find a booth to help you with the makeover for your Golf Cart?   And as you travel the golf cart paths and check out the abundance of golf carts, you continue to be amazed at the creativity of some.............

And as we continued on around the square, didn't we find another "creative" example?

And if you don't want to fix up the one you have.............Here is one that was for sale.  Lots of fliers and stickers, but didn't see the price........

Finishing our browsing we decided to sit for a bit and listen to the entertainment.  It was still early in the evening, but the crowd was already starting to build.

Many arrived early.  The "feels like" temperature this evening was 100 degrees, so the early birds were able to find the shade under the trees. We listened until the band took their break, and decided it was a bit too hot to stay much longer.  The lines at the refreshment stands were real long as the everyone was trying to get the last drink before the end of happy hour!
So we vacated our parking space and left an opening for the next arrival.

It really isn't bad trying to find your way around.  There are directional signs all along the paths..........

But despite all the signs, you often stop to ponder where you are.  And so the traffic jam, as two young ladies two carts ahead of us stop in the middle of the road to check their map! 

We took the tunnel to cross to the other side of the Buena Vista Trail which would take us back to our Village.

And for those of you who were not real sure.........Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day at Sumter Landing

Surprisingly, they do not have fireworks here in The Villages.  I'm sure there is a history behind that decision, but I have no idea what that might be.  But the folks here still have a great time celebrating the 4th of July.  Rich and I decided to take a ride down to Sumter Landing after dinner this evening...come take a ride with us............

Tonight we decided to take the ride by golf cart tonight.  For those of you have not been here before, you'll see that there is pretty much always as many golf carts as automobiles on the road no matter which way you head. 

This is about a 15 minute drive by golf cart.  You'll see that these two carts ahead of us were headed  our way tonight.  This is where we come off  the main road on to the golf cart path that takes us south along Buena Vista Boulevard. 

Stopping for vehicular traffic......... Yes, just like driving in the car we have our stop signs and directional signs.

We stay to the right at the golf cart circle as we approach the entrance to the Arnold Palmer Country of the many Championship golf courses.
Left on Old Mill Road - where we share the road with the automobiles, as we head toward the town square.
And now - it's trying to find a place to park!!  Not always easy to find a spot close to the town square.....but once more around the circle and this car would be gone........and we would one of the carts that took its place. 

Almost there.......................

Hadn't been there for long before the entertainment started.  All the dancers on the square took to their seats as The Villages Drum Corps and Twirlers took center stage..

We listened to patriotic songs and watch the twirlers as they entertained the crowds.

Typical garb tonight - Yes that umbrella is a hat!!!

The crowd (and this is just a small portion of the whole!) stand and wave their flags as everyone sings "Proud to be an American."

Fire Batons.....the twirlers entertain with the "Flames of Freedom".

We decided to head on over to take a ride on the boat that takes a short cruise around Lake Sumter.............where we are greeted by Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty!

LAKE SUMTER LINE...  All aboard!

The beautifully manicured golf course across the way........

The bridge on Morse Boulevard.  We were told that this bridge was modeled after the London Bridge.    On the grassy area there in the middle is a golf cart parking area .  It is know as the senior's "lover's lane".  There are several parking spots here where residents park each night to watch the sun set across the lake. 

  You've seen a picture of this place a couple of times.  The is the Lighthouse Restaurant where we've been to eat a couple of times already..... A great view from the lake, and that's the boardwalk along the edge of the lake adjacent to the town square.
It was a fun evening................

Monday, July 4, 2011

Free ClipartHappy Fourth of July

Not a lot to update everyone on over the past week or so.   What do you do when your in The Villages and you're pickleball fanatics?  Well, of course,play pickleball as often as you can.  With the  108 +/- courts, it certainly isn't hard to find a place to meet some great players and some really nice people.    And we have been so fortunate to have done just that.

Sine my last update, our good friends Don and Linda left for home and the days have been spent either playing pickleball, catching up on the Casey Anthony trial, or heading out (me) in the afternoon to Bunco.  I hope to get back out doing some line dancing, once this knee is better, and Rich has found a fellow pickleball player to play a little billiards with.  Of course we continue our regular Saturday morning breakfast with friends at the Sun Rise.

This Saturday the  breakfast group decided to meet at the Outback Steakhouse on Sunday to celebrate the holiday.  There were twelve of us last night (Pete and Barbara, Mo and Jeanne, Joe and Louise, Ray and Lorraine, Charlie and Joan, Rich and I).  They pulled two round tables together, instead of a long table, that made conversation among the group a bit difficult - but we definately managed.  I'm sure that by the time we left, many a patron was ready to see our roudy group  leave. By roudy I just mean we were enjoying the evening and our laughter was a very clear indication of that.