Golfing at Hawkes Bay

Sue read, I worked on my computer all morning. After lunch Sue suggested we go for a ride and ‘explore’ Hawkes Bay. Okay, but we had sort of decided to golf at Maraenui Golf Club, a course quite near our place. They have a ‘twilight special’ on Wednesdays. Well, we can go for a drive and then check out the golf course on our way back. Good.

We drove out to Hawkes Bay, a 30-minute drive from here. The scenery along the way was amazing — rolling hills, lots of orchards and vineyards. A big lumberyard (that must be where all those logging trucks are heading).

We first went to the Hawkes Bay Golf Course, just to see what it might be like and what the green fees might be there. The parking lot had a few cars in it. Not very busy. It’s hard to see what the course is like from the parking lot. We went in to talk to the office. Well, today is our lucky day — $10 for nine holes and you enter to win prizes that will be awarded at 7:00 tonight. Hmmm.. we don’t really want to ‘compete’. Can we just golf? Sure! $10.

It was just before 3pm but the lady told us to just go tee off at hole #1. Oh, Sue wondered if they had any ‘trundlers’ available. That’s what they call the push carts here in New Zealand, and at some of the courses they have a row of them just outside the clubhouse, for those who didn’t bring their own. And they had some here too, although they were $5. And a DELUXE trundler at that! With a seat on it so Sue could sit while I go look for my ball in among the trees!

And off we were — almost alone on the course, having a great time. The cloudy sky kept the hot sun at bay. And the big wind Sue had read about never materialized. Our game was nothing to write home about (so I won’t), but we were quite impressed with the course. Friendly, very well maintained, the best greens we’ve played on since Steinbach in August. And no pressure from golfers behind us.

After nine holes we saw quite a few men (members of the club) on the practice green, getting ready for the big competition and the prizes that followed. We bought another nine holes for $10 and continued on the back nine. Both of our games improved considerably on the back nine. The course was long, par 73, and fairly challenging, but VERY much fun. We’ll definitely come back here — maybe more than once a week.

We drove home after golf and had happy hour. Then we went out for a short walk across the road from our place — to a ‘chicken and chips’ restaurant on the beach. We ordered half a barbecued chicken and some deep fried bananas and pineapples. We sat at a table on the beach and watched the sailboats on the water, the children on the beach, and the sun setting over Napier, while we ate our supper. It’s pretty nice here!

We went back to our apartment, watched a Frontline episode on my computer. And we were in bed before eleven. Just another day in paradise.

One month down, two to go

We left home on Christmas morning. We’ve been gone for a month.

We lazed around much of the day. In the morning were going to go for a 2 hour bike ride, up to Bay View and back. I guess I missed a turn somewhere along the cycling path — and we ended up heading DOWN to Taradale. When we got to the big roundabout the path ended. Now what? Lots of traffic going in and out of the roundabout — that made it a bit tricky for cyclists to enter and exit. My sense of direction said the coast was ‘that-a-way’, and my google maps on the phone said the same. So we ended up cycling on the side of a busy highway. Hmmm… we’re not used to that! Especially after a couple of big double-trailer logging trucks came whipping by! As I was trying to speed up in order to get to where the shoulder of the road widened a bit, I noticed my bike was taking off on me! It was getting harder and harder to reach the handlebars. What? and then ‘clankity-clank’! My bike seat disappeared and I was hanging onto the handlebars with my ass hanging precariously over the spinning rear wheel. The bikes are a size too small and I’d adjusted the seat height as high as I could on the seat post — well, maybe a little too high — and now I had to turn around on that crazy highway and go back and pick up my seat. Hey, if we want to risk life and limb on a bike we can cycle on the highways around Steinbach! Let’s get outta here. 

After lunch we sat around in the apartment. We had a long FaceTime with the kids — Tim is checking in on our house, Alex is hosting after school parties with colleagues, and Max has taken up sketching and is drawing pictures for me. Then we had another long FaceTime with Ed and Val — caught up on all the latest goings-on at SMC. 

Sue made denver sandwiches for our early supper. We had tickets to the 6 o’clock movie in town. We hurried into town and made a quick pit-stop at a big department store to buy a new frying pan — Sue wasn’t altogether pleased with the one in our apartment. As it turned out we got to the theatre 15 minutes before showtime, enough time to go online and check out the reviews on our new frying pan. Oh, oh. Not very good. Apparently the pan warps easily — and that’s the same problem we have with our old one! 

We saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and both rated it 5 stars. As we were sitting there watching an ‘American’ movie about intelligent black women who help the United States ‘win’ the space race in spite of discrimination, segregation, and sexism, for a moment I forgot that we are half the world away from the US. And I remember feeling the same thing last winter when we went to watch quite a few movies in Cape Town. American movies are shown all over the world — in South America, in Asia, in Europe. They are a powerful force in creating values and shaping cultures, for good and for bad. Hollywood and the power of satellite television helped bring down the Soviet Union and break down the Berlin wall. The government couldn’t hide the disparity between East and West from the people. Dictators and closed societies can’t win against the will of the people. Walls and protectionist policies have no chance against the ‘free trade’ of ideas. No wonder Trump is so afraid of Hollywood and the media.

After the movie we still had time to hurry back to the store and return our new frying pan. Back at the apartment we sat down and watched the CBC National on my computer. By shortly after ten we were in bed.

Time flies when you’re having fun.


It’s been a week since we trekked (or ‘tramped’, as they say in New Zealand) the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It’s about time for another long hike.

Gannets can dive from a height of 30 metres, achieving speeds of 100kph as they strike the water.

We’ve been told that it’s worthwhile for us to go see the Gannet Colony out at Cape Kidnappers, not far from us here in Napier. We didn’t actually know what ‘Gannets’ were, but when I looked it up I discovered that they are a very interesting bird unique to this part of the world. Among other characteristics, the gannets belong to the booby family. We’d seen ‘blue-footed boobies’ when we went to the Galapagos Islands years ago — and I remember how they can dive-bomb deep into the ocean to catch fish. Well, the boobies here in New Zealand don’t have blue feet — they are large white birds with yellowish heads and black-tipped wings — but hey, what’s not to like about another 20km hike in search of ‘boobies’?

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

(Well, actually I’d be way more excited about seeing one of the world’s great golf courses up on top of the cliffs at Cape Kidnappers, but so far I haven’t convinced Sue that it’s worth the $480 it costs to hook and slice a bunch of golf balls into the ocean from up there!)

There are a couple of ways to go see the gannets at Cape Kidnappers. You can have a van pick you up and take you to one of the two colonies where you can get up close and personal with the birds and someone will tell you all about them ($80/person). Or you can join a tractor and trailer tour where guides take you along the beach ($44/person). Or you can skip the morning workout at the gym and pack a lunch and WALK along the beach to see the birds (FREE). Of course we picked option three.

The trick is to make sure you know when high and low tides are, in order to keep the ‘swimming in the big waves of the ocean’ part to a minimum. Low tide today is at 12:15. We drove out to the parking lot at the Clifton Cafe, the starting point for our hike, at 9:30. The tractors and trailers were just lining up. One trailer skipped the line-up and headed straight for a large group of Japanese tourists. They must have ordered the exclusive ‘premium’ package. Wearing their ‘dust masks’ and clutching their big gold purses, they hopped aboard the ‘hay-rack’, popped open their sun umbrellas, and started off on their drive along the beach about 20 minutes ahead of the ‘regular’ caravan. Sue bought a bottle of water to go with our sandwiches, and we set off on our walk. It was ten o’clock. We needed to be back by 4, before the incoming tide would cover the beach.

The sign above the little shack on the beach reads ‘Topless Bathing Permited’

It was (another) gorgeous day. We met a few walkers on the way, but really it was a beautiful quiet walk along the beach for us. Shorts and sandals. Mostly sand, but occasionally we had to climb over a rocky outcropping. Big cliffs towering up beside us (somewhere way up there some rich Japanese men are enjoying a golf game while their wives and children are bouncing along on a hayride far below!)

And sure enough, we were only a few miles along the trip when the first of 3 tractor/trailers putted up behind us and passed us. We’d pass THEM a while later, when they stopped so the three drivers/guides would have to take their pick axes and ‘chop’ up some big boulders that had washed ashore and made the way impassable.

The tractor tour came upon the first colony of gannets at a point about 7kms into our walk — a couple of big stony ‘islands’ COVERED with the white birds. (Even more boobies than you’d ever see at the topless pool in Veradero, Cuba!) We got quite close to the birds and even saw nests with the ‘fuzzy’ baby gannets still sitting next to their mothers. We snapped a bunch of photos. We were just heading around the point when we heard the tractors coming up behind us again. We let them pass. They went ahead for a short distance, then parked as a group at a National Park entrance that led up to a second colony of gannets. That’s as far as the tractor tour would go.

