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Cypress Cove, Florida
December 2005

On Friday when I got to the Cove it was warming and brightning up from rain in the morning. I got naked as fast as I could and went to the pool. Yes it was on the cool side but it was a heck of a lot warmer and nicer than the below 10F and 2 feet of snow that I had at home. I got as much sun as I could in the late afternoon.

Friday night, I had dinner and attended the Christmas show at the restarurant by the lake. The stuffed flounder was good but the (I believe temporary) waitress seemed a little forgetful. She seemed a little jittery serving a semi-nude guy (I wore my festive red polo shirt :). It took her several tries to take orders, get the stuff and serve. I sat at the table with Josie and her husband Tom. They were great folks and good conversationalists. Dan sat on my right and we had a great conversation about how it was to be retired from the phone company. Even though I had checked the "(un)dress" code, I was only one of three folks (that I could find) who could be considered at least partially nude. I guess I didn't get the memo that this was a "dress up" event...

The Christmas show was "lip synched" to recordings and was very entertaining. Maybe more than that, it was great and it was a real surprise. The group put a lot of work into it and really "sold" the songs. Even when the sound track to "My Rusty Chevrolet" failed, they did a good job of making the failure a lot of fun. Later, when a wig was falling off one of the "singers" the whole thing didn't seem like a disaster but was fun and they did a great job. The show was very much "in the spirit" of the season but with lighter moments. I understand they do another show in the spring that is much lighter in attitude and very funny.

After the show I went over to Cheeks Bar and grill. There I met Donna and her husband Pete. Donna had come back from her office party and was still having a great time. The three of us drank beers, had fun and played with the "learner's" cell phone her boss gave her as a gag-Christmas gift. Seems she's the only one in office without a cell and this was a phone to ease her into it. We had to leave Cheeks when they closed. It was a cold night but I was "dressed" for it, I still had on my festive polo shirt!

By the time the weather cleared on Saturday, I was having a great time just sitting by the pool getting some sun and reading my book. I used Saturday afternoon to take a walk around the Cove and enjoy what sun there was. Getting as much sun over as much of me as possible was heaven. Yes I wanted to see Mickey but I think I wanted that sun more. I then tried to figure out how to get to Mickey on Sunday (with luggage and all)... I couldn't figure it out AND the weather REALLY turned bad the next day.

Saturday night was the second Christmas show and it was also the night for the parade of lights on the lake. I went to see the boats; they decorated some RC sailboats with Christmas lights and towed them in a line out into the lake. It was very nice, the lights reflected off the water and produced a beautiful effect. It kind of reminded me (in a down-home, folksy way) of the parade of lights I'd seen at Disney some years before. This parade is at least an annual event at the Cove. The temperature was very cool and I had to dress up with (only) a long-sleeve shirt. The mosquitoes however were biting at sunset and my ankles and legs got some bumps.

On Sunday it was down right cold with steady cold rain. Since I had to check out by 11:00 I spent the rest of the day in the hot tubs and reading the Sunday paper in the club room. There I met a nice guy from St. Louis and his grand daughter and talked about St. Louis and how he is enjoying retirement and the Cove. The Cove canceled the "band" scheduled to be by the West Pool. Don't get me wrong, I didn't not enjoy it.... I had a great time. During the three days I did meet several older retired folks who were nice but they seemed really.... well... older than they should be... I think the Cove would be a great place to retire... it's just that I'm not in that frame of mind yet. I still have a lot to do :) ... I'm just not ready to retire... not sure if I'll ever be... but the respite and relaxation for a weekend was great! I did meet a few "younger" people, particular at the bar Friday night :) , that was fun. Buying a place at the Cove to use on visiting and renting it out when not there sounds like it would be a good thing...

However, in speaking with folks at the Cove, they seem to say that the Cove has very strict procedures they follow before you're allowed to buy. "They won't allow just anyone to come in cold and buy a place. You have to come here for a few years, become a member and then think about buying a place." That's almost a direct quote from a retired lawyer I met at Cheeks. He said you have to be a member for a full year before applying for a barcode for your car (it will get you through the gate). "You just can't buy one right away.".... Well all this is great to keep the community safe but from an outsider's viewpoint, it seems like too many hurdles to jump. In my opinion it seemed that there was a homogenous racial, cultural and age population. I have to say everyone I met was friendly and pleasant.

I was wondering what the Cove would have been like if I'd have gone the previous weekend when they had a "singles weekend". I heard thay had some great events and all had a good time. When I got back home this week I was talking with a friend who stayed at Paradise Lakes and visited the Cove. In short she said that Paradise Lakes was a little more "plastic" but it seemed to have more activities and fun things going on there on the grounds plus group excursions (into the textile world)... as well as nude bowling next door. She had almost the same comment as I did, that is the Cove seems to be a great laid-back place for sun and for (older) families and Paradise is more for having some fun. All in all maybe next time I'll try to ignore the plastic and "Hollywood" aspects of Paradise Lakes and go there to see what it's like...

Anyway, I'm still pumped from being nude most of the weekend in spite of the overcast, rainy weather. Being from the north it was funny to see most the natives all bundled up being cold while I was one of the few nude ones enjoying the weather. On Saturday, the best of the days I took a long walk around the neighborhood. It was absolutely great to be wearing just sunglasses, a hat and sandals! Anyway, I saw a couple of modular homes for sale and began day dreaming of owning one.... sigh....

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