Post-Hurricane Irma

Posted September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Hello River Villas Residents,

I hope you are all doing well post-Hurricane Irma. We are delighted to announce that there was no damage to any of the homes in our community! We do have some clean-up of tree branches and leaf debris, but when all is said, we weathered Irma extremely well. This is another testament to just how well manufactured homes are built.

I was reading an article in The Daytona Beach News-Journal posted on September 12, 2017, after Hurricane Irma had passed through and would like to quote two residents of Astor, Florida who also live on the St. John’s River:

“We look out for one another,” Bill Arwood, 57 said. “A bad day in Astor is still better than a good day anywhere else. This is just part of living in paradise.”

A neighbor, Edwards, shared similar sentiments. “This is what you get when you live in Florida,” the 55-year-old said. “You deal with this or you go up north to live in 10 feet of snow. I’ll take this over that any day.”

These gentlemen express what it is to be part of the Florida Lifestyle. Yes, we have hurricanes, but natural disasters occur everywhere. At River Villas we don’t contend with coastal storm surge, we are twenty-nine feet about sea level and about thirty-four miles from the Atlantic coastline. There are benefits to living inland and lower homeowner’s insurance is one of the more obvious.

According to, has ranked Florida’s cities based on their evaluation of NOAA-identified storms from 1965 to October 2014, doling out scores based on the number of storm events, number of storm-related deaths, property damage and storm-related injuries. Our closest city, at a distance of just twelve miles, is Palatka and it ranked #5 on the safest city list out of the whole state! Woohoo!

You may be asking yourself why you live in Florida or you may have friends or family who are considering the move, well Florida is still Florida. We have extraordinary weather all year long, beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation opportunities galore, a multitude of cultural events and to make things even sweeter — we have no state income tax, no pension tax and a low cost of living. Yes, Florida is still the place to be.

The River Villas Management Team is glad everyone is safe in our community and we look forward to stupendous fall and winter weather.


Floribbean Shrimp Cocktail

Posted July 5, 2017 in Marina, Recipes, St. Johns River

The fresh flavors and tastes of Floribbean Cuisine represent the variety of foods you find in Florida and the Caribbean Islands. Cooking styles from Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas have influenced many of our local restaurant menus and chefs, including home cooks. It’s hard to resist fresh tropical fruits and an abundance of fresh caught seafood! Shrimp is definitely on most folks lists of favorites.

At River Villas 55+ Community, we have a private marina and if you’re so inclined, you can go out on the St. Johns River and cast a net to catch the fresh shrimp for this recipe. Not into shrimping? Well, head on down to the docks at Fernandina Beach and catch the shrimp boats coming in. I’ll be blogging more on that subject in the future, so stay tuned! For now, let’s get on with today’s recipe.


Floribbean Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp sautéed in butter with jerk seasoning and served with a fresh pineapple-mango salsa.

WOW, what’s not to love?


The colors in this salsa are so bright, cheery and summery, don’t you think? I will never make shrimp cocktail the old way again. They are heavenly! Just the right touch of spice and the jerk seasoning with the salsa is a match made in taste bud heaven.

2 cups diced fresh mango (about 2 medium)
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes (about 6 medium)
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
24 large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
1/4 cup butter

In a medium bowl, combine mango, pineapple, onion, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt, and pepper; cover, and refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, combine shrimp and jerk seasoning; toss gently to coat.
In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add shrimp and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice; cook shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until shrimp are firm and pink. Do not overcook!

Serve poolside at River Villas on a warm, sunny day in November while your friends and family are up North shoveling snow! Retirement living is all about doing what you want, when you want and the Florida lifestyle is calling your name. Stop on by for a visit and see all that River Villas has to offer!



How To Cut Up a Mango in One Easy Lesson

I know that there are those who hate cutting up a mango, so let me show you how I do it. First, when your buying a mango, find one that is ripe, without being overly ripe, think about how an avocado feels — soft, but not mushy.

Slice your mango lengthwise. Again, think about an avocado and you’ll get the picture. Carefully remove the seed with a paring knife.



Cut through the pulp without puncturing the skin in a crosshatch pattern, small for diced and larger for cubed. For this recipe we want a small dice.


Now put your thumbs on opposite sides and from underneath, gently push up with your fingers. This is what you’ll end up with…


To dice, slice through twice, the first time to catch the upper half and the next time close to the skin. Perfect and so easy when you get the hang of it.

Since I didn’t have everything on hand to make my own jerk seasoning, this is the spice I used…


Perfect Pinch Caribbean Jerk by McCormick is delicious and a real time-saver, no pulling out the mortar and pestle to grind spices. I used it on fish a few days later to make a quick wrap and again last night on baked chicken breasts. Mmmm…yummy.



That’s it for today, I’m giving the Floribbean Shrimp Cocktail recipe 5 BIG stars, I will be serving it often. Let me know when you’ll be by and I’ll be sure to hit the docks here in Florida when the shrimp boats come in.


Reel Retirement – Bass Fishing in Florida

Posted June 8, 2017 in Boating, Fishing, Marina, St. Johns River

Yes, I have a retirement plan…
I plan on bass fishing!


You get opportunities to do things when you retire that you couldn’t always find the time for when you were busy working and raising a family. For each of us those things can be vastly different, but for many one dream is to fish, fish, fish! At River Villas 55+ Community, the opportunity to fish is practically at your doorstep. Our private marina is your gateway to the St. Johns River and world-class Bass fishing.


Bring your boat and your poles – River Villas is the perfect place to retire along the St. Johns River.


Welcome to River Villas 55+ Community

Posted December 8, 2016 in Christmas, River Villas

christmas-wreathHello and welcome to the first ever blog post on our brand new website! We are excited to be a part of the River Villas, an active retirement community in Satsuma, Florida on the St Johns River.

Is it cold where you are? Today in Satsuma it is 76 degrees and tonight it will drop down to a brisk 59. Perfect weather to take your pontoon boat down the St. Johns River and bask in the sunshine. Here we don’t shovel snow and most of us don’t own heavy winter jackets.


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