Journey to The Villages, Part 1

silhouette of trees during golden hour

Last spring we followed the journey of Larry and Carolann Hunter as they left the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of a tropical paradise. Eventually, their travels led them to Florida and The Villages.

Best of the ‘Gest

Larry and Carolann set off in Pursuit of Paradise

by Silverback Larry Hunter

After over 30 years working in sales for major toy companies, I finally decided it was time to give up-selling Easy Bake Ovens, Playdoh and the like.  It’s a business like any other, with all the pressures and challenges of any sales job, but … how serious can you take it, when you’re selling Mr. Potato Head?  In any case, I was tired of having 5-year-olds determine my success, so I made the decision to call it quits.

Phoenix Retirement Communities - Arizona for Boomers

I had lived all my life in the northern part of the country (Boston, New Hampshire, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Time now to give up the bone-chilling cold and head to somewhere I could bronze this pasty-white Irish/Scottish body. Off my wife and I went to search America for the perfect retirement location. Most Minnesotans head to Arizona. We visited Phoenix, but saw too much sand, too many cacti, no grass, just too much desert. Plus, everyone looked so old! I was “only” 60, and not ready to play shuffleboard all day. And it was too hot for most of the year. Dry heat? One of the biggest cons ever!

Next stop, California. I loved the state and all it offered, seeing myself as a Carmel/Malibu kinda dude. But, finding an affordable home? Not going to happen. Unless we were willing to live in a storage shed, our California dreamin’ days were over quickly.

We were not optimistic heading to Florida. That’s where the parents of our friends went to die amongst the palm trees in their loud shorts pulled up to their chests. We stayed on the Atlantic coast, right on the beach, but concluded it would get old pretty fast, and so would we. Yes, there were long sandy beaches, with so many people who don’t own mirrors set out on our search again. 

Florida Rated Number One Cheapest State for Retirement
Welcome to Florida

The Gulf coast was better … maybe there were more mirrors available … but people seemed to think they were smarter and better-looking than they really were. Then came the Red Tide, so named because it was a Russian plot to convince people that hacking and coughing are healthful substitutes for daily exercise. Bye, bye Gulf of Mexico.

Then, we heard about The Villages. To be continued tomorrow.

Florida Old Age Postcard Funny Ecard | U.S. Ecard

6 thoughts on “Journey to The Villages, Part 1

  1. Hi Step, Is the couple giving the “Universal Mono-digital Non Verbal Salute” Larry Hunter & bride? Haven’t seen Larry in 40+ years. Any suggestions for the garlic? Stay safe, Be good, Steve & Bethy

    Sent from my iPad


      1. Hint: he lives in the cottage owned by the Kenyons, right next to ours on PI.

        You seem to have an enthusiastic following SB Larry. Part 2 is published tomorrow morning.

        SB SM

        On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 4:12 PM The Silverback Digest wrote:


  2. Yup, it’s the salute. Larry’s been to Post Island several times for the Hunter clan reunions. It’s been fun to reconnect with him. Garlic is fairly maintenance free. Add a little compost, water occasionally, and wait for the scapes.

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