Monday, May 28, 2007

Dinner with Chris and Mitzi

After Spyglass, we had to hightail it back to Pebble so we could get ready and head to Carmel for dinner at Casanova's with Chris and Mitzi Wysocki. Chris and I have known each other since 1984 -- high school. I know I just gave away my age, but oh well. He and Mitzi live in Los Gatos -- he's been with Apple now for almost four years. I hadn't seen either of them since my sister's wedding and they said that they'd love to meet up with us for dinner in Carmel.

Carmel is a funky little town, with a lot of $$. I drove and we found a place to park. I have to tell this story because Tony won't let me live it down. I know how to parallel park. But, I'm used to my SUV, with no back to it. So, we find a place to park and I'm paralleling in. A little tap on the front bumper of a car -- a Ferrari -- a green one. But, no damage. that's what bumper's are for, right?

Casanova's is in a little house. Chris and Mitzi are already there. We have a great meal and conversation. The tapenade that they served us when we got there was awesome -- probably some olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic. We tell stories -- mainly me and Chris since we've known each other for over 20 years. Tony has trouble believing that you can be a jock and a geek and in the cool group. Doesn't seem to make sense -- but he didn't go to Brookfield High School in Connecticut, did he?

Dinner ends and we head back to the Lodge for our last night. We don't want to leave and are sad that our trip is almost over. We want to play Pebble again, but know we can't. But, there is a Par 3 course that is right there that we talk about playing in the morning.

We get back to our room and there are people talking on the 18th green. They have had a number of events - weddings -- that evening so it's pretty lively at the Lodge. The tree on the 18th is lit up and it's so tempting to go out there and want to practice putting at the end of the night. But, instead, Tony builds a big fire and smoke a cigar and talks about going out in the middle of the night and putting naked on the 18th green.


Our second round of golf is at Spyglass, but not until 1 pm. Good decision, since I wake up and it's dreary and drizzling -- may be more rain, but they call it fog. I grab some work (sorry, Arthur, but I did work a little bit. but, I controlled it) and head to the Lodge to get a bit done. It's nice and quiet and I have a view of the 18th green.

I've been told that Spyglass is better, and harder, than Pebble Beach. Like Pebble, don't know what tee boxes I'll play from, and my only goal is to break 100.

We're up and don't have anything to do, so we head over early to Spyglass, stopping at the Lone Cypress along the way. Spyglass, is a small little pro shop and little grill, so not enough to keep us busy after a quick meal. And we have at least an hour to kill before wanting to warm up on the driving range.

Off we went to Spanish Bay to say we stopped. It looks like more of the holes are on the ocean than Spyglass. The Inn is nice, but we're now quite partial to our residence at the Lodge.

Like Pebble, we're going to get a caddy and also a cart. Justin is our caddy today -- from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan -- his brother lives in Gaylord. Bob, a professor at Stanford University, who also has a cottage in the area -- is our third. Bob's played here before, so we have extra course knowledge. The pro shop has figured out my handicap from the whites -- a 19 -- would be a 15 from the reds. Bob's recommendation is to make my life easy -- the course is challenging enough. Tony, of course, talks me into the challenge. The white's it is.

The first tee is not pretty -- off to the left, into the gunk. But, we find my ball and I hack out to make 8. Hopefully the entire round won't be like this hole. Next hole, bogey. Much better. We're heading towards the water on the first few holes -- they are very links like with lots of evil ice plants and sand that -- well, just don't get in it. This course is definitely a challenge. Bob tells us that shortly we'll be playing into the woods, which looks a lot more like North Carolina.

We pull up to hole #, where Justin quickly informs us that John Daly made a 13. And Fred Couples a nine one year, followed by an 8 the next. Great swing thought going into a hole, don't you think? We survived. Tony discovered that he hated ice plants and the sand.

Since I'm sure everyone doesn't want a play by play of this course, I'll sum it up as challenging, but awesome. No goosebumps like Pebble Beach, but a great round. I shot a 97, so I was happy. The whites were a challenge since I couldn't reach a lot of the par 4s in 2. Only lost one ball and found 5.

In fact, the entire time of our stay, only lost 3 golf balls. I think about the same for Tony. That's pretty amazing.

Pebble Beach

The time change kills me on Friday morning. From 3 am on (that's 5 am Texas time) I just couldn't sleep. Finally at 430, I get up, make coffee (yes, they have an inroom coffee maker), take a shower, and then grab a cup of coffee and head out for a walk.

Down the 18th I went, standing eventually on the 18th tee box. I'm trying to figure out which set of tees I'll play from. The Whites, or the Reds. My walk takes me back through the Lodge and to the room. No newspaper.

