On Tuesday the 5th of July, I walked a mile in the rain to Hertz and rented what was supposed to be an automatic Audi but ended up being a manual shift Kia. So, my first experience driving on the left side of the road would be with a stick shift (and the last time I owned a stick shift was in Summer 1999). I was apprehensive.
But, with a bit of concentration through the first several of the 500+ roundabouts we encountered between Edinburgh and St Andrews golf course, I found myself actually having a lot of fun.
We stopped by a McDonald’s, violating one of my rules for traveling (no fast food…or any other restaurant we can find in Atlanta), because I needed coffee very badly, and the children were hungry for something we could eat in the car. The man working the drive-through gave each of the children balloons and made us laugh hysterically with his enthusiasm and strong Dutch accent at 9am. It was the best customer service I’ve ever seen from a fast food drive-through (which is, admittedly, a pretty narrow sample).
We arrived at the old course a couple hours later, toured the British Golf Museum, and played the “Himalayas” putting green portion of the Ladies’ Auxiliary course, so that my 2 youngest (who take golf lessons and enjoy the game) could learn what a “bucket list” is as they crossed off the item anyone who plays golf puts atop said list.
Then we ran along the Wet Sands Beach like chariots of fire.
We’d originally planned to drive all the way to York, England that evening, but I thought it made more sense to take a train after a couple hours of shifting about the countryside, so we headed back to Edinburgh to turn in the car and catch a train, stopping briefly at Eden Mill Distillery & Brewery so I could have some “daddy time.”
Looking back, the drive to and from St Andrews was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever made–windy roads surrounded by unfamiliar shades of green. The day was as much about the journey as its destinations.
We arrived in York about 9pm and walked into the most interesting sleeping quarters I’ve ever seen! To be continued…