Sunday, July 28, 2013

Michigan 2013: Insert Clever Headline Here (e.g. no clubbing throwing today at Forest Dunes)

Michigan 2013: Day 1

I guess I need to get more original with the titles of my blog postings. But, it’s 445 am (Eastern time) and that’s what I have while coffee is being brewed at The Forest Cottage in Forest Dunes. Recap of Day 1.

330 am and Tony and I head out the door to pick up Tom (even this is early for me). Thank you, Tony! Without incident get to the airport and curbside check in isn’t open so we check in regular. I haven’t flown much this year and didn’t know that you now have to put your bag tag stickers on yourself. OK, this is inefficient and stupid in my mind (\ Stickers are easy for kids. But I haven’t had to do this in a long time. PITA.

Bob and Robert show up when we’re done putting our stickers on. Head through security and get on to Ohare (again, without incident). Couple hours at Ohare and off we go to Traverse City. Quick one hour flight where it takes longer to get our bags and the mini van than the actual flight. On our way to Forest Dunes, stop at Burger King. It’s raining pretty good here. Not a good sign. But, we’re on vacation and we’re in Michigan. It’s a pretty easy drive to Forest Dunes, but there would have been a good stop in XXX (don't know where exactly and can't figure it out from my map), where they were clearly having some sort of town event with rides and food and attractions and people. Traffic jam! (well, kinda).

As I’ve blogged in the past, Forest Dunes ( is in the middle of nowhere. It now has signs that help get you there and the roads are paved. You’d think you’re going to nowhere, until you hit the guard gate and then the clubhouse. Pretty impressive. And now there is the new 15 room lodge right next to the clubhouse. We pull into the parking lot and start unloading. Pretty much take over an area to get clubs out, shoes, find stuff. The rain stopped a while ago and it’s warm enough to take my sweater off. And the sun appears to be staying out, even though there are pretty gray skies around us.

Now we check in at the lodge registration. Where, service is great. And, they have a gift for ME! (Tom’s jealous). With a note from Don, thanking me for tweeting about Forest Dunes (see, tweeting works) with golf balls and a hat (Tom likes his new bucket hat). Head to the range to loosen up from the flights.
We’re in Michigan and we’re on vacation! Surprised that there seems to be quite a lot of business today at the course. Great to see since it’s such a great course. Even though we’ve been spoiled having it to ourselves. Head to the first tee. Let the games begin.

I’m playing OK. Robert’s playing OK. Bob’s playing OK. Tom’s playing OK. That usually equates to not a lot of trash or wins. But, we have a lot of golf. I think I like the Forest side more than the Dunes side, but that changes year after year. I love that they end the front with a par 3 and the back nine with a par 5 (Bob chips in for birdie, net eagle, chippie, skin and Robert putts in for net birdie, polie, sandie). I also love holes like #10 Decision with its split fairway (don’t ask Robert about his “decision” on this hole) and #17 Wild Dunes that encourages you to go for it (Tom almost made it). And then to end with the par 3 19th hole. Round 1 a bit damp and rainy (but they have those nice rain "things" on the carts to protect your clubs and they keep the front wind/rain shields on there carts), but enjoyable as always.
Head to the Forest Cottage (next to where we stayed the time before). Since Tom gets the master at Boyne, I have next seniority and when seeing the tub and bathroom in the master, quickly take that (and it’s on the first floor so I don’t need to lug much). Very nice. And wi fi connection works and I send out a tweet (first tweet on my Kindle) even though forgetting that the cushions on the patio are wet. Smart. Smart.
Head to dinner (last time we were there, we would have been out of luck and eating the two bags of chips from our hotdogs during our round). When we finished the front, we had been detoured because of a wedding party going on (great location for a wedding). Well, it was still in full force (tried to get someone to crash it, but they wouldn’t). So, used to it being empty to it being packed. Great sign for Forest Dunes.
Dinner is great. Recommend their pecan crusted chicken salad with dried cherries and raspberries and strawberries. Petit size was more than enough for me. Head back to the cottage and time for bed. Day 1 is over. No clubs lost. No clubs thrown. Tom’s already talking about handicap adjustments since he’s losing (that changes quickly). Pete’s sending texts and hoping he can come next year (taking applications).

Day 2 is Forest Dunes again (yeah), shopping in the pro shop (ball marker for Pete, maybe something for me), then heading north to Boyne Highlands (stopping at Walmart on the way for a blender for Bob and some Monster for Tom, Vernors for me, hopefully Butter Braided Bettermade Pretzels).
Back to stretching while blogging on the floor of my comfy room at the Forest Cottage (I know I don’t have to set up this way, but figured out a way to upload photos, stretch, blog and do my hair while on the floor in the morning).

last disclosure on my blog that is a reminder: i am not a professional photographer. none of us are. these are pictures and commentary on vacation.

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