Our summers here are so wonderful. It's a time filled with grandchildren on summer vacation, anxious to come to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa and go to all of the super places near our home. Last summer, two of our grandsons flew by themselves to the Orlando airport to spend a week with us. They wanted to come alone and spend some real "quality" time without the other.  When we dropped off Carson at the airport to head back to MD, Erik was waiting for us to pick him up.  

It was so much fun letting them drive around the 50 miles of golf cart trails and showing them all the exciting things offered here for the retirees. The kids thought we had moved to a "retirement home" so they were totally shocked when they saw this gorgeous golf cart community for the first time, with the beautiful palm trees and colorful flowers. They enjoyed the swimming pools and the golf courses, going to the movies, and then visiting all of the local resorts located near us. They had a blast swimming with the manatees and shooting down the zip lines in the forest. Of course, only an hour away is Disney World, where all the kids love to go. It gets better every year, with new rides; and this summer, they opened the Harry Potter Park, with a record-opening day.  

Some of our greatest memories are our weekend trips with our car club. We are heading down to St. Augustine in August for an over-nighter and some tourism. This is the oldest city in the US. We have been to Destin beach where they have the softest and whitest beaches in Florida. It's amazing how your hobbies can bring you together as friends. Now we meet each month for dinner and cards and have so many wonderful and funny memories of being together.  

Now it is great living in Florida, but we love to go back to MD and visit our children and grandchildren twice a year to build even more memories. It's such a sweet time to spend with our family and friends, especially during the holidays. We meet our friends for dinner and a golf game and then have those exciting get-togethers with the cousins and aunts and uncles. It is so different not having the big holiday meals at our house with Grandma cooking; instead we go to the childrens' homes now and help my daughter-in-laws cook all those big dinners. The girls use my old silverware and china dishes since we went totally informal once we moved to Florida. It's paper plates now-- not china!  

To us, building memories during the dog days of summer means building relationships with our friends and deeper communication with our family. It's great fun!!

Linda Reese

Linda is a contributing writer for the Retired & Loving it blog. Linda is retired, married, and enjoying her retirement in a retirement community in Florida. She shares her experiences with others who are facing retirement or already there with posts on living on a fixed income, budgeting, and healthcare issues. Compensated CareOne Blogger.