Mermaids and All
The alliterative town of Weeki Wachee, FL, is home to the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, who perform 365 days a year—even eating and drinking underwater.
Billing itself as ‘the only city with live mermaids,’ Weeki Wachee is an hour north of Tampa. Mermaids aside, it’s also the idyllic location of the gated golf community of GlenLakes.
A former executive at 3M, Jerry Maybrey was drawn to all that GlenLakes had to offer—including the weather. “We were from Minnesota,” he says. “We found GlenLakes online as one of the top 100 places to retire to, visited, and loved the situation there, loved how well-kept it was.”
The Retirement Two-Step
Jerry’s wife, Jean, was also an executive—the Director of Marketing for the National Sports Center in Minnesota. When the couple moved down to GlenLakes, Jerry hadn’t yet retired; he commuted back and forth from Florida to Minnesota for the first two years of their residency. Despite her husband’s travel schedule, Jean was far from lonely.
“There are a lot of different business people that reside there. People who worked for General Motors and Ford, plus entrepreneurs who had their own businesses,” Jerry says. “We made friends immediately. To be quite honest, we have more friends in the GlenLakes area than we do in Minnesota, and we spent 20 years in Minnesota. Everyone’s in retirement mode. Most are there without family, so therefore it’s a much more social situation.
Now that Jerry is retired, he can take full advantage of one of his favorite aspects of living at GlenLakes. “I’m a golfer. I love the golf course. My wife enjoys other things—pickleball, tennis, riding bikes, and walking. I fish as well. GlenLakes hit all the hot buttons we had from a retirement perspective,” he says.
Jerry and Jean were also drawn to the area for practical reasons. “It’s not as crowded as further south in Florida, and the traffic isn’t as bad,” he says.
The couple has explored their new home state, driving up to the Emerald Coast and down to Key West. They’ve also visited Charleston. There’s so much to do in GlenLakes, though, that they don’t feel the need to venture that far from home. “We go to the club quite often. The food is so unbelievably good. There’s a wonderful chef,” Jerry says. “There’s a nice clubhouse with various things to do. There are exercise courses, and a heated pool, if you don’t have one at your house. It’s just a well-run and well-designed facility.”
The Maybreys have also found their way to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park—not necessarily to see the mermaids, but to kayak down the Weeki Wachee River. “It’s like going through a jungle. My wife and I do it at least twice a year,” says Jerry, who had never kayaked before the couple moved to Florida. “There’s a nice beach, about 4-5 miles away. It’s just well situated.”
A fishing enthusiast, Jerry now casts a line from his kayak. “I fish right on the lake in GlenLakes,” he says. “There’s wonderful fishing—big bass.”
When it’s time for family to visit, GlenLakes is also ideally located. “Tampa is one of the best airports to fly into in the nation,” says Jerry, who traveled extensively during his career at 3M. “There’s long-term parking right in the building. It’s unbelievable.”
Living the Florida Dream
The Maybreys have lived in GlenLakes since 2010, and life just keeps getting better.
“I never get sick of the golf course. It’s such a unique golf course. My wife never gets sick of playing pickleball and tennis,” Jerry says. “The biggest thing is how well-kept it is and how people do so much due diligence to make sure it’s top-notch all the time. The property is kept up, the golf course is kept up—I think it’s very well run.”