Spring has arrived and with it, St. Patrick’s Day.

Spring has arrived and with it, St. Patrick’s Day.  

My Niece, Michele and her Mom will be visiting from New Jersey again this year over the St. Patrick’s Day Weekend and we have a nice visit planned.  I am cooking Birthday Dinner for Michele on Friday and we will Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday. Included in our Weekend Celebration is the Solivita St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Street Party.  Solivita put on a great Street Party for Mardi Gras this month; the Parade was fun, the Street was packed, and the weather was beautiful. Seems like the Solivita Parties just get better and better. It is always fun to Party in Solivita, we have No Driving Worries, We Party with our Golf Carts, We are Close to Home, and We Have Fun in our Own Community with Our friends and neighbors.  Time to tiptoe through my closet to find something Green to wear.

My Mom and Sister are turning their Lanais into Gardens of Green for St. Patrick’s Day.  The Clover has been planted in Pots, the Dining Tables will be covered in green, the good china, and lace napkins will come out of the cupboard and we will sit down to our Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.  My favorite part is always the next day, when I make a Corned Beef Sandwich on Rye Covered with Spicy Mustard.

In our Family we are all Irish for one Day and We share the following Irish Blessing.

May the Good Lord take a liking to you…..but not too soon!  

We then share a cocktail.  Some of us drink wine, some of us beer, and one of us water, but there is always a Signature Drink.  My brother-in-law is the Bartender at most parties and he has been busy mixing and testing recipes and it looks like the winner is an Apple Ginger Martini.  Gregg has provided us with this year’s Signature Drink Recipe here: http://bellaverderealty.com/greggs-recipe-for-a-green-apple-ginger-martini/

Part of our Holiday Weekend with the family will be spending quality time together. Michele is a Graduate of the University of Miami, and has been an Event Planner with the NBA for over 10 years, she is a world traveler and always on the road.  A few days of R & R in Solivita will be a welcome break for her. Although most of our family is up North, we do seem to spend more quality time with family now that we live in Florida. When family and friends visit Solivita we have Pajama Parties, we share leisurely meals, and spend afternoons together at the pool, we do a bit of sight seeing, or we play some golf.  Entertaining is Easy in Solivita, there is so much to do. Seems that we have Much More Time to be together now that we live 1,000 miles apart. A nice bonus to living in Central Florida; everyone wants to visit.

See you at the Street Party   I’ll be wearing Green!

From Our Family to Yours Happy St. Patrick’s Day:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sunshine be warm upon your face

May the rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Gregg’s Recipe for a Green Apple Ginger Martini

4 Oz of Ginger Infused Vodka

4 Oz Fresh Green Apple Lime Juice

2 TBSP Honey Simple Syrup

For the Ginger Infused Vodka take 1 Cup of Vodka and infuse a 2” slice of fresh ginger peeled and grated.

For the Green Apple and Lime Juice slice 2 Large tart green apples, add ½ cup water, and the juice of 4 limes.

Infuse the Vodka for about two hours.  The longer you infuse the stronger the ginger flavor will be. Strain the Vodka.

Take the Green Apple Mix and blend on high speed. Strain through a mesh strainer pressing the liquid through the pulp. Reserve the liquid. Dispose of the Pulp, all the flavor will be in the liquid.

Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously till frosty.  Strain and Enjoy.

“A Good Green Cocktail with the Power of Antioxidants plus the Power of Vodka”.

BELLA VERDE HAS BRAGGING RIGHTS:

SOME PEOPLE HAVE BRAG BOOKS AND SHOW PICTURES OF THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.  LEE AND I GAVE BIRTH TO BELLA VERDE REALTY AND ARE VERY PROUD OF THE BUSINESS WE GREW WITH YOUR HELP.  BELOW FIND THE STATS THAT GIVE US BRAGGING RIGHTS:

As of 1/12/2018 Bella Verde has:

23 Active Listings and

4 Pending Listings (Homes Sold but not yet closed)

 

In 2017 Bella Verde Sold:

36 Homes

And we listed 47 Homes

We are Always Actively Working FOR and WITH All of Our Clients.  Please call, email, or text Lorraine, Lee, or any of our Agents for information on any residence or property you may want to view.  Stop by and see us at 149 Bell Tower Xing in Solivita.  We are always happy to meet with you and to answer any questions you may have.

