It may sound like a bar joke, but it’s a dream come true along Florida’s Nature Coast in Weeki Wachee. When Curt Reilly and his wife, Joanne decided to retire to Florida, they had no idea that one day Curt would be in charge
of a 120-boat fleet, maintaining the safety of manatees and
working with mermaids.
Married for 48 years, the Reilly’s decided to relocate
to Florida after Curt retired from the US Navy in 2006.
They had lived in various places like Chicago, New York
and Washington, DC over the years and had vacationed
on Florida’s west coast for many years, so they knew that
Florida was the place they wanted for retirement. The
Reilly’s had actually found Glen Lakes at an ideal-LIVING
Resort & Retirement Expo (formerly Live South Real Estate
Show) in 2005. They said, “We’re not going to buy anything. We are just going to look.” Well, they moved in 2007
and haven’t looked back.
“We’ve built a very nice life. The sun is shining now and
it’s 75 degrees. When you retire, you do things you want to
do, not what you have to (unless my wife tells me to). We
thought and planned, and Glen Lakes has what we need.
“My children and grandchildren have their own life, so
we let them lead it. They come and visit us. Most of our
friends feel the same way.
“But, one of the things we like about Glen Lakes is that
it is NOT a 55+ community. It’s great to have kids in the
neighborhood. You have so many neighbors here—it’s kind
of like the old NY neighborhoods. We don’t care what you
did in your past life. There’s always something to do—as
much as you want. And, did I mention VALUE.
“We even have friends that we have known for almost
40 years who moved to Glen Lakes about 6 months after
we moved here.”
Now... on to the manatees and mermaids.
“I was already twice retired. I can’t sit around,” said
Curt. “So, I decided I would do some volunteer work with
the Manatee Watch, where we go out in kayaks and educate
people about manatees.”
A Manatee, a Mermaid and
a Retired Naval Captain…