Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Miles 22.3 (Palm Beach Gardens to Palm Beach)
Today’s the big day (as far as golf is concerned). We are scheduled to play the Champion – home of the Honda Classic. We remember “playing” it last year. In actually, it “played” us. We start out hopeful.
All goes pretty well on the front nine. In fact, Rich has a great game – 40 for the front. I wasn’t too far behind with a 44. Then came the back nine. . . There is a place on the back nine (holes #15, 16 and 17 that is called the Bear Trap. It is known as the hardest finishing holes in golf. No lie. We remember some of the holes from last year and cringe. Rich hold on pretty well and recovers nicely with a par on 18. I blew up a few holes but finished with a decent round.
It is time to say goodbye to the PGA National Resort for this year, We really like it here and are considering coming back again next year. After lunch and a late checkout Rich prepares to ride his bike the 20+miles we have to our next destination – Palm Beach. The skies are looking very threatening, but he is determined.
I take off in the car and head for the 4 Seasons in Palm Beach. The next 3 nights are the “Vacation” portion of our trip. No big golf plans (well., . . just the Palm Beach par 3 course). We plan to chill on the beach and at the pool. I drive up to the hotel and immediately realize we are in for a treat.
I check into the resort and am shown a beautiful room with an awesome view (thanks for a smokin’ deal from Amex). The front desk staff is extremely friendly. When I tell him to expect a very sweaty guy on a bike, he laughs and says he is also a bicyclist. I explain to him about Rich’s cross-country bike trip and he is thoroughly amazed. (I think I have gotten used to it).
Our loyal readers will not be surprised to hear that I alerted the staff upon reservation that we are celebrating our anniversary. They responded beautifully.
I decide to hang out in the “living room” of the lobby and watch for Rich to show up. The resort appears to be pretty dead and I have the huge room all to myself.
Rich finally arrives looking invigorated from his ride. I think he is secretly scouting out routes for he and Jack to take on a subsequent trip. I greet him in the lobby and show him up to our room. When we arrive, there is a note that has been slipped under our door. Another indication that the 4 Seasons takes attention to customers very seriously.
We pop the Cava and relax out on our balcony for a long while and discuss how we will spend the next couple of days.
The atmosphere on the beach is looking very inviting and we strike out for a walk down to the pier. The tide is roaring in and the beach is gorgeous.
When we arrive back at our room we discover that housekeeping has been in for a turn down service. In addition to freshening up the room, they have provided 2 bottles of gatorade and two power bars! They think we are true athletes! We are struck at how totally thoughtful this place is.
We are hungry, but don’t really want to leave to go to dinner. The only restaurant on property that is open for dinner is their fancy place – no good for tonight. So we bite the bullet and order room service. Burrata Salad, She-Crab Soup and Chicken Under a Brick to share. Perfect. When it arrives, the server mentions Rich’s cross country bike ride! We ask him how he knows about it and he said that “everyone is talking about it!!!” Cool.
This was a great way to end today and a perfect start to our “vacation.” I wonder if it can get any more relaxing?