But not the Nikkel tour! No, we don’t turn around until we’ve gone at least TEN kilometres! We continued on, heading to the next point out in the distance. The last three kilometres were a little trickier than what we’d done so far. Now we had to clamber over BIG rocks, sometimes slippery rocks, and jump from one to the next. Sue had had enough — her knee was hurting and she decided to sit and rest while I went the last bit to the point. When I got there it really was as far as I could go — I looked down from the top of the ledge I was on and spotted a big fat seal lying on the rock below, warming up in the hot noonday sun. I yelled and clapped my hands, trying to convince him to put on a show for the camera but he was all out of tricks. I turned around and headed back to join Sue for lunch: sandwiches and water — ‘on the rocks’. And then it was time to retrace our steps — not that we really could; the waves had erased them from the sand.

We passed the tractor tour — they were still parked at the Park entrance. The last mile or two we were hot and tired and thirsty and the wet sand in my sandal had created a blister on one of my feet. We got back to the parking lot just as the tractors caught up to us.

On the short drive home we passed through the small village of Clive and stopped for an ice cream cone. As we sat at a table in the cafe patio under the shade of overhead grape vines, the nice lady at the counter sent us each a plate with freshly-baked scones with dates and butter — no charge. What a treat!

Back at the ranch, we showered and had a drink. Sue had emailed our hosts, inviting them to join us for happy hour. Instead, Graeme invited us to come over and sit at THEIR table. We had a lovely visit. At around 7pm Graeme and Robyn suggest we join them for dinner. Or, how about we go out for pizza? (It IS Friday, after all.) So we all went across the road to the Italian pizza restaurant and had supper out on the deck, watching the people on the beach and the fancy luxury and old restored cars ‘cruising the drag’.

Back at Graeme’s we had double espresso coffees and dark chocolate before saying goodnight and heading back to our apartment for the night. Tired and content, we’d earned a good night’s rest.

Feast or Famine

One day I spend all evening getting photos of the days events off my phone. The next day I don’t have a single photo. It’s all or nothing with me. 

Today we did nothing. Sue slept in after starting late (or early, depending on how you look at it; too much strong coffee yesterday evening!). We had breakfast, then lunch, without leaving the apartment. I went out to the beach to watch Graeme sailing, but could only see one sailboat out there. 

Before supper we went for a walk. We stopped to pick up a few supplies and then headed right back to our place. We had G&Ts for the first time in a long time. Sue made supper. In the evening we watched a bit of news on my computer. Early to bed.

To market, to market…

After our morning coffee and yogurt we got into our car and headed down to the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market in Hastings, about half an hour south of our place. Graeme and Robyn had told us about it. We are not really “farmers’ market” kind of people, but hey, we’re tourists and we’ve got to check out these kinds of things. We found the market easily enough. Lots of cars already on the big ‘fair grounds’ parking lot. A fiddler sitting at the entrance, fiddling away. Lots of people. Lots of booths. Lots of ‘organic’ and ‘fresh’ and ‘homegrown’. Lots of free samples. More music inside. Hey, it’s like a big fair! And the samples are pretty good. And the sun is shining and there’s lots of big shade trees and it’s kind of fun here.

So we bought bread and some cheese and freshly roasted coffee and avocados to take home. And I had a big bacon sandwich and Sue had a danish for lunch. And then we left.

We drove down to Havelock North, an ‘artsy’ little town not far from the Hawke’s Bay Market. We parked the car and went for a little walk, looking at all the shops on the main street. I was sort of looking for a place to buy flip-flops because the blisters on my foot were bugging me when I wore the same sandals that caused them in the first place. We didn’t find sandals, but we found a very nice ‘New World’ grocery store. Well, Sue would be just as happy to ‘tour’ a grocery store as to tour a farmer’s market. In we went. Good thing Sue had her big grocery list with her. We decided to make this our grocery shop for the week ahead. A hundred-and-twenty dollars later we headed back to our apartment to ‘unpack’.

Graeme and Robyn came by for a short visit. They’d just finished a 70km bike ride and with the 34 degree sunshine, they were wiped! We sat and visited in the shade at our place for a while. Robyn was going to take us golfing at the Maraenui Golf Club where she is a member. But apparently there’d been a big tournament there all day so we wouldn’t go until at least 4:30. No problem. Time for a little Sunday afternoon maedach-schlop.

