Sunday, May 28, 2017

Potomac Shores Golf

Since the engagement story is out of the way, we now return to the regularly scheduled blog about poker and golf.  I guess the title gave it away, another golf adventure.

This time, we head 30 miles south of Washington DC to a Jack Nicklaus designed course.  I was invited to a corporate golf tournament with a four-man scramble format hosted by a law firm.  During peak times the price of a round can exceed $100.  My money was no good there.  Everything was taken care of!

There was one catch, the weather forecast didn't look good as we gathered on the practice green.  Rain with temperatures in the 50s.

Some of the lawyers didn't showed up.  I can't blame them.  This was a round for golf lovers only.  My team ended up being composed of three golfers: one lady, one gentleman, and myself.  I was the best player on our team since the other two people only play few times per year.  Nevertheless, our spirits were high.

We got a par on the 1st, a bogey on the 2nd, and a birdied on the 3rd hole (pictured below).

We couldn't save pars on the 4th and 7th holes.

We wrapped up the front nine +3.  The most memorable hole was the par 5 10th.  I hit a great drive down the middle.  Then, I hit a mid iron straight down the hill.

There are two giant trees in the middle of the fairway.  I managed to land behind them.  I still had a shot but it would not be lined up with the flag.

I managed to sneak the ball around the tree and onto the green.  My two partners missed their putts.  I hit my putt and it went in for another birdie!

We did not do well until the last hole.  To be more precise, we were +5 on holes 11 thru 17.  But on the 18th, we hit good drives and second shots.  We had an eight foot putt for a birdie.  My two teammates missed their putts.  The putting line looked like it was downhill with a right to left break.  I barely tapped it but it curled and trickled into the cup for a birdie!

Overall, I give the course an 8 out of 10.  On average, the distances between the holes were very long.  And the elevation changes on the course make it almost unwalkable.

I was very happy to get out there rain or shine.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Queen of Hearts: Part 4


She looked up at him and said, "The next available flight is at 6:30 pm tonight and there are seven available seats.  The cost to rebook is $50."  This was music to Ace's ears.  It was almost the best case scenario.  He accepted the option immediately and everything went smoothly.  He remembered to take the box out and keep it with him during the flight.

He landed an hour before the QoH that evening.  The next day was very hectic.  For starters, it was cloudy all day and rain seems inevitable.  This meant that Ace had to choose a location that was covered or was near an area that had a cover in case it started to rain.  He considered doing it Sunday afternoon but the forecast was not good.

He ended up choosing an outdoor corner deck of a resort that is right on the water.  The deck is near the resort pool and bar area and it has a glass railing.  The QoH had to stop by an event at 4 pm.  Ace used the opportunity to go with a friend and see the place and make sure everything was going as planned.

The hotel personnel had everything ready by 5:30 pm.  Ace texted the QoH to let her know to meet him at 6 pm.  The two places are in close proximity to one another and she made it over by 6:15 pm.

They ordered from the menu and had champagne.  The rain stayed away and it was a wonderful moment.  Finally, Ace got down on one knee and asked the lady to marry him.  She said...Yes!

After taking few pictures, they let their families and friends know.  QoH's brother and few friends arrived after an hour to celebrate with the newly engaged couple right by the ocean.

And that's the story behind Ace and the queen of his heart.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Queen of Hearts: Part 3


Everything was going well.  For Valentine's Day, they went to dinner to the Georgetown Waterfront.  The dinner was pricey but enjoyable.  Ace had a fun time coming up with zingers about couples seated around the restaurant where the men appeared to be twice as old as their female companions.

The DC winter was mild but by March, it was time to welcome back spring.  The couple booked a trip to see her family and spend some time at the beach.  Ace decided that this trip would be a good opportunity to pop the question.

He spent few weeks learning about diamonds and engagement rings.  He talked to his brother who was already married.  He spoke to his married female friends also.  And he browsed the internet trying to understand the differences between all the varieties available.  Not to bore you with the details, he ended up getting a diamond stone with an 18K white gold ring. 

The QoH has a very busy work schedule so her departing flight was scheduled for Friday evening.  Ace was going to book his flights with points.  He had two options.  Either fly thru Atlanta with a 5 hour layover and arrive on the island at 10 pm or fly DC to Newark Friday morning and catch a connecting flight at noon from JFK.  He chose the second option because he would reach the island by 4 pm.  This gave him enough time to go see potential proposal locations.  He was set on having it near a beach/water.

Fast forward to that Friday, Ace made it to DCA by 7 am.  He had the ring in a box inside his carry-on bag because it was too big to fit in his pocket.  There were no issues going thru security.  After the gate attendant scanned his boarding pass, he headed towards the aircraft.  The plane was very small and before entering the aircraft, he had to check his carry-on as did all other passengers.  Only after he got to his seat did he remember that he left the ring in the bag!  To make the situation even more entertaining, outside the window he saw the United workers loading and moving the bags.

Before the plane left the gate, the pilot announced that everything was looking good and the plane should be landing 20 minutes ahead of schedule.  Ace was very happy to hear this because it gave him extra time to make it to JFK for the 12 pm flight.

The DCA to EWR flight was very short but 15 minutes before landing, the pilot made the announcement that due to airport traffic, the plane would have to circle above New Jersey.  Long story short, the plane landed at 9:20 am.  Then, Ace had to wait for his carry-on bag at the side of the aircraft.  Luckily, he got the bag back with the ring inside.

Because of New York commuter traffic, Ace decided to take the train to Penn Station and from there go to JFK.  He made it to Penn Station at 10:40 am.  He rushed to the street level to see if he can take an Uber to JFK.  The app did not work and kept asking to verify payment.  He wasted 15 minutes and then gave up.  It was 11 am.  Defeated, he stood at the corner of 7th and 33rd.  He looked up and soaked in his surroundings.  He snapped a photo of the Empire State Building before heading back underground.

He hopped on the subway heading to the Jamaica Station.  Ace is a huge fan of Seinfeld.  First thing that came to mind was the episode The Subway and also The Cigar Store Indian.

During the rest of the ride, he passed the time by thinking about his options now that he had missed his flight.  He thought, will there be another flight today?  At what time?  How much will it cost?  What if there are no other flights tonight or they are all full?  He hoped that the worst case scenario would not happen where there were no other flights on Friday AND a next day flight would cost over $100 extra.  He arrived at the Delta counter in Terminal 2 at 12:20 pm.

He approached the lady at the counter and told her his story.  She was very nice.  She typed all the info into the computer and waited to see all the available options.  To Ace, waiting on the computer felt like an eternity but, in reality, it was only a minute.  She looked up at him and said, "The next available flight is...

to be continued...