Sandhill cranes greeted us in the park surrounded by palm trees and tropical foliage. Outside that area cattle roamed on the nearby farms. I’ve only visited the southern and east coast in the past so was surprised by the beautiful horse pastures around Ocala and the rolling green hills everywhere. I thought everything would be flat. The area is called Lake Country which is very appropriate. There are so many lakes it appears everyone could have a lakefront house if they wanted to.
We drove to Crystal River to see where the Manatees come in from the Gulf in the winter. A few stay there all year. The town is tiny but the area’s many lakes and scenic drive was enjoyable. We’ll go back again later to get out on the water.
The highway sign outside our RV Park said The Villages was a town three miles away. Some of the other campers said we needed to go there so, of course, we did. Jim had trained their pilots, who had tried to describe what it was, so he was curious. We learned they call it Disneyland for seniors. Great title. As we entered we started smiling like a kid heading for a thrill ride. Golf carts of all sorts whizzed by on special roads everywhere. The people can pull out of their golf cart garage and drive to the doctor, the grocery store, Walmart, the golf courses, or to a few of the 2500 clubs and activities they offer. We were hooked.
There are three town centers decorated with different themes. The newest is Brownwood which has a western theme. Of course we have seen a lot of western living in Texas but this place was over-the-tops Texas.
Here are some pictures of the golf carts parked along the streets. The three town centers have live music and entertainment every night of the year. Many people show up to dance. The impressive horse and cattle sculptures run along the Brownwood entrance.
Another town square is called Sumter Lake which is decorated to represent towns from the northeast. From the old boat that sunk in the lake to the shells in the concrete walks they outdid themselves. The homes are clapboard and some have widow watches as a top floor. Very cute. To finish off our walk along the lakes boardwalk a bunch of large turtles were swimming along a pier. They were so graceful moving along together. Jim commented he had finally seen a herd of turtles.
Traveling Blessed USA