Sunday, September 21, 2014
Yay! Looks like the sun might make an appearance this morning. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a dry round of golf.
The Lemonia restaurant is busy this morning. I remember last year when I was here it was practically empty (this is low season). I believe I was here a little earlier in September. Now it looks like the “season” is starting to gear up. Good to see.
The breakfast buffet is beautiful. I order a Latte and peruse the selections. After a fruit and yogurt starter I step up to the omelet station to order an egg white omelet with spinach, mushroom and tomato. The chef is very friendly and we engage in a conversation about how egg whites are hard to coerce into staying “together” to make an omelet. She is happy for me to snap her photo. With a stop to toast a bagel and get some smoked salmon/capers my breakfast is complete. (I end up taking the bagel sandwich out on the course with me).
There is a different starter today and he claims he recognizes me from last year (maybe…). He is also very friendly and we chat all about Rich and his bicycle adventures. Most people I talk with simply cannot fathom riding across town much less across the US! I find it is a great conversation starter and also diffuses any question about whether I am married and where my husband is! I like it to be perfectly clear, thank you very much.
Today I am paired with two local gents – Vic and Steve. They are awesome and we have a ball together. Fortunatly, my game has come together and I am playing confident and strong. Once again, I finish with the same ball I started with while they each lose at least a half dozen balls! At one point Steve turned to me and said “Linda, I would like to introduce you to the rough. Rough, this is Linda!”
Steve made an fantastic nature spotting along the way. Tucked into the marsh was a gorgeous blue and grey bird standing on one leg. He posed for pictures. Later, Vic looked him up and told me he was a Black-crowned Night Heron. I verified it later. Rich – have you ever seen one of these beauties?
When the round ended I almost wished I was going to play another. However, I have other fish to fry. The Ritz granted me a 4:00pm late checkout so I have time to shower and change before taking off. It has been a good stay here despite the wet conditions of the course. That is what you get in Florida in September.
The golf part of my vacation is basically over. I have played 24 rounds of golf in 29 days!!! I think it is time to rest. Today I am driving just a couple of hours to the Ft. Lauderdale area and staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. This will be a one-night diversion before landing at Canyon Ranch in Miami for the “de-tox” portion of my trip. (Actually I haven’t done much “toxing” but it just sounded good).
The drive takes me right straight across the state and almost dips into Everglades territory. I could have driving “Alligator Alley” but we have done that scenic drive before and it is slow going. I want to get there.
The HardRock is HUGE hotel/entertainment complex with casino, lots of shopping, several nightclubs and many restaurants. The concert venue here hosts lots of big acts. Too bad I am here on a kind of slow Sunday night.
I was expecting my room to be a pretty basic “plain Jane” hotel room (I booked the lowest category of room). Wow. It is beautiful. I love it. The bathroom is awesome and has a shower big enough for six people with 3 showerheads and 8 side jets! You can tell that the room is designed to make you feel a little like a rock star.
Before settling in on any “serious” gaming, I take a stroll around the property to choose where to eat dinner. I am starving. I settle on “Bol” an Asian noodle restaurant. I order a bowl of Beef Pho and slurp it up. (sorry, no pics).
Now that I am fortified, I check out the casino floor. This is seriously a place where you could get lost. I check out some of the games and win some, lose some (then lose some, lose some…). I win enough to at least keep playing for a while until I realize how tired I am. I give it up and go back to my room to catch some zz’s. Tomorrow I will check in at Canyon Ranch and I need to be refreshed and ready to go.