Monday, September 16, 2013
Travel day today. Time to leave Mission Inn and head south to Naples. I will be staying at the Ritz Carlton Naples Golf Resort and have a tee time set up for 2pm today. I need to get on the road.
After breakfast at La Hacienda, I pack up the car once again and hit the road. The drive is easy, just a few hours. When I get about 30 miles outside of Naples the sky opens up and it downpours. Traffic slows to a crawl because it is extremely difficult to see. I use extra caution.
By the time I reach the resort the sun is shining again – typical Florida. The drive up to the hotel is stunning.
At check-in I am taken care of by a wonderful young woman – Kristin. She notes that I am on the Amex package and explains the “perks” to me. She informs me that I have been upgraded to a suite that overlooks the pool. (I had previously looked at the accommodations online and had my eye on a suite overlooking the golf course, but I also knew it was a 2 category upgrade and the chances were slim.) I mentioned nicely to her that I was hoping for a golf view. She tells me that it is not part of the package, but she will see if she can do it. Voila! She puts me into a gorgeous 2-room suite overlooking both the pool AND the course! She says it is her favorite room in the resort. I soon see why.
There is only one problem with the room and it is a real dilemma. Which bathroom should I use – the guest bath or the master bath?
The skies are threatening, but I am determined to get my round in. I head to the onsite Tiburon Golf Course and check in. They tell me that a storm is coming, but I can go out if I would like to. Are you kidding?
There are two courses here – Tiburon Gold and Tiburon Black. The Gold course is where Greg Norman hosts the annual Franklin Templeton Shootout – the “Shark Shootout”. Since the Black is closed I will be playing the Gold.
The course it typical Florida – wet, long rough, slow greens and beautiful with lots of water hazards.
There are marshy areas where the water birds are abundant.
I make it quickly through the front 9 (nobody on the course) and then it starts to rain. Shelter is easy with some of the dense tree areas and I choose to wait it out. After only about 10 minutes, it clears up and I proceed to the back nine. It is on the back nine that you play the hole I can see from my balcony. It is great to see the resort from the course.
I made it almost all the way around staying dry.Around the 16th hole it started to sprinkle, but not enough to make me go in. I ended up having a pretty good round, especially for the mucky conditions.
A bit of post-round relaxation and checking out my new digs is in order. Then it is time for dinner. There are 2 main restaurants here and one of them is closed on Monday. Ok. My decision is easy. I will have dinner at the Bella Vista lounge tonight.
It is not busy (where are all the people?) My server is very friendly and attentive. I really only want to “pick” tonight and the limited menu suits me just fine. I choose to have the charcuterie/cheese platter that comes wth grainy honey mustard and jalepeno jam. This along with a glass of Malbec will be perfect.
While finishing dessert the fire pit just outside the window is lit and it is very inviting. I wish Rich was here… I go out alone anyway and sit for just a while enjoying being right here.