Monday, September 30, 2013

Starting a New Chapter

On Friday, September 27, 2013 at approximately 9:30 am, we signed the papers and became the new owners of the house on Comquat Rd in Lake Placid.

First stop was a final walk-through at 8:00 am.   A little disappointing in that the current owners had not yet vacated the property.  They assured us that by 9:00 they would be out, and meet us at the closing.  And they were............. We had loaded the car, the night before, so we returned to the house after the closing.

Here is Rich - our first time at the house as 'owners' and ready to unload.......

But first, a quick look around......... and a quick look out back

And I'm sure that he was really thinking how much he'd rather be down there on the dock, with the boat already there, heading out for a day of fishin' and relaxin'.

Not too bad...........things were still under control and the house, while still a bit empty was looking very inviting.

We headed back to Peace River, loaded up the car and the truck and headed back.  By the end of the day, totally exhausted the house was beginning to look like a monstrous undertaking!

We headed back to Peace River and finished packing, loading the car once again to the max!  It was well after 11:00 pm, when the showers were done and we headed to bed for the night.  Saturday morning at 8:00, Nick and Tonyia were making the trip to Tampa with us to unload all the "stuff" we had in storage.   Rich and Nick looked like a couple of drowned rats - soaking wet after loading the U-Haul.   But we were back in Peace River by 1:30, unloaded the refrigerator and grabbed the final items.  With Rich and Nick in the truck, Tonyia in her car, and me in mine we made the trip to Lake Placid.

But not before the final good-by to what has been our home on wheels for nearly 6 years.

 Buddy and Diane (Douglas) now call this their home.  We signed over the title and they were moving in before we pulled away!

  The truck was unloaded by 4:00.  We cleaned up a little ( after I finally found some soap and some clean towels), returned the U-Haul truck and headed to Beef Brady's for something to eat.    We'd been working or driving all day and had not eaten anything since about 8:30 that morning.

Not sure how we would have managed, without the help of Nick and Tonyia.  Can't thank them enough.

It was our very first night, and we walked around and just looked at everything that needed to be done.

 Rich pulled out the "house warming" gift that Jerry and Nancy had given to us before we left the park and we opened it.....  Thank you Jerry and Nancy!

Sunday was another exhausting day - just a whole lot of unpacking and grocery shopping.

Monday a little more of the same - but we did make a trip into Sebring to purchase a couple of TVs.  We got a great  55" flat screen for the family room and a 39" for the wall in the master bedroom.  We have the smaller one for Rich's office.  

Photos of Don Jose Mexican Restaurant, SebringNick   and Tonyia went along with us, so we stopped in Sebring for lunch  at Don Jose's Mexican Restaurant, located on the shores of Lake Jackson. (This photo of Don Jose Mexican Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor).  

Excellent Burritos!

It was nearly 8:00pm by the time that we decided to take a break.  We fixed a Chicken Sandwich, and cut up some watermelon and sat out on the lanai to eat.  Had our very first visitor!  A black snake about 2ft long.   

Tomorrow?  More unpacking and Stanley Steamer is coming to clean the rug in the office and guest bedroom.  Wednesday is Direct TV!    

Just another day in paradise!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another day at the courts

You know, the main reason that we come to The Villages each year is the pickleball.  But I have taken so few pictures this year.  Thanks to Krystal, I'm able to share a few.  This past week she and I have been to the courts all but one day.  We've been playing at Mulberry in the mornings, but this week came back to my favorite, Churchill Recreation Center.  There is not a nicer group of players anywhere  here.  Here are a few pictures from this morning.  Actually we had all the courts going, but here were the final eight on the courts, a great shot of adjacent tennis courts (always empty!), and the last of us leaving for the day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Special on Full Rack of Ribs at Oakwood

Tonight was dinner at the Oakwood Smokehouse in Lady Lake, where this month again, they have their full rack of ribs special for 10.99.  Joining us again this week was Nate and Krystal and Buddy and Diane.    All the guys ordered ribs!  As usual......all the food was delicious and the company and conversation was even better.   (Thanks for the pictures tonight, Krystal!)

