So, I sort of geeked out in St. Andrews…

Dumyat x2 (Night Edition) (June 24)

I loved the pain of hiking the Dumyat so much, I decided to do it again. Only this time, it wasn’t nice outside. It wasn’t even light out. A group of us wanted to see the Northern lights, and what better view than from the top of the Dumyat, right?

Well. It would have worked if it hadn’t been rainy and cloudy. The view as we were walking up was gorgeous, but it most definitely wasn’t what we wanted. At that point, there was no turning back. We were going to the summit. Again. In the rain. Being sized up by sheep. Hiking through the mud.

By the time we were about halfway up, my shoes were at maximum water capacity, as were my socks. My sweatpants were disgusting as well. But it didn’t matter; we were having fun.

It took about two hours for us to dredge through the mud to reach the top. Were we exhausted? I know I was. Did we see the Northern Lights? Not a chance.

Champions.
Champions.

We spent several minutes trying to get the perfect picture of all of us before we sat to take in the scenery. I don’t remember how much time went by before we looked over and saw that the clouds were slowly starting to creep up to where we were. We took that as a sign that it was time to leave.

The walk down wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t fall down once. I was proud of myself. Y’all know I’m clumsy.

The Mecca of Golf (June 25)

7:00 a.m. came quick after the night hike to the Dumyat summit. But I didn’t care. We were headed to St. Andrews and I was overly ecstatic. It’s not everyday you get to go to where a sport was invented. (I mean, I kind of do, I work at the basketball Mecca. And that never gets old.)

It was a long bus ride and I couldn’t fall asleep. I was too excited. When we arrived, a group of us wandered around to find a place to eat breakfast. After a few blocks and a slight deterrent, we ended up at the Bean Room and I had the best vanilla latte I’ve ever had. The food was decent as well.

After that, we headed down to the Old Course. Most of the group didn’t care in the slightest about golf, so they headed to the beach. Ole Miss Ryan and I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to get exploring around the Old Course. So, we were by ourselves for the majority of the rest of the day.

It's really hard to put the beauty of the Old Course into words.
It’s really hard to put the beauty of the Old Course into words. It’s just magical, simply put.

In the earlier part of the day, it was partly cloudy and relatively nice outside. I really couldn’t complain, considering St. Andrews is generally cold, completely overcast and rainy.

The course was closed in preparation for the Open. This was both frustrating and relieving at the same time. Frustrating because I wanted to see actual golf being played on the Old Course, but relieving because we got to walk around on the green without any care in the world.

As Ryan and I were walking around, we came across the Himalayas or the “Women’s putting green.” Now, I’m not sure about the history to the name, but there were men playing on it, as well as little children. But, yes, there were several little old ladies killing it out there as well.

Ryan asked me how much it was to play, thinking that it was going to be astronomically high, because it’s, you know, the Mecca of golf. We walked around to where we were to rent clubs and balls… and it was 3 pounds per person. Personally, I would have paid a lot more than that to play, but I was definitely not complaining.

I was pretty darn excited, OK?
I was pretty darn excited, OK?

While we were waiting to play on the first hole, Ryan was totally geeking out while I was making fun of him. One of the little old ladies in front of us turned to me and said something to the effect of how cute of a couple we were. I laughed on the inside, but told her thanks anyway. I didn’t feel that it was necessary to correct her. Besides, Ryan was too busy paying attention to the fact that he was about to play golf at St. Andrews.

I started out real hot, getting a birdie on the first hole, but that was about the extent of my success. In the 18 holes that we played I had two birdies in total (including that one) and made par four times. I’ve never been real good at golf. Ryan on the other hand, was toying with finishing below par from the 8th hole on. He was even after 17, but miraculously birdied on 18 to finish one under.

After my failure of a showing on the green, we walked around the course some more, taking in all of the history, and then met up with some of our friends to grab lunch. To finish out our afternoon, we went to the British Golf Museum and learned even more about the sport.

Being in St. Andrews was definitely my favorite experience so far.

Several hours later, once we were back in Stirling, we got ready for the night. Since it was a Thursday, we were headed to the Kilted Kangaroo, an Australian themed restaurant and bar that holds karaoke night every Thursday.

Throughout the night, I sang two songs (and kind of helped out on another). Ryan and I belted out Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi because we clearly love our American music (we performed Don’t Stop Believing about a week and a half before this), and Haley (a fellow KU journalism student) and I (with the accompaniment of some of our friends) sang Cable Car by the Fray. (I kind of sang with Cole on whatever song he did. I don’t remember what it was though.)

Until next time…

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