Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saying Good-Bye to Linda and Jenny

On Wednesday, right after pickleball at Saddlebrook, Linda and Jenny will head back to Seabring.   We've enjoyed visiting with Linda and we know she's not yet ready to leave all her new pickleball friends!!  And we enjoyed spending time with Miss Jenny too!!

Rich worked with Mo again on Monday night at his weekly pickleball clinic and then Linda and Jenny joined us for dinner and drinks........  What a little sweetheart that Jenny is.  She enjoyed the treats..........and a little chicken too!    It was fried chicken and potato salad tonight.  And Linda......thanks for the bottle of wine.  Another enjoyable evening of conversation and laughter .  I wouldn't be surprised to see her back here real soon.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Originally plans were that Cathy (pickleball friend from Solivita) would be arriving at The Villages and spending a few day with Linda.  The three of us had planned a "girls" night out.  Unfortunately, Cathy was not able to make it.  So Linda and I decided to still make it a night out. 

Linda and I  were going to eat out, so as I was preparing to leave, Rich headed for the kitchen to prepare his evening meal....

While colleting all the necessary tools and ingredients, he made a special point of telling me what a great meal I was going to miss.  Having suffered through this meal before I was very glad to be heading out!  I don't really know what it's called - but he calls it pizza!  Using Bisquick - follow the directions for making biscuits - roll out the dough and  place it on a pizza tray. (There was no pizza tin at this villa - so he improvised and used to small cake pans).  The topping is a pound of ground beef seasoned with italian spices and a can of tomato soup.  Top it off with cheese and Voila!!!!  

I left before he put it in the oven...... 

I picked up Linda just before 5:00 and we headed to the Spanish Springs town square.

 Music was already playing and the square was filling up fast with cars and golf carts and people finding seats to enjoy the music and dancing.

I didn't expect to find a place to park right on the square and thought we need to park a distance away and walk back, but as we made the circle we were lucky to find a golf cart vacating one of the parking spaces. 

First stop was at Gators Dockside.  We thought we'd head inside, out of the heat, and have a drink before dinner.  Dockside is a very casual sports type restaurant/bar  As you walk in the door there is this absolutely HUGE aligator.  

The lighting inside was not good at all, so the pictures  were really bad.  But I managed  to salvage part of one.  That's Linda  getting friendly with the Gator!

We headed outside and decided to find a seat, listen to the music and enjoy the entertainment/dancing for a while.  Generally, this time of year it's not bad finding a place to sit, but I couldn't believe how many people were out tonight. A couple was getting ready to leave so we snatched two seats just one row back from the dancing area.   

There dance floor was rocking tonight with line dancers.  And when played the Electric Slide  the square was packed with dancers, including ME!   They danced the electric slide three times in a row, each time the music was a little faster!!!!

It didn't take us long to figure out why so many people were out.  The guy who was the DJ was so entertaining, so funny.  He would change outfits frequently, depending on the song being played.   I guess when you live here you get to know the best of the entertainers. 
And here he leads the crowd in a dance I've never seen before.  At the RV Parks we do the macarana and the chicken dance.  This was Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds!!!  You have to see/hear it to believe it!

We walked down Main Street a ways thinking of having dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, but the wait was more than a half hour, so we decided to go back, get the car and head to Applebees.  It was happy hour, two for one, so we shared, and each had a glass of wine.  They have a very nice under 550 calorie menu and we both opted for the 7oz sirloin with shrimp, potato and brocolli.  It was excellent.  It was after 9:30 when I finally dropped her off at her place and headed for home. 

It's Saturday afternoon now, and as I update this blog, I'm sharing a piece of Rich's left over Pizza for lunch.  It's really quite good.    Really....... I'm not kidding................Rich - you can take over the kitchen and fix dinner any time you want. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sumter Landing with Harry and Karen

Our friends, Harry and Karen are still here, but only for a few more days.  Today we made plans to meet up with them down at Sumter Landing.  Close enough for both of to take the golf carts and to  meet there early enough to get a parking spot close to the square. 

