Saturday, August 11, 2012

Last Days (combined)

Sitting in the Admirals Club, uploading and downloading the last of the blog. Will update with additional photos when I have the time. This is the part of the trip where we all kind of go our separate ways. We had a great meal at Pete's mom's house and she was kind to take us to the airport. Checked our bags. Since Tom and I were upgraded to first, we were able to check all bags but one. Left Pete and Bob smoking on the curb. Hard to believe this is what we believe is our eighth trip (including the one to Wisconsin). Another great experience and wonderful adventures.

Admirals Club at OHare with netbook and gin & tonic, uploading photos to

Tom uploading photos to his Mac at the Admirals Club
As we head back to Chicago to head back to Dallas tonight, I’ll be combining the last two days of the trip, typing away as Pete drives, Tom sleeps and, of course, Daigle sleeps. I'm actually typing this blog so that I don't look forward. After Pete's golf cart incident, and our periodic "coming in hot" commentts this week, I'd prefer not to be looking forward. He's an aggressive driver. Not a bad thing, but the van's brakes aren't the best.

The Michigan golf trip is close to an end, just need to make it back to Dallas. Looking forward to seeing Tony, and Maggie and Kat, and sleeping in my own bed tonight. No, we will not be playing Woodbridge in the morning.

Friday, we wake up, pack up and head to the Lodge for our last breakfast and to check out. I guess people don’t really tip well in Michigan because they always seem so appreciative of tips. In fact, while I added tip to our final bill, the waitress didn’t ring it up. And at check out, I had to insist that they rerun my final tab to include it. Oh, forgot to add this to this blog: I am the bank on the trip. Everyone puts into the kitty and from that comes food, tips to cart people, bev cart, etc. We also have any of the additional charges from the resort go to my bill so we only have to take the difference and split by four. While it’s a pain for me, it works out in the long run. In fact, we have only a few pennies left from this kitty. Perfect amount. Pete was worried about all of the beer we drink that he doesn’t. Tom reminded him that he eats a lot more than us so it comes even. All checked out and off to Saugatuck we head. We’re supposed to be playing the Ravines at 130 pm. On the way, I call Roy, the manager of Remington Forest, where we are staying Friday night. It’s a bird hunting lodge in Fennville. It’s already raining there and doesn’t look good. Told him we’d play it by ear and call if we end up showing up early. Call my nieces, Lily and Clara, to wish them a happy 7th birthday (and talk to Anna and Allison as well). Per Al, it doesn’t look good in Chicago either, with 15-25 mph winds.
By the time we get to Grand Rapids, good steady rain. But, we all sound like the USGA (or PGA) commercial with the golf shack in the pouring rain… “Are you a single?” Our plan: drive through downtown Saugatuck, then head to Ravines and “see.” Saugatuck looks more touristy than I even remember. Ravines is a newer development off of Blue Star Highway. Still raining. We go in, have a beer, watch some of the PGA Championship. I know I won’t play in that. Pete doesn’t really want to. Bob? Tom, well, depending, he’ll play in just about anything. But, we all decide to bail. The game plan: go to Crane’s for lunch, then head to Remington Forest. There is at least a pool table. I’m going to Crane’s by feel not address.

We get a bit turned around, but only slightly. Looks like everyone has the same idea because there’s a 30 minute wait. If the guys don’t like it, oh well. I’m having apple cider and a Sloppy Joe! Crane’s hasn’t changed much, but their menu has expanded. Tom, Pete and I all order Sloppy Joe’s. Bob a chef salad (guessing it’s going to be good since it will be fresh veggies and dairy). They approve of lunch and all buy a loaf of apple butter bread to take home with them.

