As the tournament winds down

Well, we almost won.  This afternoon we were up 9 at the half, then in the second half the opponents pushed to a grand slam missing the Q of trump, while Mike and I settled happily in 6♠.  That gave them 13 IMPS, and they won the match by 2.  We all know about bidding aggressively when you are down in the match, and this time it worked for the other guys.

After we finished pouting and cursing fate, we went out to dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised to have an excellent prime rib at the Park Grill.  We don’t see much of the giant salad bars in California anymore, and this one was a real treat.

The sweet potato casserole is worth the trip to Tennessee.

My Prime Rib was just perfect, and I’m crazy about the accompanying Sweet Potato casserole–mashed sweets, plenty of brown sugar, butter and some coconut.  For a guy with a sweet tooth, this is the perfect vegetable.

Micky and I had had enough bridge for the day, so we let the other guys go play the Loser Swiss 4 handed, and we headed off to sample the delights of beautiful downtown Gatlinburg on a Saturday night.  Even though business is way down overall, Saturday nights are still busy here.  Lots of families with lots of little kids are just strolling, looking in all the souvenir shops and pigging out on ice cream, candy, exotic jerky and corn dogs.  Teenagers holding hands, cool cars cruising the strip.

Micky and I headed on down to an indoor miniature golf emporium.  I don’t know how the subject came up, but we’ve been talking all week about playing mini-golf if we had a night of no bridge.  We paid our $10 and went in, to find the most boring, un-inventive, uninspired, unexciting mini-golf course ever.  No clown.  No waterfall.  No windmill.  We played out 18 holes and were out of there in 25 minutes.  The only good part is that I won.

It's all in the follow-through.

Walking back, we came upon a pair of serious, high-stakes mini golfers.  The kind who come to G’burg to play the big course on the hill, and bring their own equipment.

You don't want to go canoeing with these two, I think.

I drove Mike up the hill to see our cabin, and beat him at a game of pool, too.  He spent too much time studying in his youth, I think.

Tomorrow, we play the first half of the Swiss Teams and head out of town–we are going to the American Museum of Science and Energy, in Oak Ridge, to see the history of the atomic effort.  Home on Monday.  I’m ready.

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