Soon to be our new home.

Yesterday, we made an offer on  one of the houses that we saw a few days ago located  on the canal to Lake June, in Lake Placid, Florida.  It's maybe 4-5 minutes by boat to one of the best Bass fishing lakes in the state.

This afternoon, the sellers accepted our offer, and it looks like we will be closing in just a couple of weeks.

Here's a better look at the house we hope to soon call home.  With the exception of the living room - the furniture comes with the house.    The only room I did not get a picture of is the family/TV room.

Here is the back of the house, the enclosed entry to the front door, the screened lanai, the outside deck and the covered dock/boat lift.

Below - the living room, dining room, kitchen ( the kitchen is in both pictures,- and is shared with the sitting area that looks out over the back yard/canal.

And last:  the master and guest bedroom, the office and the guest bathroom.

Next is getting the inspection done, hunting for homeowner insurance (again!) and getting everything together to make all those address changes again!  And now we're looking for either a bass boat or pontoon to put in the boathouse.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

House Hunting!

When we came to The Villages this year in June, we were pretty certain that before we left in October, that we would be homeowners in this exceptional active adult community.  We actually did look at several properties, but we just did not seem overly excited could not commit to living here full time.  We've truly enjoyed the summers here -  but there are just too many people here in the Winter.

So we decided that we would look for a waterfront home on one of Florida's numerous lakes, buy a boat and get back into fishing, a sport and past time that we both enjoy very much.  We looked at several in the Leesburg, Fruitland Park area on the Harris Chain of Lakes, and considered a few in North Port along the Myakka River, and toyed with Appolo Beach.  This last week we looked at about eight homes in the Sebring/Lake Placid area on Lake Istokpoga and Lake June, both great fresh water bass fishing lakes.

By the end of today, we had found Three Homes that we really liked.

The first was in Sebring, on the canal to Lake Istokpoga.

This house had so much to offer, on a beautiful canal.  Beautiful inside....but by the end of the day we had eliminated this one.

And we are now at the final two!

Both of these are in Lake Placid on the canal to Lake June. ( The real name is Lake June in Winter).  Actually these two houses are neighbors.  They sit side by side on the same street.  So we walked from one to the other to see them.

The first one we saw:   Exact same price as the house next door - but this one comes fully furnished and has a big screened area overlooking the canal.  That's Rich and the Realtor standing on the dock.  Certainly big enough for that boat!

Next door...............This house is actually much nicer than these pictures.  The yard is beautifully landscaped with a walkway to the boat house.  And the sitting area/kitchen has a beautiful view of the lake. While I didn't get a picture of the dock - it is just as nice as the one above.

More to come.................which one will it be?

And before we headed for home we decided to give Nick and Tonyia a call since we were in the area.  We stopped to visit with them.  We enjoyed a refreshing drink and Tonyia and I sat and played a game of Mexican Train.   About 4:00 we headed down to the Watering Hole for a late lunch/early dinner.....  We had never been here before, but had heard it was very nice.

Nicely decorated inside, with alligator heads and wild boar...Yes that's Rich checking out the boar's head over the bar.  There's a huge outdoor bar where they frequently have karaoke.  The food was excellent.  A little pricey, but very very good. We'll definitely go back again.  And it was real nice to spend part of the day with our friends.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dinner at Cody's Original Roadhouse

Tonight we headed to Cody's Roadhouse where every Wednesday in addition to their daily specials they feature Two for one fajitas.    We had made plans last Wednesday to go here with Tim and Marlene, but after learning that there was a large event taking place that night, we cancelled.  

We had just been discussing that Buddy and Diane should be back at the RV Park in Wildwood, so I sent Buddy an e-mail asking when they would be back.  As luck would have it, they were already here, so they joined us tonight.  Everyone ordered the Buy one Get one Free Fajita Dinner, and as in the past the food was delicious!   We had a great evening, and hopefully we can all get together one more time before they leave for Orlando.