We were only about 2 minutes from the square when Karen called to say they found a good parking we circled the square until they flagged us down.  Perfect!  Above - Rich and Harry on the way to Cody's Roadhouse....

Cody's is situated on the banks of Lake Sumter and you can eat inside or outside with a view of the lake.  Outside is always nice - but it was just a little to warm to enjoy...........

Loved the casual atmosphere, with gas pump handles for door knobs, and peanut shucks all over the floor.

Karen, Harry, Rich and I - about to enjoy our meal.  Two for one drinks so we ordered a Bud Light on draft..... Everyone opted for something different tonight, but everything was very good.  Rich had the Blackened Mahi Mahi, me the Chicken, Karen the Salmon and Harry the Steak!.. 

And this is Chris, our friendly, smiling, very accomodating waiter...  This was a great choice Karen.  Thank You.

After dinner we sat and talked for a while and then walked back over to the square where the music had startee and people were already out dancing.   The line dancing here is great, but with my bad knee I have not been able to catch up on a lot of the regular dances.... These guys dance at a pretty advanced level. But I managed to get out two or three times.  The lady in the blue dress in front of me is actually one of the instructors, the guy on the right is George and behind him is Marie.  I don't usually see people I know in the square, but these two are pickleball players who generally play at Churchill with me, but have been playing recently at Pimlico and recognized Rich before they did me.

And Harry and Karen and Rich just sat and enjoyed the music, while I was out dancing.   But they look like they are enjoying the nice evening.  It actually started to sprinkle and we thought it was going to rain..... but it was just a few sprinkles and it moved on.

I had to get this picture.  Just behind where we were parked we spotted this red Corvette.  And these two little ones enjoying the music in the back seat!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coach Mo's Pickleball Training Clinic

One of the things that Rich does every time we come to The Villages is to work with Coach Mo as one of his "assistant coaches" when he does his weekly pickleball clinics for The Villages Residents.  On Monday night, Mo reinstated his weekly clinics at the Churchill Recreation Center.  The hot weather in the summer, keeps the bigger crowds away, which is an excellent opportunity for those who do attend to get a little more one-on-one training.

Rich is an avid follower of Coach Mo, but off the pickleball court we both enjoy socializing with him and his wife Jeanne.  But today it was back to "pickleball business". 

When Coach Mo speaks - everyone listens.  He is probably one of the very best pickleball coaches across the country today.   And today there was a pretty good group out despite the very very hot temperatures.

Right there in the front row is our friends Karen, and Linda, and in the middle, just to the right of Rich is Harry.  The guy in the back row with the yellow shirt is Dick and one of the guys that I play pickleball with regularly here at Churchill in the mornings. 

Coach Mo generally has a couple of people helping him with the clinic, and those people he hand picks, and are generally competitive medal winners that he has worked with and that he knows are able to help individuals to improve their games.   Above Coach Mo works with the players on one court, while Rich takes the other.

"Point your shoulder in the direction you want the ball to go"...... Harry gets a little one-one one, while working on the forehand/backhand shots.
Above Rich and Mo demonstrate proper ground strokes.....

An here one of the other "assistant coaches" Pete joins Rich and Mo and Linda in a demonstration of the "soft game". was supposed to be the  "soft game" -but it looks like someone got carried away!!!

Karen (left) and Harry across from her, and Linda, far right take to the courts with the rest of the group to practice the "soft game".

And even as the "coaches" take a break the conversation is still "pickleball"!.
We'll probably be back here again next Monday for more training.

By the way- Rich's calf muscle is doing pretty good.  As you can see he's got the calf wrapped, but he's back on the court.  I too went out to play on Monday for the first time since I went to the doctor for my knee.  Wore a brace, but made it through four games without a problem.

On Tuesday - Karen and I met up at the SeaBreeze Rec Center for BUNKO!!  Karen had not played before, and neither of us won any money but we had a really good time.  I was just ONE bunco short of splitting the $116 pot!!!! 

