Retirement Community Observations

Spending a vacation in a South Texas retirement community brings on some interesting observations from a 34 and younger point of view.

  • Just because older people have bigger ears, does not mean they can hear better (keenly observed by my 4 year old).
  • For older men, shorts and knee-high socks seems to be the hottest trend of the season. Black socks with white tennis shoes? Even hotter!
  • Speeding through the retirement community, on a golf cart, at a careless speed of 15 miles per hour can bring people out of their homes to check out what all the raucous is about.
  • It would be a rare occasion that you would find a 20 year old male with a small dog named Pudding, Fifi or Muffin. Apparently, in this retirement community, the smaller the dog and the foofier the name, the better.
  • Putting little kids in front of the retirees immediately elicits ohhhh’s and ahhhh’s from their mouths and requires an immediate pat on the head to be given to the little ones. “Enjoy them while they are young… it goes by so fast”, is wistfully mentioned at some point during the conversation.
  • These people are so happy. Yes, there are the old biddies who have nothing better to do than complain, but for the most part living surrounded by palm trees and not having to go to work every day seems to bring out the best in people!

We are enjoying our vacation despite hurricane Dolly interfering. We had one great day at the beach… every thing about it was perfect. The rest of our week will most likely be spent indoors and inland as the skies are dark, the wind is high, and the rain is pouring down.

In the meantime, I have a beer can chicken recipe to share with you that has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Enjoy!

Beer Can Chicken

1¾ hours | 5 min prep


  1. Set up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. On a charcoal grill, this means spreading the coals around the outer edges, but not directly below the food.
  3. On a gas grill the outer burners are lit, but not the middle one.
  4. Once the grill is covered (which it should always be for indirect grilling) the circulating heat works like a convection oven, so there is no need to turn the food.
  5. Remove neck and giblets.
  6. Discard.
  7. Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry with paper towels.
  8. Rub chicken lightly with oil, then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub.
  9. Set aside.
  10. Open beer can and take several gulps (make them big gulps so that the can is half full).
  11. Place beer can on a solid surface.
  12. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can.
  13. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can like a tripod.
  14. Cook chicken over high indirect heat, with the grill cover on for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife.
  15. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
There are a zillion different ways to do the Beer Can Chicken. Here are some great recipes from around the food blogosphere:

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  1. says

    I am quite sure I will be drinking a lot when I retire, so this recipe makes perfect sense. I need to blog about our vacation luck! Hold on to the nearest palm tree and be safe!

  2. says

    So funny and true. We used to regularly visit my Aunt who was in a retirement community in Napa Valley. Believe me, staying in one of their guest rooms ($65/night) was an unbelievable deal in Napa. Everyone at the retirement home was so friendly and loved having us around as “young people” (even though my husband and I are 50+…it’s all relative I guess). I have many fond memories of our retirement home vacations.

  3. says

    Hahaha, 90’s or not, I too love beer can chicken! Can’t really say much more I loved from the 90’s though. I love your observations of the retirement community, especially the first one. Hahaha!

  4. says

    It’s funny how beer can chicken seems to appeal to almost everyone on some level. Yours looks delicious. I love your observations too. You vacation sounds like a very educational experience!

  5. says

    I’ve heard of beer can chicken but I don’t think it is something people here in the UK cook. Looks like we are missing out.
    Have a good holiday.

  6. says

    Kristen – You, your family and your trip to the South Padre area have been on my mind. We got some big waves from Dolly on the Gulf Coast of FL this past week, and I thought of you all the entire time, hoping everything was ok over there and you all weathered the storm just fine. With that in mind, I’m also glad you got to enjoy at least 1 good day at the beach and hope no one ended up suffering from dreaded sunburn. Take care, and I’ll see you back at home soon!

  7. pat/Mom says

    Hurricane Dolly was a bummer! Dad is removing the hibiscus tree and Texas mountain laurel tree we lost this morning. The power which we all take for granted is back on here today. We are so much luckier than others. Still no power in Padre. Thank you for making the effort to visit us. We love you and miss you already. Love, Mom

  8. says

    Glad you survived and had fun on your vacation!

    I’ve been a bit busy jetlagging to comment, but this recipe looks yummy and gave me a pretty funny mental image. I guess I’ll just have to try it out to see if it’s as funny-looking in real life. 😉

    Hopies last blog post..Green gazpacho

  9. says

    I’m visiting your site for the first time and I am enjoying what I’ve seen so far.
    Had to laugh though when I saw the picture of the beercan chicken. I think this is the first time I’ve seen chicken pictured upside down. A clever unusual pose….and what a pretty back she has!

    Mickis last blog post..St. Ignatius of Loyola……….July 31

  10. says

    oh, yes, margaret, people in the UK do make beer can chicken. i tried it once and don’t know how people do: i couldn’t get that chicken off the can (or tin in my case ;-)) without pouring hot beer and dripping over my hands… not one i’ll try again soon until kristen shows me the technique!!!

  11. says

    The new marine that is being built in Quepos, Costa Rica, should be completed shortly and supposedly must bring some important benefits to the entire area.

    The first part of the project will provide almost 3.000 jobs for people of the zone. 1000 of these jobs will be on the marine side and the other 2000 on the infrastructure side. Young people from Quepos will have training on boats maintenance as well as protecting the environment.

    Obviously in a project of this size some people are worry about the environmental impact that could suffer the Manuel Antonio National Park and the fishermen of the area. However, the project claims that it has taken all measures to prevent water pollution and negative impacts in the national park.

    Contributions from the project are not limited just to the jobs for local residents. The project will provide a new and important gateway for all tourist attractions that this area of Quepos and Manuel Antonio offers.

    Besides, their main target will be older people that like to go fishing in Florida. The calm water of Quepos is one of the most important attractive of the area for sport fishing. The new marine will be a great incentive for many of these fishermen and sailors that decide to make of this region their second house, or even better a permanent home where they can fully enjoy their retirement.

    Reserva Quepos


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