Tomorrow, Rich and I are going house hunting........ We're headed for Sebring/Lake Placid to look at some waterfront properties......Stay tuned.

Shalom Park and Silver River State Park

Krystal and I have talked about doing a "day trip" since we arrived here in The Villages back in June.  She and Nate have ventured out a couple of times to the surrounding areas. The most recent was just this past holiday weekend, so when I suggested a day trip for her and I on Tuesday, I was surprised that she was eager to head out again.

Our original plan was to head to Gainesville to the Botanical Gardens, and I had found a couple of other potential stops and the Butterfly Sanctuary and Teaching Zoo.  Since she and Nate had already been to the Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, we decided  at the last minute to check out the one in Ocala instead.

So the first stop was at Shalom Park in Ocala.

According to their website:
Sholom Park was designed as a place to find inner peace and to thrive in the Central Florida climate. The park requires little or no supplemental watering. Native plants are combined with cultivated ornamentals, perennials, and annuals creating a beautiful and resilient landscape. 

Sholom Park offers a place of natural beauty, comprised of meadows, woodland areas, added flowers and trees, as well as native wildlife for everyone to enjoy.

 Paved walkways meander throughout the park, winding through mature oaks, hickories, sweet gums and long leaf pine trees, as they allow guests to move from one trail or feature to the next. Trails lead guests to explore the park. There are numerous benches available upon which guests may rest as they contemplate the peaceful surroundings.

As we headed out to the Prairie Trail  we were amazed at the number of spiders and spider webs in the trees/bushes.  I don't think I've ever seen webs this large.  This is when I wish I had a better camera!!

 Between here and the Enchanted Forest Trail we spotted three beautiful horses just across the road, who posed perfectly for us to take a picture. 

The last stop  as we were nearing the end of the trails was the pond area.  It was absolutely beautiful!  

Being a botanical garden I was expecting to see a lot more lavish  flower gardens.  But one of the long term missions for this park, according to their site is that guests  experience a true feeling of serenity, contentment, joy and inner peace.   That is definitely the atmosphere at Shalom Park. 

Not yet ready to call it a day, we headed for Chik-Fil A. ( Believe it or not, until today I had NEVER eaten here!)  The grilled chicken is excellent!   We checked the GPS to see what else was in the area that might perk our interest.  While driving we spotted the entrance to the Silver River State Park and decided to check it out.  

Not sure this was the best idea - although we saw a beautiful fawn along the side of the road as we entered the park which was encouraging.  The  park also offers a pioneer cracker village and Silver River Museum.  Unfortunately they are only open on the weekends.  

The park also offers a full hook up campsite and cabins as well as primitive camping, a beautiful picnic area ,  canoeing and kayaking on the Silver River and miles and miles and miles of hiking trails. Always wanting to check out "nature" we took to the hiking trails, selecting the Sink Hole trail first.   Both of us are in sandles/flip flops - definitely not the proper hiking attire!  But we selected the Sink Hole trail first.  After about 20 minutes Krystal checked the park map and learned that the trail to the sinkhole was a 70 minute walk!!!  We retraced our steps and decided to take the River Trail, the shorter between that and the Swamp Trail: only 1.3 miles!   And we made it to the River!

After taking in the scenery, and listening to the sounds of nature deep into the woods, and spotting a small alligator, we headed back.  We heard thunder in the distance....actually we saw the storm clouds on our way to the lake, but ignored them!   We had only just began our 1.3 mile walk back to the car, when..... you guessed it............. it rained!!  Actually it POURED!   We managed to get the cameras well protected under our clothing and then laughed all the way back!  

And so, I saved the best picture for last!  Except for Nathan and Rich who saw us return drenched and one would believe how much we enjoyed our personal encounter with Mother Nature!

Watch for the next adventure of Day Trips with Krystal and Donna!