The Villages!

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Wow! What a great couple of days we’ve had in Wildwood, Florida. This was our first experience staying with a member of Boondockers Welcome.  This is a website where people offer up their driveways, yards, etc., for others to park their motorhomes for anywhere from a single night to a few for free. Generally, these are people who have experienced the RV lifestyle and understand how frustrating it can be to pay for a campsite when you only need a place to pull over and sleep for a few hours, or the campgrounds in the area are dumps, or there isn’t a decent campground within 50 miles of where you need to be. They tend to be very friendly people.

Boondocking, by the way, refers to camping without any “amenities,” no electrical hookups, water, sewer dump, etc.  We lucked out with this first experience because our host offered us an electrical hookup as well as a huge fenced yard for Tessa to exercise! Hunter, our host, goes by the handle “Airstsreaming Gypsy,” as she spent 15 years on the road full-time RVing with her dogs before full-time RVing was even “a thing.” She welcomed us with open arms, a place for Tessa to stretch her legs after 4 hours in the motorhome, a beer and great conversation. We all know what a small world it is … well, Hunter’s father was born and raised in Rockville, CT, right next door to Manchester! What are the odds?!  Anyway, we’ve really enjoyed meeting Hunter and her two rescue dogs and thank her for a fantastic first Boondockers Welcome experience!

Hunter, our first Boondockers Welcome host.

On Tuesday, we visited Mert and Joanne Poulin, Viens family friends who retired to The Villages. They have a beautiful home and gave us the royal tour of The Villages via golf cart. Joanne and Louise rode on the open-air back seat of the cart, and think they had the best seat for the view. We had lunch on the outdoor terrace of one of their golf courses (beautiful and great food), and visited each of the three town squares. They have live music and dancing outdoors every night of the week in each of the squares, and we went back in the evening for a great 50’s and 60’s band. The Villages really blew our minds with the enormity of the place (33,000 acres!), the planning, the cleanliness, and the amenities. There are 100 miles of golf cart paths, and we may have driven on most of them!  It’s like Disneyland for retirees. I’ll attach pictures of The Villages to the end of this post.

Mert, Tessa, Bob and Joanne.

Wednesday, we drove down to Dade City to visit Cecile Lemaire, one of Louise’s mother’s friends who, at age 87, still snowbirds between Connecticut and Florida. Cecile visited her Mom weekly until she passed away and they often ran into each other at the nursing home, so it was nice for them to get together in a more relaxed environment and see where she’s been wintering for the last 25 years.

So far, just about every place we’ve visited we would have enjoyed staying longer, and this is no exception. But, we have to maintain some type of schedule … at least for now.

Tomorrow, we’re off to a one-night stop in Tallahassee, and then on to Alabama!

Tessa also rode with us on our golf cart tour.

Lovely view at Lake Sumter Landing town square.

Spanish Springs town square.

Spanish Springs town square.

Brownwood town square.

Brownwood town square.

Golf carts are everywhere. Loved the flames on this one!

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