Letters like these are so heartwarming to read. This is the type of response we strive for each and every time one of our travelers is booked. Our Travel Specialists and Development Directors are all so passionate about the causes they support and the destinations we send donors, that they do what they can so make sure donors experience truly bucket list trips in support of their favorite causes!
We wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how wonderfully delightful our trip was to Golf in Scotland and to thank you for a well-planned itinerary. You did an excellent job preparing a golfer's dream come true.
Day 1, we arrived in Edinburgh at 9:15a along with many other golfers picking up clubs from the baggage claim area. Our driver was waiting with a warm greeting and we were quickly loaded in the van and on our way. Our journey from the airport to St Andrew's was rich with stories from our driver (Gordon) as he drove us in a comfortable sprinter van to what would be our base hotel for the week, the Fairmont, in St Andrews. Shortly after check-in at the Fairmont, we were walking the Old Course at St Andrew's and shopping at the Old Course Shops collecting our first souvenirs. We had yummy Fish & Chips in town for dinner and leisurely returned to the hotel where we checked out the Spa offerings and took a quick dip in the Jacuzzi before we called it a night.
Day 2, our Concierge was sweet to have our rental car waiting at the front door for our early departure to the Monifieth Course for a 9:50a tee time. The weather was spectacular and we played in short-sleeves. After our round of golf, we navigated the left-side of the road and toured the "Secret Bunker" and then drove to Anstruther's on the harbor for another meal of yummy Fish & Chips. Back at the hotel, we enjoyed the Jacuzzi, steam and sauna, and pool.
Day 3, we took a 3-minute taxi ride to St Andrews Castle Course for our 9:30a tee time. Another delightful day of sunshine and short-sleeves. We were counting ourselves blessed to have two days of beautiful weather without needing to pull out our rain gear. After our round of golf we ate lunch at the Club and caught the free shuttle into town at St Andrews to ask around in search of the new "Paddington 50p coins depicting Paddington Bear" which according to the newspaper (that was delivered to our room each morning) said the coins would be entering circulation this week. We ended up with two coins thanks to the friendly clerk at the grocery. While in town we visiting Glamis Castle, St Andrews Cathedral, St Rule's Tower, and shopping of course. Once back at the Fairmont we enjoyed relaxing in the Jacuzzi to end our day.
Day 4, we again were up early to meet our taxi for Kingsbarns where we had reserved 9:00am tee times. We scheduled Kingsbarns on our own. What an amazing golf course and an exceptionally delightful day. The caddie experience was wonderful! And...you guessed it - no rain! Now pause a moment and count with me - yes, we've had four days of no rain! We again ate lunch at the Clubhouse after our round of golf and called a taxi to return us to the Fairmont. Fish & Chips again for dinner, and if you can again see the pattern, we ended our day in the Jacuzzi.
While enjoying the Jacuzzi we introduced ourselves to another couple and as we chatted about our experiences we began to comparing itineraries and discovered we were all experiencing a Fundraiser trip...and guess what else...YOU were our travel specialist for our trips. We enjoyed sharing our good experiences and thank you for the good service. The only negative we all shared with laughter was that our rooms were described as having an "atrium view" which was actually a view of the 'rooftop' to the atrium.
Day 5, we took the shuttle to town and from there caught a train to beautiful Edinburgh where we spent a day of sightseeing blessed with full sunshine and no rain. I commented that I had not thought to pack sunscreen. We did it all - walked Victoria Street, hiked up Arthur's Seat, enjoyed the Royal Mile, and toured Holyroodhouse Castle before taking the late-night train return to the Fairmont.
Please note: Did you know that for three weeks each year in August the must-see event spectacular of music and lights is "The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo" at Edinburgh Castle? Each year only for three weeks in August in Edinburgh and we knew nothing about it. Even Trip Advisor had nothing about it. You may want to add to your notes to include in your email to those travelers going in August a tip to investigate the Edinburgh Fine Arts Festival that includes the Military Tattoo as an option so that tickets can be purchased to experience this once-a-year spectacular held in Edinburgh.
You may notice we adjusted the reserved tee times on our original itinerary to all morning tee times as a personal preference to give us afternoon free time for touring and sightseeing. But . . . . on Day 6, Friday, our last day of golf . . . we made no adjustments to our 3:40pm tee time because the weather forecast was for all-day rain.
Day 6, it rained. We planned for a late breakfast (9:00am) and picked up our rental car and headed toward Carnoustie. We stopped at a delightful market (Balgove Larder) along the way, pulled off the road so that I could jump out in the rain and capture a photo of the highlander cows grazing in a pasture, and of course shopped along the way. We arrived at Carnoustie and toured the history of the golf museum, grabbed a snack and met our caddie as the sun appeared and the rain stopped. No need to pull out the rain gear. True, I promise! Again, yummy fish & chips for dinner, but we arrived back at the Fairmont too late to get to the Jacuzzi.
For every round of golf, the weather was perfectly warm and sunny! No kidding! Honest! We had rainy spells but not during any round of golf. Of all the courses we played our favorite was the Castle Course and Carnoustie a close second!
Our driver, Gordon, picked us up on Saturday morning from the Fairmont to shuttle us back to the airport but this time we did all the talking chattering about all the charm of Scotland we experienced and the wonderful encounters we enjoyed in his homeland of Scotland. He asked, "did you get you some fish & chips?" and we laughed!
Coming up September 13, when we get to the Southwest Christian Care Gala, we're headed directly to the Silent Auction table for Destination Trips so that we can "do it again!" Hope to see you there!
Thank you for serving us well!
Blessings on your day,
Bob and Vicki Maday" Traveling in support of Southwest Christian Care