Last October Jennifer and I made our annual pilgrimage to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. For the non-golfers out there, Hot Springs Village (HSV) is an out-of-the-way, not well publicized, golfing and boating paradise. There are nine golf courses and six lakes within the confines of this gated retirement and resort (I use the term "resort" loosely) community. And, you will not find a friendlier group of residents and visitors anywhere. I guess that's why we have a timeshare there and look forward to our annual week of golf and total relaxation.
Since HSV caters to retirees, Jennifer and I thought it would be a great place to gather a little SOOF fodder. And we were right, as you will see below:
- When we first arrived we made our usual trip to the grocery store to stock up on a week's worth of groceries. As we walked in we were greeted by a large sign reminding shoppers that annual flu shots are covered by Medicare. (For the record, I had already taken my flu shot and filed on Medicare. No need for a reminder.) Additionally, there was a large sign taped to a near-empty shelf, stating that the store's stock of "Depends" were on sale for a limited time only (No comment.). (We were off to a good SOOF start!)
- The Village also has a number of good places to eat. They all seem to have the same thing in common.....they open at 6AM, close at 8PM, and serve breakfast all day. (This is a good thing! I can eat bacon, eggs, and pancakes anytime..day or night!)
- HSV has its own radio station as well, and it may be one of the few places left where it's not uncommon to get phone-in requests for "Big Band" hits from the forties. Though for the last few years we have been hearing more and more hits from the fifties. (Reminds me of when I was a kid.)
- It seems that most of the visitors and residents of The Village also spend time in Branson, MO. A major topic of conversation everywhere we went was the passing of Andy Williams and how the Moon River Theater will never be the same. (We had a timeshare in Branson before we moved back to Texas.)
- Jennifer and I were standing on one of the tee boxes of one of HSV's beautiful golf courses checking out the fall colors and the golf course housing, when Jennifer said, "Look at the furniture on the patio of that house. The 70s just called and they want that sofa back!" (Personally, I thought it looked kind of nice.)
- Speaking of golf courses, they all have four sets of tee boxes on each course...Championship Tees, Tournament Tees, Senior Tees, and Ladies Tees. Want to guess which ones get the most play? (I think the Senior Tees are just as hard as any of the others. You just have a longer second shot from the first two.)
- We went out to dinner one evening craving some fried catfish (OBTW: in addition to breakfast all day, you can also get fried catfish all day at most if not all of The Villages cafes...and I can eat me some fried catfish!) As we sat outside overlooking a lake, it dawned on me that I had never seen a ski boat on any of The Village's lakes.....just pontoon boats with lawn chairs and beer coolers. (I'm of the opinion that the only thing ski boats are good for are making big waves and breaking legs.)
- As we walked out of this cafe, I saw a car that looked exactly like ours, drive in and park next to ours. The couple got out of their car and I struck up a conversation. Sure enough, their car WAS exactly like ours. Same make and model, same color, and the same options. The cars were twins! AND, we both loved our cars. But the wife said their daughter was of the opinion her parents should trade the car in for something else. You see her daughter's generation thinks only old farts drive that kind of car.
As Jennifer and I were driving back to Tyler we were talking about how much we really enjoy HSV. She likes to read, relax, and go for walks. I like to play golf, relax, and watch TV. But, Jennifer thinks the real reason that I like The Village so much is because it really does Smack of Old Fart...just like me.