Tuesday and Wednesday May 23-24, 2017
Yes. 4 planes and one car later…
Marathon day. We started off on Tuesday morning at 4:30am with Johnny (bless his heart) taking us to the airport to catch our 6:25am flight to Dallas. We had to connect in Dallas to Houston and then direct to Heathrow. Unfortunately, we had to fly coach for both domestic flights, but that almost made our First Class flight (Houston – Heathrow) all the much sweeter.
We have flown British Airways First Class several times across the pond. It is the only way to go and pretty much spoils you for anything else. Despite that fact that afterwards we both agreed we have had much better service on previous flights, this one was still pretty sweet.
We settle in with champagne, order dinner, watch movies and then get some shut-eye. We know we are going to need to be well-rested for this long journey. We found out in Phoenix that we are going to have to collect our bags in Houston and then check in (again) for our flight to Heathrow. Seems the rules have changed and since our flights are not booked on one confirmation, we have to re-check. THEN, we also have to collect bags and re-check again in Heathrow for our flight to Scotland. That is a bit more troubling since we only have 2 hours and we know from previous experience that getting through customs/immigration in London can be a nightmare. Oh well. Nothing we can do about it for now. We have a 3:00 tee time in St. Andrews and are crossing our fingers that we will be able to make it…
Our flight to London is thankfully on time. We scurry out of the plane (2nd passengers off) and make the long, long trek to immigration where we are met with a huge line. Once we make it through that gauntlet, we collect our bags and run down to start over checking in for our flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. There was a bit of a snafu in trying to check our bag, but $60 later (bag fee actually British Pounds) we raced to security (again) and made it on our flight with moments to spare.
After landing in Scotland the first order of business is to pick up our rental car. It turns out to be a rather lengthy affair since the overly friendly agent simply wants to chit-chat. However, we manage to secure our car and get ready to take off for St. Andrews and the Fairmont Hotel.
Rich has driven on the “wrong” side of the road previously during our trip to Ireland and I have full confidence in him. It is a manual shift with the steering wheel on the right side of the car and the shifter on the left! No way could I even begin to handle it. I assume the role of navigator and he drives like a champ. A few mistakes and an hour and a half later we finally see the gorgeous Fairmont Hotel.
Check in is quick. We find our beautiful Ocean View Suite, throw our bags in and scurry down to see the Concierge to acquire about our golf clubs. We had them shipped from Arizona last week and got word they are here. No problem. They are sitting and waiting for us. Unbelievable.
Fortunately, the Torrance Golf Course is right on the property and we waste no time jumping into our golf togs and hitting up the course.
I had always heard that the weather in Scotland was rainy an dreary. Not so, today. It is absolutely gorgeous – about 70 degrees and sunny! Every local tells us that his is very unusual and the people will be hitting the beach today!
How was the golfing you ask? Well… Rich was on fire the front nine and ended up 1 under par. He was golfing his head off and it was great to watch. On the other hand to put it mildly – I sucked. I won’t go into details. Let’s just say that it is a good thing the weather and the course were both beautiful.
Our round ended about 7:00pm and it is still blazing sunlight outside. I suppose that’s what you get being so far North. Kind of messes with your internal clock – especially when you are severely jet-lagged. We are both beat and starving. One look at the St. Andrews Bar and Grill (at the course) and we are convinced that we need to sit out on the patio and at least have one beer. Great decision. In fact, it just might be the best part of the day.
The decision to eat at one of the hotel bars was a good one. We certainly didn’t want to drive anywhere and we also did not want to eat at the “fancy” hotel restaurant. The only downside is that the food was almost mediocre. Actually tonight we really don’t care. We are super tired and need to get our rest.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to the renowned breakfast buffet and our special round on the Kingsbarns course just up the road. We have heard it is an outstanding track and I certainly hope my playing can live up to it.
Oh – almost forgot:
See the nasty cut over Rich’s eye? It is a fantastic story, but I don’t have time to tell it right now. Stay tuned to hear the details.
We hit the bed around 11:00 and sleep the sleep of the dead.