In the summer of 2017, my dad and I got to finally take our dream vacation – a 2 week long golf trip to Scotland. It was a trip a long time in the making and we visited 4 towns, played 10 rounds of golf, and even got to attend the British Open golf tournament. Whil I will never forget most parts of the trip as it was extremely memorable, there are a few experiences that ceratinly stood out above the rest.
The first unforgettable experience was getting to attend the Open Championship (British Open) golf tournament, held at the Royal Birkdale golf course outside of Liverpool. I had been to major golf tournaments here in the US, but there was nothing like getting to experience golf at the highest level among a different culture and perspective. It was a really cool first couple days of the trip at the golf course.
Second, we got to play golf at some of the most historic golf courses in the world. We played at Royal Troon on the western coast of Scotland, Carnoustie in the northeast -one of the toughest courses in the world,and Royal Dornoch in the far northern part of the country (it is a championship course in its own right and is often frequented by celebrities, but it is in a small town so far north that the Open never travels there). However, the highlight of these courses was obviously getting to play the New Course at St. Andrews, which is the home of golf. Just getting to be in the town and take in the history and timeless surroundings, was an incredible experience.
Admittedly, the best part about the trip may have actually been the food! We might have had the best fish and chips on planet Earth at this small shack near the end of the dock in Troon, located feet away from the ships that brought in the fresh catch. We also had world-class Indian food in the town of Carnoustie, England is known for its great Indian food thanks to the many people from India who have ended up there. Overall, I’m a huge fan of fish and chips so I got that at every opportunity possible while I was over there.
Each winter, to escape the cold in Chicago, I go down to the Orlando area to go on a golf trip with a few buddies of mine. It is always an exciting affair for me considering how much I love the game of golf and spending quality time with friends. What makes this trip so special, though, is the ability to see and experience a new part of the world each year. Though we have chosen a resort outside of Orlando for the first 3 years, our plan is to venture to new places in the Southern US each winter for a new destination. Here’s a few things that are great about the Orlando area.
First, the climate and outdoor scene there is just so great – there is a lot of outdoor space around those areas of Florida, and for good reason – it is almost always warm there. Sometimes it will get chilly or windy in the wintertime, but for the most part the climate is subtropical and temperatures still stay in the 60s and 70s in the day time in the winter. February is a particularly great month to visit because of the low humidity. Can’t wait to get out of this Chicago slushy mess!
The second reason I enjoy the Orlando area is because it is where DisneyWorld is located, and I have always wanted to go there. My family wasn’t much of a theme park going family when I was growing up, and that was fine. It has always just been somewhere that I want to go at least once to experience. If I were to go there as an adult with other adults I would go to the “Countries of the World” part of the park and visit the many different themed bars there. Of course, if I went there with a kid / family I would do the more traditional Disney experience of seeing the entertainers and rides. One day I will get there, just to do it once!
I am excited to get the opportunity to get away from Chicago this winter for a nice warn vacation down to Mexico. My girlfriend and I planned this trip, as we both have never been down there, and are going to go during the first week of March. With Cancun and Tulum pegged as the two destinations, here is what I am most excited about for our trip.
First and foremost, it will be great to just relax by the pool and ocean with a few drinks. That is the point of a tropical vacation after all, right?! In Cancun, we picked an all inclusive hotel so we plan on taking full advantage of relaxing for a few days doing that. Afterwards we will be heading down to Tulum for a few nights at a beautiful boutique hotel right on the ocean. It looks perfect for kicking back and re-charging.
I value vacations for the experiences that you are able to do, so secondly I am very excited to go explore ancient ruins and to jump into some cenotes. There are many ancient Mayan ruins that you can go see around the Cancun and Tulum area, and you can often climb up the overgrown pyramids and structure. Cenotes are pretty unque to the Yacutan Peninsula and are pools of water formed from caves and various rock formations. There are hundreds of beautiful looking cenotes all around the Yucatan, and we want to stop and swim in several ones that will be along the way, including Cenote Chaak Tun and Cenote Azul. I’m hoping that these will be definite trip highlights.
Last but certianly not least, I am very excited to snorkel with sea turtles in Akumal Bay, just north of Tulum. This is one of the more popular tourist activities in the Yucatan, and one that most exemplifies that kind of cool things you get to do when on a tropical vacation. Plus, I think sea turtles are one of the coolest animals out there, so it will be amazing to see them in their natural habitat.