Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mike Plays St. Andrew's!

Fifteen years ago, I was sitting in Mrs. Cooper's English class when I learned of the attacks on our country.  It would be a classroom and a moment that I would never forget.  I am so proud of our country for how we rallied and came together following that day.  I am so proud of our service members who defend our country day in and day out to make sure that we get to enjoy the freedoms that were threatened by those attacks.  As we've traveled the world this past year, I have never been more thankful for our country and the rights and privileges that come with being a citizen of the United States.  We're taking today to remember all of those who lost their lives on September 11th, in hopes that it inspires us to live a life in honor of their sacrifice.

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.”
— President George W. Bush

After our Glenfiddich tour, we headed out to our next stop, which ended up being a cottage in the middle of nowhere.  Ha!  When Mike booked the hotel, he didn't realize quite how far away from everything it was.  Plus, there was no way of knowing that we would be the only guests staying there that night, just by chance.  Because of this, we got upgraded from a hotel room to a full cottage.  The cottage was so nice and actually perfect for that evening.  By this point in our travels/move, we were tired.  We were tired of sight seeing, tired of eating out, tired of constantly being on the go, etc. etc.  While this whole experience is not something we ever take for granted, it's exhausting.  So, when we got upgraded to the cottage, it was a blessing in disguise.  We didn't feel like we were in a hotel room, so we didn't mind just hanging out in the common area and spending the night watching a movie.  So, that's what we did. And it was wonderful.

The next day, we took our time getting up and heading out, but were on the road by mid-morning.  Our next stop was Dundee, Scotland, which is about 30 minutes outside of St. Andrew's Golf Course.  Ever since I've known Mike, he's been an avid golfer.  The opportunity to play on one of the most famous golf courses in the world (and the first golf course!) was too good to pass up, so a stop at St. Andrew's was factored into our trip.  We arrived in Dundee the night before and went downtown for dinner and a few drinks, but didn't stay out too late because Mike had to be up early to play.

In order to play at St. Andrew's as a single, you have to get up extremely early and show up in hopes of walking on to the course.  The owner of our BnB recommended 5:00am.  When Mike arrived at the golf course, there were already people there.  One guy had been there since 1:00am!  There are other courses that you can play that are supposedly better, but in order to play the Old Course, you have to get there super early.  Luckily, Mike was able to walk on with one of the first groups!

While Mike was waiting in line, I was sleeping.   I had a big breakfast at the BnB and talked to the owner for a half an hour about his month long travels in Turkey!   Luckily, it was really easy to get from Dundee to St. Andrew's via bus, so I opted for that.  Once I got there, I checked out the St. Andrew's University museum and the History of Golf museum, both of which were actually pretty interesting.   After Mike was done golfing, I met him and we went to lunch at the Dunvegan, which came highly recommended from both Mike's dad and Mike's caddy.  It didn't disappoint!

Sunrise over the water from the starter hut.  Aka super early.

Mike and his caddy

This bridge is pretty famous and apparently everyone takes their picture on it when they play the Old Course

Mike had a blast and is trying to figure out when he can go back and play again! It was worth the early morning wake up and the price (happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Groundhogs Day, Mike!).  If you know a golfer heading to Scotland, I'd recommend St. Andrew's to them because as Mike said "It's like the Mecca for golfers!"