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July 28, 2014 -- Summer So Far

As I write this, I sit with an ice pack on my right knee. You guessed it, I have a golf-related injury. Most of you know that five years ago, I developed tendonitis in my elbow from playing golf and this winter, my doctor finally acknowledged my pain. After three months of physiotherapy, I was pain-free and could enjoy playing golf. My scores improved and I looked forward to our holiday in Victoria. I could now play twice a week and it would be fun.

And that's what we did. Our first week golfing, I've already written about in my last blog. Our second week began on July 8th (my sister, Nancy's birthday). We were to play The Ridge with Janny and Robert but she called at the last minute to cancel due to a medical problem. So we headed to Mt Doug and played two rounds; the first nine with two Alans and second, with Jim.

We took a break on Wednesday and walked down to Ross Bay. Glen wanted to sit on the beach then do coffee at the Starbucks in Fairfield shopping centre. We wandered through the graveyard as well. It is so peaceful and each time we walk it, we see another grave that inspires us.

Thursday, we played Cedar Hill and I parred the first hole impressing Colin and Geoff with whom we played. They were incredible golfers although Geoff confessed he'd partied too much the night before. It was his 80th birthday so he had something to celebrate. However, the day was very hot and I wilted after nine holes despite drinking lots of water and using my golf umbrella. We decided this was a good reason to get up early and golf before lunch.

Friday found us sitting beside a quiet pond chatting with Diane and Tony at the University Club on the University of Victoria campus. We had a great lunch then went to their house for coffee. Saturday we were downtown to meet a former post doc of Glen's. Erin had moved to Texas, married Cy, and had a baby. We enjoyed a delightful lunch with them at Pescatores. Baby Tobin was so well-behaved I'm sure we were the only ones in the restaurant who knew he was there. Cy is such a friendly guy, it was hard not to instantly like him. We were thrilled they made time in their busy schedule to have lunch with us. Seeing Cy's reaction to eating three different kinds of oysters was priceless.

Sunday, we decided to retool our golf swings so went to the driving range. I find when I play, I often forget what my body positioning should be and hitting balls at the range helps develop positive muscle memory. It also helps keep my drives straight.

On the 15th, we finally connected with Janny and Robert for a round of golf at Mt. Doug. I had my best round ever, hitting a score of 39. Janny struggled with her game but was delighted with her 84th birthday present from Robert, a powered push cart. We enjoyed coffee with them after our round on the newly renovated patio.  As with most days when we golf Mt Doug, we stopped at Galey Farms for strawberries. They've been delicious this year.

On Wednesday, Glen realized he hadn't been to Gonzales Beach in ages. By checking back through my photos, I discovered it had been a year and a half. So we strolled down to the beach and sat watching the boats come and go. There were't many people there but the little ones frolicking in the waves were fun to watch.

We played Cedar Hill again on Thursday at 8:30 am this time and I had an amazing round (I scored 99 and Glen scored 104--both personal bests). We played with Doug, a retired teacher from Kingston, Ontario, and I actually got par on the course's signature hole. This involves a long, downhill drive over a rocky outcrop that can mess with your mind. Both Glen's and my balls were next to the pond so I snapped a few pictures of waterlilies before taking my second shot and landing the ball on the green. We celebrated by going out to lunch at Smuggler's Cove Pub where I had a delicious plate of fish and chips.

Saturday, we met our neighbours, Ray and Cynthia for lunch and walked over to Christie's. It was so good to catch up on what's been going on in their lives. They are devoted volunteers at the Monterey Recreation centre in Oak Bay and show us how full our lives could be after retirement.

We headed back to Calgary on Sunday, stopping for the night in Salmon Arm. It was good I booked a room at the Best Western as they were full. We ate in the Hideaway Pub and I had an amazing Greek salad with chicken souvlaki. The pita bread nothing like anything I've tasted before. Delicious!!

We were up early on Monday as we wanted to golf a par 3 course we pass en route to Calgary called Club Shuswap. We ended up doing 9 of their 18 hole par 3/4 course. This involved golfing a mountainside and dragging our clubs up steep inclines. The views were great and the golf challenging. At one point, we spotted a sheet of metal hanging from a chain with a steel pipe hanging beside it. Obviously, they have issues with bears!

One funny incident occurred on the third hole. Having never played the course, we approached the tee box then gazed out over a grove of trees. Neither of us could see the fairway or the pin. I'd never hit over trees before so hoped for the best. As I returned my driver to my bag, I saw that the true fairway lay behind us! Thank heavens the golf course was empty so I could retrieve our balls and we didn't hold anyone up because of our mistake.

Club Shuswap also offers Pickle Ball which we'd never heard of before. Named after a dog, it's played on a tennis court using paddles instead of rackets and a whiffle ball in place of a tennis ball. It must be popular as every court was in use.

We stopped for lunch at our favourite pub in Revelstoke, River City Pub. I had their spicy chicken wrap and Glen had the beef dip special. Both came with enormous salads and pints of Attila the Honey ale from the Mt. Begbie Brewery. We literally waddled to the car and made a beeline to Calgary.

That's when we discovered we had no back steps attached to our house. They were laying cement pads so we had to unload the car from the street. We ate supper at Scotsman's Well, sharing a large pizza and enjoying a couple of Stella Artois.

We didn't want to lose our momentum golfing so booked a tee time early Thursday morning at Silverwing. The wind was about 50 mph so golfing was difficult. Even when it was at our backs, it took control of the ball and sent it every which way. Putting was impossible as it pushed the ball along different paths. During one drive, I must have wrenched my knee but I felt no pain so we ate lunch in the clubhouse and enjoyed a great reuben sandwich. The next day, I could barely walk. By Friday afternoon, my knee had swollen to the size of a small melon. I must have used my knee as a brace to increase the distance of my drives into the wind. I won't do that again!

 

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E-mail: defothergill@gmail.com

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