Head to Remington. Roy (and Babydoll, his dog) get us settled in and leave. We get the TV on and start off shooting pool. Play a few games (Tom, I believe, is the big winner in singles, while Bob and I were winners in doubles). The power has gone out and they are working on it. Tom and I decide to explore outside and go to the barn where there are some chuckers and pheasant. Tom disappears. Then, I hear an engine start and Tom’s getting the gator (ATV “thing) started. I jump in and we head to the house and pull it into the garage. Yes, it is pretty steady rain. I mention rain gear and then we see boots. And I see some overalls. We look at each other and scurry around, me putting on my golf shoes, getting my rain jacket, golf hat, and putting on the overalls. What a get up! We’re just giggling as we plan on going on an adventure around the property. Might as well check it out.

Rigged up outfit to go in the gator (golf shoes, golf rain jacket, golf hat... and overalls).

Raining at bit at Remington Forest, but taking the gator out.
Rain gear and rubber boots found in the garage work for Tom.

Think Tom was coming out of the woods after marking his territory.

Decided not to try it a third time.

Getting ready to check out the distillery. Well, ended up being a deerblind.

Ready to wait for some deer (or bears, or some kind of critter).

Bird hunting field.

Off we go, with no definite purpose in mind. Since Tom’s been on these things all of the time and has a handle on the “wilderness” I figure I’m in good hands. First, around the pond, where we startle a resting deer. Dead end. Turn around and then shoot down the road, waving at Pete and Bob outside on the front porch as we drive by into some other woods. We must have ridden around the property about 45 minutes in the pouring rain, having a good time.

Decide to head back so we don't get lost in the dark, even though we probably have a few hours to go before dark. We're also pretty wet despite our cool outfits. The power is back on and Pete and Bob are wondering what's for dinner. We decide to go check out the place across the railroad tracks that has ribs on Friday. We all thought that Roy said it was at the gas station, but it's at the hotel in Fennville. We all order drinks and half orders of ribs. Great meal (and one of our least expensive of the trip). Then, back to the lodge. The lodge has two bedrooms and a loft and two and a half baths. The loft has a twin and a bunkbed.  Bob and Pete say they snore. Tom doesn't mind bunking, but not with a snorer. I say, give Bob and Pete the bedrooms and then Tom and I will take over the loft. Besides, neither of us will sleep in so we can turn on lights, etc., when we get up. Worked for the most part, except the walls were thin and "Paul Bunyan" as Bob nicknamed Pete, kept him up.

Not raining so we head to South Haven to hopefully find something open for breakfast. Big Boy it is. Then check in at the Ravines (note to Mom: no, this isn't South Haven Country Club. It's a course about 11 years old designed by Arthur Hills). Supposed to be Links style in a Michigan kind of way. We're not hitting it far, but I'm actually in play and making pretty solid contact.

popsicle ball tom found
Pete is the big winner our last round. But, Bob shoots an 81 (39 on the back) for his best round of Michigan. We pack up the golfbags and change clothes to make the drive to Pete's Mom's house for a meal and a drop off at the airport. But first, we need to make a stop at Sherman's Dairy for ice cream. Another childhood memory to revisit.

I order a blackberry ice cream (baby, single, double). Single please. Bob orders the same in a cone. Meanwhile, Pete (of course) ordered chocolate. I've lost track of Tom who is trying stuff, including Sherman Tracks. Well, he ordered a double. And what a double. But, we made him go for it.

Tom's double cone (I am holding it while taking a picture of the table we used to sit at when going to Sherman's)

Blue Moo outside of Sherman's

The boys outside of Sherman's Dairy in South Haven, MI
Off we head to Chicago, stopping in Indiana on the way for gas. Have a wonderful meal (spaetzle -- sp -- with chicken in gravy and salad and bread and a nice Leinenkugal Amber). Move the bags from the van (bye bye van) to the Pacifica and head to OHare. You never know about traffic in Chicago. Not bad.

OK, time to load this down and publish it and walk to the gate and make sure Pete and Bob are in the building. Countdown to next year. Reminder: more photos may (or may not) be added to these blog posts.

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