It’s a Lifestyle

My family and I just came home from spending a week with my Dad and his lovely partner Bobbie in Florida. My Dad has a condo in a gated community there, and it is a different world from Ottawa in February. There are seven swimming pools, clay and hard tennis courts, a full 18 hole golf course, and almost as many golf carts as palm trees. The golf cart is just the best way to get around from the condo to the pool, to the tennis courts and back home again – it’s always our favourite mode of transportation when we visit.

I do wonder what it would be like to live here though. There are a LOT of rules. For example:

-Even if I wanted to live here, I wouldn’t be allowed to until I turn 55; I am only allowed to visit for prescribed periods of time until then.

-The sign posted at the large pool has 21 rules listed on it, not including the giant sign on all of the gates stating that NO CHILDREN ARE ALLOWED IN THE POOL BEFORE 10:00AM. This sign was new this year, and it is entirely possible that it was instituted after our last year’s visit. Woops.

-If you live here, you are not allowed to own a dog that weighs more than 20 pounds.
-Residents are not allowed to back into their parking spaces. Why? No one really knows.

-Plus a zillion more. The rule book for the community has ballooned to over 70 pages in recent years.

The harder part for me, though, would be the community itself. People know each other’s business. It’s like Peyton Place without the sex, so says my Dad. The introvert in me wonders how I would manage the people and parties around all the time. When we were there last week, we parked the golf cart at the clay tennis courts and asked the girls to run over and grab some tennis balls for us to carry over to the hard courts. We were yelled at because those tennis balls belonged to the tennis courts and were not for playing with. Tony had to explain that yes indeed, we were picking up the balls to take over to the under-utilized hard courts right over there, sir, thank you very much.

Also hard? I would have to embrace my naturally frizzy hair.

HOWEVER, there is an awful lot to like here. It feels fabulous to lie by the pool in February and not be bunched up in winter clothing when everyone else is. There are 90-year-olds on the tennis courts, and people can be active all year round. In fact once you become inactive, you are “encouraged” to move on to somewhere else. I believe it is one of the rules.

So yes, it is a different lifestyle, and yes it would be tough, but if I tried really hard, I think I could handle it.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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7 Responses to It’s a Lifestyle

  1. zoom says:

    I think that's the exact same place where MY dad and his lovely partner live in the winter! Are all the streets named after countries, and all the buildings named after decorating styles? (My dad used to live in an Austrian Chalet in Ecuador, but last year he bought a new place a few streets over. I think he's in in a Victorian Mansion in Haiti now. Or something like that.)

    By the way, I love your hair. You should totally embrace that.

  2. Sid. says:

    That's not frizz – that's “body”.

    And, as much as I'm so envious you got some sun and heat, I think I'd quickly become homicidal if I lived someplace like that.

  3. Sid. says:

    Oh, and you do rock the hair like that 🙂

  4. Pauline says:

    I agree with Sid on both opinions-Your hair looks great and I could not live in a place with so many rules, some of which sound overly controlling, petty and ridiculous.

    It must have been nice to get a break from winter and visit your dad though.:)

  5. Finola says:

    Zoom, No, not the same community unfortunately. Would have been fun to meet up with you there one day.

    Sid, I get that. I think I would have to make sure that I just did my own thing most of the time and not worry about the neighbours.

    Pauline, The weather did make up for a lot of the rules though…I think the solution might be just spending January and February there!

  6. “It’s like Peyton Place without the sex, so says my Dad.”

    Very Funny!

    You have an excellent blog here; I've subscribed and will visit often.

    Fionla, do you remember me? I was a year behind you at the Earl. Heather Grace, maiden name. My friend Alison Beach sent me over here because we are both blogging, and thought we should reconnect. I'm so glad she sent me here! I'll be back!


  7. Finola says:

    Heather, Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Yes I remember you and am very glad to reconnect. I just went by your blog and I really like it. You are a talented poet and writer and I'll be following you back too 🙂

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