Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alabama & The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

For the pat week we have enjoyed visiting, golfing, eating and drinking with our friends Jim and Rebecca. The golf at the Oxmoor Valley courses (2 courses) and at Ross Bridge was great. We felt this way even though we got rained off the Valley course at Oxmoor Valley on Wednesday after 13 holes - and as a result of the rain had to deal with cart path only on Thursday at Ross Bridge. Even so I think we all agreed that Ross Bridge was one of the most beautiful courses we had all played - and between us we have played a lot of nice courses. We enjoyed the golf so much we made a pact to return the same time next year to play some of the remaining RTJ courses!!

Yesterday (Friday) we said goodbye to Jim and Rebecca and headed down to Auburn to play another two courses. (This is a deviation from our original plan - moving our journey to Beaufort to Monday instead of yesterday - more on that later.)

I am not sure what I thought Alabama would be like - maybe just did not think about it! But it has been just beautiful. Yesterday the drive from Birmingham to Auburn was more of the same treed/wooded/forested areas with green rolling hills. This time of year the trees are flowering and just leafing out. So the oranges, purples, fuchsias, pinks and whites of the blossoms against the green hills and mixed in with the pine trees - is unbelievable. Even Gary's adept photography skills can not capture it to do it justice. And, when you add the shading/coloring from the dark skies - it gives a whole other dimension.

Oh yes - dark skies! It rained all the way down yesterday and last night/early this morning we slept under a tornado watch!! Thank goodness, I am here to tell you about it - and the Bus did just fine through it all!

With the rain yesterday afternoon and all day today (rained out of our golf), we have 'toured' the Auburn campus and art museum and really enjoyed it. Looks like a fun place to go to school - not enough, though, to make me want to go back!

Well - about out of computer juice here in the Kroger's Starbucks - so better stop and get this posted. Hope to be back on the golf course tomorrow - more later - E&G

Monday, March 23, 2009


We are so glad we stopped to see Graceland and the surroundings, as it reminded us of two things -
1) How simple things were back in the 50's!! (Makes you want to go back!) There is a lot of beautiful property around Graceland, but the house itself is not the mega-thing we see today from people with a little money. I suppose that to a 22 year old who was raised in a 2 room house, the Graceland house was BIG. But, even in his 40's - when he died - Graceland was still his home. While some of the decor is 'interesting', the house is pretty basic.
2) How enthralled people of all ages are of Elvis - even today. Makes you wonder what keeps everyone so attached to him - and if that would be so if he were still alive today.

After the tour of Graceland, including his two planes, we hopped a ride to downtown Memphis to see the Peabody hotel (had a cocktail here) and Beale St - where we had our BBQ dinner and walked a few blocks being reminded or a miniature New Orleans.

Saturday we drove through more really beautiful country of rolling hills with ranches and farms on our way to Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, AL. This wonderful park high above Huntsville was our camp for the night. We even cooked - lemon, dijon mustard chicken, pasta and peas. Then I skunked Gary at a game of scrabble!!

Sunday we began our golf at the first of the Robert Trent Jones courses we will be playing here in AL - Hampton Cove River course. This is a good news/bad news course! 16 of the 18 holes had water - BUT, there is no sand! Not one trap/bunker. YEAH for that - as the water took enough of our balls.

After a nice round of golf yesterday, we headed to Hoover (just outside of Birmingham) and checked into a Marriott Renaissance for the next 5 days. Today was a down day - manicures and massages - soooooo relaxing. Now just waiting for friends from CA to arrive and 3 days of golf coming up.

Can't think of anything else to pass on - except that we were sure glad to see a 500 point day on the market today! Think we might now be able to pay for this trip! More in a few days - E&G

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gorgeous Day.. Ugly Golf

Before our late-morning scheduled round of golf we decided to take a drive through the Arches National Park.  When we checked in at the Ranger Kiosk to buy our day pass, the ranger asked if either of us was over 62.  She explained that "Seniors" could purchase an annual pass for all of the National Parks for a mere $10 dollars.  I jumped at the chance and provided my driver's license to close the deal.  The ranger very tactfully pointed out that I wouldn't be 62 until next month.  So with a red face I purchased the day pass and we were on our merry way.  (Seems to me she could have recognized I was already suffering from CRS and given us the senior deal a month early.)  We took a short - but beautiful - hike to a couple of the window arches and just about got blown off the trail with the wind gusts!!  

Our next stop was golf at the Moab course - which is 'funky' but beautiful against the red rock formations.  Our first round of the year was less than stellar - at least Gary's.  I like to think that the wind affected the golf, but that is just pure denial.  Even though, we had a fun afternoon followed by a nice walk into town for dinner.  All in all - another wonderful day - and the Bus is holding up quite well!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good News (continued)

Good news continues  - the 'fix' on the water leak only took about 2 hours and this was a short travel day.  So - we arrived in Moab about 4:30 - had a nice walk about after 'checking in' to a camp area - AND cooked a nice dinner (of what else - mac and cheese) our 'real' first night out in "The Bus"!!  Now watching the Laker game (where they are killing SA) - what could be better than this??  Tomorrow is a hike around Arches and golf in the afternoon. 

As you can see Elizabeth is enjoying her Prosecco while composing the note above and watching the Laker game.  All the comforts of home !

Good News, Bad News

Good news - Day 1 started out with clear skies. It is the first time we have taken the "bus" out when it wasn't storming.

Bad news - I am writing this posting from the service department waiting room at an RV dealer in Salt Lake City. We discovered a water leak in the bathroom as we were getting ready to leave this morning. Hopefully it is a quick fix and we will be on our way soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mother Nature Weighs In

Since it is time for us to get the bus out of storage and start packing, Mother Nature just decided to remind us who is in charge.  The snow has been falling since late morning and the weather prognosticators are saying it may be 8 to 15 inches here in the mountains.  No worries, the bus is already very experienced in snow.  Seems like each time we have had it out so far it has been in snow or rainstorms.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Away We Go!!

Well - Gary and I are getting ready for our 6 weeks on the road! We leave Park City this Thursday, March 12th, and think we will return sometime around the middle of April. Our ultimate destination is Beaufort, SC to see the Byrne babies (triplets from cousins Bethany and David) and to hopefully lend a helping hand. Our current itinerary looks something like the following for the first several weeks -

March 12 - 13 - Moab, UT - Play golf
March 14 - 16 - Santa Fe, NM - Visiting friends
March 17 - Palo Duro Cnyn, TX - Camp - Visit old family friend in Tucumcari
March 18 - 19 - Branson, MO - Play golf & whatever
March 20 - 21 - Huntsville, AL - Play golf
March 22 - 26 - Birmingham, AL - Play golf with friends from LA
March 27 - 31 - Beaufort, SC - See Byrne babies after lunch w/cousins in Atlanta
April 1 - 2 - Great Smokey Nat Park
April 3 - Ashville - Play golf

Here the trip gets a little more 'free-form'! At some point we will head back west going thru Nashville, TN, Springfield, IL, Omaha, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Cody, WY and finally home!  All of this looks something like the map below:

We plan to provide updates here so you can peruse at your leisure. Hope you enjoy.

Here we go ----