A DAY IN THE LIFE IN ARKANSAS
Meet Rachel and Danny Rau of Hot Springs Village
“Am I allowed to have this much fun?” asks Rachel Rau of her life at Hot Springs Village (HSV). “It’s life-extending! It’s a little hidden nirvana here.”
When Rachel (64) and her husband Danny (71) return to Columbia, MO, where they lived for 20 years, she says, “People seem so much older than they do in Hot Springs Village. I golf with a group of ladies where the average age is about 75, and I think, ‘I hope I’m still that young when I’m 80.'”
The Raus had always wanted to live on a golf course. Rachel said, “When you come through the gates, it’s just so incredible to have nine golf courses for this amount of money. It’s just so affordable. We live in a resort — a hidden gem. It is so beautiful. There are hills, and it’s like you are living in the middle of the forest. There is so much wildlife that we see every day from our home on the Granada course. After seven years, my mouth is still hanging open. We’re just never going to leave.”
An avid golfer doesn’t even begin to describe Rachel’s passion for the game or her life. She and Danny each have their own golf cart and play four to five times a week. The HSV women’s golf association boasts over 200 women. And, Rachel regularly plays with 28 women who call themselves “the winers.” And, they do a lot more together than play golf. They bought 18 inflatable kayaks to paddle along the lakes and tied them all together to a friend’s pontoon boat. “I had no idea I would meet people like this here. The people are the icing on the cake. I just feel like I have extended my family,” says Rachel.
Hot Springs Village, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, spans 26,000 acres of the Ouachita Mountains and has 12 lakes and two full-service marinas. In addition to 30 miles of walking trails and a fitness center, they have over 200 clubs, 25 churches, and tennis and pickleball facilities.
“It’s wonderful to get to that point in your life when you can make the decision to relocate and find a better alternative. We feel like kids again. The happiness factor adds 10 years to your life. Every day I look out my back window and think ‘we are the luckiest people in the whole world!'”