Thursday, August 10, 2006

Man, I love summer

Gail got me quite a cool present for my birthday this year: a custom-made driver. Our neighbour makes golf clubs, so one day last week, Gail told me that he had called, and wanted me to come over and give him a hand with his wireless router, which was giving him problems. So I went over, and he informed me that I was not there to fix his router, but to have a fitting for a custom driver. He measured my arm length and swing speed (85-90 mph), and we chose which type of head, shaft, and grip to use. (Well, OK, he pretty much chose all that stuff — he gave me some options, then told me what he would choose, and I gave him a lot of "sure, that sounds great".) He came by Tuesday night with the final product. I wasn't allowed to swing it, since the grip adhesive hadn't finished drying yet, but he said it should be OK by Wednesday evening. I may have a chance to go out to the range with it tonight (Thursday), but more than likely, I'll have to wait until next Tuesday morning when we go golfing at Fern (see below). I used to hate my driver because I simply couldn't hit anything with it. I entered a "longest drive" competition at Fern one year, and brought my three iron because I knew I could hit it farther than my driver (though I was completely smoked by others who could hit their drivers). I took some golf lessons last summer, and since then, I've had better luck with my driver, When I went out with my dad a couple of weeks ago, it was actually the best club I hit all day. But it's 11-year-old technology now (and that's assuming it was the latest technology when we bought our clubs 11 years ago, which it wasn't), so I'm really looking forward to trying this new one out.

We go to Fern for a week in August every year — this year it goes from this coming Sunday (the 13th) to Friday the 18th. We've been looking forward to this year's trip since, well, since last year's trip ended. Fern has a ton of stuff to do for the kids as well as for us. The kids love the Playvillage, where they have activities all day, as well as free time to just play. (Note that the kids don't stay in Playvillage all day, but there are always things for them to do.) There are also shows, where they bring in magicians and musicians as well as a group from the local wildlife center, and they have a hay ride every night, as well as a zip line, a couple of big climbing structures, trampolines, and mini-golf. For kids and adults, there are tennis and basketball courts, three pools (two outdoor, one indoor) and a beach, bikes, pedal carts, canoes and pedal boats, a 5-hole golf course, batting cages, a 4-way beach volleyball court (which is a lot of fun), a rock climbing wall (yes, that's me in the white shirt), and a few other extreme sports. You can borrow all kinds of sports equipment, and they have other sports-related activities; Gail really enjoyed archery last year. There are other programs as well, like a cooking demonstration with the head chef, a woodworking class with the head carpenter, mixology, scrapbooking, and blackjack lessons, an internet cafe (and apparently the pool area is a wireless hotspot now, though we don't plan on bringing our laptops anyway) and other stuff like that. Oh yeah, and all your food is included, and is excellent. Another advantage is that dinner time for the kids starts at 5:30, and for everyone else at 6:00, at which time Playvillage opens, so you can feed the kids at 5:30, then take them over to Playvillage, then come back and have a nice leisurely grown-ups-only dinner.

In previous years, we've rented jet-skis, but Fern doesn't rent those anymore. Luckily, my friend Jeff recently bought one (as I mentioned in in the camping entry), so we'll have that to play with next week as well. It's not terribly cheap, but it's not ridiculous either, and we have a great time every year. I can't wait.

The week after Fern will also be fun. We leave Fern on the Friday morning, and head north to Gail's dad's place in Sundridge. We stay Friday night there, and leave Saturday morning sans Nicholas, who's staying with John and Jackie for a week. On the way home, we stop in at my parents' place, where we drop Ryan off. So from Saturday afternoon until the next Friday, no kids. Now don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but the idea of going out to a movie without paying more for a babysitter than for the movie itself certainly has appeal, not to mention not making kids lunches every day, not fighting with bedtime every night, not worrying about making a dinner that the kids will actually eat, and so on. Gail and I will get lots done around the house, see a couple of movies, sleep in on Sunday and maybe play a round of golf. It'll be nice.

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