A little after 4 we decided to go to the course and see if we could get 9 holes for the Sunday afternoon $15 discounted green fee. When we got there there were a LOT of cars on the parking lot. But it looked like the tourney was over and most people were loading the clubs and ‘trundlers’ into their trunks. We paid and headed for the first tee.

My first tee shot went way left, into the trees. Ouch! I was glad Robyn wasn’t along with us — this would have been an embarrassing start. And Sue, who normally would have taken me aside right about now and told me to ‘calm down’, and suggest that I was shooting poorly because I was nervous that everyone was watching me (and there were quite a few other golfers on the tee watching me) and I should just RELAX, didn’t say anything at all. She just walked up to the ladies’ tee box and proceeded to bloop her tee shot about 30 yards ahead. Oh oh. Not a very auspicious start to the golf game.

But we persevered. And after a couple of holes we were away from the pack and playing our usual (not very good) game. And enjoying the scenery. Vineyards surrounding the course, big shady trees, some with red and pink blooms, lots of pine needles in the shade of the massive trees that lined each of the fairways.

We were back at the apartment by 7pm. After the obligatory G&Ts (hey, we have the lemons anyway), Sue peeled the prawns she’d bought earlier and soon had the apartment smelling delicious. Rotini and shrimp in a curry-garlic sauce. (Sue said Ingrid would NOT like this, but Rudy LOVED it!) We ate outside at the little table on our patio. We could hear Robyn laughing her loud unmistakeable marvellous laugh — she and Graeme are doing their usual ‘welcome’ socializing with the B&B guests — today it’s a young American couple who are on their honeymoon here in New Zealand.

Bluff Hill Lookout

Monday today (I know, I know, it’s actually Sunday at home, but here it is Monday). That means it’s “wash day”. So Sue did two loads of laundry after breakfast. We don’t use the dryer here — no, the 27 degree sunshine and a light ocean breeze means that wash on the line dry faster and fresher-smelling than they do in the electric dryer. 

Although we had decided we would “do nothing” today, we put on our walking shoes and dabbed a bit of SPF50 sunscreen on our noses and went for a little ‘tramp’ up the big hill that lies between our apartment here in Ahuriri, a suburb of Napier, and the Napier City Centre. Hey, what would a day in paradise be without working up a little sweat (and appetite) before lunch. Apparently the views of the port from up on Bluff Hill are great. This time of year (we think the summer school holidays ended here this past weekend) there can be several cruise ships at the port, unloading waves of tourists who are whisked by air-conditioned modern coach buses to the Napier beaches a mile or two south. Graeme told us that the second largest cruise ship in the world had been in port this past weekend, dispatching more than 4000 cruisers into our little town. 

We didn’t really know how strenuous the hike would be. It turned out to a fairly easy half hour climb up a couple of small steep roads and then a zig-zagging path with stairs on most of it. And there’s quite a nice park at the top. A parking lot for those who’d rather drive up. A small flower garden and a large compass. And very fine panoramic views of the sea and the port.

We snapped enough photos to warrant another ‘gallery’ for the blog, then tramped back home along the oceanfront walkway. And while the number of double- and triple-trailer logging trucks remains a constant, we noticed quite a change in the number of people on the walk and on the beach. The summer holidays are over. It’s “quieter” here now.


I’d have to say the highlight of my day was lunch; actually, the highlight of EVERY day for me is lunch. A big shaved ham and avocado and cheese and mustard sandwich, with just the right number of potato chips (Sue counts them to make sure I have only ‘one portion’), and a tall glass of a cool delicious beverage I must not name. I told Sue today that when I die it better be after lunch or I will feel cheated.

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos of highlights from all my favourite Sunday morning TV talk shows. Man, how is it that the “greatest nation on earth” can have so many dumb-ass voters that they elect a narcissistic, rude, billionaire buffoon who says up is down and down is up… And where is that little boy who will alert them to the fact that the emperor has no clothes, and what’s taking him so long?

And Sue read her kindle — today she finished reading “A Japanese Lover” and started her next bookclub book, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”.  

At around 4:30 I made us a little snack: apple slices and some crumbles of a nice sharp cheese we bought at the farmers’ market yesterday. While Sue appreciated the gesture, she wasn’t all that impressed by the quantity of time and utensils it took for me to prepare it. Oh well, I guess that’s why she’s the master chef around here. 

Speaking of master chef, we had a lovely salad with our leftover rice and chorizo tonight. And then it was time to set up my little laptop computer and tune in to another episode of “The Crown” on Netflix. Ah, a lazy day in Napier. What could be finer?