At 7 am, we head to breakfast before hitting the practice range before our round. We've decided to ride in a cart and have a caddy. All along we knew we'd have a caddy, but with Tony's knee hurting him, we wanted to make sure he enjoyed his round. Our caddy's name is Steve. We meet the two gentlemen we're playing with -- Joe and Jay, from Pittsburgh.

First tee jitters. I've decided to play from the Whites. Worst case I move up if I'm getting destroyed. My only goal is to break 100 at Pebble Beach. We make it off the first tee -- I, of course, end up under a small tree with little to no swing. The first hole isn't that hard -- surprising.

Since many of you who read this may not be rabid golfers, I'll sum up the round at Pebble Beach as -- AMAZING. It was chilly and drizzling part of the time, but the views were amazing. Walking on this course, being able to play it. None of my dark and dreary photographs can do it justice. And no words can describe our round. And, pretty respectable rounds by both of us -- with one par apiece -- Tony's on the XX hole. Mine on the famous 7th Par 3 (pitching wedge). And nothing can describe walking down the 18th tee box (both of us dry and right) -- sad because we didn't want it to end and wanted to play it all over again. We will in our heads for a long, long time.

And, for anyone thinking about going and playing Pebble Beach -- the caddy route is the way to go. Having someone carry clubs, tell you yardage, give you reads on the green, let you walk the course while they drive it. Steve was great -- especially playing with me and Tony!

Pebble Beach -- Day One

Unlike Sturgis, our Pebble Beach blog isn't in "real time." Too much to do to want to blog (and I didn't have wireless so I couldn't blog on the patio overlooking the 18th.

First, I cannot begin this blog thinking about Arthur, who was having back surgery the very day of this vacation sponsored by Eisenberg And Associates. I feel a little guilty getting ready to head out to Pebble Beach for something I've wanted to do for a long, long time. But, I also know that Arthur wouldn't want me to be moo-mooey or worried -- his surgery will go fine, he'd say -- and I need this break. So, I turned off my cell phone and decided to enjoy the vacation.

Our adventure begins bright and early on Thursday morning with a 755 am flight. But, with the time change, we're going to have all day Thursday in California. No problems at the airport or with the flight. The San Jose airport rental car pick up is not a fun adventure.

Off we go to Santa Cruz. Heard it was the Coney Island of California, but they had a Harley dealership, and we figured we could grab lunch. Yes, it was the Coney Island of California, but we were able to eat on the boardwalk. And hear the sea lions bark. More later on the sea lions.

Not much else to to in Santa Cruz, so we turned on Monica (my name and Arthur's for the Neverlost system on the Hertz rental car) to head to Pebble Beach. On Route 1, we see all kinds of produce farms -- artichokes, strawberries, kale -- and the CHERRIES! Of course, when we see the sign for $1 per basket, we pull over. Perfect place to pull over too, because we also had our first glimpse of sea lions, over near the fishing dock. The cherries were yummy.

Route 1 takes us right into Monterrey, where we stop and buy some refreshments for our room -- figuring that we would want a cocktail after our golf, or in the evening, and that Pebble Beach hospitality bar may be a little "pricey." We asked the lady at the store the prettiest way to get to Pebble Beach and off we went. Monterrey is a pretty little town filled with B&Bs. You could tell that it may get pretty touristy. But the ride up the coast is great and we see -- and hear -- plenty of sea lions. What we quickly named "Maggies." They just lay around and sun, just like Maggie. Not very active. HUGE. And when the talk, you could think that Maggie would sound just like them. In fact, she's laying in the hallway as I write, looking like one of them.

The coast road -- I believe Ocean Drive -- dumped us at the gate to 17-Mile Drive. They charge $9 for a pass. We paid, and then asked if we had to pay because we were guests. Nope. They printed a little Liz Kline pass for our stay. But, as we pulled away from the gate, we realized we didn't get our $$ back, and we turned around. 17-Mile Drive is all along the coast. It's pretty chilly and foggy, so excuse that all of my photos look dark and dreary. It was foggy -- and chilly -- our entire stay. Drive by the Inn at Spanish Bay. Then past Spyglass, where we'll play on Saturday. Then Cypress, the private club and I hear we would want to play. The houses along this area and enormous -- some modest -- but the views are spectacular.

We pull over at the Lone Cypress, along with a tour buss. Amazing that it's 270 years old -- they can live until they are around 300. At this point, it's being wired up to support it from the winds and the elements. This is the logo for Pebble Beach -- live.
And then we reach Pebble Beach. They tease you by driving you past the Lodge to another entrance that takes you by the Spa and the Tennis Club, and past a couple of holes. We pull up to check in and are greeted and escorted in. We check in and someone asks us to follow you in a golf cart to our room. What I didn't know about the Lodge is that it's a resort, not just one building. It has a series of buildings for guests. I have been told that our room is right on the 18th. And we do. We have a beautiful view of the 18th green -- even though two trees block our view of the pin. Our room is on the second floor, with a balcony and a fireplace.

