Happy Friday! Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, paddle boarding, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “dublin to Royal Portrush” - you can click here to read about my 2 AM wake up and journey to Portrush, Northern Ireland from Dublin. Otherwise, as promised, let’s spend the day at Royal Portrush Golf Club for the 148th Open Championship!
When I first arrived at Royal Portrush, courtesy of a nice walk from the train, I was blown away by the massive size of the event. People from all over Ireland (and elsewhere in the world) had journeyed over in order to watch Irishman Shane Lowry potentially win it all in Northern Ireland. I found my way to the gate, stopped to take a photo for an Irish man and his young son, and made my way inside after they kindly returned the favor. My first stop was the gift shop where I purchased myself a pink hat because I wanted it, I had forgotten to bring one with me, and I have beautiful pale skin that does not enjoy too much sunlight. A quick side note I wanted to include is that the Open actually had branded metal water bottles for purchase (for ~$8) and refillable water stations all over the course. I wanted to highlight this fact because it was such a brilliant way for the organization to cut down on plastic waste. I hope it's something that other PGA tournaments all adopt in the future.
I decided to walk my way around the course, starting at Hole #1, stopping wherever I found a golfer I liked (like, c’mon, who doesn’t love Matt Kuchar?!), and taking in the beautiful coastal scenery and greenery of Royal Portrush. I enjoyed a few hours of truly beautiful weather…. and then the rain came. And not just any rain, mind you - torrential downpour. I had come prepared in the material sense with my raincoat but not mentally for what can only be described as the skies opening up. Play kept on, and golfers put on their rain gear, battling the downpour and wind of (Northern) Irish weather.
I, very bravely I might add, tried to watch outside for as long as I could. After I could no longer stand the pain of the raindrops pelting into my face, I found my way and hid inside the tent of the women’s bathrooms. I spent about 20 minutes under cover, warming back up and getting semi-dry, before heading back out towards hole #18. By the time I made it to 18, a crowd had already started to gather to welcome in and cheer on Shane Lowry. I was fortunate in that I found a good spot where I could see everything going on, but it only got more packed as time crawled on.
When Shane Lowry approached the tee and hit his first shot, the crowd went absolutely crazy. And it never died down. Pausing its roar only when shots were taken, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. There was a swelling undercurrent of pride - for Shane Lowry; for a local, well-known Irish guy on the main stage; for an Irishman about to win The Open Championship in Northern Ireland on British land. The emotions were as strong and as volatile as the day’s weather. When Shane sank his putt to seal his win, it was a celebration unlike any other I’ve ever seen. The crowds cheered, they sang “The Fields of Athenry,” people hugged, and there was a strong sense of unity and Irish pride. When the ceremony ended, crowning Shane Lowry the champion, the cheering continued, and people celebrated throughout the country.
I left Royal Portrush feeling that sense of pride, as well, seeing Irishman Shane Lowry win The British Open on land that used to belong to Ireland. It’s a long, complicated history that made his win so powerful and so much larger than himself, but it’s a history that continues on in many ways still. It’s an event - from the 2 AM wakeup to the late night bedtime - that I will never forget. I doubt the pubs ran dry, but if there were ever a night where they could, it was the night Irishman Shane Lowry won the British Open in Northern Ireland.
Have you ever gone to a sporting event that felt like it was so much more than just a sport? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush