Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Michigan 2012 Day 2: El Dorado and Crooked Tree

Until we get settled into Boyne, I typically don’t sleep well at all. Last night was no exception at Cadillac Sands (www.cadillacsands.com). The AC was loud, which I like, but cycles on and off, which I don’t like. And, when it cycled off, the crowd noise downstairs was clear. They were definitely having a good time -- until 400 am for some. I think they were swimming in the lake behind the resort.

You can tell the resort is gradually trying to upgrade. There is a flat screen TV. They replaced the toilets (but, with the change in toilets, you can’t shut the bathroom door unless you lift the lid -- making it “male friendly”?)
I hear Jacuzzi going -- think Tom’s in the room next to mine -- he can’t sleep either. Get up and at least there’s an in room coffee maker. Might as well get moving. Get ready and head outside to the van. Pete's already pulled it up, outside having a cigarette. Then Bob comes down. He stayed up and went to the bar last night (it was packed).

Then Tom comes down. "Did you hear them last night?" I said I heard some of them still up at 400 am. He said there were many a naked person out at the lake. As we say this, a couple of people who clearly weren't out for their morning swim were headed to their room. We're always amused by anything on this trip.

Didn’t look like it rained up here last night like it said it would. Don’t know what that means and can’t get WiFi going in the room, so can’t check out weather. Hoping the front blew through and we’ll be good and in the 70s today.

What adventure lies before us? Tom and I haven’t played El Dorado.

1136 am and heading to Round 3. Never tried blogging in a mini van, but worth a try. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get WiFi at the cottage this evening so I can go live.

600 am and we left, got gas (the van isn’t exactly fuel efficient), then McDonalds, the breakfast of champions (BTW, according to Tom and Daigle, the fruit parfait “thing” was really, really good. Tom even said that was close to a bear claw). Head to El Dorado where we beat the staff. Pretty course from the clubhouse. A couple of guys said it all depends on the set of tee boxes. The men decided to be manly and play from the tips (Steel). I decline. Pete’s complaining that he’s playing off of his index and not off of Tom’s. My comment: Tom hasn’t played this course either, we’re not adjusting.

Course has a lot of marshy stuff, reeds. Green fairways. Slower greens. More trees. Not a lot of bunkers. Challenging, but not evil. Pete, again, gets angry because he’s not making putts. I seem to be close to making everything. But, I don’t get all anxious -- I’m on vacation. They’ll fall, or not fall. Bob’s the same way. Tom, he gets angry, but shakes it off. Pete hadn’t thrown a club yet. But… on our 18th hole of the trip, putter goes flying. One round of drinks. We’re trying to get him to not take this as seriously. We’re on vacation! Great company. Great courses. And great weather (this morning, I wore my sweater most of the round, because I can).

Would definitely recommend El Dorado to a golf group flying into Grand Rapids and wanting a stop along the way to stay and play. It was only $120 per person to stay and play (and would have been $90 per person if we were willing to bunk up -- we’re not). Pretty good deal on the way North. And, while they were locked, they have two pretty cool El Dorados in a glassed-in showcase. Red and shiny. Bob was pretty pumped up to see them.

Pete won all three robins and the most trash, so he should be happier. It’s not about score, per se. It’s about fun. So far, two birdies -- me and Tom. Yea. And we had our first Labats Light.

Now we’re off to play Crooked Tree. Our first round at Boyne. And then check into the cottages at Boyne Mountain (If I could get WiFi, I’d pull up my blog and look up the name of the guy who was so helpful last year in getting us out of the Hansel and Gretel room).

Meanwhile, Tony’s texted me that Murray is beating up on Federer. Olympics are on, but we’re pretty isolated on this trip from the news and what’s going on in the rest of the world. Believe it or not, cell reception isn’t great. And WiFi can be just as spotty.

Listening to Tom and Pete dialogue in the front of the bus while Daigle naps. Pete doesn’t know since he didn’t look at the spreadsheet before or during the trip. But he really wants to know. Tom and I have been on this trip so we already pretty much know. And, because I want to know, I also have all kinds of mapquest printouts to see where we’re going.

Going to stop in Charlevoix for lunch on our way to Crooked Tree (first Boyne course of the trip www.boyne.com). A little out of the way, but our tee time is not until 240 pm.

We ate again at the Villager (www.thevillagerpub.com). Remember going there a number of year's ago with Frank. This is where we tried Oberon for the first time. Been drinking it ever since. Running behind so we eat quickly and head on our way to Crooked Tree, passing Bay Harbor on the left. I wave going by.

Tom trying to find his swing before we tee off.

We don't always have Crooked Tree on the rotation. Don't know why, but it's only every couple of years. It's a nice track with some amazing views, including those down the road of Bay Harbor. The weather is beautiful. Just enough breeze. Bob, with his back, has smartly decided not to play back with Pete and Tom. Why kill yourself and not be able to play later rounds? He ends up playing the greens and I have come up with a "combo tee" for me. Some greens and some whites. Again, might as well be able to play -- and possibly stay in the game. Bob and I are riding together because Pete needs an "attitude adjustment" and Tom's going to beat it into him. Pete needs to realize we're on vacation, not playing in some "must win" tournament. You aren't going to make all of your putts. You're going to hit it into gunk. You're not going to shoot your handicap. Get over it. As Fred Couples told Mark a number of years ago, "You're not that good."

Bob and I have a good time in the cart (me driving because Bob does not pay attention and I'd like to make it off the course not down a ravine. :Pete's still being Pete, but Tom has him settled down a bit. He even smiled. And how can you not love the weather and the views, and, most of the time, the company?

The Bob In is crowded on a Sunday.
Bob with a Kiddie Meal Container.

We finish up and it's time for the Bob In Again (www.bobinagain.com), followed by grocery store, followed by check in at Boyne Mountain and then unpack and bedtime. Get off the course and Radio's texted me about where we are. The Bob In (bear claws for me, Tom and Bob, chocolate for Pete (he doesn't seem to be very off the reservation foodwise)).

Grocery store bound. Only disappointment was not finding Better Made Butter Braided Pretzels (the horror). But, you can order them online at www.bmchips.com. Boyne bound. Tom and I are walking in, wishing we could remember the name of the guy who helped us out so much. We filled out cards and Tom even wrote a letter about him. We get to check in and it's him, Logan. Yeah. He remembered us, offered to show us the Hansel and Gretel room. Said where we were was even better. Asked where the other gentleman who showed up late is. Helped us harrass Pete about being the "newbie" (according to Pete, this is not true because he went to Wisconsin before Bob went to Michigan). Offered to send security. Tom and I are enjoying our conversation with Logan (who received a $100 Boyne GC for the kudos from last year!).

Logan checks us in at Boyne Mountain
Get all checked in and off we go to the Mountain Cabins. They are nice. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms. Jacuzzi. Grill. Bigger common space than other places we've stayed, but not as well made. The master bath doesn't have a big tub so Tom relinguishes the upstairs to me. Unlike the other places, I can actually shave my legs without getting my hair wet on this trip. The small things. Unpack. Pete after grumbling about getting the room with the bunk bed (queen size below, twin above) and Bob get in the jacuzzi. I head to bed.
Pete and Bob waste no time checking out the Jacuzzi.

Day 3 to come.

Reminder: I am not a professional designer. I am not a professional writer. I may be in the industry, but this is my blog. Please excuse any typos, punctuation errors. I am writing this blog while sitting on my bedroom floor, making it more difficulate and less creative.

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