Solivita is in Central Florida and is an Acclaimed, 55 Plus Community.

Christmas Dinner at Charley’s Steak House

Beautiful Steakhouse, reminiscent of New York Steakhouses, honestly if my eyes had been closed I would have thought I was “back in the day” dining at Peter Lugers in Brooklyn.  But my eyes were open, and Charley’s brought back Nice Memories of earlier years.  Charley’s is clean, comfortable, modern, dark, and delicious just the way you expect a Steakhouse to be.  Charley’s has multiple locations, two that are an easy drive from Solivita.

Our waiter was knowledgeable, he explained the subtle differences of each cut of beef and the flavor profiles each cut offers.  He explained the difference between Wagyu Beef and Kobe Beef and we each selected our steaks.  None of us were disappointed, from cocktails to steaks, dinner was delightful.  Our sides were equally delicious, and our service was wonderful.  Our table started with the Grilled Caesar Salad, and along with our steaks we shared Au Gratin Potatoes, Cedar Plank Cauliflower, and Jumbo Asparagus.  Charley’s is not a Tuesday Night Meal, but rather a Really Nice Meal, to be enjoyed on a Special Occasion.  

The sides were as good as the steaks, in fact the sides were so good, my sister said “next time I dine in Charley’s I am skipping the steak and just enjoying the sides.”

Fun in Florida

We had so many events scheduled in December that we found it hard to keep track of all the events happening in and around Solivita.  We Enjoyed Scrooge the Musical at Osceola Playhouse.  This was a fun event.  Osceola Playhouse is in Kissimmee, only a short drive from Solivita, their website is osceolaarts.org. and it is worth a visit.  The playhouse is a nice spot to see a show, take an art or pottery class, or volunteer and share your talents while learning some new ones.  Osceola Arts always has something going on.   You can buy a ticket for the season and see all their offerings or just purchase a ticket for one show.

We visited Gaylord Palms and experienced Christmas Around the World Ice Event, the Enchanting Light Show, the Cirque Unwrapped Show, and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas Trees at Gaylord.   We visited the Alpine Village, took pleasure in sharing dinner with family, and ended our evening with Coffee by the Firepit.   Gaylord Palms is only a few short miles from Solivita.

We took the children skating in Celebration and we watched the snowfall, Florida Style.

Solivita had a Great Holiday Kick Off to the Season with their Tree Lighting Celebration.  Later we took a golf cart ride around our community to view our neighbors brightly decorated homes and enjoyed hot chocolate on Lemon Grove Drive.  

New Year’s Eve is always fun in Solivita.  We had cocktails, attended the dinner at Mosaics where we enjoyed the company of friends while listening to music.  The Street Party was fun too, we danced the night away in the warmth of the Central Florida Weather.  I think this may have been one of the warmest New Year’s Eves in years.   Solivita poured Champagne, handed out horns and hats, dropped the ball, and began 2018 with a Great Fireworks Display.   What a Pleasure, to have well planned events in our community; nice dinners, dancing, entertainment; all easy and fun since we just hop in our Golf Cart and Go.  Which by the way, was decorated for New Year’s Eve.  

To finish a month of Celebrations, this Saturday we are going to neighbors for their Annual New Year Brunch and on Sunday we are attending Casino Night.  Oh, Monday is Trivia, the plans and events just keeps on coming.  Better look at our calendar as I know we have more planned and we do not want to miss any of it.    Come to Solivita and see for yourself how lovely life in Central Florida truly is.  We Do Live Better Here for Less.  Our neighbors and our neighborhood is active.  You can be busy or not, it is all up to you.    You can participate in planned activities or plan your own.  Spend a day on the golf course, an afternoon at the pool, or an hour playing tennis, all in your own backyard surrounded by beauty and warm weather.  