Another beautiful day, another hike up a mountain

What else is new? The temperature outside was already mid-twenties when we woke up at 8am. Sue did another load of laundry and we had breakfast. We sat under the big ceiling fan and read the internet news on our devices until lunch. And we looked at ‘activity options’ for today. How about we drive down to Havelock North and climb up to Te Mata Peak, from where (Graeme and Robyn tell us) we can see the WHOLE Hawke’s Bay valley. Sure.

By lunch the temperature was 34 degrees. Sue’s iPad said it would stay around that until evening. Might as well go now. We drove south for 30kms to Hastings North. Then headed for the park entrance where there was a small car park. Sue put on her hiking boots and got her hiking pole out of the trunk. And off we were.

There were 5 marked trails for us to choose from, with varying degrees of difficulty. We picked the Rongokako Trail (marked with blue markers). It was supposed to be a 5.5km ‘goat trail’ with some ‘steep’ sections that would take us right up to the peak summit, then wind down until it passed through some Big Redwoods (ah, shade!) and back to the car park. (I say ‘supposed to’ — with a few wrong turns near the end we changed it to an 8km trek!)

A panorama of the Hawke’s Bay valley from the top of Te Mata Peak.

After the hike we deserved a cool treat. So we drove down through Havelock North and on to Hastings. Graeme and Robyn had told us about a famous ice cream shop on the main street in Hastings. Not to be missed. We found Rush Munro’s, New Zealand’s oldest ice cream shop, and parked the car. We each ordered a single scoop of the Hokey Pokey flavoured ice cream. (Hokey Pokey is vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee; it was on our list of typical New Zealand foods that we ‘must’ try). Not bad! The place kind of reminded us of the Bridge Drive-in in Winnipeg — long line-ups of customers, and hard-working young people doing their best to build big beautiful ice cream dishes.

We were hot and thirsty and our feet were tired. Sue found a new little blister on her foot. My big bandaid on my blister wasn’t really doing its job anymore either. We headed home for G&Ts and showers. A bit of reading and looking at our photos and then it was out for dinner.

We went to the Frying Dutchman just down the street and picked up fish ‘n chips. We took them home and ate outside on our patio. It was 7:00 and the evening air was finally cooling things down a bit. Lovely. By 8:30 we were closing our big patio doors and settling in for another evening of “The Crown” on Netflix. 

A Cloudy First Day of February

We had another lazy morning at home. The temperature was supposed to be about 30 degrees, but it was cloudy and a bit windy outside so it really didn’t feel that hot. I was on the computer and Sue was on her iPad until lunch time. The forecast is for rain tomorrow so we ‘booked’ an afternoon matinee at the little Globe theatre across the road from us for tomorrow. We skyped with my parents for a bit. 

In the afternoon we hopped into the car and went for a drive down to Hastings again. What a nice drive, through valleys of orchards and vineyards. We went to the Hawke’s Bay Golf Course and signed in for another 18 holes of golf. At first the lady at the desk said it would be $85 for the round. Really? Is that a ‘twilight’ rate? Well, unless you want to buy a ‘package’. How much is that? A hundred dollars for 5 rounds. Crazy! How does that make any sense? We bought the package!

Once again, we had a great afternoon. The weather conditions were perfect — cloudy, not too hot, and the big mature trees that lined each fairway protected us from the wind so that we had only a light breeze. For a couple of holes we had a few raindrops, but that ended quickly too.

After our round we went back to the clubhouse and bought a couple of draughts and visited with some of the local golfers who were sitting at tables outside under the shade of a couple of big trees. They seem quite pleased to have Canadian tourists enjoying their course. They told us a little about the long weekend coming up — Monday is Waitangi Day, a national holiday here in New Zealand, similar to our Canada Day. On that day back in 1840, the British and the Maori aboriginals signed a treaty that gave the Maori rights to their land and rights as British citizens. The golfers invited us to join them for their annual ‘Ebony and Ivory’ tournament — it would be the ‘English’ versus the ‘Maori’. It was interesting to see friendly banter that went on between some of the ‘white’ and Maori golfers sitting at the table. The relationship between cultures is quite different here compared to that of whites and aboriginals at home.

