Saturday, August 08, 2015

Friday: Head out of Boyne, Moomers for ice cream and Arcadia Bluffs


Friday morning is check out day. Breakfast, come back, pack up the car (tight with four golf bags, four travel golf bags, four suitcases, four people, and other miscellaneous stuff). My bags are lighter from fewer golf balls and clothing I’ve decided to leave, but heavier from some souvenirs (more to follow upon return to Dallas).

Boyne Highlands is booked pretty solid based on the parking lot and the crowd at breakfast. I need to get a picture, but we (mean: Pete and Tom) manage to get all of the stuff packed into the car without much room to spare. After my trouncing in trash and robins the day before (lost all 6 robins and least amount of trash for about a $70 loss – and I played pretty decent), I’ve announced that I’m out of the game. More strokes won’t help me gain ground since towards this point in the trip, I’m happy with a bogey, but realize that in order to get a bogey that I have to play the hole smart and not be in any trouble (meaning, no trash potential). Hate quitting, but not going to get that beating two more days, even though it can depend on the course. Having Pete and Paul move up takes a bit of my potential out as well so this is probably a wise play on my part.
And off we go. Bye, Boyne, passing a turkey (Tom) and deer along the way. We stop in Charlevoix on our way, a cool little harbor town. Too early for lunch at the Villager Pub, but not too early for a couple of warm scones and cinnamon rolls at Cre8tive Cupcake Bakery (yum on the white chocolate cherry scone) while walking along the dock and downtown.
Next stop: Traverse City, with a stop for fresh fruit along the way at Friske Orchards ( ($4 worth of apricots and cherries that Pete and Tom will also eat, Paul, no, since we’ve discovered he doesn’t really like fruit unless it’s a banana or hidden in a smoothie). You can see that the storms on Sunday were pretty damaging with a lot of downed trees. I look at the map (printed) and see that the Glen Arbor they keep talking about in the news that has been closed for a few days is due west and south of Traverse City, so we’re not far. We stop in Traverse City downtown for a stroll. It’s sidewalk sale time there and we try out a Moomers stand for a pre-treat (chocolate peanut butter that I really liked and I am not a chocolate person). For those who don’t know (I don’t think it’s a Michigan thing, but…) sidewalk sales are held in cities and small towns throughout Michigan. It’s when they put out all of their sales stuff and stuff to lure people in to their stores to get non sales stuff. We loved them as kids. The store that we liked the most was the Boyne store, with all kinds of Bay Harbor, Crooked Tree and other golf clothes. But, nothing dropped out at me so I passed.

Off to Moomers Ice Cream. Tom and I are excited. Paul, maybe. Pete, not so much (he mentioned that we could bypass Moomers after the taste test downtown and we said “no.”). We pull up to Moomers, next to the dairy farm, just like their website said. But, I’m disappointed. While they advertise 120+ flavors, and I was really, really excited about Black Raspberry. They don’t have all of the flavors all of the time, and they didn’t have Black Raspberry (I settled for cupcake and butter pecan). Note: if you’re going, check out their website: and if there is a flavor you want, call them and tell them when you’re coming and they’ll make it ahead of time for you. I wish I knew, but now I know – and you do too. It still was pretty wonderful.

Then, to Arcadia Bluffs ( for our 3:40 pm tee time. We’re going to get there plenty early because we never have. We’ve always been screeching into the parking lot from the airport to our tee time. In fact, we’re running so early that we take the “scenic route” and stop at the scenic overlook on the lake and walk up the stairs to the top overlook (me, Paul and Tom – Pete decided to save his breath or his knees).
We get there, nothing falls out of the back when we open it and check in and shop (I get a new hat and a shirt for Tony – this year, I haven’t been terribly excited about the golf apparel selection. Maybe next year). Grab a Summer Shandy (even Pete has one) and sit on the Adirondack chairs in front of the 18th green with a great view of the course and Lake Michigan. Paul thinks it’s pretty, but we’ve discovered that links-style course don’t sit his eye because he doesn’t have aiming points or boundaries. I like links-style probably for that reason. The bunkers look evil (and are) at Arcadia Bluffs. Unfortunately it’s overcast, with a chance of rain, so we aren’t getting the views I was hoping for, and definitely won’t get the sunset (or bag piper) that I was hoping for.
Paul looking pensive at the scenic overlook.

