We’re here! And between Kevin’s two-week headstart and the familiarity of the language, we are on pace to settle in quicker than we have before in our international relocations. Car, check. Bank account, check. Phones, internet, preliminary health insurance paperwork, check, check, check! Probably the hardest part of the transition this time is the driving. Moving the driver’s seat to the right and driving on the left isn’t easy. Just ask my father-in-law! wink wink.
As expected, this week was a bit of a whirlwind. The time-change didn’t affect us as much as I expected, but I’ve yet to recover any sense of what time of day it is, or what day it is in general. This is particularly tough on a pregnancy brain like mine, and so the primary goal for this week will be establishing a routine. Getting my hunger cues on pace with a clock and regulating Brayden’s napping schedule will undoubtedly help me keep our lives in order.
While we haven’t done much traveling yet, we did spend yesterday afternoon exploring the golfing oasis that is St. Andrews. Kevin’s father, who so graciously escorted/carried Brayden and I to Scotland, has been on a golf tour of the area since we arrived. He wasn’t able to play the famous course because it was limited to the public for an upcoming tournament, but we decided to visit nevertheless. I’m not much of a golfer, but I would be if I lived here. Situated virtually atop an endless beach in the center of a quaint, gray-bricked historic town, the scenery is beautiful. Contrary to the supposedly typical rainy Scotland weather, the sun was shining on our backs as we walked along the 18th hole and onto the beach. The beach, where, by the way, the famous scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed. The tide was impossibly low, and Brayden happily collected seashells by the shore while we all took in the panorama of lush green fairways, a dunes-lined ocean, and ancient Scottish architecture.
Strolling through the town center, I felt that I was in golf’s equivalent of a ski town. Pro shops lined the streets, golfing apparel and merchandise was displayed in every window. Restaurants were aptly named to suit the sport and pubs were full of golfers grabbing a drink after their rounds. After a nice dinner at a local hotel restaurant, we contentedly headed back along the narrow windy roads to Kirkcaldy.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect coming into this season. It all happened so fast, and I was so focused on getting everything organized to go, that I hadn’t even looked on a map to see where we’d be living. Embarrassing as it is to admit my weaknesses with geography and history subjects, I couldn’t think of one defining characteristic of the country. Beyond what I’d seen in my forty viewings of Braveheart, I didn’t know much of what to expect from the landscape. Was that even filmed in Scotland? (Partially). My only reference for the accent came from Liam Neeson. Is he even Scottish? (No.) I couldn’t have even told you that the country was situated along a water body. (I told you it’s embarrassing).
The fact that the United Kingdom sits in my educational blindspot has one benefit, however embarrassing it may be. I may not be a good candidate for “Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader”, but I’m surely in a good position for some wonderful surprises. What other beautiful sights await in the year to come? What fun adventures lie ahead for me and my boys? I’m going to resist using Google, and relish in the experiences as they come. I’ll focus on making a healthy, happy, comfortable home-away-from-home for our family, and I’ll let the rest of those details figure themselves out.
|Kev and his dad on the fairway of the 18th hole with the Clubhouse to the left|
|A little St. Andrews side street|
|A shot from another course courtesy of Barry|