Dining at the Boathouse

Disney Springs is a great spot to enjoy shopping, dining, bowling, the movies, music, live entertainment, and some good fun within a few short miles of Solivita.  Lee and I always take guests to Disney Springs, it is an easy afternoon or evening, as there is so much to do.  Disney Springs offers something for every age and provides entertainment in all kinds of weather.  Just wandering around the Springs is fun. You can enjoy a pastry, a cup of tea, ice cream, candy, a light snack, a cocktail, or a great dinner.  It is all up to you.  

One of our all-time favorite restaurants at Disney Springs is the Boathouse.  We have never dined inside, but we do love to dine on the deck at the water’s edge.  The lake is beautiful and from the Boathouse Deck you can catch a breeze while enjoying the parade of Vintage Amphicars, Glistening Italian Water Taxis and Ferry Boats sail by.  Lee and I share a glass of wine, and just sit back and enjoy the perfection of Disney Dining, and the beauty of Central Florida.  The fish is always fresh, the steaks are always cooked to order, and the wine list is extensive.  

In the evening, nature provides a beautiful show as the sunset from this spot is spectacular, but since we are at Disney, the Boathouse also has live music, so if the sunset is not spectacular, the music and the wine usually is.   Lee loves the fish tacos, but my favorite menu item is the Lump Crab and Avocado Cocktail, it is the perfect bite for lunch or dinner.  We have dined here many times and have never been disappointed.  Tourists travel from around the world travel to Central Florida, our home.  Travel time from Solivita to Disney Springs is only about 30 minutes; close enough to enjoy this destination often.  We are very lucky to live in the Beautiful Community of Solivita and have world class entertainment at our door.

How to Pick the Right Realtor for You!

Selling Your Home, Buying A Home, Building A Home; all life changing events that require a good Realtor and a Great Negotiator.  When looking for a Realtor it is critical you choose the Right Realtor for you.  Always ask around, a recommendation from a client is the best advertisement any realtor could ask for.  If your neighbors, friends, or family have used a realtor that has found them the perfect home, or the perfect buyer for their home, obtained a great deal for them, made themselves available, and provided personalized good service, then this is the realtor for you.    Bella Verde is that Realty Company, but if you have asked around, you already know us and our reputation.  

A good realtor has the contacts to help you sell your home, knows your target audience, and can recommend a strategy that will work for you.  A locally owned realtor understands the local market trends, and will provide you with the top-quality service you deserve.

The realtor you choose will know how to price your resale home correctly and how to attract buyers.  The Agents at Bella Verde Realty are true professionals with a desire to help you find or sell your home at the right price to the right client.    

When building a new home, our agents are experienced and here to help negotiate the best options for you at the best costs.  We Will monitor the build, keep you updated as to the progress of your new home, and keep you abreast of any problems or changes that may occur during the building process.   We are your eyes and ears, and can save you from encountering expensive, unpleasant issues that may result when you live in one area but build in another.  The Realtors at Bella Verde Realty have solid relationships with the builders.   Bella Verde Realty represents your best interests, and assures you that through our representation you will get the best home and the best deal possible.    

Lobster, Lobster, Lobster

When living in NJ, it was a hop, skip and a jump to a great Lobster Dinner. We could cross the GW and dine in City Island, take the Parkway “down the shore”, or head up 95 to New England for a great lobster dinner. In Central Florida, we do see lobster on a menu occasionally, but we don’t often see them swimming in tanks. In our memory, almost every restaurant up north had a lobster tank. We are both fans of lobster, we enjoy them steamed, grilled, served chilled, and I especially love a good lobster roll. You know the kind, served on a soft, split bun with toasted sides, piled high with lots of sweet lobster and hardly any mayo, served with lettuce and fresh lemon. I had not seen a lobster roll on a menu since moving to Florida; but in Celebration we have found a place that brings us back to our roots; Celebration Town Tavern.

