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Celebrating Dad’s 70th in St Andrews

The timing was such that dad would turn 70 while away. I intended to meet up with them for this occasion and so the question was, where would an appropriate place be to go? Mum and dad had a few days in Scotland planned sometime during the UK chapter and mum suggested dad might like to go to St Andrews. Having been a keen golfer for 20+ years, and seeing as St Andrews is where the game originated not to mention the golfing mecca for players, this was a pretty easy decision.

While in favour of the idea, dad wasn’t actually bothered to organise to play there. While you can hire clubs it may have meant packing shoes and as a one off activity on the trip, it probably seemed too much hassle.

Fast forward to birthday morning, 3rd May. After breakfast and whatnot our first mission of the day was shopping related. We found a golf shop in the Links clubhouse where dad wanted to buy a shirt. This was a bit of a challenge but I reckon he chose well.

Along from the clubhouse and on its roof are good views across to the Old Course and the Old Course Hotel, as well as a couple of the other courses. There are 10 courses in St Andrews.

Looking over to the Old Course Hotel where we’d be dining that night

Nicely mown yet bumpy green paddocks – I was surprised how barren the general location is with gorse bushes and the lumpy terrain. I guess that proves how little I knew about St Andrews before arriving

He wasn’t going to be playing but it was enough of a kick just seeing it all in the flesh

Weather vane, useful because of the exposed coastal location

Golf trundler next to a fountain commemorating Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897, the year in which the Jubilee Course opened

We parked in one of the free carparks in town and continued on foot. Not far away, dad veered into a shop to buy golf shoes and look at more shirts. Dunno about you, but there’s only so long I can browse in a golf shop. But it can’t be that often that a bloke especially the likes of dad is actually excited to go shopping. So I think he did pretty well out of birthday gifts to himself.

We halted the golf theme while we saw some of the other sites, as noted in my last post.

Mum and dad in front of the cathedral outer wall, which extends for about 1km

Lunch was some pretty heavy duty fish and chips at the harbour overlooking East Sands beach

But sure as eggs we gravitated back to the golfing end of town.

We were surprised to find that you can walk across the course (so we did)

If you follow golf you probably know this feature. If you’re like me you simply admire that it’s a cute little concrete bridge. It is very historic, being of Roman design, and was originally part of a path from the town, long before golf arrived. All golfers seem to line up for a photo here before continuing on

Dad in front of the 18th on the Old Course; Old Course Hotel at the rear. (The exposure came out strange hence my heavy manipulation!)

While having a nosey at the West Sands beach end we watched some combat jets take off in the distance from Leuchars Airforce Base

I left mum and dad to it while I hogged some Starbucks wifi and when they picked me up it was time to go back to the b&b and get ready for dinner. Before the trip I had booked us into the Road Hole restaurant in the Old Course Hotel, which sounded a bit fancy and a suitable place for a celebration meal. Unfortunately for dad this meant carting around a dress jacket and shoes for the trip. Deary me.

We’re hungry, let’s go

On the way we went for a brief tiki tour around some of the nearby courses before arriving at the hotel. We had a drink in the bar first.

My first drink of the trip. Mum and dad on the other hand had visited Glenfiddich Distillery earlier in the day for a tour and tasting

Looks a bit like they’re dressed for dinner in the lounge at home?

The restaurant has a great location on the top floor of the hotel and looks out over the Old Course. The food was great but it was the engaging staff who really lifted the quality of the evening.

On the menu was a Loch Kyle oyster dish. As my brother is Kyle, that’s the entree mum had to have. Can’t help but think there’s something a bit disturbing about that…

Whatever it was we ordered (that was so last week hence completely forgotten) it was delicious

The mentions of it being dad’s birthday resulted in this at the end of the meal which was a nice touch

A nice ending to the day and most importantly, dad enjoyed himself. It was nice having a family celebration for this birthday (his 60th was a big party) and it was just a shame that my brother wasn’t able to be there as well.

There’s one more milestone birthday to come on this trip… who could that be for I wonder?

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Marnie #

    Great that Syd’s birthday was a big hit. Love the size of his grin!
    Cheers – M

    10 May 2012
  2. Nicki #

    Looks like Unc had a great day even if he didnt play!! & shopping too!! LOL

    10 May 2012
    • Dad said that in his mind he did in fact play a perfect round.

      11 May 2012

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