12/29/18 Dunnellon-Ocala, FL

DAY #70

Today’s activities included another trip to Camping World in Summerfield and then checking out the world of “The Villages” residential development.

As I was driving to Camping World, I received a phone call from the Verizon retailer in Chiefland, FL. That was were I went last Sunday after losing my phone. It seems that someone found my phone and turned it in. Now I had the option of driving back to Chiefland to pick up the phone, or not.

I don’t need another phone, I guess I could have retrieved it and then sold it, but that’s kind of a hassle when you’re on the road. I opted to not go back to get it. I was told they will erase everything on the phone, and then give it to a women’s shelter. I think that’s the best use for it.

Made it to Camping World. It took 35 minutes of driving to get a five minute answer but oh well, that’s the way it be. Now to see if I can get the water heater to work (fingers crossed).

The Villages are located a short distance away from Camping World and I thought, before I criticize, I should at least know of what I speak.

My first impression was man, this place goes on, and on, and on. It looks like the development is the sum total (and there’s a lot) of subdivisions that make up “The Villages,” with some retail thrown in around the edges to complete the picture.

Lets take a drive down one of the avenues and see what “The Villages” have to show us. Unfortunately, non residents can only go down the main thruways. Unless you are a homeowner or authorized guest, entry to the inner streets are restricted. there are gate houses at every entrance that are either manned, or require a code to gain entry.

This is one of the entrances to the Polo Ridge “Community.”

It is an impressive place. The main streets are in excellent condition with center medians meticulously landscaped, including flowers blooming year round. There are places to play tennis, swim, and of course golf. Golf courses look to be an omni-present part of every “community.” I was amazed to see that there is even a polo grounds.

You can see only the rear of the homes from the street.
I saw as many golf carts as cars. Maybe an exaggeration, but there are lots of carts.
Hard to get good photos. No place to stop or park and traffic behind.
I’ve observed most homes had lanais, but very few had pools.
One of the nicest exteriors of any Walmart I’ve seen.

The photos really don’t do the development justice. While the phone takes decent photos, I prefer using the camera. That’s my excuse for the crummy pictures, and I’m sticking to it.

In some ways, “The Villages” represent what is best about America. For those who can afford the initial cost and monthly association dues, and are OK with the rules & regulations, it provides a safe, structured, and secure lifestyle wrapped in a modern, fresh, and stylish package. Here in “The Villages, the “American Dream” lives.

I can understand why people gravitate to this kind of living arrangement, I just hate that it comes at such a cost (in my opinion). 

Driving the rest of the way back, I just meandered around and took the way off the back roads. There looks to be a fair amount of large horse farms in the area. Not sure if raising thoroughbreds is that profitable? It’s not uncommon to see For Sale signs by the entrance gates.

A boring day in Central Florida? I’ll take it, any day.

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