October 08, 2002
Footloose and Fancy in Carefree

The alarm went off this morning at 4:15, about three and a half hours after we went to bed, and our honeymoon got off to a sleepy start. Al's friend Beth is housesitting for us while we're away, so she took us to the airport at about 5:15. That gave us enough time to stand in the incredibly long line at Starbucks before boarding our 7am flight to Phoenix.

We arrived in Arizona without incident, picked up our minivan (a Dodge Grand Caravan, though how it earned the "Grand" without having a CD player, I'll never know), and hit the road for Carefree. Al remarked that Arizona reminded him of New Jersey, only more barren. Then he said that he wanted some french fries. We stopped at the Whataburger on Bethany Home Road to get some, and continued on.

When we got to Scottsdale Road, Al exclaimed, "Look honey! Cactus!" Indeed, huge Saguaro cacti dotted the landscape on either side. Imposing boogers, but something about them makes you want to run up and hug them (which I understand is ill-advised). Not long after the first cactus sighting we reached the Boulders, where we'll be staying for two days of golf and spa treatments.

There's something very late 70s-early 80s about the style of this place—the logo and its lettering alone seem to suggest orange shag carpets—but it's definitely a luxury resort. Instead of a front desk, they have two black granite desks with chairs in front of them, like at a bank. We sat down, signed in (I signed my name "Lori Hylan-Cho" for the first time ever, and it looked very natural), were given all the info about the place, and were shown where our room would be when it was ready.

We were also told that our minivan would be valet parked, and that we could either walk around the resort or be chauffered from the main destinations (front desk, spa, golf club). Since we had a 12:50 tee time and our room wasn't ready yet, we took our golf clothes out of our suitcases and boarded the van for the pro shop. We changed in the locker rooms, bought some balls and gloves in the shop, and had lunch at Bogey's. They seem a little confused here about whether we're Mr. & Mrs. Hylan, Mr. & Mrs. Cho, or Mr. & Mrs. Hylan-Cho, but they do understand that we're on our honeymoon, and they've been treating us very well as a consequence. The staff at Bogey's was incredibly solicitous, giving us extra iced tea and lemonade as well as a strawberry shortcake for dessert before sending us out to our carts.

The carts themselves were pretty neat, with an ice-filled cooler, a misting system in case it got too hot, and a ball washer built in. The staff gave us cups of water and straws, asked us if there was anything else they could do, and then started us off on the back nine. I won't say too much about our game—neither of us played particularly well—but the course landscaping was spectacular, and we amused ourselves by chasing cottontail bunnies, cute little quail (which we at first mistook for roadrunners), and salamanders, and by pointing out to each other what we thought the different cacti resembled ("hey, that one looks like Mickey Mouse!").

We were both really tired from lack of sleep and the heat, so we quit after 15 holes and headed back to the clubhouse. We crawled out of the cart and immediately boarded the van back to the front desk to pick up our key. As we opened the large, half glass, half boulder-shaped wood block doors, Al said, "oh, my locker." Yep, we'd forgotten our clothes. We got the key and then had the shuttle driver take us back to the pro shop to get the stuff out of our lockers. Al had to return his rental shoes as well, so I made it back to the van first. After a couple minutes, the van driver said, "Is your husband coming back?"

"What?" I replied. "Oh, yes! My husband! Yes, he's coming back." We keep saying to each other, "hello, my husband" and "hello, my wife" to try to get used to it, but that was the first time someone else had referred to my husband, and it took me a minute to realize he was talking to me. Oh yes, that's right, I have a husband! We figure it'll probably take us at least the rest of the honeymoon to get used to it.

Photos from Day 1

Posted by Lori at October 08, 2002 07:50 PM