Showdown at Sawgrass III

A rematch at TPC Sawgrass nine years in the making.

The Beatles Suite at The Edgewater Seattle

For a hotel and Beatles junkie, this was pretty much as good as it gets.

Skagway and the Laughton Glacier Hike

Perhaps the most incredible day of my entire travel career.

My Top 8 Bucket List Golf Courses

After a year of incredible golf travel, it was time to revise the bucket list.

A Photo Tour of Streamsong Resort

Sometimes in this business, it's best to set aside the writer's ego and just let the pictures do the talking. There are simply some stories that are better told with images, because no amount of highly descriptive adjectives could do it justice. Pebble Beach was one of those places for me, and so too was the Streamsong Resort - Florida's newest golf destination that defies everything I'd ever come to know about golf resorts in the Sunshine State.
Streamsong Blue 7th Hole
The postcard hole at Streamsong.. The 7th on the Blue course.

If you prefer the longhand version of the story, then here's 1000 words on the resort from yours truly at GolfWRX. Otherwise, here's the story of Streamsong in pictures.

Directions to Streamsong Resort
Directions to Streamsong: Go to middle of nowhere. Turn left. Continue 40 miles.

Directions to Streamsong Resort
Getting closer.

Made it... I guess?

Streamsong Lodge
The ultra-modern Lodge at Streamsong inspired by Salvidor Dali.

Streamsong Lodge
The sleek, if maybe a little sterile, front desk.

Streamsong Lodge
Plenty of seating and an incredible sunset. My kind of lobby.

Streamsong Lodge
An interesting choice of artwork.

Streamsong Lodge
A photo history showing the property's former life as a phosphate mine.

Streamsong Lodge
White duvet... Check. Awesome view... Check. Two TVs in one room... Check.

Streamsong Lodge
The impressive book collection in the room.

Streamsong Golf Clubhouse
Showtime... The clubhouse as seen from the putting green.

Streamsong Red 1st Hole
1st tee on Streamsong Red.

Streamsong Red 1st Hole
Where not to miss it on the 1st hole.

Streamsong Red 1st Hole
Looking back from the 1st green toward the clubhouse.

Streamsong Red 2nd Hole
2nd fairway.

Streamsong Red 4th Hole
Perhaps my favorite approach of the day. Par-4 4th hole.

Streamsong Red 5th Hole
5th tee. Great short par-4, at least from the black tees.

Streamsong Red 5th Hole
The enormous 5th green with 6th in background.

Streamsong Red 6th Hole
The amazing par-3 6th, with a huge gator out of scene left.

Streamsong Red 7th Hole
One should probably be in moderately decent shape to walk this course...

Streamsong Red 7th Hole
I am not...

Streamsong Red 7th Hole
But the view was worth the climb.

Just your ordinary 57 yard deep green.

One of my favorite things about Streamsong... Undefined tee boxes. Just slap down some markers and call it a hole.
Worth noting that's roughly 70 yards of bailout area to the right of 7th green.

Shade... A rare commodity.

Streamsong Red 13th Hole
Standing on top of a dune left of the 13th green. Just for the picture, not cause my ball was there...of course.

Streamsong Red 14th Hole
The 14th. My favorite par3 on the Red...

Streamsong Red 16th Hole
Until I got here... The 16th on Red.

Streamsong Red 16th Green
The old school Biarritz green on the 16th of Red.

What a day...

An Old Fashioned and crabcake in P2O5 to celebrate a great day.

Enjoying the sunrise from a lounge chair by the pool.

Streamsong Bye Hole
The Bye Hole. Perfect for settling those pesky bets or a few nervous warm-up swings.

Streamsong Blue 1st Tee
The workout starts right away on Streamsong Blue

But again, the payoff makes it worthwhile.

Streamsong Blue 1st Hole
The opener on Streamsong Blue with the 7th on the Red to the left. Confession: I topped my 3-wood off the tee.

The 3rd tee.

The Himalaya-style bunker on the 4th. Yes, those are people in the background.

The dainty par-3 5th hole. All 100 yards of it. Some people take out the putter, and for good reason...

This. Don't miss the 5th green.

