Written by Rachel Hungerford
Many people at Garden Spot take advantage of a “lock and leave” lifestyle—enjoying vacation in the summer, autumn, or winter, whether their vacation destination is in northern Pennsylvania, in Florida or at the Jersey shore. And living at Garden Spot means you don’t have to be responsible for the upkeep of your primary residence—you can just lock and leave. Here are a few testimonials from current residents about the convenience of visiting their vacation home while living at Garden Spot.
The Trents – Sebring, Florida
Rex and Carol Trent have owned a vacation home in Sebring, Florida since 2002. Once they retired, they started going down for five to six months each winter. They love golfing, fishing, attending classes at the Y, riding their bikes, walking the trails at the state park, attending performances at South Florida State College’s Performing Arts Center, and eating lots of ice cream.
When they moved to Garden Spot in March 2017, their Florida trips didn’t stop. Rex and Carol like that they can have confidence about the care of their home when they go on vacation.
“There’s no worries about inside or outside maintenance—basically, we give Garden Spot Village the dates, lock the doors and leave,” Rex says. “After we leave and prior to our return, Garden Spot’s facilities team ensures that the thermostat is properly set, the water is turned off/on, and the hot water heater is working correctly.”
The Blakeslees – Erie County, Pennsylvania
Ed Blakeslee’s family has owned a house in southeastern Erie County since before Ed was born. The house was built in 1890. Now, Ed and his wife, Elaine, are the 5th generation on the property.
While at the house, 300 miles from Lancaster County, the Blakeslees, who moved to Garden Spot in November 2017, enjoy taking care of the grounds and working on numerous rehab projects. Past projects include converting an old sugar house into a garden shed and pavilion and restoring old furniture.
Ed also enjoys mowing the fields to keep the brush under control. “A good day on the tractor is better than a week at the beach,” he says.
There are also blueberry bushes and apple trees on the property that keep the Blakeslees busy. Elaine enjoys making pies and applesauce.
Living at Garden Spot Village allows the couple to spend part of the summer and fall at the farmhouse without having to worry about upkeep of their property in New Holland.
The Renningers – North Fort Myers, Florida
Marty and Janet Renninger have owned their Florida home in North Fort Myers for 17 years. When they’re on vacation, they enjoy golfing, walking, driving to see the beaches and wildlife, eating out with friends, and enjoying the beautiful Florida weather. They especially enjoy dining at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, a sister theatre to Dutch Apple in Lancaster County.
Additionally, they appreciate the opportunity to meet many people in the community who come from all over—including Canada.
Marty and Janet, who moved to Garden Spot in July 2018, like knowing that Garden Spot maintenance takes care of their home while they’re away. “We love that we don’t have to worry about our home and thereby enjoy our time away that much more,” Marty says.
The Poulterers – Ocean City, New Jersey
Since 1991, Bruce and Jan Poulterer have owned a vacation home in Ocean City, New Jersey. When they’re on vacation, they enjoy walking on the beach or the boardwalk, reading on the front porch, and riding their bikes. They also like going out on the town: visiting different shore towns like Cape May, exploring the Cape May Zoo, eating out and spending time with their kids and grandkids. Bruce likes to sell his artwork at the Ocean City Block Party.
The Poulterers, who moved to Sycamore Springs in June 2020, don’t have to stress about their Garden Spot home while they’re away.
“We leave and are worry-free,” says Bruce. “We love living here.”