The Volley Trolley Tour

What started as Jack and Dave's volleyball Tour in '04 has grown into VolleyTrolley Enterprises. We play beach volleyball and cruise around in a 1983 Airstream RV. It ain't terrible.

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Location: Venice Beach, California, United States

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Skegness, England: Slightly Sweeter Than it Sounds

It’s been a wet summer in England. Pouring rain slammed our bus from Stanton Airport to London. The prior weekend’s English Volleyball Tour event had been flooded out, so the one we were headed for would be well attended.

Getting to Skegness was half the fun. Thanks to a comically strong pound, buses and trains from London weren’t an option – they’d involve arriving a day early and getting a hotel. Brother Bill's Notting Hill apartment was on the schedule and in the budget. I figured out we could rent a car at 11pm the night before and get it back 24 hours later. The catch was that the only rental place we could find still open was at Heathrow Airport, and driving in London is daunting.

In one of my best decisions ever, I shelled out the extra eleven pounds (22 bucks) for the GPS navigation system. Unfortunately, the screen went blank a few miles before reaching Notting Hill, and I had no clue where I was other than driving on the wrong side of the car, the road, and the city of London. A wrong here can mean a photo-captured ticket by mail. Heathrow Airport was easier to find than brother's apartment, so I went back to the rental counter and picked up a working charger for the GPS. By 4am I was back to Notting Hill, just in time to pick up Jack and leave for the event.

On no sleep, Jack and I checked out the tourist town of Skegness. The place is arguably nicer than its name, Skegness. With no sleep we still managed to get some pool play wins under our belts. Tough serving got us early leads in each of our playoff matches. Our opponents’ tough serving got them the first game of the final. We were dragging and needed to win in 3. Our incentive: the tournament paid its prize money in British Sterling: pounds.

Game three had very few ‘real’ points – points scored by the serving team. Fortunately we got a couple late in the match, including the final point. Jack jumped into the angle and stuffed their left-sider.

We had won some 125 pounds which would have made us a profit for the weekend. Sadly, gas in the UK is priced in pounds per liter. At over $7 per gallon, we were glad we had left the Airstream back in the USA…


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