The somewhat daunting par-4 12th hole.

Best break of the trip. Went for the drivable par-4 13th. Wound up on the cart path.

3rd shot to the par-5 17th. Played 876 yards into the wind.

You get used to this after a while.

The approach to the 18th. The tee shot is blind, cresting this knoll is quite a thrill.

So there you have it, a failed attempt at brevity because somehow this thing still took 1000 words. But that pretty much sums up the Streamsong Resort - it's the kind of place that no amount of words can do justice. From the day this resort was announced, many were predicting it would become "the winter Bandon Dunes." After two days at Streamsong, I'm beginning to think they may be right.

Enjoy Your Stay

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

I’m not much on Halloween. It’s not because I’m too old or some strange aversion to costumes, I just don’t do scary. Horror movies, the dark, particularly intense episodes of Scooby-Doo - all are things I try to avoid like the plague. By default, Halloween falls into this mix, though it’s partially offset by the copious amounts of leftover candy. This year, for the first time in at least two decades, I was able to take part in the Halloween fun because my good friends at Disney have a celebration just for guys like me… Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Just like its Christmas Party cousin, Mickey’s Halloween Party requires a separate ticket for entry, which always makes me gristle a bit being a passholder. But I learned long ago to keep an open mind when it comes to any bash hosted by the Mickster, because they’re usually worth every penny.

My first experience at Mickey’s Halloween Party was no exception.

Oddly enough, both the Halloween and Christmas parties begin two full months before the actual holiday they’re celebrating, leading me to often wonder how anyone can get excited to Trick or Treat on Labor Day or eat Christmas cookies on November 7th. In our case, the first weekend of October felt more like mid-July, but that would change just a few hours after we scanned our MagicBands...

Although Mickey's Halloween Party technically doesn't begin until 7pm, guests with tickets can enter starting at 4pm. Since the overwhelming majority wait until the official start time - Disney doesn't exactly advertise the 4pm thing - those that do enter early are given a truly spectacular treat in the form of ridiculously short wait times.

You see, since the park "closes" at 7pm and the party "begins" at the same time, there's a brief lag where the rides are in something of a flux. All the normal park-goers have made their way toward the exit, while those attending the party haven't quite hit Tomorrowland en masse. Word to the wise... Get to Mickey's Halloween (or Christmas) Party early, because this sure beats a few pieces of candy...

Ahh but the candy... arguably the best part of Mickey's Halloween Party. I turned the page to my 30s long ago, but that didn't stop me from grabbing a bag with the best of them. There were roughly a dozen Trick or Treat stops around the Magic Kingdom and we hit them all. In the end, we came away with 4 bags that were overflowing with sweets. And not cheap knock-off brands either...I'm talking the good stuff.
Even Mr. Smee and Wendy went Trick or Treating.

Of course, the main attraction during the Halloween Party is the special edition of Wishes and the Boo To You parade. Our problem was we arrived at the Main Street hub a little later than usual and the place was already packed. It looked like we would have to watch from a rather lame location, but just then the Disney Gods threw us a bone.

A rain storm...

The crowd on Main Street scattered like they'd seen a ghost from the Haunted Mansion, and just like that we had the best seat in the house. Sure we got drenched, but it was totally worth it.

To put it mildly, Hallo-wishes was phenomenal. In fact, it just might be my favorite edition of Disney's fireworks extravaganzas, with the 180-degree finale playing a close second to the one at Epcot during New Year's Eve.

Finally, it's true what they say... Everyone loves a parade, and the Boo To You is especially good. All the usual cast of characters make an appearance, plus a few that seem out of place - read: girls dancing in Daisy Dukes - but overall it's worth the investment of time. Besides, who am I to complain about girls with fake southern accents dancing in short shorts. But fair warning: the song which accompanies the parade will be permanently implanted on your brain.

For a guy that's not big on anything Halloween, Mickey's version of the holiday is one heck of a good time. The ability to ride our favorite attractions with no wait, plus the candy, fireworks and parade made for a great evening - rainstorm and all. Will we be back next year? Probably...right about the time I get the Boo To You song out of my head.

Enjoy Your Stay