View from the Adirondack chairs.
 Finally, we’re off. The group behind us, coincidentally, is also Kline. But, he’s not related, as far as I know. Will Kline, from Tennessee. I’m playing from the Forward tees for the first time at this course, so I’m happy. Tom’s playing from Black. Pete and Paul move up to the White. #1 is a par 5. Tom starts off with a birdie. Rest of us bogeys.
Getting ready to tee off on #1.
 #2 is one of the holes I remember most. The cart girl shows up and Pete asks if she happens to know how to take the GPS out of “marshal mode” since Tom and I couldn’t remember after Harbor Shores. She does (FYI: settings, then two taps left, two taps right and you’ll get to choose the type of player – golfer, marshal, etc.) A stout par 3 with a big tree next to the green. Pete kinda skulls a shot but based on where it lands and the slope of the green, ends up a couple of feet from the pin, close to a hole in one. Paul gets the first try out of one of the bunkers. I steer my shot completely away from the bunkers over near the tree. Then, another par 5. Tom hits it into the gunk on the right and can’t see where it goes because Paul walks in front of his line after he hits. I play it safe, listening to Sam (this is what Paul and I named the voiceover gentleman on the cart GPS) and going left center (sound like I have that type of skill and it started off that way it seems). Paul hits another bunker and isn’t sure how to play it because the front is so steep. Decided to go for it and see what happens. He’s successful and gets out.

#2 Par 3

Paul in bunker on par 5, #3

Yes, Paul's out!

Rain/drizzle begins and we’re happy that the carts have the rain covers for our clubs to keep them at least a bit dry. I put on my rain pants (discover they are wind pants, not rain, so I’ll be getting a new pair of rain pants for the next time). Pace of play, as I expected, is slow. But, seems even slower with the weather since we’re waiting on every shot. The marshal says they are trying to get it moving a bit faster, but isn’t terribly apologetic since we’re still officially on pace (4 hours 40 minutes I think is their pace of play). Ugh. Another par 5 with a crazy green. I’m playing well, despite the wait and the weather – pretty surprising. Helps that the forward tees are definitely more forgiving.

 Drizzle is officially rain and doesn’t look like it’s going to stop. We continue on. No longer as much fun because the rain is making the course play longer. I’m still playing well, but it’s a grind. On #11, I officially call it quits since my grips, my gloves, my desire to get out of the cart and get even wetter – well, end. I’ll drive Paul around the rest of the round since walking back to the warm and dry clubhouse looks pretty far away. They plod on, but pace is so slow and the rain isn’t letting up (and the cart girl is out of Coors Light for Paul so he doesn’t even drink anymore). Pretty miserable.

Finally, on #15 tee box, Tom has had it and he’s out. We end our stay at Arcadia Bluffs. Sad to not have played it all, having paid that much. But, just not worth the extra hour and a half we’d have left in the rain to finish a few more holes (that’s how slow the pace was and the groups ahead of us are getting their money worth and playing every shot from tee to green even though they should have their ball in their pocket after nine shots).
Pack up the car. This went relatively smoothly, and then off we head to Big Rapids, where we’re staying for the night. Pete takes the wheel and after Tom gets connection on his phone (this is why I print driving directions most of the time) off we head in the rain. It rains the entire way so it’s a great drive, but we make it to the Quality Inn & Suites to crash for the night.
P.S. Didn't get to see Brodie, the Forest Dunes dog who has moved over to Arcadia. Guess he was staying dry.

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