“It’s crazy; Federer, Sharapova and Nadal are all out now.”
This is one of my favorite times of the year with my husband. As the tennis tournament, Wimbledon, builds momentum, he and I will get up early and watch it together- a wonderful way to start my day. I like tennis, for sure, but the best part of our tradition is sharing memories of when we lived in England and had the lucky opportunity to attend Wimbledon in person. It is an iconic aspect of our time there.
Imagine… the only way to go to Wimbledon is to win a spot in the lottery (or to camp out the night before and hope you will get a released ticket.) Thus, when you get there, you already feel lucky. The day we went was a perfectly sunny, summer day. In fact, it was July 4th; our own private celebration of the American holiday while in England. We knew we had somehow scored center court seats. What we didn’t know was that our seats were about seven rows up from the court and right in the middle.
The environment at Wimbledon is one of a party. Fans are hanging out, watching matches on the big screen set up at the bottom of a grassy mound. Everyone is drinking Pimm’s or champagne and eating strawberries and cream.
Occasionally the Royal family shows up, but frequently there are famous celebrities like Richard Branson or Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter).
It’s been over ten years since that day at Wimbledon, but no matter who is left in the tournament you will find us still, Pimms Drink in hand, watching the matches on the 4th of July. It is how we now celebrate both our own country as well as our closest ally.
How do you celebrate the 4th? Are you a tennis fan? Have you ever been to a sporting event that was so special it
became part of your ongoing life? I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let me know.
In preparation for the 4th, here’s our recipe for Pimm’s Cup.
Pimm’s is a unique British liqueur with a different kind of taste. It takes some getting used to, but the spiciness of
it is very refreshing on a hot day. The Pimm’s cocktail is apparently becoming quite popular in the U.S. as well (NY Times article) Note: the best part of this drink is its simplicity to make.
2 cups - Pimm’s No. 1
6 cups - 7-Up (or ginger ale)
1 Oranges, cut into wedges
1 Lemon, cut in wedges
Other fruit to taste – I’ve added nectarine, apple, even pineapple before. Cut in wedges.
1 cucumber, sliced
Bunch of mint
In a large pitcher use a wooden spoon to muddle the mint then add the Pimm’s, the soda, the cut fruit and 5-6 slices of the cucumber. Mix with the spoon and let sit in the fridge for ½ an hour. Serve over ice with a slice of cucumber on the edge of the cup. Enjoy!
“Is this lunch or dinner?”
“Neither, it’s Happy Hour.”
… At which point my husband and I broke down in hysterics. The irony of our answer was lost on my daughter, who was in one of those places where nothing was going to make her happy.
We were sitting in a beautiful spot, overlooking the Lake, on our last night in Tahoe and trying desperately to enjoy our drink, if not our time.
Ahhh summer…. A time of ice cream trucks, water fights, and whining. They go together like peas and carrots and
When can I watch TV?
Are we doing anything fun today?
I don’t want to go to the grocery store.
Are we there yet?
The complaints are never ending and are set up so that by the time September rolls around we are more than ready to get up at 6:00 a.m. again and send our little loves out into the world of school. (Sigh, give me a moment to dream about this….. ok, I’m back)
Don’t get me wrong; I love the extra time I get to spend with her when she isn’t whinging about something. I love watching her build a huge lego tennis court (after we have insisted that 8:00 a.m. is far too early to begin watching tv). And I really love being able to get outdoors bike riding or playing on the street with friends and neighbors (when the Portland rain finally lets up).
It’s just that, like most parents, I wish we could do all this without the drama that prefaces it.
However I may have discovered a solution… A friend recently returned home from a family visit to their parent’s farm in South Dakota. The kids learned, when they arrived there, that there were no computers, Wii, video games and you could only watch channel by channel on the tv. After the first few days of pain, the kids finally gave in, accepted it, and would simply go outside as soon as they got up in the morning. So next year we are definitely
vacationing at a farm!
Even without any fancy drinks involved it sounds like the very happiest happy-hour of all.
Happy 4th of July to all my friends!
God Bless the USA.
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