Tomorrow, Linda and Jenny will join us for dinner, and on Thursday I'm going with Karen and Harry to play indoors............. A few more days and Rich will be back on the courts twice a day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to the Lighthouse Point Restaurant with Daytona Beach visitors...

Saturday, Rich went back out on the courts for the first time since he pulled the calf muscle.  Did some easy drills and only played a few games so as not to irritate it too much.  I expect that he will be back out on Monday for a short time as well.  I went over to the Seabreeze Rec Center for Bunco in the afternoon and won $15!!!!    We had pretty much settled in for the evening, and checking through the Channel Guide we found there was absolutely nothing on TV  that either of us wanted to watch.  So we  hopped on the golf cart just before 8:00 and headed down to Sumter Landing.  There was  DJ there tonight, and we arrived just as they were getting ready to do the Cuban Shuffle!!!   I went back out after that and did two or three more line dances.  Good test for the knee....; today it's fine!!!  So, I think I might join the group at Churchill for a few games in the morning and see if the knee will hold up.   Hope So!!!!  I took a couple of pictures last night, but they were pretty bad.  There was a beautiful moon out last night - but my camera did it no justice at all  :(

Today we got to meet some new pickleball friends.  Anita Rimler is our newest USAPA Ambassador for Daytona Beach Shores here in Florida and with the help of her husband George they will be introducing pickleball in the Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach area.  We had never met them, but since they were new to the game we  put them in touch with our friend Coach Mo.  They made the trip over for some "private lessons" with the Coach today. 

Pictured above is George and Anita, Coach Mo and Rich. 

We met up with them at the Laurel Manor Courts and then headed down to Sumter Landing for lunch at.............where else?  The Lighthouse Point Restaurant.  By now, if you have been reading this blog you know that we've been there at least four or five times in the last couple of months.  It's definitely one of the locals favorites.   George and Anita opted for the house specialty " Haddock".  George with the platter and Anita with the sandwich.  Mo ate light with the clam chowder.  Rich opted for the Burger and Fries and I had the Reuben .  As always everything was excellent.   I have a feeling that George and Anita will be back here in the near future to play with some of the pickleball players here.  They were already talking about an extended stay in October so they could take advantage of The Villages PB 101, 102 and 103 instructions as well as Coach Mo's intermediate skills clinics. 

Tomorrow will be pickleball in the morning and then Rich is going to help Mo with his Clinic in the afternoon.  I'll go over and grab a few pictures since Linda and Harry and Karen are planning on being there.  Tomorrow night will be Bunco at Churchill, and then Tuesday morning I think I'll join Karen for a little Zumba Gold in the morning, and then she and Harry are coming to Bunco in the afternoon.  Wednesday we've invited Linda and Jenny over for dinner.   The calender is filling up...... the week will pass too quickly.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reuniting with Old RV Buddies...........

We have not seen Harry and Karen since the winter of 2010 when they were at Thousand Trails in Peace River.  It was Harry and Karen, Keith and Marie, Buddy, Dick, Rich and I who painted the lines on the pickleball courts that winter.

Since then, Harry and Karen have sold their motor home and bought a home in the Village of Hadley in The Villages.  They decided to get away from the heat in Pennsylvania, so they came to spend a few weeks down here in The Villages, but need to get back north in time to see the grandchild off to school.....

We were so surprised to get an e-mail telling us "We are Here!!"   So we met up with them last night at the Oakwood Smokehouse.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you get a full rack of ribs with two sides and garic bread for $11.99.  I'm not a big red meat eater, so I opted for the shrimp.... but they said the ribs were "excellent". 

They are only here for a couple of weeks, so we're going to try and get together for Mo's clinic on Monday, some Bunco one afternoon,  pickleball indoors next Thursday at the Baptist Church in Oxford, and dinner out one more time at Sumter Landing before they head out. 

