Sunday, July 22, 2012

British Invasion

by Leann

The Olympics are coming and with it, amazing stories, athletic genius, views of London we rarely see in our insulated country and, of course, addictive TV. But first, comes The Open Championship. (It's a golf tournament and for many of you, not very interesting, I know.)

But here I am with my life an open book. So I must tell you I am connected to Britain and to golf. My father was in the service and we moved to a town called Chelsea near Liverpool when I was a toddler. I am one of the fortunate (and sometimes unfortunate) people who has very vivid memories of many things going back a long way. I crossed the ocean on the Queen Elizabeth I and lived in England between the ages of two and four. And I loved it.

So what's the connection to golf? Well, my father was an avid golfer. When he wasn't golfing on the weekends, he was watching golf on TV and I sat with him. I loved Arnie and Jack and if you don't know those names, it's okay. It's not really about golf. It's about England and my dad and some of the best memories I have. I need those good memories. I cling to them. Even though my father and I became estranged when he married a crazy woman after my mother's death (yes, crazier than my mother), I carry the memories of watching golf with my dad (and baseball and hockey). I love sports to this day and that love brings my husband together in conversation all the time. We are both addicts!

My last visit to England was in 2001. We did the tourist thing in London and then took a train across the countryside to the west coast and stayed at a 5 star hotel. We could afford it because it was off season for--you guessed it--GOLF. We stayed on a little links course in an out of the way place called Budock Veen. Best vacation ever. Tea, scones and clotted cream every day at 2 PM, 5 course meals in the evening and the beautiful English countryside to look out on. And every day, when we walked out along the stream a hundred feet from the hotel, admiring the flowers and the scent of the ocean lapping the cliffs not far away, a beautiful cat would appear. I would sit on a rock and pet her. Ah, memories. You see why it was a perfect vacation? I'll be watching The Open Championship and the Olympics and remembering.

What about you? This is vacation season. Any trips you've taken that you will never, ever forget?