Indian Shores, FLA - Yesterday I wrote about a great little golf course and a superb restaurant, well today I have to do the opposite.
Hey, when you're scouting around on holidays it's often hit and miss and yesterday we missed on a couple of counts and we met Americans who can't see hockey pucks.
First of all, the golf course, it's called Mangrove Bay and it's not that far from the little gem I talked about yesterday called Cove Cay. I won't even bother to give you the directions or link it to this posting because it ain't worth it.
Mangrove Bay cost forty four bucks a round with a cart, but that's only five bucks cheaper than Cove Cay which is twice the golf course.
Mangrove Bay wasn't in the best of condition and it literally stunk on the front nine. It's in the middle of an industrial area and I swear one of the industries has to be a shit factory, or a some kind of a human waste facility.
There's a similar aroma near the Humber River when your heading along the Gardiner, although yesterday I don't know what stunk worse, the golf course or my short game.
At the best of time I can't control the distance of my pitching wedge or nine iron but yesterday I kept topping the ball and sending worm burners into the next county.
My putter let me down as well, no less than four times I had balls sit on the edge of the cup but they refused to go down. I must not live right.
And if that wasn't bad enough, on the fourth tee I went back to the cart to switch and club and fell off a little curb twisting my ankle. It wasn't too bad until I got back to the condo last night and it started to throb.
It's still sore this morning but it won't stop me from the playing final round of our trip at Dunedin Golf and Country Club, an old course that Babe Ruth once played at. It's been around since the 1820's. But don't be fooled by its glory when it comes to price, it's only fifty five bucks a round. Why else do you think we're playing it?
Last night we had a less than average meal. Me and my buddy Darren are like a couple of old bloodhounds when it comes to food.
We left Mangrove yesterday and headed for PJ's Oyster Bar. It was going to be a safe a classic dinner of Oysters and King Crab Legs. We were hungry and when you go to PJ's you know exactly what you're getting. No surprises, only good solid reasonably priced seafood.
Well wouldn't you know it, we're heading west on Hwy. 688 and it struck us at a stop light. The aroma of another oak fired barbeque pit. It was strong and unbelievably good.
We looked at each other and exclaimed how wonderful this little patch of the world had become and immediately started looking around to see if we could tell where it was coming from.
There was a stretch of family restaurants behind us, but one called Matchstick Grill and Bar stuck out and we determined that must be it, so we immediately got into a debate on whether we should turn left at the light and follow the smell.
Decisions don't come easy for us when it comes to food so our analysis of playing it safe at PJ's or trying a new place dragged on for some time, but that's OK because the bloody' traffic lights down here take forever.
Finally we decided to go for it. As Darren said "you can't expand your horizons if you don't try new stuff, so lets go check it out."
We wheeled around and found our way into the parking lot and maneuvered our way through countless cars and victims of obesity before arriving at Matchstick Grill and Bar.
Yes, this is where the aroma was coming from and yes it looked like you're typically family restaurant and yes we decided to eat there.
We had an appetizer of oak fired chicken wings and they were pretty good, but the for some reason, even though we knew the ribs weren't oak fired, we ordered them.
They were average at best, but the taste of the food was affected even further by the knowledge that we had made the wrong call and we could have been eating oysters and king crab at PJ's
Paying the sixty eight dollar bill was difficult and regrettable but a lesson well learned, when you're hungry, really hungry, don't screw around with a sure thing and don't let your hunger affect your reasoning to the point where you end up in a family restaurant with extremely large people eating extremely large portions.
And before I go I should back up a bit.
At the golf course yesterday, we were paired with a couple of nice fellas from Boston named Dan and David. I realize there is no text book on "gay" but if I had to guess I'd say these were a couple of middle aged gay guys who were down for a few days of golf.
I also realize you don't have to be gay to find so much pleasure in the little things in life because if I did think that way it would stereotyping - but man oh man did these guys ever find pleasure in the little things, and they expressed themselves in what I would call a "light in the loafers" kind of way.
Don't get me wrong, they were excellent golfers but their unending "glee" at basic shots filled my head with horrible thoughts of what might be going on at their condo later that night.
But none of that is why I mentioned them. This is why. During our various conversations over the day, we touched on sports a few times.
We ribbed the nice fellas about the Patriots and then paid respect to the Bruins and the new look Celtics, but when it came to hockey these guys were clueless, and do you want to know why?
Because they can't follow the puck on TV. I've heard this complaint from Americans before and it's why FOX Television added that blue streak to their coverage a few years back, but I had never been face to face with an Yank when they said it.
"You're kidding aren't you David" I said.
"No" he said, "hockey's a much better game live because you can follow the action."
Then Dan piped in. "David" he said, "I just got a new high definition television and hockey's much better on it, you can actually see the puck."
This got me to wondering, if these guys were lovers Dan would know that David had a new high definition television, so maybe they aren't gay. Or maybe they're in other relationships, much like Darren and me, only Darren and me are into women.
Anyway, it didn't matter at that point, I was more interested in why Americans apparently have worse eye sight than Canadians.
How can we have no problem seeing a hockey puck on television but it's a paramount challenge to people in the States?
Neither Dan nor David seemed interested in continuing the conversation, even after I made the point that a baseball is just as small as a puck and you can see that traveling at 90 miles an hour on TV.
They simply shrugged and then David shrieked as Dan dropped a three foot putt.
Category: Short Stories | Stuff