Reykjavik, Iceland

Next stop, Iceland! A little fact about Iceland is that it is Europe’s northernmost nation and Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city.  It has active volcanoes, hot thermal springs, waterfalls, and geysers.  Here Dan and I split up for the day. He wanted to go to what is called the Blue Lagoon. It is a world-famous hot spring. I had no desire to be in a swimsuit in 45 degree weather no matter how warm those hot spring were. He loved it and said that it didn’t smell too much like rotten eggs.

Isn’t this just gorgeous?  It is so hard to come up with words to describe this part of the world.  Cold and idyllic?  Serene and mystical?  You just have to go and see for yourself.

Since Dan was headed for the lagoon, I took a tour that took me to some amazing waterfalls. The challenge was that it was so very cold and the winds were strong that it burned my lungs to breathe as I hiked down to the falls. Since I had a cold, I just couldn’t make it all the way down, which was very disappointing.  In this picture the falls don’t seem that large, but let me tell you, even from half way down and with my telephoto lens, the roar was loud.   The falls were so vast and the water traveled far down stream and out of sight.

After time at the falls we headed to an area where there were geysers (geysirs).  Unlike Old Faithful in Yellowstone, you had to wait with uncertainty when it might spout.  The only other geysers I’ve seen were in Rotorua, New Zealand.  There are signs posting along the path here stating that the water is 212 degrees Fahreneit!  When it shot up those people you see took off running and screaming as they were standing too close.

Iceland is a land of so much natural beauty and scenic diversity.  The people were friendly and helpful. Another must see destination, especially  if you want to go somewhere less populated.

Funny of the Week #2

Golfing is my love, my challenge, my fun, and my frustration. But then, you all know that by now. The rotator cuff has healed as much as it can without surgery, so I am playing again, but taking only half swings. Can you imagine how long a game could take if I played 18 holes? Good thing I only play 9 holes on par 3 courses!

Last week I played with my regular golfing buddy and Dan joined us so he could get some practice in. Great! His sense of humor was on display when I asked for everyone’s scores on hole number 3. His response, “Two pars and a Katie.” Translation, he and Patrice had pars, and I had… a 5.  Funny man.

However, this week the tables turned. When the scores were called for, I couldn’t resit, “Two pars and a Dan.”  Yes, Patrice and I had pars and Dan had a 5.  I just love how things can change at any time in this game called golf.

Road Trip

Hitting the Road

Retirement and Road Trip seem to go together, don’t they?  This past spring we had the opportunity to head for the Grand Canyon with our son, Brian and his wife, Jenny.  Dan and Brian shared the driving and it seemed like the long trek went quickly.

Judging by all the creature comforts we packed into the car you would have thought we were going for a week instead of 4 days! But we had a great time taking pictures, tasting beers from local brewery’s and sharing family stories. New memories were made like Brian bringing a hammock and stringing it between 2 trees so we could lookout over the canyon! Can you imagine how beautiful it was?  It was a bit scary too!

 

 

 

 

Three of the four of us are NOT morning people, but we were all up and headed for the park at 4:15 to see the sunrise beam light over the red canyon. Dan drove and parked the car inside the park. By moonlight we hiked in to find the “perfect spot” to watch the day begin. My pictures don’t do justice to the magnificence of the Canyon, but I did manage to capture a few good shots.

Brian and Jenny waiting for the sun to rise.

And yes, later in the day as we were hiking, an elk wandered up to a public drinking fountain to have a sip of water. A park visitor was happy to give this big animal a slurp before moving on.

We had a great time traveling with our grown children. Now we have our free “lifetime” National Park pass. As senior citizens it cost us a big ten bucks. Who knows where we will go next…

Washing the Golf Course!

Let’s shampoo the golf course!

I can’t golf yet, but I  walked the course with my friend the other morning. I acted as score keeper. As I feared, she is getting better and better, while I can barely move my arm.

As we were walking from the 1st tee, I noticed little soap bubbles all over the course. What?! Was the course dirty or something? Did the nearby car wash explode and bubbles drifted onto the course? Where were these bubbles from?

Then I noticed all these sprouts of grass everywhere. Of course, when you aren’t lugging a golf bag or concentrating on the game, you notice  these oddities. I had to contain my curiosity until we finished the round.

I went to the front desk and asked what the deal was with the soap and silky sprouts. Did you guess the soap was fertilizer and the grass was full of new seedlings?  Guess I have a lot to learn about this game called golf.

Golf Swing vs Rotator Cuff

So, just what is a rotator cuff and how do you tear it? My online dictionary says  it is a “capsule with fused tendons that supports the arm at the shoulder joint and is often subject to athletic injury.”

The good news is I can be considered an athlete! I always wanted to be an athlete, but that means you have to have some sort of ability-which I do not have. I have learned to swing a club and I golf twice a week so I guess that makes me a retired golfing pro!

The bad news is that I partially tore my left rotator cuff. The diagnosis from an MRI came with lots of other long words I can’t pronounce. All I know is that I can’t really move the arm much. Sleeping is a bear and I’m sidelined from swinging a club.

The good news is we are going to try physical therapy first before surgery. I have a great physical therapist that I have had before for hip bursitis, so I have a lot of confidence in him. Things are going REALLY slow right now.

The bad news is I am missing out on all of the great spring golfing weather. I hate the hot summers, so spring is my favorite time to golf! I’ll let you know when I can swing a club again…

 

Hidden Shots

Being the stellar golfer that I am, I had one of those days on the golf course where I spent more time searching for my ball than hitting off the green. So sad!

Because of my extreme hitting accuracy (haha), I am often looking for wayward balls. One solution is to use pink or florescent pink balls. Easy to spot, right? Not necessarily! For example, you see this little jewel nestled under a patch of weeds? From the other side it is completely hidden. It took forever to find.

Or, take this little beauty. Embedded in the natural habitat is one cute little pink ball. Can you imagine if I used a white or yellow ball? Never would have found it.

But the best of all was having a ball get buried in the tall ornamental grass that lined the creek bed. I really could not find the ball until we started digging down into each tuft of grass. Yes, I took a drop. Since I play with such a great friend, no penalty was incurred.

The day ended in the sand, but at least I could spot the ball!

Moral of this story: Golfing is not about skill, but about the fun you have in the quiet outdoors with friends. Lots of laughs, memorable stories, and the occasional great shot. Love this sport!

Golf cover vs. Marmot Masher

Back in early December I wrote about my encounter with the coots. You may recall that I hit one of those ugly birds with my new hybrid club.  Ever since it has been called the “Coot Slayer.”

I had been wanting a driver to add to my meager collection of clubs. So for Christmas Dan got me a used club for a whopping  $59.00. He was skeptical I could use such a long club, so why spend a lot of money?  Smart thinking on his part!

The first day I took my club to the course I was playing in a foursome. Those poor people did not know the laughs they were in for. My friend had her bag well off to the side and was waiting for me to tee off. She had taken the squirrel cover off her driver and set it on top of the club. Oh, I hit the ball alright! I hit the squirrel in the head and knocked it off the club. I killed it! So my friends decided the driver needed a name. It is now known as the “Marmot Masher.”

Truth be told I am really quite good with this club now that I’ve learned to swing it correctly-well better than before. Golfing with me is an experience you will never forget. I provide great dinner table stories sure to entertain!