The Villages . . . who’d have thought! Isn’t it just a bunch of golf courses and golf carts? That’s what I had in my head . . . and I was quite surprised.
The Noggin attendees came from all over central Florida. Roadsters, Plus 8s, an Aero 8 and even a Plus 4. Some even brought friends (Brian and Thery King).
After a quick meeting at a convenient recreation center we drove over to the Rose Plantation for lunch.
The Rose Plantation is a beautiful restaurant in a historic mansion, located right on a picturesque lake. A wonderful meal in a lovely setting. A great start to the weekend!
We then proceeded to the Villages Equestrian Center and the Polo Field. It is Polo season and the crowds were there. We parked adjacent to the field and had a perfect tailgating spot just across the street, right next to the playing field. You could feel the ground shake as the horses galloped by. Thanks Allan. And, we did participate in the half-time ritual of stomping the divots. So we got a little exercise as well.
The ladies provided us with a colorful array of fashion (it showed we had class?) ‘Special’ hats were de rigueur and the imaginative and personally created hat of Christine Bycroft was deemed the best of the lot.
We also had a few small tables with plates of nibbles and a few bottles of wine. (Not that the beer (golf) cart wasn’t patronized.) The weather was exquisite . . . warm, dry and not a cloud in the sky. We know the Florida summer is coming but it wasn’t here just yet. Glorious!! And, as is to be expected, the cars attracted a number of photographers and we did answer quite a few questions. A lovely way to enjoy an afternoon in the spring.
Then it was off to the Country Club for dinner. Another stunning facility set in another picturesque spot. Lots of lakes, grass, flowers, and impeccable views.
After a day of running around the Villages, I can now see the attraction. The Villages does attract a good number of folks . . . at some points, it was actually a bit crowded. I had one too many close calls with irreverent golf carts and parking at the hot spots in town was mostly impossible.
Driving around the Villages is tricky. The place is large and expansive and there are lots of golf carts. Florida is known for straight and flat roads (sometimes boring) but the Villages has its own solution . . . roundabouts. And, they are everywhere. In hindsight, they keep the traffic moving and proved much better than stop lights.
After dinner we walked into the local ‘town’ center to partake of the evening’s live concert for dancing and drinks on the square. More drinking than dancing I think, but none the less, very enjoyable.
Saturday was a day of sites. We saw the various ‘towns’ already created within the Villages and a new one being created. Each ‘town’ with its own charm and amenities. Quite something. One recreation center we visited was a bit of a homage to the military, called the Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center. It was really a bit of a museum.
The number of houses sold each month and the sheer expanse of the Villages complex with the recreation centers, golf courses, activities, shops and restaurants in each of the ‘towns’ is beyond belief. Live bands in three locations every night? Wow!
A great GatorMOG Noggin and a superb way to start the Morgan season in Florida. A big thanks to Allan and Mary Ann Rae for being our hosts.
(Photos Courtesy of Brian King)