Thursday, September 18, 2014
Zero miles (yay!)
I wake up ready to go this morning, but the weather is not cooperating. When I look outside all I see are gray skies and rain, rain, rain. My tee time on Raptor Bay is not until 10:00 so I am holding out a teeny bit of hope that it will dry up by then. However, I am prepared to spend today inside – maybe at the Outlet Mall. Doesn’t really sound too bad.
There is a fantastic fitness room at the Hyatt and as usual, I cannot pass it up.
One of my favorite “Levi” workouts i!)s on the agenda for this morning (big shout out to Elite Total Fitness in Mesa).
Breakfast for me is downstairs at the coffee shop – Cool Beans. I grab some oatmeal and an iced latte and settle in with my computer to complete yesterday’s blog post. I like my lair where I can write and people watch.
By the time I get back up to my room and look out the window it is sunny! Yay! I can’t believe how fast the weather changes in Florida. Golf togs are donned and I make the 2 minute drive next door to Raptor Bay Golf Course. Raptor Bay is a course much like Old Corkscrew in that it is built on a nature preserve. There are no houses and no distractions. It is absolutely gorgeous.
The starter tells me that I am paired up with 2 others, but if I want to take off by myself on the back 9 I will probably not run into anyone. Since it is my first time playing here I decide to go it on my own. That was a really nice choice for this morning. The course is so deserted and serene that I am happy not to have to chit chat. I have a really god first nine on the Hawk 9. I make the turn and soon catch up with one gentleman on the Osprey 9. Since Osprey is really the front nine, he is just starting his round. He invites me to join him. Since I am playing pretty good and feel comfortable, I accept the invitation.
Charlie is great to play with. He is around 70+ years old and has played a LOT of golf in his lifetime. He tells me he used to be a single-digit handicapper, but his game has gone downhill because his back is bothering him. He still puts up a very good game. We discuss Florida and courses that we both have played. He used to be a member at Old Corkscrew and tells me that it is widely known to be the most difficult course in Florida! We have a great time together and I keep up a very good back nine.
When we finish Osprey (my back nine, Charlie’s front nine) I am not ready to quit. We pass the starter and I tell him I am going to play Hawk again with Charlie and then I will go into the pro shop to settle up. No problem. We zoom around Hawk and I continue to play well – feeling good. When Charlie’s round is done, we part ways and I go into the Pro Shop to see about finishing my second round. I was thinking they might give me a smokin’ deal for my second round since there is nobody out here, but they only gave me half a deal! Oh well – I have already played nine holes and want to finish the entire 18 for the second time.
My last nine is also fun – with literally no one on the course, I can either relax and play slow or I can zoom around depending on the hole. When I finally finish, the cart guy laughs and asks if I have had enough? I am sure he can’t believe that a woman would stay out and play 36 holes! Obviously, he does not know me and my friends.
The Outlet Mall is still calling to me. I shower and change, then drive 15 minutes to the mall. It is pretty cool and HUGE! I am not really a big shopper and I am also tired of being on my feet or I think I could have done some real damage here. There was an Ecco store where I managed to score a couple of pair of awesome golf shoes – I hope they really are as comfy as they seemed in the store. Ecco’s are usually very expensive and these were a bargain. We’ll see.
By now I am absolutely starving. I had breakfast and two protein bars today – that’s all I had time for. The Tanglewood Restaurant back at the hotel sounds pretty good.
At Tanglewood I asked to be seated in a little balcony overlooking the busy lobby area so that I could people watch. I settled in and ordered an unusual small plate – Burrata with roasted Stone Fruit and Brioche Croutons. I LOVE Burrata (a milky, soft, fresh mozzerella) and it sounds pretty interesting. A glass of Murphy-Goode Fume wine completes the picture. I tell the server that I might order something else. Let’s see how I feel after this course.
The Burrata dish is absolutely fabulous – very unusual – creamy and a bit sweet with peaches and plums. The Brioche Croutons are killer. I eat every bit.
I decide I am not hungry for anything else so I stop by Cool Beans to get a DVD to take to my room. I had my eye on The Butler, but someone has taken it! Damn. I should have picked it up this morning. My second choice is 12 Years a Slave. Turns out to be an awesome movie. Take a look at it if you get a chance.
I am absolutely beat and the bed is calling. Tomorrow’s tee time is a blissfully late 10:30 (I have decided that it is no hotter to start at this time instead of 8:00. In fact, it is drier as it gets later.) The plan is to check out, play Raptor Bay (once) and then make the short drive down to Naples to the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort where I will stay and golf for the last golf portion of this trip. Just when I was getting the hang of Florida golf…