We -- rather I -- unpack. I can't not put everything away as soon as I get somewhere. Tony is more relaxed about that. We have a cocktail and sit on the balcony and watch players play into the 18th. Neither of us can remember those two trees next to the fairway. We're both relieved that there are a whole bunch of hacks on the course.
Dinner at the Tap Room and then fire in the fireplace and listening to the water. We're teeing off at 9 am on Friday. Both of us are excited -- and a bit nervous. This is PEBBLE BEACH!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sacred Heart Diet - Prep Time, Day 1 and Day 2

I know that after all of the grocery shopping and preparation to get ready for this Sacred Heart Diet that there was NO WAY that I was going to cheat -- Tony, not 100% sure of, but we'll see.

Sunday, got up and went grocery shopping for the soup and the week. Figured that I'd make the soup, cut up fruits and veggies and put into containers so that it'd be easy not to cheat. A whole grocery cart of "healthy goodness." Two hours later and the soup is ready and our fridge is packed with little Ziploc bags of fruits and veggies. Soup doesn't sound so bad. Tony and I went for a ride to the Dallas Farmers Market (we'll definitely have to go back there) and then to JPepe's for our "LAST MEAL" -- and adult beverages -- for the week. Sangria Swirls and Chimichangas -- yum.

Monday is fruit day. I'm excited about fruit day because I love fruit. And, we can eat all of the soup we want. I take a personal day to do some errands with Tony and we also visit Central Market to look for some different kinds of fruits and veggies (Walmart isn't stocked with variety). Dinner we have soup and for dessert a nice fruit bowl. We're surprisingly full and made it through Day 1.

Tuesday is veggie day. They said lots of green leafy veggies, but we decided veggies were good enough. Breakfast of champions with carrots and cukes. Lunch of soup and radishes and cukes. Tony wasn't feeling so good, but was a trooper and felt better after a big bowl of broccoli. Of course, all we can think of for Day 2 is the BIG BAKED POTATO with BUTTER we get to have with dinner. Dinner is soup (again) and a salad (no dressing) and the potato. We were both so stuffed that we couldn't even eat our entire potato. Bad thing about Day 2 is that nothing really tastes like dessert...

Day 3 is Fruit and Veggie Day! We've made it through two days, five to go. We've also emptied the trash more since Sunday and run the dishwasher since we started this diet.

Sacred Heart Diet

Tony and I decided to try out the Sacred Heart Diet to lose a few pounds before our May trip to Pebble Beach (less than a month away!). Sure, it's a fad diet that was supposedly thought to come from the cardiology department at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital where it was used for overweight heart patients. When Tony started talking about it and mentioned soup, my immediate thought was the "cabbage soup diet" that Arthur and Marie did a couple of times. All I think it did was make you lose water weight and poop a lot because of the cabbage.

But, if it can make us eat healthier, why not. It didn't sound too challenging.

The Sacred Heart diet is a soup-based diet, and claims that you will lose 10-17 pounds in the first week. This may be true, but most of the weight will tend to be water.

1 or 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
3 plus large green onions
1 large can of beef broth (no fat)
1 pkg. Lipton Soup mix (chicken noodle)
1 bunch of celery 2 cans green beans
2 lbs. Carrots
2 Green Peppers
Season with salt, pepper curry, parsley, if desired, or bouillon, hot or Worcestershire sauce.
Cut veggies in small to medium pieces. Cover with water. Boil fast for 10 minutes. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook until vegetables are tender. The soup can be eaten at any time.

Day 1
Any fruit (except bananas). Cantaloupes and watermelon are lower in calories than most other fruits. Eat only soup and fruit today.

Day 2
All vegetables. Eat until you are full with fresh raw, cooked or canned veggies. Try to eat green leafy veggies and stay away from dry beans, peas or corn. Eat veggies along with the soup. A baked potato and dinner time with butter.Don't eat any fruits through today.

Day 3
Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato.

Day 4
Bananas and skim milk: Eat at least 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you can today, along with the soup.

Day 5
Beef and tomatoes: you may have 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes, or as many as 6 tomatoes on this day. Eat the soup at least once today.

6 Beef and veggies, eat to your heart's content of the beef and veggies today. You can even have 2-3 steaks if you like with green leafy veggies but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once today.

Day 7
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and veggies, until full (and eat the soup). You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.

Unsweetened juices
Tea (also herbal)
Cranberry juice
Skim milk
Lots of water

We're giving it a try!