It was really great seeing them again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Visiting with Linda and Jenny

On Sunday we were invited to visit and dine with Linda and Jenny. Linda often plays pickleball as Rich's mixed doubles partner in several of the Florida Senior Games.  In the past she has come to visit with us when we stayed here in The Villages, but this year decided to bring her little one with her and rent a villa for the month of August.  She and Jenny arrived last Monday and since then Linda has been on the courts every day and sometimes in the afternoon, enjoying the competition and meeting new friends.
I had made a cole slaw earlier in the day and we had picked up a bag of treats to take for Jenny.   After all - it was very important that we make friends with this little guard dog.  And we did ...... Jenny is a minature Schnauzer - a little timid at first but warmed to both of us; epecially after the treats!  But you can tell she really loves her Mom!!! 

Linda had burgers, potato salad and a choice of adult beverages for our pleasure.  She put Rich to work at the outdoor grill and I helped her a little bit with her new laptop.  We had a wonderful visit and I'm sure we'll see a lot of these two while they are here.   We never did do dessert - so Linda put the eclairs in the freezer and promised to bring them with her when she visits with us.

And, by the way - Rich is out of pickleball commission for a little while. Pulled a calf muscle during his first game on Sunday!!!  I guess it can happen even if you're always good about stretching and warming up before you go out on the court, which he always does.  We iced it frequently yesterday and he keeps it wrapped during the day. He says it feels a lot better already today - so we'll continue the ice for another day and with a little rest he may be back out there sooner than he thinks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Breakfast at SonRise Cafe

Well it's Saturday and that means the group will be getting together for breakfast at the SonRise.  The people who work there are just wonderful - and always have at least two or three tables ready, knowing that we'll be there. 

On Monday our good friend Linda, who lives down in Sebring, Fl., arrived here at The Villages.  She and Rich play together frequently as  pickleball mixed doubles partners in most of the Florida Senior Games.  She loves pickleball as much as Rich and has found some pretty good players here that have welcomed her with open arms.  Tomorrow we get to see the Villa she's staying in and get to visit with her little dog Jenny!!

We invited Linda to join the group for breakfast this morning. Since we had a new face at the table we needed another group photo!!!  The waitress had a hard time getting us all in the picture today.......we lost Ray and almost lost Linda!!!!  Pictured above are : (the guys - Ray's left hand only - Ray, Golf Cart Jo, Charlie, Pete and Rich. (the ladies) Lorraine, Louise, Joan, Linda (at least the top of her head) and me. 

Since we meet at 11:00 - some do breakfast and some do lunch.  Rich usually opts for the basic eggs, homefries, sausage or bacon and toast - but today it was the waffles with blueberries and whip cream.  This seemed do draw an AHHHH from most everyone at the table, so it made sense to pull out the camera.  Those of you who know Rich well, know that this size portion is usually just an appetizer for him!!!

As usual the food was good,  And fun conversation and  hearty laughter is always on the menu and enjoyed by everyone.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dinner with Friends

Well, on Saturday we were back at the Son Rise for breakfast with the group.  It seems someone brings a new friend or visiting friend/relative along almost every week. I think we had twelve again this past Saturday.   Rich still makes the "Dunkin Donuts" trip, four to six mornings a week and gets his free donunt or muffin.  I joined him and the crew a few days ago;  a cup French Vanilla coffee sounded good that morning.  

But on Wednesday we met up with Coach Mo and Jeanne for dinner.  Jeanne is taking her yearly treck to Nova Scotia to visit family, and she'll be gone for about 19 days.  With my injury, I haven't seen her on the courts, so we needed to get together before she took off.   The Lighthouse seems to be the restaurant of choice this year.  We talked about Giovianni's Italian, TooJays, Cracker Barrel or Lighthouse.  It was Mo's decision that "if it doesn't rain, let's go to the Lighthouse; if it rains we'll do TooJays"

We'd been getting some afternoon showers, but we were spared on Wednesday, so took the golf cart ride to Sumter Landing  to the Lighthouse.   As usual the meal was excellent and the view of the lake was beautifull.  The guys went for the house favorite - the Fried Haddock Platter, while Jeanne and I opted for Shrimp or Scallops.  The atmosphere and conversation was so casual and comfortable tonight, that we sat for a very very long time before saying goodnight.