ImageI think I’m getting really good at this vacation thing!  But wait–I’m getting ahead of myself–let me start at the very beginning of this almost 2 week odyssey.

My husband is finally turning 60 this summer.  The fact that he still looks virtually the same as when we were law school sweethearts is annoying beyond belief.  But I have tried to be a bigger person and move beyond my irritation and, since he is very patient about this little business, celebrate the occasion by pretending I was the Make a Wish Foundation for Reasonably Healthy Old Guys and give him a golfing trip to Scotland that would include, as the Crown Jewel, a round of golf on The Old Course at St. Andrews.

Now I hate golf–totally agree with Mark Twain that it is “a good walk wasted.”  But our friends the Hodges rescued me from the prospect that I might have to follow him around links golf courses like a love slave, and accompanied us on this little adventure.  But before Scotland, Richard and I went to France to visit our daughter Rachel (my foreign “buyer in training”).  She took us to an 18th c “Utopian” salt mine village:  Here’s a photo of that ImageI’m not sure about you but when I was growing up, working in the “salt mines” was kind of like a whole lotta punishment, so somehow “utopian salt mines” seems a little oxymoronish.  But it was interesting, Rachel was driving and I was sitting in the back seat trying not to throw up.  And she promised a lunch to remember in a little town called Ornans, birthplace of Courbet the artist.

I should have been concerned when we got to Ornans and I saw this allegedly drinkable water fountain

But the lunch was memorable and the museum afterward was a special treat.  Richard liked his red mullet main course so much he took a photo of it and emailed it to George for the sole purpose of making George jealous.  BIG mistake because about 4 hours later, he should have been sending a photo of the toilet bowl–bad food poisoning from that pretty little fish.  Merci beaucoup Patrick, Rachel’s French physician friend, who made a “house/hotel call.”  That’ll teach someone to go bragging, I guess…

Being a big proponent of my late Mother’s theory that guests are like fish (they start to stink after 3  days), Rachel raced us to the TGV station bright and early on the 3d day and off we went to London to meet up with the Hodges.  First, Eileen and I stopped off at The Chelsea Flower Show, not your everyday garden party.

Then, after a dinner with some lawyer buddies, we were off to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper train–a 7 hour overnight trip to Edinburgh (BEST SLEEP EVER!) where we were met by Jamie, a member of the Links group who arranged the golfing, including a 7:10am tee time on Monday on The Old Course at St. Andrews.  I highly recommend this group to those of you who would love to play the great golf courses of Scotland and not roll the dice with the “ballot” or cancellations on the day.  And one day soon, I hope to have recovered enough financially to buy my summer wardrobe at Target…

St. Andrews clearly knew Richard and George were coming:  

But the day was sunny and hot and they both made it off the first tee on their first swings!  YAY!! And playing the roles of “The Good Wives” we were there to record the moment (but NOT walk the course–we had done that on Sunday when the course was closed and I am thrilled to report that I saw a Moose/Izzie lookalike Westie use the famous 17th hole as her personal potty–twice.)  Here’s Richard getting ready to go off the first tee.

The guys have played 4 rounds of golf and have had a ball.  We’re even going to be bringing back some golf balls out of the 2 dozen each that they brought.  It feels like I have eaten at least 18 meals a day and may have to request a seatbelt extender on the flight home.  Today we’re in Troon and I think I’m almost out of the magic potion golf patience pills.  But London beckons as does Portobello Road on Saturday.  Are there some knickknacks for the road?  Could definitely happen. Tune in and check “Upcoming Events.”  If I can get past a little jet lag, I’m thinking of a “Jubilee Open House” on Tuesday, June 5.  It will seem like a vacation!!

Tennis anyone? (just kidding–it’s that martini talking again!)