This week is my first back from a week's vacation. What a trip! I left Thursday evening, June 28, and traveled to Oakland to pick up my cousin. We then drove that night to Fresno. The next day we got up at five-thirty and loaded all of my mother's furniture and belongings into a U-Haul truck and started the drive for Oregon. We dropped my car off at my Uncle's at Lawrence Livermore Labs where he works, then continued on our way. That afternoon, at about 3 o'clock, 40 miles south of Redding, we had a flat tire. Fortunately the U-Haul has double-tires, so it wasn't the end of the world. We drove slowly and got off five miles down the road, found a telephone, waited on hold for 30 minutes, and discovered that there was a Goodyear tire place within a couple blocks! Minutes later the tire was replaced and we were on the road. But the adventure did set us back a couple hours. Since our schedule was blown, we took our time, stopping for a nice sit-down dinner at an expensive (but wonderful) Italian restaurant in Ashland, Oregon, and continued driving throughout the night. At about 2 a.m. we were rudely awakened by a dark flying shape which collided with the windshield of the truck! In retrospect we concluded it was a bat. It struck very hard, though it didn't break the glass or anything, but it was so odd and startling, it woke us up for the rest of the trip. We finally made it to my grandfather's home in Oceanside, Oregon (west of Tillamook and a mile from the beach) at five in the morning. Our journey had taken us a full twenty-four hours!
After that, we relaxed and slept, though we did have to unload and return the rented truck Saturday evening. Then it was time for golfing. Last summer I got the bug, and this summer I bought a set of clubs and decided to actually learn how to play. I practiced at the driving range, the petite nine-hole par 3, and the full 5300-yard 18-hole Alderbrook Golf Course. I played some golf just about every day, including the big course on four occasions. During the week I learned a great deal and my game went from over double-par to slightly under. The main thing for me was not my overall score (I'm too inconsistent for that to be affected yet), but to see if I could control my shots a little better and actually make a few shots. I did well in that respect, putting forth a few good drives, some nice irons (including a few tricky ones behind trees that got me out of trouble), and a few pitching wedge chips that surprised me! My best was a bogey on a par 4 400 yard hole where I managed, for my first time ever, three good shots in a row (I usually can't hit good even twice in a row). I hit a decent 200+ yard drive, a nice long iron that put me near the green, and a chip that put me six or seven feet from the hole. Of course I missed the par put, but easily earned my bogey, and for me that was great golf. (I never did make par on any hole, but I did manage a few bogeyes, which is a good target for me.) I'll practice this year and see how much better I am by my next Oceanside visit.
I watched a few movies on vacation, but I didn't keep track of them for reviewing, so I won't. Same for the patches of soccer I got to see. Mostly it was a chance to relax, enjoy seeing some relatives I hadn't seen in a while, and play some golf.
I haven't yet put up pictures from trip, but I'll do so at some point.