With no new photos for today’s post, we’re at a loss as to what photos we can dig up to include. Tonight at 5:00, we’ll be heading out using Karen and Rich’s car to drive to the only movie theatre in The Villages. At one time, there were three movie theatres in The Villages, but due to a lack of interest, the only remaining theatre is The Old Mill Theatre, located at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, a 12-minute drive from our holiday home.
Last night, our new friends Linda and Burt arrived for dinner at around 5:00 pm. As mentioned, we had a typical Minnesota dinner planned of baked ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, and salad. For dessert, we have my mother’s lemon pineapple poke cake recipe.
It was lovely meeting Linda and Burt. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all, meeting people for the first time at our temporary home. We were all chatty and at ease no more than a few minutes after they entered the house. We sat outdoors at the table on the lanai while enjoying our adult beverages and sharing endless travel stories.
A friend of Linda’s, Shirley, had met us years ago on a cruise. Shirley doesn’t live in The Villages or nearby but has read our posts for years. She encouraged Linda to contact us to get together. Linda was the first Villager to contact us before we arrived, and she was the first we contacted to get together. Her interesting, well-traveled fiance, Burt (both well-traveled), also had many fascinating world travels to share.
There was never a dull moment. I had done everything I could before their arrival to ensure I wasn’t busy cooking in the kitchen while they were here, and everything worked out. I must have spent less than 20 minutes finalizing the food before we were ready to sit down for dinner at around 6:45.
We lined the various dishes in a row on the granite kitchen countertop and let everyone grab a plate and fill it accordingly. Tom had done a great job of slicing the bone-in ham. In years past, we enjoyed Honey Baked Hams, particularly the spiral sliced. But after discovering how much sugar is in those hams, we never repurchased them.
Then, once we left the US, we seldom found ham other than a canned ham, which we don’t like with all the added gelatin and chemicals. Last night’s ham was a bone-in, no-sugar-added ham, which was delicious and moist at nine pounds and cooked for about 90 minutes at 350F (177C).
We had breakfast after our walk this morning. We have enough leftovers to last us tonight and Friday night, including ham and eggs for breakfast, a delicious treat for this morning and the next. We haven’t had ham like this in years.
Tom and our guests described the dessert as delicious. As mentioned, I didn’t have anything but ham and salad, and for dessert, I had a little bowl of Fage 100% fat-free yogurt with a dollop of sugar-free Cool Whip. This way, I never missed the cake.
As always, Tom did all the dishes and refused to let our guests help clean up. The dining room table has gorgeous placemats and linen napkins (see the photo below), but I refuse to use these since they’ll all require dry cleaning since they don’t appear to be washable.
At about 9:30, Linda mentioned an event in The Village tonight as the evening was winding down. There’s a movie tonight at 6:00 at the Old Mill Theatre offering a special group price of $5 per person for a new movie playing, Once Again. We both smiled and agreed we’d like to attend this showing and plan to arrive at 5:30, as Linda recommended.
We’ll definitely see Linda and Burt again. We connected instantly, and I look forward to spending more time with them.
We haven’t been to a movie theatre together since we watched the first “Downton Abbey” movie while living on a farm in Cornwall, England, in 2019. I’ve gone to a few movies with my grandkids in Minnesota since then, which we often do together.
Tom and I plan to have leftover dinner before we go since we prefer not to eat as late as when the movie ends. Plus, we didn’t want to dine out when we had such good leftovers.
All is good. We’re cheerful, feeling well, and grateful to enjoy a robust social life in The Villages. Please read the thoughtful comment below from Linda and Burt!
Photo from ten years ago today, May 18, 2013:
There were no photos posted on this date in 2013. For the text portion of the post, as we sailed through the Gulf of Aden, please click here.
Comments and responses Fantastic evening with new friends, Linda and Burt…
I have learned that some days–and some minutes of some days–are filled with special blessings! Yesterday was one of those days and last night included those special minutes (lots of them). Thank you Jess and Tom for a wonderful evening. We are so glad you are in The Villages for more than a few days so that we can spend more time with you both. And thank you to my friend Shirley for sending us your way!
Burt and Linda, it was a special day for us as well. We loved having you both with us for the evening and look forward to more times together while we’re here for the next few months. We’re thrilled hearing about your interesting lives and of course, you upcoming wedding. We wish you the very best always. You are both blessed to have found each other as we are blessed, as well, to have met the two of you.
Jess & Tom
Hi Jess!! We had such a good time with you and Tom last night and were up to almost midnight chatting when we got back. The dinner was fabulous, but the company eas even better.
Burt, thank you so much for coming to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed your company and loved hearing your stories about the Middle East. You’ve had such amazing experiences!
Hope to see you both again soon.
Jess & Tom