40 going on 80?

The_VillagesMost of you know that I'm a Cali girl who was dragged here kicking and screaming willingly moved to the Midwest five years ago for love. And while I joke and get surly about the weather, the weather, and did I mention the effing weather? (I will slay you Polar Vortex!), all kidding aside, it was the best decision I've ever made. I now have a beautiful family and a writing career- two things I've always dreamed of having. But back to the weather.

I think y'all know how bad it's been, well, everywhere. To put it in perspective, when it's 21 degrees outside, we now consider that a "good" day.

So when I saw that another Polar Vortex was fast approaching, first I cried, then I told my husband I needed to get the hell out of Dodge immediately if not sooner. And that our destination must be somewhere WARM. Thankfully, he's just as over the snow and ice and cold as I am, so we headed to Florida where we have family. And while even sunny Florida, wasn't as sunny as usual, it was at least 60 degrees warmer there than home. So it was a win. But it was also a win for another reason. It turns out, I'm destined to live in a retirement community maybe sooner than I thought. I discovered I'm 40 going on 80--in a good way! And if you ask me, 80 is the new 40!

The Villages in Florida is a retirement community so large that it has it's own zip code! And as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the happiest places on Earth! And I think I fit in perfectly. Here's why:

1. I drive a mean golf cart!

Lisa_Steinke_golfcartIn The Villages, golf carts are the main mode of transportation. And while I may or may not be known to drive above the speed limit in my regular car, I am perfectly content cruising along at 15mph in a cart. You can take it from your home anywhere you need to go--including to one of several "squares" where you'll find everything from a movie theater (with low sodium popcorn--more on that in a minute!) to Barnes and Noble (maybe we'll be back to do a signing for YOUR PERFECT LIFE?).


City_Fire2. The early bird gets the worm!

I rise early and I go to bed early. Early bird special? I'm your woman! Dinner at 5 and bed by 9? My perfect day!  Not to mention, they have all-day happy hours! And City Fire had great food and awesome live music! Plus, it was refreshing to watch so many couples dancing together. You just don't see that anymore!


Lisa_ shower cap3. I found the perfect shower cap to protect my blow out.

Forget those flimsy caps they give you at a hotel (that's what I'd been using). To really protect your tresses (you know how I milk those blow outs) you need one like I have pictured. A dime a dozen down at The Villages! Maybe a little upsetting for the hubs to look at, but if it extends the life of my hairstyle, I'm willing to deal with his horrified face!


Unsalted_popcorn4. Unsalted popcorn at the movies!

I'm a finicky eater to put it simply. So being able to find unsalted popcorn, lactose free ice cream and gluten free meals everywhere feels like being back in L.A. again (man how I took the healthy food options for granted while I was there!). I was in hog Heaven as I ate my plain kernels while watching Philomenia (very apropos that it stars Judi Dench who is  insanely talented and still going strong at age 79!).


Zumba_square5. Zumba in the sunshine!

Down in the square you can take a Zumba class while basking in the sun (this was the one 78 degree day). For me there is no better combination than sunshine and exercise. I could live here...Hmm...