The High and Low Road Our Trip to Scotland
Many of you are traveling this month, taking a few days (or weeks) off to rest and relax during the pleasant weather. Melissa and I already had our summer vacation in May, when we celebrated our 10th anniversary by traveling to Scotland. Scotland was delightful for many reasons. I never thought I’d get to travel to the birthplace of golf on an anniversary trip, but that’s what happens when you have the coolest wife ever. It began with a brutal travel day, with a long flight to London, a train to catch at King’s Cross Station, and then learning to drive on the left side of the road in busy Edinburgh traffic before finally reaching our hotel that night via some bumpy country roads. But after that? Man, oh man. What a fantastic trip! Our first stop was North Berwick, where I played the West Links, one of the oldest golf courses in the world. The conditions were windy, but my experience playing in breezy conditions helped me persist. While in North Berwick, we also checked out Tantallon Castle, which was shrouded in fog that made a cool effect but obscured our view of the water. We also spent three nights in St. Andrews, a two-hour drive north along the coast that allowed me to get my legs under me when driving on those Scottish roads. By the time we arrived, I was a driving-on-the-left pro. (I also might have a few speeding tickets from all those traffic cameras; but so far, I’m in the clear.) Our
hosts in St. Andrews were excellent, and we enjoyed the college-town atmosphere. Apparently, by July the students are all gone and the town is packed with American tourists, so we lucked out. I enjoyed playing both the Old and New Courses in St. Andrews. The infamous Old Course has a 500-plus year history and a daunting reputation. I was told that I’d hate it at first, and while I didn’t hate it, I would have liked to play it more to gain a real appreciation. One hole in particular forces you to play from the famous Jigger Inn if that’s where you send the ball. I witnessed that from the clubhouse when a golfer tried to pick up his ball from the pavement and all of us on the patio started yelling at him. Talk about a hole that gets much harder to play at 5:30 p.m.! Carnoustie was another notorious course that I visited, and I did quite a bit better on that course than at St. Andrews. I had a good day and a capable caddy, and I played the wind really well. I have friends who can’t play if the wind gets above 10 mph, and they’d hate golfing in Scotland where it frequently tops 40 mph. After that, we spent a few nights in Edinburgh. I sampled Scotch whiskys, and we visited Rosslyn Chapel, which Melissa wanted to check out. It was a fascinating place, and the history there and at Edinburgh Castle is astounding. London was the same way, and that was the last stop before flying home. A memorable moment in London was of course high tea, another to-do item on Melissa’s travel list. I had to pack a coat and tie, but it was easily worth it and quite enjoyable.
All things told, our trip to Scotland was a wonderful way to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this summer, and I wish you the best as the weather heats up here in town.
Happy Fourth of July,
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