It’s funny how weather can completely alter your view of a city. The only time I’d been to St. Andrews before prior to two weeks ago was with my former roommate Zoe in 2003 when we visited her then-boyfriend Roger at the nearby RAF base. It was drizzly and cold and downright dreary. We had a good time, mind you—there are rarely times I’m not having a good time, no matter the weather—it just wasn’t the idyllic picture I had in my mind of St. Andrews.
This time was the opposite of that.
Originally, St. Andrews wasn’t on the eight-day itinerary I had lain out, but I added in a stop in the 11th hour as I knew Mom and Sis would want to make Dad green with envy that they got to visit the Old Course (spoiler alert: subject of a future Photo Friday) and he didn’t.
As you likely know due to that flying-under-the-radar prince, Willy, having attended there in the early-2000s, St. Andrews lays claim to Scotland’s oldest university, which was founded in 1413 (more than 300 years older than my entire country! how’s that for a comparison?).
When I studied abroad in Edinburgh, I was actually enrolled at the University of St. Andrews originally, then switched schools once I found out it was 70 percent female and in such a tiny town. It’s a lovely place, but seeing as I grew up in a “city” of 18,000 and then went to a liberal arts college of 1,400, I wanted to go somewhere bigger. Edinburgh wound up being the perfect fit for me.
We mainly did a lot of wandering and a bit of shopping (OK, a lot of shopping)—the downtown area has a really great pedestrian drag chock full of shops, both of trinkets and of clothing—and my mom told Kari she should buy a hat to go with her nice dresses. Sometimes I fear like my mom has read a bit too much Victorian lit and watched one too many episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs.
(Kari would like you to know did not buy this one. Or any hat for that matter.)
While Scotland doesn’t scream “beach destination”—any Scottish readers out there: is there any time throughout the year when you can honestly go outdoors in a bathing suit, excuse me, swim costume?—the weather was just too perfect not to head out to the beach just beyond the downtown.
And I finally shared a page out of the SVV School for Jumping Photography and taught my mom how to take a proper jumping shot.
It took a few tries, but I’d say she mastered it.
Also, I’d say this photo is visual proof that rabbit genes run in my family. Meet my sister, stunt woman for The Matrix (at least she should have been, wouldn’t you say?).
I LOVED reading this post. Greg and I are leaving Peru around the beginning of 2015 so that he can pursue a doctorate. One of his top choices is St. Andrews. I was glued to the shows about William and Kate when they talked about their college days. I try to imagine life there if it does happen. We are from the MacKenzie Clan after all. Scotland is Greg’s dream trip. If he got to live there for his doctoral program he would be in heaven. I have loved reading your posts and seeing your pictures from your Scotland adventure. Thanks!
SA would be such a great place to live–especially with young kids. It’s the small-town vibe of Tullahoma–only in Scotland (with better accents and an ocean!).
Love this post!! St. Andrews has long been on my list – you captured it so well. Beautiful photos.
Thank you! There’s a lovely Fairmont there that I really wanted to stay at, but by the time I even discovered it, they were already booked solid. You should go and check it out for the both of us–I know we have a shared love for Fairmonts!
Great photos – especially the jumping one – your mom did an excellent job!! I saw a lot of photos of that beach in St. Andrews this summer but none on such a sunny day. My daughter stayed in the same residence that Prince William lived in, on the same floor and apparently in the same quad of rooms – that’s her brush with royalty!
My brush with royalty happened when my cruise ship last summer was docked next to Kate and Will’s—luckily, I had a telephoto lens, and lucky for Kate, she was in church clothes, not a bikini!
Nice that you didn’t have the cold, gray, wet weather on this trip. Even making it to the beach. Always love the jump shots. Mom done good.
Oh, we had plenty of it throughout the two weeks–particularly in Ireland–and the day before was just absolutely dreadful. But we had a couple absolutely gorgeously sunny days, as well, so they balance out, right?
What? She didn’t buy it? She totally could have rocked it!
We weren’t drunk enough that day…yet.
Ooo, so this is where the future king of England spent his university days. 😉
I’m so pinning that first photo. GORGEOUS! Love exploring different coastlines. I’m confused on where St. Andrews is to Edinburgh, but I suppose I’ll go google the answers later.
It’s about an hour north of Edinburgh (less than that by train) on the coast. Beautiful drive!
yayy quality family bonding time
Fantastic photos, such a perfect British town, and in the summer to boot. Thanks for sharing, lovely place. Pinning this as well, it’s good inspiration to get myself to Scotland soon.
Yes! I would recommend May or early June–lovely time of year there and before the summer crowds really take over.
Seems like my kind of beach: the cold-bundle-yourself-desolate kind as opposed to the bikini-kind!
A true San Franciscan (despite your military upbringing and globetrotting status!).
These are like the first pictures of St. Andrews I’ve seen where it hasn’t been absolutely soaked. Well done!
I think the sun there is more rare than common 😉
I am so glad I stumbled on your post. Amazing to see St Andrews again and great photo shots! As a Scot brought up in Edinburgh, I can totally understand your question about the cooler weather. After living in France for 20 yrs, I find it so hard to imagine sporting a swimming suit on the beach when I was little. The thought does make me shiver, but we didn’t mind since we were used to it! Dad comes to visit at Xmas wearing short sleeves saying it’s warm here. Brrrrrr! I also went to Edinburgh uni – sorry we missed each other!
Jealous that you grew up in Edinburgh! Greatest city in the world. I will forever mourn the fact that I can’t live there full-time.
What a cool post! Loved reading it. And those shots of you jumping in the air remind me of your captures in front of the Taj Mahal!!!
Oh my goodness it’s SO PRETTY!!
I enjoyed reading your post. And those pictures are wonderful.