The Beer is Cold, Lobsters are swimming in the tank, and the Tavern makes a great Clam Chowder. My brother- in-law, Gregg also raves about their Lobster Bisque. There is something here for everyone to enjoy. Lee and I go for a pot of steamers, chowder and a lobster roll with lots of fresh lemon. We have never been disappointed. This is a great, casual place to have some fun and eat some good seafood. On Game Days, the football games are on and if you are a NE Fan this is the place to be. The Beer on Tap is cold and fresh and the crowd is always out for a good time. Nothing Fancy, just Really Good New England Style Fun and Food. No need for a trip to the “Shore” with Celebration Tavern less than 30 minutes away from Solivita.

Hurricane Irma in Solivita

Update from Central Florida. For days leading up to Irma we listened and watched the forecasts, and we prepared. Solivita, our friends, the Bella Verde Team, and our clients packed up outdoor potted plants, locked down windows, closed blinds and shutters, moved outdoor furniture, grills, umbrellas, tables, and Bella Verde For Sale Signs into indoor storage. We filled our bathtubs with water and filled our gas tanks too. We stocked up on flashlights, batteries, drinking water and “truth be told” some of us purchased a few extra bottles of wine, just in case. By Friday evening we were ready to meet Irma.

Saturday Irma rolled in as predicted with high winds with lots of rain. Our beautiful blue skies turned gray and the rain pelted our homes and our office. The forecast was for Irma to be over Solivita and Central Florida by 2 am. Around midnight the wind seemed to speed up and we decided it was time to try to sleep. It was a long night, but for Solivita it was a good night. The utilities in Solivita are underground, therefore we had no fear of a tree falling and landing on a power line, or having a live power line land in a puddle. Our homes are all block construction. Solivita lakes and conservation areas are pristine and well maintained. We have no fear of flood or un-maintained infrastructure. We were concerned about the storm, but we felt safe in our community and in our homes. By morning, Irma had blown past Solivita. We lifted our blinds and upon inspection we could see the damage was minimal.

Solivita did not experience an electric or water service interruption. The Solivita Promise of a Well- Engineered Infrastructure Is True. Communities around us are experiencing Irma Issues; Solivita is NOT. Solivita did have some Florida Oak Trees tip over, and some of our neighbor’s roofs have lost a few shingles, but other than that we are Solivita Strong. Today, the Staff of Solivita is already out assessing damages, replanting trees, our scheduled garbage pick-up is on schedule for today, and on my way to the office I passed a few crews out raking our lawns and cleaning up storm debris. Our restaurants are open today, and tomorrow all of our facilities, pools, tennis courts, etc., are scheduled to reopen.

Glad we live in Solivita; A beautiful, Maintenance Free, Community. Bella Verde Realty and Solivita is up and running today. Our team is already out inspecting our vacant listings for damage and re-installing For Sale Signs. We are ready to show properties and are grateful for the Wonderful Community we live in.

Farm to Table Dining

We recently enjoyed dinner in The Kitchen at the J. W. Marriott Grande Lakes on Central Florida Parkway, only 20 minutes from Solivita.  We parked our car at the door, left our keys with the valet, and were warmly greeted by the Staff of the J.W.  We met friends and began our evening with inspired cocktails and locally brewed craft beer.  Cold and Delicious.

It may sound like we were eating in a kitchen, but The Kitchen is the name of one of the J.W.’s Restaurants.  Great spot serving food grown on their farm plus food sourced locally from organic growers.  What fun, and only a short drive from Solivita.  We enjoyed a laid back, peaceful, evening.  The Kitchen is furnished with Comfy Chairs, Small Intimate Tables, and Large Farmhouse Tables.  Trendy, but comfortable.  The wait staff is knowledgeable and when asked; were happy to share preparation, garden, apiary, and brewery info with us.  What a Treat, to have this great spot only a few miles from Solivita.  We enjoyed an assortment of meat and cheese (our choices from the chef’s picks).  Our selection was playfully served on a beautiful platter.  Our meat and cheese choices were brilliant, the tray included crisp, lightly pickled vegetables, cheddar chive biscuits, honey and honeycomb, fresh ricotta, rhubarb chutney; and crackers, all grown and produced on the property.    A fun, enjoyable way to share a meal.  Small plates, with a menu including interesting flatbreads, local grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and delicious seafood.   After dinner, it was a quick drive back to Solivita.  A perfect ending to the perfect day.