Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Moving day today. We have a 1:00 tee time at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. The drive is not very long – about 2 1/2 hours. I get up relatively early and fit in a killer workout before we pack up and go.
We decide to avoid the Florida Turnpike (toll road) and end up in stoplight hell. Finally we decide to zoom off on a side road and maybe try to catch up with the turnpike after all. The side highway is deserted and runs through marshy areas and citrus groves. Sweet. Then we hit up I95 and really zoom for all of about 5 miles. Lexi (our gps) tells us that there is “slow traffic” ahead. What she fails to say is that traffic is at a complete standstill. People are out of their vehicles milling about. We turn the car off even though without the a/c it is miserably hot and humid.
Then cars start coming back towards us on the shoulder on our side of the freeway! We watch this traffic pattern for a little bit and then decide to join them. The entire line of cars that we are following crosses over the median and starts travelling the opposite direction. We do, too and end up exiting at the first exit. Now we are really in the middle of nowhere and have to backtrack to get where we want to go. We call the golf course and explain that we are going to be very late – no problem.
We inch our way along the coast and eventually reach Palm Beach Gardens and the PGA National Resort. Whew! This is our fourth time staying at this resort. We love it here. There are 4 golf courses onsite and one offsite. You literally roll out of bed and onto the course. The entire resort is golf-centric and is very welcoming. Rich says that the employees here realize how frustrating the game of golf is so they make sure to treat you very nice…
Check in was a breeze. We get all of our things into our room and prepare to head out to the course. Our room is very large, but has a tiny balcony overlooking one of the driving ranges. (I wish we were overlooking the pool, but oh well).
When we arrive at the Pro Shop they tell us that the Palmer Course is pretty wide open today. We can head out whenever we are ready. Great.
The Palmer Course is in great condition. We remember some of the holes (some fondly, some not), Our Sandhill Crane “friends” meet us on the course.
Near the end of our round I hit a ball that landed just at the edge of a lake. I almost had to stand in the water to hit it. We hadn’t yet seen any gators here, but I know they are around and I was spooked. Rich tried to convince me that since little ducks were swimming around that there were no gators. He says the ducks are like “parakeets sent down a mine to check for deadly gas.” I am not buying it. Maybe there were 50 ducks just ten minutes ago and the gators ate 45 of them. I am thinking a huge one is lurking and will snatch my leg and drag me under. I stand trembling at the water’s edge and when one of the tiny ducks makes a noise I scream and run for the hills much to Rich’s amusement.
We finish the round (no gators) and feel pretty good to be back at the PGA. The iBar in the lobby calls us for a happy hour drink. We plan to come back down here for a simple dinner tonight. An early tee time is scheduled for the morning and we want to get plenty of rest tonight.
Before dinner, Rich decides that now would be a good time to drop off our car at Sears to have 4 new tires put on. He drives to Sears with his bike on the back, leaves the car aqnd jumps on his bicycle to ride back to the resort. He ends up getting rained on, but doesn’t care. He is happy to be back on the bike in preparation for his upcoming ride with Jack.
Dinner at the iBar is just right. We order a Caesar Salad and Burger to split. It has been a long day, but a good day. We are anticipating playing the Champion Course tomorrow. We have played it every year and this year are planning on playing it twice. We set the alarm for an ungodly early hour (6:00am) and hit the sack.