Monday, April 28, 2014

Planning 2014 Michigan Golf Trip

OK, I know I haven’t blogged all year. And, realized that I didn’t even finish last year’s golf blog. And, remembered that I need to make sure I bring a working camera this year since that was the cause of not publishing. So, just randomly posted a few old postings. Didn't even proofread them. But, oh well. I haven’t been on any big golf trips, or any trips, this year to blog about. Well, Michigan is getting locked and loaded for our annual golf trip. And this year, while not 100% certain, may have 8 people, two groups: Tom (ProV1, Julie), Me (the Princess), Bob (Daigle), Pete (the Grump), Ron (the Seagull), Frank (the French Poodle who can't wear his smelly stuff on the trip), Paul (the PMS -- his initials), and an 8th to fill in. Dates: Saturday, August 9 – Saturday, August 16 Itinerary: Fly in to Traverse City, Michigan, drive to Forest Dunes in Roscommon, play a round, drive to Boyne Mountain to stay at the Creekside Cottages (hot tubs and four BR, three bath). Courses Planned: Forest Dunes (they just had opening day on Friday) Bay Harbor, Links, Quarry, Preserves Alpine Monument Hills Ross Hidden River Crooked Tree The Moor Heather Trying to use social media to get us back on True North, which went private. You can stay there to play, but we’ll be staying at Boyne Mountain. Looks like Forest Dunes may be able to help us out on that front. I wonder if Logan from Boyne Mountain will be there to check us in like he has before. Boyne still has snow on their slopes. Bay Harbor opening day is in 8 days. Bob In Again's summer hours start up in 3 days. Thinking of Oberon beer, ice cream, Vernor's, Buttermade Butter Braided Pretzels. Barefoot golf. More golf.

Fall Leaves in Oklahoma and Arkansas

OOPS. FORGOT THIS ONE AS WELL. Sitting on an airplane, headed towards Phoenix and trying to get caught up on my blog. I realize I still haven’t uploaded the pictures for our Michigan golf trip, or finished up the Arkansas Memorial Day Ride or Fourth of July Ride. If I don’t do “live” they just don’t happen. I guess I could sign up for Gogo and blog live. But I’m cheap so I’ll wait until later to cut and paste this in. One thing about Texas is that Fall seems to, well, not be like the Falls I was used to in Chicago, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia. The leaves “kinda” turn color and then just disappear (well, at our house they pile up from our neighbors‘ pecan trees). Nothing spectacular. After our summer rides to Arkansas, Tony and I decide we’re going to ride up to Arkansas and catch the leaves. We had to time the weather since neither of us wanted it to be too cold (I’m definitely a fair weather rider). So, on Friday, November 1, we pack up the bike and head north. We started with the route we did in July. Take 75 north to 121 and then ride through Bonham and Paris, stopping at Nancy’s Cafe on the way for breakfast. Then on we went, going through Oklahoma to get on Scenic Route 1 and the Talehinic Scenic Parkway which later turns into 88 in Arkansas. This will take us to Trahan’s in Hot Springs Village. Trahan has our golf clubs and we’re going to play Magellan on Saturday. How good is that: riding and golfing on the same trip! Until we get to Oklahoma, we see glimpses of the change in leaf color but not much. The air is crisp and clean once we get out of Dallas. And the weather is nice. A little chillier than I’d like and Tony keeps taking his coat off and putting it on and taking it off and putting it on. Eventually he just leaves it on. It doesn’t appear that it’ll warm up and our concern about what we were going to do with the layers that we want to shed on the ride isn’t an issue. Before we get on Scenic Route 1 we gas up (we’re pretty good about stopping since we know that the gas stations aren’t frequent and some of the ones that we see look like they have 20 year old gas) in Tahina. There are definitely leaf gazers on this route. Bikes, church vans, convertibles and “regular” cars. The parkway has a number of scenic vistas you can pull over on and look at the scenery. But, it’s overcast so it’s not photo friendly. I have gotten better at trying to take movies and pictures on the back of the bike, but they often come out blurry. Or I miss the photo. The leaves are pretty and we enjoy the ride, even though we realize that we’ve been on the road a while and still have quite a bit to get to Hot Springs Village and it’ll be dark by the time we pull in. Typically we don’t like riding around like this in the dark -- one, it’s really dark in Arkansas. Two, the deer come out and according to Tony, it’s rutting season. It’s a traffic jam in downtown Hot Springs where all of the bath houses are. Guess that’s typical for a Friday night. We don’t listen to Siri’s directions to get us to Hot Springs Villages. She doesn’t know the difference between a main gate that we can enter and a gate that requires a pass to go through. But we arrive at Trahan’s and get to relax. It was a 12 hour day on and off the bike. About 400 miles. Trahan has a pretty sweet house on Lake Coronado, with a deck that wraps around the back. In the morning, the fog comes up over the lake and it’s really nice and serene. We run to the grocery store to pick up dinner for after golf and then head to Magellan. It’s been a while since I’ve played with the fall leaves looking this pretty -- why we’ve always wanted to head back up to Michigan and play in the early fall. None of us play particularly well, but it’s nice and the course is in good shape (except for the cart path only conditions). It’s also nice to not be on the bike a day after a 12 hour day. Grill out on the deck and enjoy the peacefulness. Sunday, get up and slowly pack up and get ready for the trip back. I don’t like the interstate so we plot out a route that takes a lot of it out. Tony’s downloaded an app to listen to the Cowboys game. But, cell phone reception has it cutting in and out so it teases more than helps. It would have been cool to have the game on for a bit of the ride. Unfortunately, there is one poorly marked turn that we miss and it adds another hour onto our trip. Problem with some of these country roads. And, we now have even more time on the interstate because of the turn. But, all in all, we make it home at 630 pm and enjoyed our Fall leave weekend.

