Friday, September 26, 2014
275 Miles (blah)
Leaving day. I am in no hurry to go, but I have some miles to drive today so I don’t want to get too much of a late start. In an effort to pack in every last opportunity, I look at the class schedule and see what is available this morning. 8:00 QiGong On the Beach – hmm. (QiGong- Soothe away stress through the fusion of love and power in this dynamic and alluring ancient Chinese (Qigong= “Chee-gong”) practice. Enhance endurance, energy and relaxation.) I have to admit that I tried this last year (not on the beach) and it was pretty much “woo woo out there.” But, this one’s on the beach. How bad can it be? Turns out not too bad. Qigong uses slow movements sort of like Tai Chi and you are supposed to connect with your Qi (energy). Did I connect? ho knows? Anyway, it was pleasant to be out on the beach in the early morning.
After getting relaxed and organizing my Qi, I raced to the 9:00 Long and Lean Barre Workout for one final sweat. This was a full class and a great workout. Nice way to end. Now I get to sit in the car for hours and stiffen up.
I ate a late breakfast/brunch and commenced to slowly packing up my things. I am not sure how my belongings have expanded since I arrived…
On the road again. I am driving northwest to Wildwood, Florida for the evening. The drive was pretty boring because Rich and I had driven that exact same route on the Florida Turnpike just a couple weeks ago. Oh well, the constant rain made it a little different. When is the rain going to stop in Florida?
When I arrived in Wildwood I suddenly realized that this is the place that my friend, KT, was asking me about – The Villages. The Villages is a huge retirement community that is self contained. They have golf courses, shopping, restaurants, etc all within a golf cart’s reach. I suppose it is sort of like Sun City in Arizona. Outside of the community there is literally nothing – the sticks. My hotel (The Sleep Inn) is just outside the Villages and there are no restaurants close to it so I make the one mile drive to The Villages to poke around.
I see a sign for an “Entertainment Complex” and turn in. There are tons of people milling about a large circle drive with a stage set up in the middle. There is a band playing and people dancing. (Well, it is Friday night after all). I drive all the way around and count at least 10 restaurants that are all booming. Hundreds of golf carts are parked along the street! This is Friday night at The Villages!
I am starving and Ricciardi’s Italian looks good.
The place is loud inside (you know those rowdy retirees), but I don’t really care. I am hungry! I order the Eggplant Strati and settle in with a glass of red wine. When my dinner arrives, it is a HUGE portion. Actually it is pretty good, but I can only eat about a third of it. Shame.
I am not sure about this community. It has a weird vibe to it – very artificial. KT – you should come and check it out when you are in Florida. Let me know what you think.
Back to the Sleep Inn to check in. The place is nice enough, but it certainly ain’t Canyon Ranch.
I have a long drive tomorrow (600 miles) so I watch Shark Tank and turn off the lights. Nighty-night.