The Traveling Steve's

Mostly Recovered Now. . . Birthday Stay-Cation in The Villages!

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted, during which time I’ve been recovering at home from my pacemaker surgery, and generally taking it easy a bit. It’s been nice being home, and not tied up to so many wires in the hospital, along with so many tests, CT scans, vital checks and so on.

In-hospital stay when I was hooked up to all these wires, vs below pic when I’m at home and got my first well-needed shave from DOS!
Steve (DOS) giving me an electric razor shave, the first shave I’d had in over a week while in the hospital. I’m not used to electric razors, so it tingled and tugged at me a bit at first! LOL!

The first week to 10 days home from the hospital, I really felt exhausted even though unlike my open heart surgery last September, I was not on heavy duty painkillers.  It was mostly from lack of rest both from the England/Norway trip and the hospital.  The wireless Micra pacemaker has helped tremendously, and most nights I am able to sleep thru the night now!  I am on Eliquis blood thinners at least temporarily, so I do have to use caution and no over-exertion. 

I was initially a bit light-headed and dizzy when standing up, and on my doctor visit last week, my Cardiologist actually lowered some of my blood pressure medicines as my blood pressure was too low, at least from my normal baseline.  I actually feel much better and not light-headed now with the lower prescription blood pressure medicines. .

I also got the remote pacemaker monitoring setup with my Cardiologist last week.  He gave me the go ahead for travel, although not to do anything strenuous; i.e. weight lifting, hiking etc, which we don’t plan to do on our upcoming August 9th Queen Elizabeth Trans-Atlantic cruise.

 Meanwhile Steve (DOS) and I have used some of this “at home time” to pack and get ready for the Cunard Cruise, which leaves on August 9th from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. We’ve also walked around the nearby Oviedo Mall for some exercise as it’s way to hot to walk right night in the upper 90’s Florida heat outside. Like everything (and for malls especially thanks or no thanks to Amazon), malls are being re-purposed with more events and activities vs the traditional shopping experiences. The Oviedo Mall now has everything from a live theater, to wedding venue, to recording studio, entertainment venues, art galleries and paint while you have a glass of wine, vintage clothing stores and costumes etc, scattered among the other shops. Here are some fun pictures we took in the mall as well did our couple laps around it for exercise.

Back to cruising, we’ve never been on the Cunard Line before, and from we’ve read and also seen on You Tube videos, it can be quite dressy during the evening, although daytimes are still casual dress.  We’ve been evaluating our wardrobe at home, and buying what we need to fill in the gaps for the four Gala nights aboard. I’ll post more on our packing (and purchases) progress later in the week.

Possible masquerade outfit we saw in the mall? No thanks, but at least it gives us ideas!
Not for us, but is anyone looking for a three, four, or maybe five times worn wedding dress!
Marked down from $25 to only $10! LOL!
And big selection to choose from too!
And you can get married right across the hall after you pick out your costume or wedding gown ladies!

For now, it’s August 1, and DOS and are taking our first trip away since I got home from the hospital 3 weeks ago.  This is more or less a two day stay-cation as it’s only an hour and fifteen minutes from home.  Yes, we are on our way to The Villages once again for my birthday celebration.  I’ve written about The Villages before, but it’s a huge retirement community of some 150 thousand people, spread over three villages (and growing, actually a fourth is being built).  No we’re not moving there, but like in previous years (pre-pandemic) we would go for my birthday weekend,  usually meeting our good friends Ben and Tom.

This year we will be returning to the birthday tradition post pandemic, and ready or not it will be my 60th birthday!  Yikes!  Starting today (Monday) DOS and I are staying for 2 nights, and Ben and Tom will join us tomorrow for my actual birthday on August 2nd.

We are again staying at the Waterfront Inn, (and I’m writing this while DOS is driving us there), we both hope it will be better than our stay a few years ago when we had a horrible stay (both elevators were broken, they double-booked our suite we had reserved and downgraded us, the ceiling was leaking in the hallway, the breakfast buffet was inedible, etc. etc. etc 

So why are we staying there again? In previous years it had actually been a nice 4 star hotel, and we saw it had gotten new owners a year or so ago so we thought we’d give them another chance.  Actually it’s the only hotel in Lake Sumpter Landing, which like the other Village Squares have only one hotel each, so there’s not a lot to choose from unless you want to go off property, which we don’t.

We checked into our hotel, The Waterfront Inn at Lake Sumpter, around 2pm, and immediately noticed the rooms had been nicely updated.  We once again had one of the four suites, and our room 402 is at the end of the hallway overlooking the lake and the golf course. We also have a couple rocking chairs on the balcony, which if you know me, I love to rock!

Later, it’s 4:15pm and we just got back from lunch at Cody’s Roadhouse Grille, here in Lake Sumpter Landing at The Villages. We had a quick and easy lunch; both of us got burgers and a Diet Coke. Cody’s Roadhouse is next door to the Waterfront Inn, via a winding walkway and across a foot bridge, and it’s the closest restaurant to the hotel. We’ve been here several times with Ben and Tom, although we usually get a brewski when we go. LOL!

After lunch we came back to the hotel for a bit of a wind-down and quick nap. It’s so incredibly hot outside in the Florida summer here; it has to be upper 90’s F, so it’s much better to stay indoors. Our room is very nice, large, and comfortable as well.

Later after our nap, we went to the Lake Sumpter Town Square around 6:30pm, which is just a bit further walk past Cody’s Roadhouse, and listened to the band of the day, who played disco hits from the 70s. I bought a Bud Light from the Village Square vendor site, and as it was the first alcoholic drink I’ve had since before I went in the hospital over three weeks ago, I was worried it might make me dizzy or loopy, but I was fine. The brewski actually felt refreshing in the hot Florida heat! We watched the people dancing to the 70s disco oldies, and listened to the band while we sat comfortably in the shade.

Although the band plays from 5 – 9pm (a different band each night!), we headed across the street to Red Sauce Restaurant for dinner around 7:45pm. Most restaurants close at 9pm as the “Village People” eat much earlier than DOS and me, but the restaurant was still fairly lively, and even had a really good guitarist/singer for background entertainment as we ate.

We had a leisurely Italian dinner with a bottle of Chianti, which we brought back to the room as we didn’t finish it. Now it’s nearly 10pm and I’m finishing this post of the very eve of my 60th birthday, with less than two hours until I join a new decade in life.

Tomorrow our friends Ben and Tom from Orlando join us, and we have a 2pm wine-making activity planned! DOS and I saw this last time we were in The Villages, and one of the wine stores has a make-your-own wine event where they supply the wine juice, yeast, etc and you actually make your own 30 bottles or so of wine! More on that tomorrow, but it sounds like a fun birthday event for the four of us!

For now, all I can say is “Life goes by so fast”, so enjoy every moment! We’ve been so blessed with our families, travel, and mostly good health and health care when we most needed it. I/We look forward to going thru this next decade in our lives together for whatever life may hold. Steve (DOS) is four years older than me, but we’re both trying to stay active and enjoy life! Thanks be to God!

Here’s a parting shot on our walk “home” back to our hotel, with DOS contemplating getting ice cream (no for him tonight), and another pic of the partial moon overlooking Gator’s Restaurant.

Good night from The Villages!

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