Liz's Day at Bay Harbor (Robert's surprised)

BACK FROM 2013 GOLF TRIP. Tuesday, if you've been reading my blogs in the past, is MY day -- Bay Harbor Day. One of the main reasons I come back year after year and subject my body to 36 holes of golf a day (yes, there are plenty of others). My favorite day from beginning til end. This year, we head from the Highlands and don't even stop at 7-11. Right to Sagamores for breakfast (mushroom, swiss and sausage omelet made by the same gentleman as last year). Now they have Seattles Best Coffee instead of Starbucks, which makes me happy. Then to Bay Harbor where we unload and get ready. Begin our practice session with some chipping games (this is where Tom learned to chip, according to Tom). Warm up on the range, eat some wild raspberries and then head to the Links. Morning round is Links/Quarry. Afternoon round is Preserve/Links. Ahhh... beautiful day. beautiful weather. beautiful scenery. in my case, ugly golf for the most parts with sparks of ... well, wouldn't call beauty. Lunch was supposed to be on the patio, but it starts raining on 18 so lunch in the bar. Radio is texting me about where we're playing, when, etc. Rain had better end for round 2. Not going to mess up my day. It clears and off we go. Robert's surprised about the course. It's a big surprise (note sarcasm). But, as we speak, it is his favorite course. Finish up with dinner on the patio (note to people on the Great Escape: when possible, eat not at the main lodge, but at the course, in the grill room, on the patio. better food, great value on the package as we had salad, entree and dessert included -- at Bay Harbor).

Day 5: Boyne's Hills/Ross and iPhone Adventure Continued

GOING BACK IN TIME AND POSTING SOME DRAFTS. WILL HAVE TO FIND PHOTOS LATER. GETTING GEARED UP FOR 2014 MICHIGAN GOLF TRIP AND TRYING TO GET CURRENT. Since we only got in 8 holes before the heavy rain on Day 7 at the Heather course this morning, I'm trying to catch up on the missing days. Still will have to populate with photographs after the fact. Here's Day 5. I'd call Day 5 Tom's day since the Arthur Hills course is one of his favorites on the trip and always on the rotation. Breakfast at the Highlands and then off to warm up and get on the course. We're the first off on the tee box and have the course to ourselves it seems. Cool, not too breezy. Dew on the grass. Nice way to start off the morning wearing a sweater. I'm driving Bob around this day, and Robert gets Tom. We switch it up once in a while so that two people don't have to ride together the entire trip. The Hills starts off pretty simple on the first two holes and then you reach the third, with sand all of the way down the right on your first shot. Then down the left on your second. Then in front and on the sides and back on your third. Pretty good sandie opportunities abound. Finish up on the Hills and lunch is up on the patio at the club. Bob is thinking about taking the afternoon off, but is on the fence. On way up, he grabs his phone and says he'll make a few calls and may be in for the afternoon on the Ross (you probably are reading where I am going, don't you?). We're on stone steps and yes, "he who shall remain nameless" drops said new iPhone on the stone... nothing is said and we head up to lunch, not really wanting to find out if it's destroyed, knicked or functioning. Lunch and Bob naps on the patio (as he is good at). After lunch, head to the carts to gear up for the Ross. We're not sure if Bob is playing or not. Whether he's going to be heading back to the Verizon store or not. He comes up and says he's in. Phone has a cracked screen but is functioning. Whew. You can get that repaired pretty inexpensively in Dallas. Ross is a tough course. A really tough course that always seems to play uphill, not downhill. On the fourth hole, we see a mama turkey with her seven babies. Tom follows them into the woods and gets about 10 feet from them. Mama standing on a ProV1. Done with Day 5. Day 6 is the Mountain, Alpine and Monument courses. Lunch in the meadow.