The Mighty Road Bicyclists Complete Their Journey!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

164 Sloooow Miles

Morning arrives at the Biltmore to start another sweltering, humid day.  Perfect golf day, right?


The tower looks especially beautiful in the morning light.
The tower looks especially beautiful in the morning light.

I am up early today in anticipation of my golf round at the Biltmore.  Breakfast is included in my stay and is served in the Fontana Restaurant.  It is a buffet affair.


La Fontana Restaurant (empty...)
La Fontana Restaurant (empty…)

I start off with my usual fruit/yogurt concoction and end again with poached eggs. This time I add prosciutto.



No workout this morning.  I am not even tempted.  Yesterday’s final TRX session has left me pretty sore and stiff.  I only hope I can swing the golf club.

My clubs are waiting for me when I arrive at the golf shop.  I shop a little, but am disappointed to find there is really not too much that piques my interest.  Oh well.  When I check in with the starter he tells me that I can go ahead and take off early if I want to.  “You are the boss, today.”  Sounds good to me since I have to get on the road after my round in order to make it to Key West to meet Rich and Jack.  I  am also happy to be playing alone today since I anticipate wanting to take my time and appreciate the historic course.

What in the heck is this waiting off the first tee?
What in the heck is this waiting off the first tee?

The course is immaculately maintained – lush and pretty with lots of huge mature trees.  The iconic building seems to be looming from some angle on every hole.  Pretty cool.


Love these views!
Love these views!

Too bad my golf is not as spectacular as the views.  I have several “excuses” as to why I am playing like a dog:

1. It is waaay too hot.

2. It is waaay too humid.

3. Two glasses of champagne last night was one too many.

4. My mind is on my looming drive to Key West and getting to see my honey.

5. I am too sore from Canyon Ranch.

6. I suck at golf.

I could probably come up with more, but decide to go with the flow and just enjoy the ride.  The humidity is oppressive and I am starting to long for the 110 degree days back in Arizona!



There is some interesting wildlife on the course.  These guys:


and several of these cool green iguanas:

These little guys are really shy - hard to get close enough for a good picture.
These little guys are really shy – hard to get close enough for a good picture.


By the time 18 comes around, I am wrung out from the heat/humidity and ready to get off the course.  I am so glad I played here and would like to give it another whirl at a different time of year.


Since I have a late checkout, I have time for a quick shower and change before jumping into the car for the drive through the keys.  I grab a Starbucks for the road and point myself South.  I don’t really have many miles to drive, but once you reach the causeway into the Keys, the going is slow – sometimes one lane and 45 mph.  It is a pretty drive through many tiny keys and beautiful mangroves.  I finally reach Key West and our accommodations for the evening – The Douglas House – around 5:30.  I don’t know if Rich and Jack are here yet.


Our room is in this building
Our room is in this building

The Douglas House is a converted Key West style house right smack in the middle of the “action” on the mnain drag – Duvall Street.  At many times of the year Key West can be party central.  We are hoping this will not be one of those times.  We have a nice large space with a kitchen (don’t plan to use), living area with sofa bed (sorry, Jack), bathroom and Master Bedroom.  Should be just right for a couple of nights. We will be able to walk to dinner if we choose.

Just as I am starting to unload the car (I have to get used to no valet, no bell staff, etc) I get a text from Rich saying they have arrived and are looking for a bar.  He texts again a few minutes later and tells me to meet them at Louie’s Backyard. I look it up on the map and am on my way – on foot!


The boys look great!  Major congratulations to them on the completion of their 600 mile “Top to Tip” bike adventure!  I truly don’t know how they made it these past couple of days when the humidity and temps were soaring – they were camping…  They look no worse for the wear.

The mighty Road Warriors make it to the end!

It is wonderful to sit out here on the Southernmost portion of the US and tell each other about all our adventures.  I am not sure who has had the most fun.  They guys finally realize that since I walked to Louie’s, they will have to get on their bikes one last time and ride to the Douglas House. We make a slight detour first.



After (much needed) showers, we walk out to see what we can find for dinner.  I know they both must be totally exhausted and would prefer take-out pizza, so I appreciate their efforts in coming out.  We quickly zero in on Blackfin Bistro and it turned out to be a great choice.

Blackfin is a tiny place with only about 10 tables and a bar.  We are greeted very warmly and told that it would be about a 15 minute wait tonight for a table so we situate ourselves at the bar.  It begins to look like the wait will be longer (and the guys are fading) so we decide to stay and eat at the bar.  Very comfy spot.


Rich and I share a bottle of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Jack goes for a coke.  I order the Gazpacho and Mussels.  Rich has the Snapper special and Jack orders the Pasta Primavera and a cheese plate to share.  It is all seriously delicious.  This place obviously really cares about the food.

Gazpacho is outstanding!
Gazpacho is outstanding!
I KNOW this hair is unacceptable, believe me. YOU try dealing with this humidity…

Jack and Rich are about to fall over tired and it is not from the wine.  Good thing we only have to walk a couple of blocks back to our place.  It is wonderful to be back together again and I am looking forward to several days of golf as we make our way driving back up the coast of Florida.


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