I hear tell that summer has finally landed, for at least three days in a row, in Kitsap. It has greatly improved here lately, too, which for the likes of me and my bro Pete means: time to golf! Mel's Grandy and Papa are here visiting. I'm hoping I can talk Papa into a round out in Palmer tomorrow. I've never golfed there and I'm hoping to hit as many courses in the greater South-Central region as I can. I've now played O'Malley, Eagleglen, and Moose Run in Anchorage (along with the goat ranch that is Tanglewood and the "Are you shitting me? You're really calling this a golf course?" that is Russian Jack) in Anchorage and Settler's Bay near Wasilla. Week after next, I'll be joining Jeff at the Kenai for a few days and there is a course not far from there that is supposed to be decent. I brought my golf clubs when Steve and I went to Denali but, as previously reported, the weather was uncooperative, for both golfing (it poured) and viewing the mountain (when it wasn't pouring, it was very cloudy).
We have had some pretty great weather here the last couple of days, as well. Thomas and I did a little road trip to Seward early on the 4th (which means we missed their 4th of July fireworks display--they start at 12:01am to take optimum advantage of the "dark") but were there in plenty of time for the Mount Marathon Run festivities. That is quite an event and a super cool people watching environment, to boot. The weather was just about right, not too hot for the runners and not to cold for the spectators. (I've posted a couple of internet photos to give you the idea. I'll post some of Tommy's pics from this year's event in a couple of days. You'll get a better sense of what it was like. He has a great video of Kikkan Randall, the women's first place finisher, blowing snot rockets after the race before a television interview. It was gross/awesome and as a measure of respect and regard for her athletic accomplishment, we will not be posting it to youtube.)
The next two days were spectacularly beautiful. I remember Karen Ochs going goofy over Seward last year when they visited. I trust she was there on weather days that looked like these because I even thought about moving there (though I am acutely aware that those kinds of days are the exception rather than the rule in Seward).
Seward also has an excellent Sea Life Aquarium. We took a behind the scenes tour and then spent some time touring the exhibits, including nature's exhibit out in Resurrection Bay with an otter sunning himself out front for his (and our) amusement. The night before, we had seen something in the water on a scenic drive we took around the corner from downtown Seward. Thomas thought it was an otter. I was quite certain it was driftwood. It was quite a ways out. I've gotta give Tommy props on this one. He knew what he was seeing even though it wasn't up close. We're pretty sure it was the same guy.
We ate some great leftovers we brought from home part of the time and had a lovely, leisurely meal at Ray's (apparently Ray gets around to these waterfront towns) in the marina. Our charming cozy cabin (run by the Seavy's, an Iditarod champion family) had a great, deep bathtub with windows to the woods. I took a hot, therapeutic bath (salts with eucalyptus, rosehip, and chamomile) two times each day.
And the morning we left, after finding a truly excellent cup of coffee to go with our freshly baked ham and cheese croissants, we drove eight short miles out of town and walked one half mile (of a much longer trail) to get to an excellent view of Exit Glacier. It was a really fun couple of days.
(This is an internet photo. We have to get in way better shape to walk far enough to get this close. But later, I will be posting some of the nice pictures Thomas took for reals.)
And as though all that beautiful fun was not enough, when I got back to town we had a nice dinner at Renee and Mark's. Grandy made some spectacular ribs with the best coleslaw I've ever tasted (among many other tasty sides) and we had some nice family time, all topped off with a blueberry bread pudding Mel made (she experiments on us for future Roadhouse dessert recipes. We, for the record, are very willing guinea pigs.)