By Mike Austreng, Editor
Hello from Florida! We made it to our new home a little over a week ago.
It wasn’t without problems – small ones, but still problems.
Starting the day before our planned departure we hit our first snag – the company we planned to rent a truck from had cancelled our reservation. The truck we wanted wasn’t in Cold Spring. After one phone call to the company and a trip to Willmar and back we started loading boxes. When we picked up the truck the dealer told us the person that rented before us had lost the gas cap and the check engine light was on, but “it should go off after a few starts” – it never did. The clasp on the sun shield broke and the radio quit working about an hour before we arrived in Florida – there was nothing but static and you couldn’t even turn it off.
The morning of our departure a moving company we had hired showed up at 9:30 – we had hoped to leave sometime before noon, but that didn’t work either.
Long before our planned move date we started selling the things we knew we wouldn’t be taking with us. Ended up we still had too much stuff and had to leave all our patio furniture behind – we believe the buyers of our home in Cold Spring appreciated the gift since it was on their shopping list.
We know people who would drive straight through from Minnesota to Florida, but that wouldn’t include us. We prefer to break the trip up with a couple stops, so we arrived in Florida Thursday (a little over a week ago) and started unpacking.
There were only a couple things that didn’t survive the ride, but unloading went pretty good, even in the heat (probably over 100 in the back of the truck). What became a mystery is where are the two boxes with our coffee Kcups? They still haven’t been located and we’ve been through nearly every box. They’ll show up after we buy more, of course.
During the 1,550 miles from Minnesota to our new home we couldn’t help but notice how terrible the condition of some of the roads are in the United States. President Biden ought to take a road trip so he can see that the “infrastructure” bill he wants passed should not include anything but true infrastructure items – like road repairs and bridge repairs – not funds for the arts, etc., etc. There are a lot of roads that are in horrible condition.
For the most part traffic wasn’t horrible – except through the expected areas like St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta – and a couple others. The best practice was to have patience, take our time, and avoid the crazy drivers the best we could.
After a couple trips to the grocery store, hardware store, and others we’re getting close to having everything we need to get settled in.
The Villages is a very interesting area. There are dozens of golf courses. Some are free to play with our HOA fees, others are discounted, but you can purchase memberships too. You have to buy a trail fee pass to ride on the golf course for free. You can buy a priority pool pass to gain access to all the pools – there are a lot of options. It isn’t inexpensive to live here, but there’s also a lot to take advantage of once you become an official resident.
We’re pretty sure it would be close to impossible to navigate the roads and golf cart paths that get you places in The Villages without GPS and there’s a Villages GPS app for phones (which we downloaded) that will guide us until we start to learn the area better.
There aren’t many reasons to leave The Villages, it has everything we’ll need, even three hospitals (we hope we won’t be needing them anytime soon).
We already miss the ROCORI area, but we’re sure time will make it easier to be in our new home. We’ve noticed the people here are beyond friendly and will do anything they can to help those who need it.
There’s lots to learn and we’ll keep on learning, until we can’t.