We drove back to Napier, looking for a place to have supper. We parked in the downtown area and ended up back at the Rose Irish Pub. And just like when we were there with the Funks, it was Quiz Night! Sue and I had supper and played along for 3 of the 6 rounds. We were clearly not going win the $50 bar tab tonight. As we headed back to our car we were treated to a beautiful red sky — what do they say? “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.” Well, the sailors will be very happy tomorrow!

Back at the apartment, I tried to find something better than ‘Home Renovations’ on TV. Sue read. Then we went to bed.

Into every life a little rain must fall…

Woke up and the sun was shining. The forecast was for rain. After breakfast Robyn, our host, stopped by to deliver her super-light camping chairs. Our hosts are leaving for the weekend — they have a wedding to go to on the west coast. They had volunteered that we could use their camping chairs for the outdoor James Taylor concert on Sunday. Robyn demonstrated how to put them together and take them apart again. We visited for a while. And then it started to rain, not hard, and not for very long, but it rained. 

It stayed grey and dreary all day. Warm, but on-and-off sprinkles of rain. A perfect day to stay inside and do nothing. Which is what we did. 

After lunch we put on our rain jackets and walked across the street to the little boutique movie theatre — 45 big soft leather seats and you can order drinks and even pizzas while you watch the movie. You pretty much have to book your tickets in advance; the four films they show per day are usually sold out. We’d booked our tickets yesterday morning. 

So there we sat with about 38 old ladies and 4 or 5 (lucky, or hoping to get that way!) old men. Ah, we fit right in! The movie was “Lion”, nominated for a few awards. And it was quite a tear-jerker, but really very good. 

Mad Max

When we got back home I took my phone out of my pocket (it had been on ‘mute’ for the movie) and noticed we’d missed a FaceTime call from Alex. That explained why I’d heard an annoying phone vibrate about an hour into the movie — some idiot’s phone turned out to be THIS idiot’s phone! Oops. A quick text to Alex — too late — we missed Max who had wanted to ‘scare’ us a bit before going to bed. Maybe we can talk tomorrow. In the meantime Alex had sent us a few photos of Max hamming it up.

Sue made spaghetti and a big salad for supper. We spent most of the evening with me working on the computer and Sue reading. Finally, eyes getting tired from reading and coding, we decided to have a bit of chocolate and watch another episode of “The Crown”.

Friday — and a Long Weekend Ahead!

Okay, EVERY weekend is a long weekend for us, but this weekend is a special weekend for the New Zealanders.

We opened up our big double front doors as soon as we woke up; it was going to be hot today, we could feel it already in the early morning air. Sue was busy working on booking a place for us in the Cook Islands for the last week of March — she’d found a place and booked it, but now realized that we leave here late afternoon and arrive there THE DAY BEFORE WE LEAVE! Oops! And so we actually needed a place for the day before we leave here. And it took a lot of emailing back and forth, cancelling our booking and then re-booking. Anyway, Sue got that done. We didn’t move out of the shade of our place until after lunch. We skyped with the kids — it’s finally a little colder at home so at least they don’t have to negotiate on icy roads for a while. Max seems to be enjoying his swimming lessons — he’s growing up too fast! 

Rudy on the 18th green at Napier Golf Club

Mid-afternoon we drove into Napier city centre and found a print shop so I could print out my James Taylor concert tickets for Sunday night. Then we drove down to the Napier Golf Course; it was 3pm, still quite warm out there. We sign on for 9 holes — and that was enough fun for one afternoon. We golfed the back nine and both played better than earlier this week — but it seems no matter how good a game I have going, invariably at some point I’ll blow it on at least one hole and there goes my score. Oh well, apparently Tiger Woods, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson all missed the cut at Torrey Pines this week, so at least I’m in good company.

After golf we headed back into town and went grocery shopping at the Pak’n Save. Another BIG shopping trip — Sue says we’d BETTER stay at our apartment here for another two weeks just so we can get rid of all our groceries! Filled up the car with gas on the way home.

Sue on our patio for ‘happy hour’.

Whoa! hot and tired and thirsty! We were GOING to go out for supper but by the time we’d had our happy-hour G&Ts and cheese and sausage snack and cooled off on our patio… Well, with all those groceries we just packed away we don’t really need to go out anyway. Not when Sue is just as happy to cook something up!

After supper I built a MASSIVE playlist on my phone and we sat around and drank some New Zealand wine and listened to music and Sue played Scrabble on her iPad while I wrote my journal. Mmmm… it’s good to listen to our music again for a change; cleanses the mind and the soul, and no matter how many close putts we missed today or how much we miss little Max, music heals and makes all things a little better!